Nantucket South Shore Beaches
On the Atlantic side of the island; water temps tend to be cooler than on the North Shore Beaches. Most South Shore beaches on Nantucket can have heavy surf, strong currents, and shifting sands. Swimmers should be aware of rip tides and know how to handle themselves if caught in one.
At the far western end of the island, Madaket is a popular beach, especially for watching incredible sunsets. Sand is soft. The surf can be heavy, so check beach conditions. There are some lifeguards, but not the full length of the beach. No restrooms, and no food service, so bring a picnic . There is some parking.
Madaket Beach is accessible by bike via a 5.5 mile paved bike path, or take the NRTA shuttle bus (seasonal).
Nobadeer to the left and Surfside to the right, Fisherman's and Stone Beaches are quieter than either but still have the dunes, dune grass, and the surf that beachgoers on the south side of Nantucket love. Little parking, so bike or walk to these beaches. Steep steps lead down to the beach. Stones Beach has a Little Free Library for trading favorites.
No lifeguards, no bathrooms, no food service. Surf can be rough, and watch out for undertow.
At the very end of Madaket; accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicles, permit required. Strong rip, deep water. Surf can be very heavy near the channel. Sometimes the point is breached by waves to create Esther Island.
Four-mile bike ride to end of Hummock Pond Road. Heavy surf; lifeguard (in season). No facilities. Occasionally foggy. Parking. Rip currents can be strong. Soft sand. This beach is very popular with surfers and young adults. Lack of facilities might make it less attractive to families with children, but be careful of undertow and rip tides.
This is one of the most popular beaches on Nantucket. Very family friendly though the surf can get heavy at times. Lifeguards are on duty in-season at this beach.
Located at the end of Surfside Road, a three-mile ride on paved bike path or take the NRTA Shuttle in season. Easy to park your car in the lot near the beach, and this beach is easily accessible by bike path. Plenty of surf, wide beach is good for picnics, beach games, and surfcasting. Kite flying west of Surfside Beach is acceptable; for safety reasons, please do not fly kites east of Surfside toward the airport. Due to the number of people who frequent Surfside Beach during the day, it is inadvisable to fly kites during the peak beachgoing hours. Surfside is good for shelling in the early morning and popular in the evenings for surfcasting.
Lifeguard, restrooms with diaper changing station, showers, food service.
At the end of Miacomet Road. Surf and rip currents can be dangerous but there are some lifeguards. Parking. No facilities or food service. Families with very young children may prefer Miacomet Pond.
Lifeguard, occasional food service by food truck. This beach is popular with youth.
Located near the airport. Parking is limited. This beach can be difficult to access due to steep incline.
Plenty of surf. The wide beach is good for picnics, beach games, surfing, and surfcasting.
Parking, no restrooms, not bike path accessible, no lifeguards
Fresh water pond on Nantucket. Good for young children. Parking; no lifeguard, no facilities. Snapping turtles may be encountered.
This beach is between Sconset and Tom Nevers Pond, nearly 7 miles from Nantucket town, and is a wonderful beach if you like your privacy. Sweeping views, plenty of room. Surf can be heavy with strong currents. This beach is a bit of a hike from the village of 'Sconset, so bring any food and beverages you'll need. No lifeguards.
Tom Nevers Beach
Also called "Pebble Beach." No lifeguard; no facilities.
Surf at this beach can be heavy; very coarse sand. Sometimes foggy. This beach is rarely crowded. Excellent surfcasting. Access onto the beach can be difficult.