Nantucket North Shore Beaches
The beaches on the north shore of the island tend to have a gentler surf suitable for children, with the notable exception of Brant Point which has a strong current. Many of these are easily accessible from town and all have great views of either Nantucket Sound or the harbor. Great Point is also visible from some of these locations.
Great for families and young children, few waves, no lifeguards. On Nantucket Sound; warm water during July, August and September inspired nickname "The Bathtub" for area nearby. Parking. Best access via 4WD vehicle (do not attempt this in a low vehicle), approx 40 telephone poles west on Eel Point Road from Madaket Road. Shoulder-to-shoulder crowded on hot weekend summer days and holidays.
Three miles from town by bike on the north side of Eel Point Rd off Madaket Road. Look for the boulder marked "Dionis." Some parking. Lifeguard (in season). Sheltered by dunes, calm waters for swimming, safe for children. Hard-pack sand. There is no food concession at Dionis but there are plenty of seashells! Restroom available. Beachgoers can take NRTA shuttle bus to Eel Point Road stop and walk.
Francis Street Beach
This small beach is about a seven-minute walk from Main Street. Nice views of the harbor. Calm harbor waters for swimming; no lifeguard. Jungle gym, kayak rentals, restroom.
Easy bike ride from town, good amount of parking, or take the NRTA shuttle bus in season; bus stops right at the beach. Great beach for families with young kids. Lifeguards, changing rooms, playground, restrooms, showers, restaurant and take-out food service (in season). Concession and restrooms handicap accessible; plastic mat running down center of the beach makes it easier to walk down the sand.
The water is calm and warm, perfect for swimming. Good for finding shells and sea glass. Windsurfing, sailboat, and kayak lessons and rentals available.
Beach accessible wheelchairs are available from the Town. This beach is popular as a wedding location and is the venue for the annual Boston Pops concert.
Washing Pond Beach
Sometimes called "Water Tower Beach." Tide pools, few waves, nice beach for children. No stairs, but must trek up and down dune path to reach the beach. No lifeguard; no facilities. Beach ends at a retaining wall. Good shelling. Parking for about 25 vehicles, partial bike path accessibility (right off of Cliff Road).
Brant Point Beach
Easy walk or bike ride from town. No lifeguard. Strong current and high boat traffic. Though technically a swimming beach - Brant Point is much more suited to sitting a watching the harbor traffic. Scenic beach with Brant Point Lighthouse, the second oldest lighthouse in the US. Here is where to go to wave goodbye to friends and family departing on the Steamship.
Brant Point is one of the most photographed spots on the island and is a special favorite for wedding photos. It is also possible to have your wedding right at Brant Point, but be sure to get permission from the Coast Guard.
Harbor Beach, an easy walk from town down So. Beach Street and off Harbor View Way. Flotation devices are not permitted within the guarded area. Ideal for small children; park, playground, and bandstand; lifeguard, restrooms, showers, food service, picnic tables. Food, playground and rest room are all accessible. Activities sponsored by Park & Recreation Commission are often held at this beach during the summer months.
Accessible via NRTA - Jetties Route.
Between Dionis and Jetties beaches; access from Cliff Road. No lifeguard, no facilities, very little parking. Gentle surf; sandbar. Many steep steps must be descended to get to the beach and ascended when you leave. Gentle surf. Lovely views of Nantucket Sound and Great Point. Nights during August and September, bioluminscent creatures can be seen in the water.