by Greg McKechnie
Bringing the family to Nantucket Island this summer? Whether you’re a first time visitor, a summer resident, or even a year round resident like me, entertaining the kids can be a bit of a challenge. We’ve compiled a list of the best family friendly beaches. Whether you’re traveling with little ones or they’re nearly all grown up, these Nantucket beaches will keep your kids captivated- at any age- and will ensure enjoyable family time for all.
Dreaming of sleeping in but the kids have other ideas? Children’s Beach is your in-town oasis.
Perfect for young families, Children’s features playgrounds and activities that will keep the kids entertained. Children’s in-town location means picking up breakfast or coffee along the way. Take in the harbor while your kids let out their early morning steam. I have shared many a bleary eyed mornings with other fathers there.
*Check the bandstand for fun classes for your kids and the free hosted summer events.
After a day strolling around in town, Jetties Beach makes for convenient and picturesque late-afternoon beach time.
Jetties also features a family friendly restaurant perfect for cocktails and raw bar with your feet still in the sand where the kids can run and play on the beach while listening to live music. If you’re in the mood for something a little quieter, Steps Beach is next to Jetties and features serene views of the Sound, especially at sunset. It’s an easy walk over with the kids after Happy Hour!
My family’s favorite Sunday-getaway, you’re only a boat ride away from escaping from the world on Coatue. Nantucket’s eight-mile long northwestern peninsula offers secluded sandy beaches and calm swimming water. Pack a lunch and head out for a family day to experience some of Nantucket’s most striking and seemingly remote scenes the island has to offer.
I have yet to try it but I have seen the guys from Next Level Sports out there teaching kiteboarding lessons in the Harbor which looks great fun.
Up for for a scenic drive to the eastern side of the island? Located down Polpis in Quidnet, you’ll encounter a giant pond perfect for warm and easy swimming for the little guys.
A very family friendly beach, this is a popular spot for young families hunkering down for a beach day. Sesachacha Pond offers stunning views of Sankaty Head Lighthouse and truly lends a different feel than the in-town beaches. From here you’re almost to the Sconset Village, where you’ll find ice cream, sandwiches at Claudette’s the meatloaf sandwich is awesome but a half is sufficient), dinner and supplies to refuel after your beach day.
For families with older kids (or adventurous parents) who need a bit more action, head to Cisco Beach for a day of surfing. You’ll always find this favorite island beach lively; a perfect spot for your kids or teens and tweens (this family friendly spot hosts visitors of all ages!) to make new friends or enjoy water sports.
No surfing experience or gear? Surf schools like Nantucket Island Surf School offer lessons and rentals right on Cisco Beach so your family can pick up a cool new skill, hassle-free.
Don’t forget to share #YourNantucket beach experiences with us on Instagram!