(Mad-uh-kit) Located at the west end of the island, Madaket is known for its easygoing ambiance. This area features everything Nantucket is famous for — boating, fishing, scalloping, walking, and biking. Madaket Harbor and Hither Creek have an “Old Nantucket” feel with a landscape dotted with simple beach houses and vistas out to Tuckernuck Island. Take in the picturesque shoreline and beautiful rolling waves, enjoy a bike ride, walk, or run throughout its protected spaces, hit the beach, grab a bite from Millies, and more! Smith’s Point is located at the tip of the west end and is a wonderful spot to escape the crowds and enjoy some world-class fishing.
Perhaps the most well-known spot in the west end is the après beach feel of Millie’s Restaurant. Known for its history, casual dining scene, and margaritas, it's the perfect place to watch the beautiful summer days go by from its picnic-style patio, or see the sunset behind Madaket Beach from the second-story bar. Millie’s gets its name from Nantucket legend, ‘Madaket Millie’ Jewett, who spent her lifetime taking care of the west end’s beaches, animals, and people. Millie embodied the characteristics of a kind, helpful, and resourceful islander, and so Millie’s Restaurant continues to honor Millie and her Madaket history by offering a gathering place for all visitors. The restaurant has a fantastic Mexican-style menu, with killer lobster quesadillas and accommodating options for kids.
In-season you can also visit Millie's Market next door to stock up on ice cream, beach supplies, snacks, and cocktails to complete your beach picnic.
Also located in this area of the island is Madaket Marine, a boat sales, repair, and launch center. While best known for Millies, its beaches, and its boating, this neck of the woods is also a stunning place to run, walk, or bike.
Off Madaket Road, turn onto Barrett Farm Road to explore Head of the Plains, better known as the Madaket Moors. This network of winding dirt roads surrounded by rare plant species, flowering moors, and colorful grasses makes for a great dog walk, bike ride, or car adventure.
Captain Tom’s Charters is one of Nantucket’s premier fishing services, running four charters a day out of Hither Creek. Captain Tom has an incredible passion for fishing, and spreading his knowledge to all, whether you are a master fisherman or trying it for the first time. In such close proximity to some of the best fishing spots in the world, Captain Tom’s Charters will get you hooked up on striped bass, bluefish, seabass, fluke, bonito, albies, and tuna, all summer long!
If you're interested in exploring some of Nantucket’s protected spaces with the guidance of a local, check out Nantucket Walkabout. The island’s only year-round guided hiking service is there to take you on a natural history walk all throughout Nantucket’s protected spaces. Running a two-hour hike out to beautiful Smith’s Point, this activity is fun and rewarding for the whole family. For more information, visit its website here.
Madaket Beach is a laid-back, soft sand beach known for its sunsets and is accessible via a 6-mile paved bike bath, car, or NRTA shuttle bus (seasonal). There is a small dirt parking lot, and lifeguards in season, however, erosion has made access more difficult in the past few summers, and the surf can be heavy, so use caution and check the beach conditions before heading out there! The westernmost tip of the beach is accessible by four-wheel drive vehicles only, by way of Massachusetts Avenue; there is also a small area to park and walk on, however driving is the most convenient way of access. This section of the beach can be a relaxing and quiet location to enjoy a peaceful beach day with the family, as it is not typically as crowded as other “drive-on” island beaches.
Smith’s Point, the western tip of our island is one of the most iconic places to catch a sunset if you are able. Earning its nickname of Esther’s Island, this area came to be when Hurricane Esther formed an island from Smith’s Point in 1961. Smith’s Point is approximately 1.5 miles of pristine barrier beach, providing plentiful lounging, fishing, swimming, and sunset watching to its go-ers. This coastline is most easily accessible by car with the correct permitting and is also a popular small-boat destination. Smith’s Point is one of Nantucket’s quieter destinations, with fewer people than alternative drive-on beaches.
To experience the west side of Nantucket to the fullest, browse our vacation rental inventory.
Distance to Town: 6 miles
Distance to the Beach: 0 miles