Being stuck in vehicle traffic on Nantucket is never fun, and during the peak summer months of July and August, it can literally make you hot under the collar! The good news is that you can be perfectly happy visiting Nantucket without a car.
The website MoreNantucket.com gives you all the tips you need on how to get anywhere on Nantucket using our extensive bicycle paths, our bus system, and by using your own two feet!
If downtown Nantucket is where you are heading, a car will just complicate your trip. Parking can be a challenge, and everything you could desire is within walking distance. Within a few blocks of both ferry docks, you’ll find restaurants, parks, beaches, a lighthouse, museums, shops, art galleries, theaters, and hotels & inns. As you stroll through town, immerse yourself in centuries-old living history. Search for clever house names displayed on traditional quarterboards, and admire the delightful flower boxes along quiet side streets.
Here are some of our favorite downtown destinations for walkers:
Nantucket Whaling Museum: Open daily in July & August from 10am to 5pm, this museum features permanent & rotating exhibitions in 9 galleries, with more than a thousand works of art, artifacts, and treasures on display. The museum is home to a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton, a massive Fresnel lens, a restored 1847 candle factory, and a relaxing, fully-accessible rooftop deck that offers stunning views of Nantucket harbor.
Beaches: If you want to dip your toes in the cool water or sit and sun yourself in the sand, Children’s Beach is a short walk from town. There’s a small concession there, and a fun playground if you are traveling with children. If you can walk a few blocks farther, head to Brant Point Beach, where you can see Brant Point Lighthouse and wave to friends who are departing on the ferries.
Art Galleries: There’s an art gallery on nearly every street in town and on Straight Wharf, Old North Wharf, and Old South Wharf–some owned by the artists and some representing a number of artists! Modern art, sculpture, classic paintings, and more. The Artists Association’s Cecelia Joyce & Seward Johnson Gallery is the perfect place to start your exploration of island art.
Parks: Our favorite park is also the island’s newest. Easy Street Park is between Steamboat Wharf and Straight Wharf, with benches and easy access. Plus there’s a great view of the harbor.
Shops & Eateries: Downtown Nantucket has shops where you can buy everything from t-shirts and hats to heirloom quality jewelry. Restaurants are interspersed, some with patio dining and many that offer takeout as well as sit-down service. There’s even a bakery and several local coffeeshops (no national chains, but that’s how we like it!).
You’ll find a warm welcome everywhere you go in Nantucket Town, and when you walk instead of drive there is no worry about parking or tickets. Enjoy Nantucket more with MoreNantucket.com.