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Nantucket: Coastal Charm and Beautiful Beaches
08th February 2007
Author: Jennifer Weiss

Let a gentle ocean breeze wash over you, peruse exquisite boutiques in town, or simply soak up the sun 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Anything you can imagine, and anything related to relaxation, is waiting for you on the charming and isolated island of Nantucket. Nantucket is brimming with adventure and excitement in an atmosphere all its own, so hope aboard the ferry and set out for an actively invigorating getaway to this popular Massachusetts destination.

It is impossible to overstate the beauty of the pristine and stunning beaches that line the shore of this quaint little island. The sparkling stretches of sand along the north shore, including Childrenís Beach, Dionis Beach, and Jetties Beach, are the perfect place for family-oriented excursion since they are protected by Nantucket Sound and generally have few waves. Swimming, shelling, and sunbathing are all available near the water in addition to sandcastle building competitions and Fourth of July fireworks at Jetties Beach and a playground at Childrenís Beach.

In contrast to the relative calm of the north, the rest of Nantucketís shoreline is susceptible to pounding surf and strong currents. The south and eastern shores, which feature Miacomet Beach, Cisco Beach, Surfside Beach, and Siasconset Beach, are particularly dangerous since the Atlanticís waves flood into this area. Depending on the conditions, swimming is sometimes possible, but wading is usually a better bet along with surfing at Cisco Beach. On the western shore, Madaket Beach has very heavy surf along its lengthy banks and is the best place on the island to soak up a vibrant and breathtaking sunset.

Although the numerous public beaches cater to different crowds, the local attractions offer the perfect blend of history and ambiance to leave every visitor satisfied with their experience. Outdoor enthusiasts simply cannot miss a jaunt around the island on a harbor cruise that also features a lobstering demonstration, a popular pastime off the Massachusetts coast. Even more adventure awaits at the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, whose complex ecosystem is perfect for appreciating the great outdoors. Featuring miles of hiking trails, acres of maritime dunes and forest, and extensive white sand beaches, visitors can catch a glimpse of various wildlife, including egrets, osprey, harbor seals, and much more, or visit the historic Great Point Lighthouse.

With its rich history as the whaling capital of the world during the 1800s, a stop by the Whaling Museum is always in order during your stay on Nantucket. The awe-inspiring 43-foot skeleton of a finback whale is sure to delight children, while adults can certainly appreciate the paintings, portraits, and collection of scrimshaw in addition to the daily lectures, chock-full of colorful history, on the whaling industry. If the history of the island appeals to your senses, or you simply need to fill a rainy day, the Nantucket Life Saving Museum, with its stories of heroism, is always inspirational, and the Egan Maritime Foundation Museum offers interesting insight into the traditions, architecture, and history of Nantucket.

Even after all of these coordinated attractions, the bountiful shops in Nantucket Town, housed in wharf shacks along the harbor, are still waiting for you to pick up a memento or little piece of history. Festival aficionados will also appreciate the Daffodil Festival in April, the Nantucket Wine Festival in May, the Nantucket Film Festival in June, and the Nantucket Arts Festival and Nantucket Harvest Weekend in October.

With so much to see and do on this exciting, welcoming island, it can be easy to overlook the importance of your lodging. When you stay in Nantucket vacation rentals, the island is an oyster of nearby amusements and activities just waiting for you a short stroll away. Enjoy easy access to boutiques, museums, and beaches without giving up any of the comforts of home you are accustomed to, including a spacious living room, gourmet kitchen, wireless internet, a washer and dryer, and much more. For a Nantucket getaway to remember, search the numerous Nantucket rentals available and experience the difference of truly accommodating accommodations.

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