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There are a limited amount of distractions on Nantucket and that’s part of the appeal – it’s perfectly acceptable to spend the day doing nothing but reading a book on the beach or walking the dunes. Make time to enjoy the island’s sites, but plan plenty of time into your itinerary to practice the fine art of doing nothing, too.

Things to do in Nantucket

Brant Point Lighthouse

For 250 years, this lighthouse – the second oldest in America – has kept ships from running ashore. At just 26 feet tall, you’ll wonder how this surprisingly short structure has done its job for so long. Parking isn’t close, but the walk is delightful.

Easton St., MA, 508-228-2500,
Tags: family | great value | things to do | outdoors | history

Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge

Don your hiking boots – don’t forget your camera – as you set out over 16 miles of walking trails. This refuge (pronounced "co-skate-uh co-too") has 200 acres of dunes, a mature maritime oak forest, and salt marshes.

Just south of Wauwinet, Wauwinet Rd., MA, 508-228-5646,
Tags: family | hiking | great value | things to do | outdoors

Jethro Coffin House

Head to the island’s oldest residence to see how people lived back in 1686. In the warmer months, enjoy a stroll through the historic garden, which includes apple trees. Tours run mid-May through Mid-October.

Sunset Hill Rd., MA, 508-228-1895,
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | culture | architecture | history

Miacomet Golf Club

This public golf course is open year round. Its views of coastline and Miacomet Pond might offer some solace if its challenging course gets the better of you.

Just west of Southside, 12 West Miacomet Rd., MA, 508-325-0333,
Tags: golf | views | things to do | outdoors | sports

Nantucket Adventures

Spend three hours on the ocean with the “Seal Encounter” eco-tour. The boat’s design doesn’t disturb the seals so you can watch them without worrying about disrupting them. Tours run April 1st through October 31st.

Town Pier (Slip 77), MA, 508-228-6365,
Tags: family | things to do | outdoors | wildlife

Nantucket Chowder Festival

"Chowda" is a regional staple with more varieties than one can imagine. This one-day festival, which takes place on October 14, may not be the biggest, but it's our favorite.

Tags: things to do | culinary

Nantucket Island Community Sailing

The best way to see the island is from the water. Seasoned sailors can rent their own vessels, while novices can take advantage of private or group lessons to learn the craft. Open mid-June through Labor Day (weather permitting).

4 Winter St., MA, 508-228-6600,
Tags: family | smart splurge | things to do | outdoors

Whaling Museum

Get a reminder of Nantucket’s whaling past at this captivating museum. Its skeleton of a 46-foot long sperm whale is jaw-dropping, as are the downtown and harbor views from its roof.

15 Broad St., MA, 508-228-1894,
Tags: family | views | things to do | history

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