What To Do With Kids in Nantucket

We traveled to Nantucket in early August for our one and only week-long summer vacation. It was Elle & Lily’s first time to the island and I couldn’t wait to see them experience this special place. We rented a cottage on the outskirts of Town to stay away from the crowds and took every precaution we could while we were there. I knew with COVID the experience would be very different than pre-COVID times, but we were able to stay distanced and see the sights safely. Overall the trip was a blast and we were able to do a ton on the island!

Jettie’s Beach

Each beach on Nantucket has its own unique attributes. We visited a few different beaches during the week, but Jettie’s Beach is the one we kept going back to. There was something so special about it. From early morning until about 2 pm during low tide, there are multiple sandbars throughout the water. Elle was able to walk through the water to the higher sand mounds and play in the tide pools. I loved taking a seat on the sandbar and watching the girls splash around on the waters edge. Jettie’s has a playground right before the entrance that Elle loved to stop at before we went to the beach. My favorite spot to set our beach towels down was right past the playground. If you enter the beach at the playground (instead of going down the long board walk) and keep going straight, you come to a beautiful enclave surrounded by boats. The scenery was beyond beautiful. When we were ready for a break, we headed to the Sandbar for an easy and yummy lunch. The Sandbar has dining right on the beach. We sipped on frose’s and ate fish tacos while looking at the beach, and in these moments, I truly felt like we were on vacation! We even took home a Sandbar hat in honor of our favorite spot!

Millie’s & Madaket Beach

Two nights during our stay we took a bus to Millie’s restaurant and munched on tacos before catching the sunset at Madaket beach. The Wave conveniently drops you off right in front of the restaurant and also a block from the beach. Millie’s is a mexican-style restaurant with outdoor dining and incredible cocktails. There can be long waits, so my recommendation is to go early, take a stroll to the beach or grab a drink at the outdoor bar! Millie’s Market, a little shop right next to the main restaurant, offers ice cream as well. Once we finished dinner, we grabbed ice cream and walked a block toward the beach. Madaket beach has the most spectacular views of the sunset. Also, we took a right before the beach parking lot and walked to the bridge overlooking the harbor. The after sunset glow overlooking the harbor was just as special.

Cisco Brewery

Cisco Brewery is one of those places where one visit is just not enough! It has an atmosphere that can’t be beat. Cisco’s along with Nantucket Vineyard and Triple Eight Distillery offer a island hang out spot unlike any other on the island. Along with drinks, there are delicious food trucks from local restaurants that set up at Cisco’s, including 167 Raw and Millie’s. During our trip, we went to Cisco’s for lunch and were seated at a picnic table. With COVID, Cisco’s does have certain restrictions in place, like assigned seating (it’s no longer a free for all), and masks when walking around. This is more of a place for adult fun, but the kids loved eating at the picnic tables and people watching! It ended up being the perfect pit stop before the beach.

Sconset’ Village

Sconset’ Village was such a fun day trip during our vacation. We biked one day with the girls sitting in the Burley trailer, and took the Wave, Nantucket’s public transportation, over on another day. For more details on the Wave, check out my post on “How to Get to & Around Nantucket.” The downtown village is small, but has all the essentials. We started the day by grabbing sandwiches at Claudette’s Sandwich Shop. We sat right in the center of the village on park benches while we watched all the people strolling by. After lunch, we strolled to the beach and then took a walk to the Sconset’ Bluff Walk passing Codfish Park, a cute playground for the kids. The Bluff Walk (or “Cliff Walk”) is truly a one-of-a-kind trail. There is a public access way, marked by a home with a red door and small sign, that brings you behind some of the glorious Sconset’ homes and to make it even more special, the homes look out to the Atlantic Ocean. The path heads toward the Sankaty Head Lighthouse. One thing we learned is that this small dirt path is not made for strollers. We carried Lily on the walk and had Elle walk next to us. We did end up making it to the lighthouse and took in the glorious views!

What else?!

Brant Point Lighthouse – A little past town is a small beach and the iconic white lighthouse with a large American flag hanging around the front of it. This Nantucket landmark is one of the first things I saw riding in on the ferry. We visited the lighthouse on a hot day, snapped some great family shots on the long plank leading to the lighthouse, and even went for a dip in the ocean.

The Juice Bar – The Juice Bar is such a yummy ice cream spot! This place is famous for its homemade waffle cones and delicious shakes.

Museums – Because of COVID, we opted to not visit the museums this time around. However, the Whaling Museum and Aquarium are great spots to learn the history and do something different with the kids.

Boat Rides – We didn’t have time this past trip, but there are two cruises that came highly recommended, The Critter Cruise and The Harbor Tour Ice Cream Cruise. The Critter Cruise offers an interactive experience for the kids. There’s live animals, fishing, and a touch tank! The Harbor Tour is a shorter boat ride around the harbor with a little history and ice cream! I can’t wait to check out both during our next visit.

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