Water Activities You Can’t Miss When in Nantucket

Water Activities You Can’t Miss When in Nantucket

Water Activities You Can’t Miss When in Nantucket

With its crystal clear waters and exquisitely beautiful marine life, Nantucket is a popular water sports destination. The island offers visitors endless opportunities to explore nature.

As a result, the island attracts thousands of visitors every year, eager to explore its waterborne adventures. It would help if you book accommodation early to avoid an inconvenience.

Here are among the best water activities on the island.


Nantucket attracts kayakers of all experience levels and ages thanks to its long, pristine shoreline and picturesque ponds. With the diverse options available, choosing a kayaking spot can be tricky.

Nantucket's ponds offer a safe and convenient environment for kids and inexperienced kayakers. For pros, going out to the ocean is an option. However, exercising caution on the north shore is important since it sometimes gets extremely windy.

The top kayaking spots in Nantucket include Nantucket Harbor, Coskata Pond, Sesachacha Pond, and Long Pond. Though Nantucket Harbor mainly favors experienced kayakers, it is safely sheltered and inviting to beginners. It offers great access to Brant Point Lighthouse (a landmark on the island) and is close to Jetties Beach (a scenic spot for catching sunsets).

On Nantucket's west end lies Long Pond, a 132-acre pond with incredible biodiversity. It's a great haven for water sports enthusiasts. The same can be said about Sesachacha Pond, a more peaceful and wilder pond on the island's northeastern side.


With wind constantly blowing on the island, there’s always an opportunity to enjoy kiteboarding year-round. And if you prefer visiting Nantucket in the summer, the southwest prevailing winds make the sport even more thrilling.

The best kiteboarding places lie in Nantucket Harbor, mainly because of the island's thermal effect. You can use a kite with a size range between 9 and 14 metres weather to kiteboard in these areas.

Expect strong winds from the northeastern and southern areas during winter, fall and spring. It’s because low-pressure systems tend to roll in at these times of the year.

The Nantucket Airport wind sensor on iKitesurf can help you get accurate wind reports of the south shore. For wind reports of the harbor, count on the Nantucket Harbor sensor.

Your kiteboarding experiences and comfort on the island largely depend on your choice of suit. So, if you are visiting Nantucket in summer, wear a t-shirt and board shorts or a 2mm wetsuit top during the daytime. The right attire for spring kiteboarding is a 3.2 or 4.3mm wetsuit.

During winter, the wind is usually colder, increasing the need for a warmer outfit. In this case, a 5.4mm wetsuit with gloves, boots, and a hood will help you cope with the cold.

Nantucket kiteboarding zones include the Harbor, the North Side, and the South Side. The Harbor area stretches across the mouth of the Nantucket Harbor (the Nantucket Bar) while the North Side covers Eel Point, Water Tower Beach, and Jetties Beach. The South Side comprises Madaket, Tom Nevers Beach, Cisco, Miacomet, Surfside, and Madequecham


Nantucket features more than 80 miles of beaches, which offer endless surfing opportunities. The island is also a popular surfing destination during summer. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, you wouldn't want to miss the thrill of being pulled or wiping out under an ocean wave.

With a bit of training, first-timers can get a chance to experience surfing on the island. While you may be scared to fall at first, the fear may subside once you grab the board and get in the water.

The south shore beaches are perfect for surfing since they have many sandbars. The sandbars provide the feet with a soft, smooth surface to prevent cuts, which are common when surfing in waters with reefs. If you are a beginner, you can work your way into the water through the shallow sandbars until you get it right.

Convenient spots for surfing in Nantucket include Madaket, Nobadeer, Cisco, and Madaquecham. Though they attract large crowds of surfers during high peak seasons, you can still find a place to surf within walking distance away from the crowds. 

Cruises and Sailing

If you prefer getting active on your upcoming vacation, signing up for a cruise is a good idea. Cruises and sailing across Nantucket allow solo travelers, couples, and families to explore the surrounding natural beauty. And depending on the vessel and the amenities included in it, the sailing experiences will be diverse.

For beginners, cruises can be mind-blowing and eye-opening. That does not mean that repeat cruisers will have a dull moment. You are guaranteed to uncover new layers of fun every time you hit the waters on the ship. Besides, sailing offers great rejuvenation, relaxation, adventure, and action opportunities.

Nantucket’s picturesque sand dunes and crystal clear waters make cruises and sailing fun. The same applies to excursions and cruise lines available to water sports enthusiasts across the island.

Your options for cruises on the island include the Nantucket Harbor Cocktail Cruise and Sunset Cruise. In particular, the Cocktail Cruise offers a great opportunity to unwind with friends and family while enjoying breathtaking views and nice music. The cruises are one-hour long and accommodate up to 23 passengers per trip.

Whichever cruise you sign up for, ensure you are at the dock ready to board at least 15 minutes before the departure time. You won't get a refund if you miss the boat or ship or fail to show up. 

Summing up

Participating in water activities in Nantucket helps relieve the mind and exercise the body. Whether you have an entire summer season or a weekend, your options for water sports on the island are endless. If you have no idea where to start, explore the above suggestions for the best time of your life!