The postcard-like New England island of Nantucket is one of the top-desired destinations for summer vacations. It is also a top spot for romantic getaways, upscale family vacations, and history tours. 

It is a beautiful island 30 miles south of Cape Cod, best known for its ideally preserved buildings and infrastructure from centuries ago, unadulterated nature, and many beautiful beaches.

If you are contemplating whether to cross off Nantucket from your dream vacation bucket list, then the following five reasons for choosing the island for your next vacation may help make up your mind.

1. Variety of charming houses to rent

This magical island has lately been referred to as the “billionaire’s isle.” Just recently, one waterfront property was sold for a whopping 33 million, a record price for the New England coastal area. But the good news is that Nantucket is still accessible for non-billionaires as well.

This is largely thanks to the wide range of residences available for short-term booking on the island.

You can choose from quaint cottages and small lofts to luxurious mansions with pools from the many properties offered for rent.

There is a choice of hundreds of rental homes in all 15 neighborhoods of Nantucket, including in the historic Downtown and the iconic village of Siasconset.

You can select the perfect residence for your stay, depending on your budget and preferences. Renting a house in Nantucket is an excellent option if you are planning a family holiday or a special event. It is also a good idea if you want to share the price for lodging with friends or extended family.

2. There is a beach for everyone

While the island itself is less than 50 square miles in size, it has an impressive 80-mile-long coastline of beaches.

Overall, there are over 20 beaches in Nantucket, each of which is unique in its own way.

In general, the majority of the northern beaches, which are on the coast of the Nantucket Sound, have shallower, calmer, and warmer waters than the beaches on the other shores.

The other beaches that border the open Atlantic Ocean have bigger swells and stronger currents. They are more suitable for advanced swimmers and watersports lovers.

So, the northern beaches like Jetties and Children’s Beach are the perfect choice for families with young children. They have convenient amenities to keep both you and the kids happy. These include playgrounds, snack bars, restrooms, food trucks, and others.

The southern beaches, such as Nobadeer, Surfside, and Cisco, are popular among beachgoers who enjoy surfing, kite surfing, boogie boarding, and other watersports.

On the other hand, some reclusive beaches on the west shore are quieter and less crowded. This is good news for those of you who want to relax away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a quiet read or beach time. 

Several Nantucket beaches are famous as photo-op destinations for romantic couples, weddings, and dreamy vacation photo sessions. Madaket is the beach to go to if you want to experience and capture an unforgettable sunset.

The sunrise from Sconset beach is like no other.

Step’s Beach has been voted as one of the most instagrammable places on Nantucket.

In other words, there is a beach for everyone on this picturesque island.

3. Amazing food

The fresh seafood and the top-of-the-line restaurants are other good reasons to plan a vacation in Nantucket.

The Little Grey Lady of the Sea has become a magnet for foodies from around the country.

If you are planning a special event at one of the top restaurants, booking a table well ahead of your vacation is a good idea. There can be waiting lists for months.

Brant Point Grill, Straight Wharf, and Cru are some of the best fine dining places to enjoy the local clam bake on the actual waterfront.

Don’t forget to pop by some of the raw oyster bars for an unforgettable treat with fresh oysters and chilled rose or a craft cocktail.

If you prefer casual eateries, you can visit the Straight Wharf Fish Store, Sandbar, or Sayle’s for the best fresh seafood snacks and meals.

Many diners and restaurants are great for families with children, such as Black Eyed Suzan, Millie’s, Surfside, and Lola Burger. You can eat some of the famous lobster rolls and treat the children to their favorite tacos, pizzas, and sandwiches.

Cisco Brewers is one of the island’s most popular places to eat, drink, and have fun. It combines the local craft beer brewery, the Nantucket Winery, and the Triple Eight Distillery. In its beer garden, you can relax and taste the local beverage while listening to live music and joining in on the fun. This top-rated gathering place has several food trucks and is family- and dog-friendly.

Bartlett’s Farm is the place to buy the best fresh local veggies, fruits, and other groceries and to eat a hearty homemade lunch.

4. Picturesque spots 

You may have noticed just how many stunning photos of dreamy beaches, striped lighthouses, charming weathered cottages covered with roses, and blooming hydrangeas appear on your Instagram feed every summer. They are posted by celebrities, travel enthusiasts, and influencers.

This is because Nantucket is one of the most Instagram-worthy places in New England and in the country. 

Almost any spot on the island is worth photographing. So you can be certain that you will end up with hundreds of pictures you can share with friends and followers or keep as memories from your unforgettable vacation there.

Some of the most beautiful spots in Nantucket include the famous Sconset Bluff Walk, the three historic lighthouses, Altar Rock, the historic Downtown with its cobblestone streets and 18th-century buildings, the Whaling Museum, the sunsets on Madaket Beach, the view from Steps Beach and the Compass Rose.

Luckily, the island is so small and has such a vast network of bicycle lanes that you can get a chance to see just about all of the beautiful sights you want to, even if you decide to rent a bike instead of taking the shuttle bus or a Uber.

5. Shopping heaven

Since it is a preferred summer vacation location for some of the country’s most affluent and famous people, Nantucket has become a shopping heaven. There are some exclusive high-end boutiques by leading designers in downtown Nantucket.

But there are some other more affordable and charming stores, galleries, and workshops. There you can shop for locally handcrafted jewelry, nautical-inspired art, hand-woven textile goods, carved wood signs and figures, lightship baskets, scrimshaw items, and more.

The island is home to some of the best antique and vintage furniture stores, Nantucket-inspired décor items, and art. So there are plenty of souvenirs and things you can buy if you want to bring a piece of this magical island home with you.

If you want to buy the most suitable attire for your stay in Nantucket, you shouldn’t miss out on popping into the iconic Murray’s Toggery Shop on Main Street. You can buy a pair of the legendary Nantucket Reds Pants or other apparel made of the recognizable faded red canvas fabric.