Photo Credit : Courtesy of Nantucket Island Resorts
Though Nantucket lies just 30 miles from the coast and even closer to its ocean neighbor, Martha’s Vineyard, this Massachusetts island — once the whaling capital of the world — can feel like a world of its own. There’s one town, also called Nantucket, a picturesque cobblestoned community that’s been designated a National Historic District. (And no wonder: More than 800 buildings on the island date back to before the Civil War.) Nantucket’s year-round population of about 12,000 tops more than 55,000 in the summer, as visitors come to soak in the history, laid-back atmosphere, and, of course, sun and sand. Almost three-quarters of the 110-mile coastline are beaches, ranging from quiet coves to surfing hot spots, so visitors are never really that far from the water. However, some lodging options can put you just steps away from the action. And if that sounds like something you’d want for your visit, read on for some of our favorite Nantucket hotels on the beach.
Playful yellow, green, and blue umbrellas mark the spot at this boutique resort set on four prime beachfront acres on the island’s north shore. It offers nearly 30 rooms, suites, and cottages, as well as a deluxe fitness center, three pools, and waterfront drinks and dining. But the star is the beach, whose gentle waters are perfect for swimming. Beach chairs and oversize beach towels are available, as is valet service. Named a 2010 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Oceanfront Splurge.”
Nestled between two beaches on the island’s northeast side, the Wauwinet represents the ultimate in low-key luxury amenities and access. Dating to the 1870s as a destination for shore dining and from the 1880s as a modest inn, it was renovated decades ago by the Karp family, who maintain the 32 rooms and four cottages, plus the newer three-bedroom Anchorage House, as an elite resort. The famous restaurant here, Topper’s, serves up AAA Five Diamond–winning cuisine, while complimentary extras range from bikes and yoga mats to bottled water and fleece blankets. Named a 2017 Yankee Editors’ Pick for “Best Inn for Foodies.”
Indulge your fantasy of living on an island at this hotel-style collection of beach houses located just a few blocks from the heart of town. Accommodations range from a fisherman’s shack to a fully renovated barn, and from one- to four-bedroom configurations. All come with full kitchens, private decks or balconies, fireplaces, and stunning harbor views — plus, there’s a small secluded beach right out the front door. Need help figuring out where to go and what to do? The Harborview’s concierge service stands at the ready.
A sister property of the Wauwinet, the White Elephant delivers the same caliber of pampering but at a prime in-town location: namely, right on Nantucket Harbor. It has 60-plus elegantly appointed guest rooms, suites, garden cottages, and lofts, with the newest attraction being the Lilly Pulitzer Cottage: Opened in 2018, the one-bedroom hideaway is filled with the famed design brand’s textiles and accents, and guests even receive a Lilly Pulitzer tote to take home. Elsewhere on the property is a full-service spa and the popular eatery Brant Point Grille. Oh, and the beach? Children’s Beach is right next door, and Jetties Beach is just a mile away.
Set back from the ocean by a mere few blocks, the Beachside is about midway between Jetties Beach to the north and Children’s Beach to the south — both easily within walking distance. It channels a motel vibe in the best way — clean, simple, convenient — while also ranking high on the attractiveness factor, with classic weathered shingles, pristine white trim, and flower boxes galore. There’s a heated pool on-site, as well as a business center, fitness center, and guest laundry room. If you want to bring Fido along, good news: Pet-friendly rooms are available too.
Have you been to one of the Nantucket hotels on the beach? Let us know!