An island thirty miles off the southern coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Nantucket is a popular tourist destination and summer colony, thanks mainly to its stunning sceneries, charming communities, fun activities, top-tier accommodations, and first-rate restaurants. The small island’s population is around 10,000 during the off-seasons. Still, it swells significantly to five times that number in the summer when part-time residents, as well as tourists from all over the world, flock to the island to enjoy its beauty.
Nantucket was initially a whaling town between 1750 and 1840. In fact, the island is one of the major whaling ports in North America. The island’s whaling industry was even immortalized in Herman Melville's beloved novel “Moby Dick”. Two of the novel’s main characters, Captain Ahab and First Mate Starbuck, are both Nantucketers. However, in the late 1800s, the whaling industry saw a decline due to the increased use of alternative fuels such as coal and turpentine at the onset of the industrial revolution.
Due to this development, Nantucket shifted from a whaling town to what it is today—a popular vacation spot. The “Far Away Land” has now become a major tourist draw, offering top-tier accommodations—from chic hotels and inns to charming rental homes; as well as fun and relaxing activities and attractions—from its picturesque beaches, historical lighthouses and museums, world-class restaurants and boutiques, to exciting water sports including surfing and fishing.
Recreational fishing is definitely one of the most in-demand activities in Nantucket, especially from June to mid-October. That’s because when the waters begin to warm up around the island, popular game fish like bluefish, stripers, false albacore, and bonito start to migrate near the island’s shores to feed on sand eels, herring, and squid. These fish are great for beginners as you can pretty much catch them using light tackle spin or fly rods while fishing inshore—from the beach to the number of docks located around the island.
If you’re looking for some adventure and a bit of a challenge, we highly suggest renting a small boat or a kayak and head out a bit farther from the coast and catch cod, bluefish, and stripers that are a bit bigger and a lot harder to reel in. You can either use a light to medium spinning tackle equipped with 50-100 yards of the line for you to be able to have enough control and power and catch these tenacious fighters. It’s best to hire a seasoned Nantucket fishing guide to know where exactly you can catch the most and the best fish. Hiring a local guide would mean he or she would teach you all the valuable techniques and tricks in landing the different fish species found in the waters around the island.
Now, if you’re willing to push your fishing skills to the limit, we highly recommend targeting huge tuna, sharks, mahi-mahi, and marlin offshore in the open waters of the Northern Atlantic via Nantucket fishing charters. Not only will you be able to catch some of the best fish available out there, but there’s an excellent chance of seeing different types of whales, including humpback minke, finback, and pilot whales.
Several charter fishing boats are operating around the island, and you should do some background check of each one—making sure that the captain and crew have the experience not just in fishing but with providing the best service. Choosing the right fishing charter means choosing the right boat that is well maintained and comes with the right equipment for the specific fish you’re planning to catch. Although you can bring your own tackle, choosing a fishing boat with the right equipment means you’ll be able to continue fishing if any of your gear breaks.
As any Nantucket fishing guide would tell you, the island is practically littered with some of the best fishing locations that are teeming with marine life. For you to have a general idea of why the island is such an angler’s paradise, we list down some of the best spots you can fish in:
Nantucket offers great all-year-round fishing. However, the best months to cast your line here is when the waters are relatively warmer, from June to the middle of October, especially if you’re planning to just fish on its shores for striper, bluefish, bonito, and false albacore. If you’re aiming to fish offshore for bigger targets such as tuna, mahi-mahi, swordfish, wahoo, and marlin, you can do so all year.
Nantucket is home to some of the best fishing charters in Massachusetts and possibly the country because most charters here have been operating for a long time, providing the best fishing experience for their clients. So we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t encounter any problems looking for the right fishing charters here.
Yes, surfing is actually one of the favorite past times of the locals here—and you can enjoy surfing here too, even if you’re a beginner or a pro. If you’re trying to catch your first wave, some terrific surf schools are located at Cisco Beach and Nobadeer Beach. Other surfing hotspots in the island are located along its long south shores, with Madaquecham and Madaket Beaches being two of the most popular.
Most Nantucket roads are equipped with dedicated bike lanes; so yes, you can enjoy exploring the whole island without the bothersome engine noise of an automobile or a motorbike. You can rent a bike from one of the several bike rental companies practically scattered around the island. Some hotels and inns provide bicycles for their guests. You can enjoy looking at another one of the island’s pride—the 800 pre-Civil War houses that have been restored. Of course, the best way to admire these charming houses is by really taking it slow on foot.
The island of Nantucket has a long and proud whaling history and you can learn more about it by visiting the Nantucket Whaling Museum which exhibits some amazing artifacts, including a complete sperm whale skeleton. If you want to see the real thing, you can either go offshore fishing via a chartered fishing boat, or you can join a whale watching tour and get to meet these huge but gentle cetaceans.
The island is a history, arts, and culture enthusiast’s dream getaway as there are museums, art galleries, and historical sites literally scattered around the island. Historical attractions like the Jethro Coffin House, Old Mill, Nantucket Atheneum, The Old Gaol, and the several lighthouses can satisfy anyone’s curiosity about the island’s storied past. If you’re an art lover, Nantucket is proud of its several art museums and galleries, including the Gallery at Four India, Samuel Owen Gallery, Nantucket Estate Jewelry and Fine Arts, G.S. Hill Gallery, and Eric Holch Gallery,, among many others.
Yup, Nantucket is more than just great outdoor recreational activities. In fact, it has one of the liveliest nightlife scenes in the region that attracts some of the most affluent young adults in the country. What with the combination of five-star dining, nightly live musical performances, tasty concoctions, and an amazing backdrop of the Nantucket scenery, you’ll definitely have a great time partying in this island paradise.