The Island

Nantucket Island “The Faraway Land” as translated from the language of the native Wampanoag tribe is located 30 miles off the south coast of Cape Cod. The island is 14 miles in length and 3 1/2 miles wide. It is a beautiful oasis of over 40% conservation land with plentiful beaches accessible to the public for all to respect and enjoy.

Brief History

Nantucket is rich in history. In 1602, an Englishman named Bartholomew Gosnold first sighted the Island and then it was settled in 1659. In the late 1600s whales were found off shore and between 1750 and 1840, the Island was one of the major whaling ports in North America.

With the decline of the whaling industry in the 1880s, Nantucket became a Mecca for the tourism industry and is still drawing people to its natural and everlasting beauty along with its first-rate attractions, accommodations and restaurants.


Nantucket, the only location in North America to have the same name for the island, town, and county has a year round population of over 10,000 and then swells to 50,000-60,000 during July and August. In the off-season, the Island although quieter, is still well-known for its excellent restaurants, charming lodging establishments and historical locations available to the public.

Independence Day Celebrations

Nantucket is renowned for its wonderful community spirit surrounding the Independence Day holiday. Celebrations begin on July 4th with town sponsored family events feted up and down the beautifully cobblestoned Main Street, and fun games and activities for families and children on Children's Beach in the late afternoon. Independence Day celebrations culminate on the evening of July 3rd with a spectacular fireworks display on Jetties Beach.

For a full schedule of events visit the Department of Culture and Tourism.

Reaching Nantucket

Nantucket is easily reachable year round by ferry boat or plane service. During the busy summer season, the town encourages visitors to limit bringing their cars over by providing a seasonal shuttle system giving the community an essential transportation option around the Island. For more information please click here.

Things to Do

There are miles of town maintained bike paths, town owned beaches and beautiful harbors for moorings all enhancing the experience on the Island. From the beautiful sunsets of Madaket to the charming small village of Siasconset, the public can view the beautiful landscapes, historic homes, or wide spread beaches until reaching their special and personal Nantucket destination. Visit our Department of Culture & Tourism's site for detailed information.