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Kid-Friendly Nantucket

"Wee"kend Getaway: Nantucket Island


An island getaway that offers parents and wee ones an opportunity to soak up the sun and enjoy a few days of leisure? Sign me up!

Located just 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, getting to Nantucket, which means the faraway island in the language of the Wampanoag tribe, is half the fun. While small planes – and a few commercial airliners – travel there, arriving by slow or high-speed ferry from Hyannis helps put the body and the mind in vacation mode as parents and their offspring approach the 19th century whaling village.

With nary a traffic light, fast-food restaurant or Starbucks in sight, Nantucket offers families plenty of adventure along its beautiful beaches.

  • What could be better for families than the aptly-named Children's Beach. Located right in the island’s harbor, this beach is known for its shallow waters, playground, casual restaurant and lifeguard. Concerts and puppet shows are performed right in the beach’s bandstand.
  • Jetties Beach, about a mile from town, provides access to rentable watersport equipment, including kayaks, windsurfing boards and Sunfish.

For non-beach activities, read more.

  • The Whaling Museum can teach families about life in the former whaling village. Complete with a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton, a whaleboat and a discovery room where kids can rummage though sea captains' chests is a perfect break from the sun.
  • Take an afternoon boat ride 15-25 miles offshore on a whale watching tour. Tour goers are guaranteed to spot a Humpback, Finback and Minke Whale while learning about conservation efforts.
  • Take a nostalgic cruise through Nantucket Harbor on an afternoon ice cream cruise that shows off the harbor’s famous sights while serving kids the best ice cream on island.
  • Lil pirates will be begging to go on the Pirate Adventure cruise, a sunset sail on a 31-foot sloop where tots put on their pirate hats, shoot the cannon and go on a treasure hunt around the wharf.
  • Nantucket’s five paved paths offer plenty of bike riding terrain that can take families past the Siaconset fishing village’s beautiful cottages and past unbelievable ocean-front mansions.
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