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Nantucket Touring

Bicycle Tours

That's Alex on the dirt path leading out to the ocean. Our Montague folding bikes with wide tread tires were perfect for exploring the island.
Nantucket is manageably small (14 miles by 3.5 miles), ringed by white sand beaches, dotted with quaint, historic towns and mercifully flat. All this makes it a fine island to tour by bicycle.

The Island boasts a wonderful network of paved bike trails that wind along to the Island's most desired destinations, most beginning somewhere along the outskirts of Nantucket Town. The Island's bike shops hand out maps of the Island with color-coded bike routes. Once you hit the paths with your bike you'll be glad to see the ways are clearly marked by color-coded signs along the way.

Heading south is Surfside Path, the shortest of all the bike paths (3.5 miles), which leads directly to Surfside Beach.

Heading west from town is the Madaket Bike Path, which leads to the village and beaches of Madaket. This path offers bikers beautiful views, a lovely destination (the village and west facing beaches of Madaket with their magnificent sunsets) and two offshoot bike paths. The first is the Cliff Road Path and the second is the Eel Point/Dionis Beach Path. The nearly one-mile path to Dionis Beach is recommended. The beach is breathtaking, and rest rooms are available in season.

There are two bike paths to the village of Siasconset (referred to by locals as 'Sconset). The shortest route is the path that runs parallel to Milestone Road. This path cuts directly across the middle of the island, passing through the Nantucket moors. Before reaching the village the path meanders through a cranberry bog and two golf courses. The distance from Town to Village is 8.2 miles.

If you'd like to return to Town along a different route, do so by the other bike path leading between Town and Sconset – the Polpis Road Path. Biking north from Sconset, the path passes the picturesque Sankaty Lighthouse, and then heading east toward Town, passes more cranberry bogs and the Life Saving Museum in Quaise, all on a ten-mile route.

Alternatively, if you've really pooped yourself out, take the bus back. It costs about a dollar and they have bike racks. We did this and it was a pleasure to take an air conditioned break.

Walking Tours

The main street, cobblestoned and at the head of the harbor.
Allot plenty of time to leisurely strolling the winding cobblestone streets of Nantucket Town. Town is small enough to enjoy on foot and certainly not large enough to get lost in. You may wish to arrange a guided tour if you are historically inclined. An island favorite is the Walk Nantucket with Dirk Gardiner Roggeveen Tour, which is conducted several times daily in season. The Nantucket Ghost Walk is set up to tour visitors amongst the infamous sites of Island “haunts.”

The Nantucket Historical Association runs guided walking tours Monday through Saturday that begin at the Whaling Museum on Broad Street. They also publish a self-guided walking tour of Town, available at the Nantucket Visitors Services and Information Bureau on Federal Street. These tours cover many sites of historical, cultural and architectural significance including the First Congregational Church, the Jared Coffin House, the Quaker Meeting House, the wharves and more.

Those seeking a more rugged, nature-oriented walking tour should contact The Trustees of Reservations. This group, which is in charge of protecting the 1200-acre Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, offers three-hour naturalist-lead tours of this coastal refuge.

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