Nantucket Family Vacations

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Families Will Love

  • A quiet place to unwind on the beach
  • Historic town with cobblestone streets
  • Island-wide bike trail and gorgeous views

Nantucket Family Vacations Overview

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Named by the native Wampanoag Indians, members of the Algonquin family, named this island 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts "Natockete" -- "faraway place." It was eventually changed to Nantucket, which means "faraway island." The legend is Maushop went to sleep on a beach on Cape Cod and got sand in his moccasins. Irritated, he kicked one off and it flew into the ocean and became Martha's Vineyard. When sand in the other moccasin woke him again, he kicked it off even farther and it became the island known as Nantucket.

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Named by the native Wampanoag Indians, members of the Algonquin family, named this island 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts "Natockete" -- "faraway place." It was eventually changed to Nantucket, which means "faraway island." The legend is Maushop went to sleep on a beach on Cape Cod and got sand in his moccasins. Irritated, he kicked one off and it flew into the ocean and became Martha's Vineyard. When sand in the other moccasin woke him again, he kicked it off even farther and it became the island known as Nantucket.

Quaker families arrived on the island in the 1700s and shortly thereafter, sperm whales became the island's bread and butter. Oil from the sperm whales was as good as oil we use today and the island thrived as the Whaling Capital of the World. Whaling dwindled with the whale population and the invention of electricity and modern machinery, and the island fell into disarray, further succumbing when the Great Fire of 1846 nearly destroyed the island. The sleepy island was eventually discovered by the wealthy of Boston and New York as a quaint and quiet summer resort, and soon it became and remains one of New England's most popular summer destinations.

You won't find amusement parks and throes of miniature golf courses here. This island is a step back in time and remains a quiet place to bond with the family while riding a bike across the 80-mile island, enjoying an intimate beach, shopping in Harbor Town, and sailing off the island's Atlantic Coasts. This is a place to visit to escape smart phones, video games, Internet and TVs. Instead, sit on a front porch overlooking a white picket fence and count the fireflies. Read Less

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Top-Rated Family Rentals in Nantucket

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Things to Do in Nantucket

814 Family Reviews

Whaling Museum

Nantucket once was the capital of the whaling ...

233 Family Reviews

Nantucket Bike Rentals

One of the best ways to get around the island ...

36 Family Reviews

Nantucket Beaches

As an island, it's the island's beaches that ...

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Nantucket Family Restaurants

23 Family Reviews

Lola 41

Although you could enjoy the bistro/sushi bar ...

3 Family Reviews

The Rope Walk

Located right on one of the town's many wharf ...

34 Family Reviews

The Tavern

It's hard-to-avoid the Tavern, as a large res ...

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Latest Nantucket Family Vacation Reviews

Kingsbch

08/04/2012

Natural Beauty and Family Fun

My family and I have been visiting Nantucket in August for the last several years. Nantucket is a very special island providing solitude, natural beauty, shopping, top quality restaurants, beaches, biking, and more. We rent a house in Sconset which I would highly recommend because you are away fro ... My family and I have been visiting Nantucket in August for the last several years. Nantucket is a very special island providing solitude, natural beauty, shopping, top quality restaurants, beaches, biking, and more. We rent a house in Sconset which I would highly recommend because you are away from the busier living in "Town". Sconset has a quaint market, bluffs, a lighthouse, the Sconset Tennis Club which provide movies for all during the week, and several great restaurants. We bike to the market or the Beach House restaurant for a casual dinner on the beach. The beach in Sconset has a significant current so I would recommend the beaches along the south end of the island for waves and closer to the harbor for calm waters. We usually went to Surfside for boogey boarding and Jetties Beach to just frolic in the water and enjoy the beach side restaurant. There are bike paths along the main roads making all ends of the island accessible by bike. There are many restaurants around Nantucket if you would like to take a break from cooking. Our favorites were Millie's in Madaket with the BEST fish tacos. The Straight Wharf at the marina and Brotherhood of Thieves for a great pub burger. Nantucket also has museums, camps, and special events to give a family many options. If you plan on bringing a car to the island, book your ferry early! Read More Read Less

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