The first beach seen by most visitors to the island is Brant Point Lighthouse Beach (on Brant Point, at the tip of Easton St.), which is poised at the mouth of Nantucket Harbor and is passed by all the steamships that dock in town. It’s a quiet and very small beach, about a 15-minute walk from town. As it has no facilities or lifeguard, it’s frequented mostly by those looking for a brief stroll or a view of the lighthouse or town.
A quick five-minute walk from town, just around the bend in the harbor toward Brant Point, is Children’s Beach (www.nantucketchamber.org ). With very few waves, a small park, a lifeguard on-duty, and restrooms, it’s a perfect spot to take the tykes.
On the outskirts of town, equipped with lifeguards and restrooms, is Jetties (508/228-5358, www.nantucketchamber.org ). There’s also a playground; a concession stand selling burgers, ice cream, and such; and boat rentals.
Meanwhile, at the end of Surfside Road, is the extremely popular Surfside (www.nantucketchamber.org ), named for its notoriously heavy surf.