All About Cisco Beach: Nantucket’s Surfing Capital
November 3, 2022
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Nantucket is the ultimate adventurer’s paradise. You will agree with this statement once you visit the Little Grey Lady of the Sea, another name for this island, and see what it offers. Nantucket, being an island, has several beaches, which are among its primary attractions. While you may not have time to tour all the shores, try and check out Cisco Beach.

Located along the south shore, Cisco Beach greets you with its stunning presence, a scenic contrast of the white sand and expansive blue ocean. We present you with a spoiler of Nantucket’s surfing capital for a hint of what to expect.

How to Get to Cisco Beach

Cisco Beach is roughly 4 miles from Nantucket’s town center, accessible via Hummock Pond Road. You can drive or take a bike to the shore. A bike ride is perfect for exploring Nantucket’s rich scenery as you take in the cool ocean breeze. Driving is better if you are many or carrying your surfing gear.

Before the road ends, you will turn left onto a dirt road. Welcome to Cisco Beach! If driving, you should know that there is no vehicle access point, and the beach is closed to beach driving. Park your car at the parking lot and be ready for an amazing time at the shore. The parking lot may be full during peak seasons like summer.

What to Do in Cisco Beach

Cool waters, waves, soothing shore sand, and a friendly attitude: Cisco Beach has all the ingredients for a fun-filled day out. Let us look at amazing things to do when in Nantucket’s surfing hub.


Cisco Beach is famous for its surfer culture. The cool waters and impressive waves attract surfers who want an adrenaline rush and need to grow their experience. Summer is the best time to surf, though you can still catch a sizable tide during other times of the year.

Do not be shy if you are a novice surfer or want to get a new skill. You can enroll in the nearby surfing schools or learn from other surfers.


A dip in the calm Nantucket waters is an excellent way to spend your afternoon after a bask. However, the beach and waters may be overcrowded during summer with swimmers and surfers. Moreover, when swimming, be on the lookout for the occasional Portuguese Man O’ War and stinging jellyfish.


The beach is an excellent fishing spot, particularly between the shore and the sandbar. You can catch striped bass in the deep waters, with your best chance being at dawn or dusk. You need a permit to fish, which you can buy online. It costs $10, but it is free for individuals over 60.

Grilling is okay if you have a charcoal or propane grill. Do not light a campfire or trash the beach when preparing your catch.

Fall in Nantucket signals the dawn of the scalloping season, starting from early October till the end of March. You need a permit for scalloping, which you get from the police department. The recreational shellfish permit charge is $35 for residents, while residents over 60 don’t pay. Non-residents can either pay a one-time fee of $125 or $50 for a week.


A picnic on the beach with your loved ones is a perfect way to bond away from your daily hassles. The cool breeze from the ocean will punctuate your amazing outdoor time.

If you decide to picnic on Cisco Beach, you should abide by the rules. Things to avoid include bringing alcohol, smoking, having glassware, and lighting campfires or bonfires. Also, pick up your trash and put it in designated areas.

A Photography Session

As a budding photographer or enthusiast, you should not pass up the chance to capture Nantucket’s essence from Cisco Beach. The white beach can make for an incredible shot to enrich your portfolio, and it is perfect for nature and wildlife photography.

Test your lenses by filming the random birds on the shore, such as great black-backed gulls, sandpipers, and northern harriers. If lucky, you can capture a seal or deer. Stick to the set rules, and keep at least 150 feet away from marine mammals. Also, take photos of your family or friends to cement your memories in Nantucket.

Head to Cisco Brewers for Refreshments

It may be hard to find refreshments at the beach unless there are concession stands dealing in food and drinks. You may also catch a food truck nearby for a quick snack. For a fulfilling moment after your day at the beach, Cisco Brewers will have your back.

A 4-minute drive north of the beach via Hummock Pond Road, Cisco Beach is a vibrant spot where you can grab a beer, cocktails, or sip wine and other refreshments as you enjoy its ambiance. You may bump into one of the festivals held at this joint or enjoy live music.

How Safe is Cisco Beach?

Safety is crucial when visiting a new place. Cisco Beach has a lifeguard on standby, especially during summer when there is a lot of traffic. Regardless, it may not be safe for children – if you have children, you must always be on their lookout.

Please note that the beach does not have restrooms, so you might have to contend with porta potties. Your dog can join you in the beach party, but it should always be on a leash. You should not trespass into the dunes, marsh grass, and other protected areas with your canine.

Final Word

Cisco Beach is a must-visit spot if you are in Nantucket. Situated a few miles south of the town center, this beach has a fascinating view, suitable for your photography tryouts. The chill nature of Cisco Beach is a hint of Nantucket’s surfer culture.

As a surfer, you will feel at home on this Nantucket shore as you meet fellow wave riders. You may also fancy a swim, a bask, fishing, or a walk on the beach. Visit Cisco Beach to have a taste of Nantucket’s laid-back side.

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