Nantucket East Shore Beaches
June 1, 2023
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If you’re in the mood for a thrilling experience, the inner and outer harbors of the area boast plenty of beaches for you to explore. Siasconset can be reached by bike path or shuttle bus.

To visit the outer beaches, you must have a permit for a driving vehicle, and many car rental companies can provide you with a vehicle that has the necessary permit. So take a trip to the east beaches and get the full experience.

Pocomo Beach

Pocomo Beach Nantucket

Pocomo Beach can be found at the end of Pocomo Road and is accessible by car. The dirt road is lined with luxurious homes. The warm and shallow waters make it an ideal spot for swimming, kayaking, and learning to windsurf. Lovely for families with kids who want to experience the sea and take a dip in the ocean. There’s no need to fret over strong winds or large waves. However, there are no lifeguards or facilities. Parking is limited, and beach driving is not allowed.

Renting a house in the Pocomo area is a perfect way to add a bit of comfort to your beach getaway. With a short walk to the beach, you can take in the tranquility and smaller crowds while still having the convenience of a cozy home to return to by walking.

Quidnet Beach

Quidnet, Nantucket

Quidnet Beach is a peaceful beach on Nantucket Island’s eastern shore. You can find the shoreline at the end of Sesachacha Road, right next to Sesachacha Pond. It’s a short trek over dunes to get there. Step away from the every day and experience the soothing tranquility of the sea. The sand is soft and inviting. You can go swimming, fishing, or just enjoy a leisurely walk on the beach.

However, there are no amenities or services, lifeguards, or food vendors. There is small parking, and driving on the beach is prohibited. Despite lacking facilities, Quidnet Beach offers a breathtaking view of the Atlantic Ocean, Sankaty Head Lighthouse, and Sesachacha Pond.

Sesachacha Pond

The stunning Sesachacha Pond is a eutrophic salt pond (aquatic community of a small, shallow, nutrient-rich pond) located northeast of Nantucket Island. Located off Quidnet Road, it sits as a two-basin kettle pond with depths ranging from 15 to 18 feet. The surface area of the pond covers about 266 acres.

Between Sesachacha and the Atlantic Ocean lies a barrier beach, which is breached twice a year in spring and fall. This is done to lower nitrogen levels, raise salinity through the exchange of brackish pond water from the high-quality offshore waters, and allow the entry of marine species like herring, blue crab, and more.

This brackish pond is an ideal spot for families – no waves, seaweed, kayaking, or sailing are permitted, but you must bring your own equipment: no facilities, lifeguards, or food service.

The pond contains various species, including striped bass, small bluefish, flounder, white perch tomcod, American eels, and blueback herring. Furthermore, it is a haven for sea ducks spending their winter in Nantucket waters, including long-tailed ducks, eiders, scooters, golden eyes, buffleheads, and mergansers – moreover, great blue and black-crowned night herons.

Sconset Beach

Sconset Beach

Siasconset Beach is located at the easternmost tip of the island. It is easily accessible via the NRTA bus during the season, or you can take the Milestone Road bike path for a 6-mile ride from town or opt for the more challenging Polpis Bike path. This beach is particularly suitable for seniors, with no steep inclines. The surf can be strong here, so caution is advised. The beach is wide and sandy, providing plenty of space for visitors. Lifeguards are on duty during the season. Restaurants and restrooms are a short walk away in ‘Sconset, and has a playground closeby. Driving on the beach is prohibited.

There is a small parking lot with no specific spots marked out and some street parking nearby. At the edge of the lot is a bench, perched at an angle and seated in the hard-packed sand. You’ll find a slope of hard-packed sand as you go to the beach. As the path continues, roughly 300 feet of loose sand lead to the shoreline.

Codfish Park

At Codfish Park, you can find a playground.  That property was generously donated by the Lockhart family back in 1995. Originally located on Sconset Beach, the playground structures had to be moved to their current location due to erosion. Thanks to donations from many ‘Sconset families, the entire park was recently renovated. There’s no designated parking area, but it is easy to access by foot or bike. You can also park at the beach or in ‘Sconset Village.

This playground is equipped with a wheelchair-accessible picnic table and rubberized pathways, making it a great spot for everyone. Gather up a delightful picnic and make it a day to remember! Enjoy the little-known treasure of this beautiful playground right across the street from the beach.

Coskata/Coatue

Coskata Coatue Wildlife Refuge, Nantucket

Coatue is part of a larger refuge system that is home to a wealth of wildlife. The Coatue Wildlife Refuge’s 395-acre refuge of barrier beach is a paradise not just for its rare plants and birds but for its pristine beaches, too. Apart from a few small, private holdings, the refuge is owned and managed for conservation purposes by the Foundation.

The coastal scenery at Coatue is never stationary. Its six ‘cuspate spits,’ which give it a distinctive scalloped shoreline, are molded by the interplay of winds, waves, and tides. The cuspate spits are a wave-induced phenomenon representing the reorientation of a shoreline into dominant wave-approach directions.

The north shore and east-facing beach are impacted most by strong winds and storm tides, which occasionally flood the narrowest areas. This harsh but vital environment provides a habitat for wildlife and plants that have adapted to survive in these conditions.

Visiting the refuge is possible on narrow, soft sand roads that can only be accessed with four-wheel drive vehicles. An Overland Vehicle Permit is also needed to enter and can be purchased at the Wauwinet Gatehouse. In order to safeguard rare and endangered shorebirds, vehicles are not allowed in certain areas between May and August, and dogs are not permitted between April 1st and September 15th.

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