Surfside Beach, Nantucket
July 12, 2023
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Located just a short distance from town, Surfside is one of the most popular beaches in Nantucket. Most swimmers, surfers, loungers, and fishermen prefer it due to its vast flat ground and rolling waves. The waves also make it perfect for boogie boarding.

Surfside Beach is a great place to have a full-day beach experience where you can enjoy games like volleyball. It also has the perfect setup for picnics and grill-outs. You can grill on the beach using a charcoal or propane grill. Another option is to set up small enclosed fires away from flammable material or dune vegetation. Remember to extinguish all fires when done.

Even though Surfside Beach has a lot of visitors, it has enough space for anyone who wants to swim or even relax in the sun. However, given the area is also shared by surfers, you must always stay vigilant to avoid risks of injury or any other mishaps.

The beach features restrooms, diaper changing stations, food concessions, showers, and outdoor seating. It also has a range of eateries to stop and grab a meal or drink. Moreover, it has an ample parking space with handicapped access for accessibility.

While the beach is easily accessible from town, prepare for a long walk on soft sands from the parking lot to the beach.

Surfside is an ideal spot for beach driving with established vehicle paths and clear sands. You can move at any time in winter if you have a permit. In summer, driving is limited to the night hours due to the number of people at the beach.

Ensure your tires have the proper pressure for the soft sands, and watch out for any restrictions. Also, avoid “traction control” settings in your car, as they can mess up with the 4WD system when driving on the beach. The speed limit is 20mph, which reduces to 5mph when you get within 100 yards of pedestrians. While you can stop or park anywhere along the beach, avoid the main trackway to ensure traffic flow.

The town of Nantucket Department of Health and Human Services always ensures the right water quality. They conduct weekly water sample testing for bacterial levels to ensure safe swimming conditions. Excessive bacteria in the water for two consecutive weeks means the beach will get closed for monitoring and only open once cleared.

Even though the beach permits dogs, they must be leashed. Also, the dogs and owners are not allowed into the marsh grass, dune vegetation, or fenced areas.

The natural beach is home to a collection of wildlife. Sanderlings, Sandpipers, and small songbirds like Snow Bunting gather in flocks to forage at the beach. Several other species of birds can be seen around the beach depending on the season. If you are lucky, you may see Seals swimming on the beach.

Spending time at the beach remains one of the leading attractions of Nantucket Island. The spacious ground, organization, and assured water quality make the Surfside a must-visit place for locals and visitors alike.

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