Nantucket is a place you visit and regret why you didn’t discover it earlier. Also known as the “Little Grey Lady of the Sea,” it is the ultimate adventurer’s haven, with plenty of sights and activities to explore.
A mistake many of this island’s visitors make is restricting their presence within the town center. You need to move around to discover hidden gems, such as Siasconset village, or Sconset, its common name.
A visit to Sconset is a journey into a different dimension, courtesy of its unique cottages and calmness.
Situated on Nantucket’s east end, Sconset has a rich history dating back to the 17th century, when it was originally a fishing village. The village is home to the Auld Lange Syne, one of the oldest structures in Nantucket, having been built in the 1670s. This house is evidence of Sconset’s early beginnings.
The unique bungalows define Sconset’s landscape with their rustic design. Edward Underhill, a New York native, is hugely responsible for the cottage’s design. He bought land in South Bluff, Sconset, in the late 1800s and built several summer rental cottages.
He modeled the rentals after the fishermen’s shacks that punctuated the village. He sold the cottages before his death as the 19th century folded. The structures remain and give the town a sophisticated look, courtesy of the roses and other flowers that decorate them.
Sconset is 7.6 miles away from Nantucket when using Milestone Road. You can travel by bus, a 35-minute trip, or take a taxi to get to your destination in 15 minutes.
Alternatively, you can ride a bike to Sconset via the Sconset bike path, an 8.1-mile distance you can cover in 45 minutes. Cycling lets you find other hidden gems on the island that you would have missed if you were driving around.
Prepare adequately for your Sconset trip for everything to flow smoothly. When touring the island’s eastern point, you can check out Nantucket rentals for your accommodation.
While Sconset is a small town, it holds several surprises that will fascinate you. Below are a few things to do while visiting this former fishing village.
Nantucket is synonymous with its sandy beaches; you must visit Sconset Beach if you are in the vicinity. It’s not very populated and easy to access, with a chance of seeing the seals. Facilities include a parking lot and a bench, and there are lifeguards, though they are mostly active during peak times
There are good options to get something to eat nearby, restaurants a few meters away from the beach, where you can access restrooms. Sconset beach is a quiet, family-friendly beach. Nearby are Codfish Park and Playground, where children can have fun.
Generally, Sconset Beach is an ideal place to spend a lazy afternoon. You can sunbathe, dip into the ocean, or picnic with your loved ones.
Sankaty Head Light is one of the three lighthouses on Nantucket. The lighthouse has been operational since 1850 and guides vessels approaching the island from the east. You can take several photos near this unique, imposing structure to share on your social media handles or to preserve excellent memories.
Also, practice your photography skills, with the lighthouse being the subject. You can play with lighting and angles to get the perfect shot. A clear shot during sunset will do justice to your portfolio. You may explore the area around Sankaty Head Light, but you cannot get in unless your visit is during Open Days, as it is operational.
An early morning or late evening stroll on Sconset Bluff Walk will bring a hidden side of the neighborhood to light. This public footpath passes through private properties, allowing you to appreciate the architecture of Nantucket houses and the flowers that brighten up their rustic walls.
You can pass by the golf courses to perfect your swings as you interact with fellow golfers. If you are interested in learning the game, you can take lessons from the pros and add a new hobby under your name.
Sconset is home to two golf courses: Siasconset Golf Course and Sankaty Head Golf Club. The former is a 9-hole facility and the oldest golf course on the island. Sankaty Head Golf Club is a private facility and not open to the public. Please contact the course directly for tee time availability.
Your Sconset trip should include checking out the Sconset Market, which has been around for decades. There are two sections to visit depending on your needs.
The “bookstore” is the local liquor, gift, and clothing shop. So why “Bookstore?” Once a soda fountain, it was the hub of village activity where folks gathered to read the paper and swap stories. Occasionally a story would be embellished with a sip of something a little stronger than coffee. Soon much more “reading” took place.
The market section is the place to be for groceries, fresh veggies, meat, cheese, and home gifts. Friendly staff and a wide variety of products will make your visit to Sconset Market memorable
Sconset has several places where you can sample the local cuisine.
Claudette’s Sandwich Shop on Main Street opens early with folks anxiously awaiting breakfast sandwiches, bagels, or their morning coffee and stays open until the mid-afternoon for sandwiches to bring while picnicking at the beach or while somewhere en route on the bicycle path.
The Chanticleer is a premier restaurant where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch in the rose garden or dinner in one of their dining rooms. With its out-of-town location, it’s the perfect escape from the bustling downtown restaurants.
The Summer House is ideal for lunch and dinner and has a fascinating view of the Atlantic Ocean. The Beachside Bistro has an outdoor section with a well-manicured garden where you can spend your time as you enjoy your refreshments.
If you are in Nantucket, you should take the less than 10-mile journey to the east side to appreciate Sconset and its goodies. It is a wonderful neighborhood with a peaceful ambiance that you will love. Its houses look like something out of a fairy tale with their standout design!