Brent Tartamella: Boredom Does Not Live In Nantucket

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Got Kids? I have activity suggestions.

“I’m bored” isn’t a phrase you will hear around this island!  If you do hear that dreaded phrase, a quick trip to our favorite spots below will provide the necessary reset you or your kids might need to shake up your island vacation! A lot has been written about kids and activities to do (check out some of our Fisher Real Estate blogs) but when a client asked, “Are you sure there is enough for us to do past the pool,”  I decided to write this list with a bit of a twist providing an Islander’s point of view so no one can say “I am bored!”

The Juice Bar is a great spot to start

What doesn’t wash away the tears or the boredom (at any age!) like a magical scoop of ice cream, lore and legends? There is no way to do this than have the full Juice Bar Experience!  Now there are other great ice-cream making establishments and you should visit them all while here.

Photo Jul 04, 12 00 00 PM

Image courtesy of Brent Tartamella

Once you get the comfort food going, lets rattle off the list of activities that you or the kids can choose from.  Here we answer what is there to do for the kids – “We don’t just want to lie around the beach or pool all day?”  There are so many activities to do on this faraway island that it really is unbelievable. Once you get past the pool days and beach waves, here are a few of my favorites.


Rent bikes and explore

Rent bikes, grab a picnic lunch at Something Natural, the Culinary Center, the Green, or 45 Surfside and ride to somewhere that has a dirt road.  Ride to the bottom, jump in the ocean, have lunch and go explore some more!  On that bike ride, pick some berries, visit the moors, watch the kite boarders, get lost, go check out a pond or even the forest. Yes, did you know we have a forest here on ACK?

Image credit: Shutterstock

Image credit: Shutterstock

Insider Track

Rent a fat-tire bike and see how many days it takes you to ride around the island. Did you know there is a running race that does this called The Rock Run?  Sounds fun but too many blisters and for a non-runner like me, bike riding definitely seems the way to go!


Get me some Lobstah

Head to any of our great fish mongers and pick your lobsters right from the tank.  Bring home cooked or ready to be cooked and use that outdoor space for an awesome messy dinner that requires minimal cleanup and will be the summer dinner the kids remember most – what’s better than lobster and s’mores!

Image credit: Shutterstock

Image credit: Shutterstock

Insider Track

A family that cooks together…..usually ends up with a big messy kitchen so why not go to the Nantucket Culinary Center and have Chef Greg keep the peace with a family cooking class. Each person can pick a dish or make teams for a culinary showdown.  When the body and mind have had too much sun, this might be a fun morning, afternoon or evening activity!

Oh wait…another way to do it!

Now you can go to the fish market, you can call Nantucket Clambake Company and both will be awesome, but none will be as simple, easy and memorable as the following. Head out to Bartletts Farm and order up your lobster dinner – they come complete with lobster, corn, red bliss potatoes and steamers! Add a baguette, bottle of wine and any of their luscious desserts and you won’t have a reason to leave the beach! Head off the beaten path of Ladies Beach and drive as close to the beach as allowed. Once the goods are on the beach engage in a game of pass, corn hole, spikeball, or just let the kids frolic in the white water and surf.  After a hearty dose of activity, dive in to lobster, butter, wine, baguette and slow down the pace of life while you enjoy some of mother ocean’s bounty and watch as the sun slowly travels to the horizon changing into magical hues eventually fading into the ocean.  As the sun fades away, drink in the moment of happiness and appreciate the minute because after everything else, this memory will never fade!


Water sports for the apt

Take the kids down to Jetties Beach and the Nantucket Community Sailing outpost and go kayaking, sailing, paddle boarding, windsurfing (lessons available) or jump over to the Sandbar retail store and grab some skimboards.  Watch as the kids do this activity with ease and sometimes grace……but don’t try it unless you are skillfully adept adult. Doing otherwise could treat you to a nice trip to our hospital facilities, of course after stopping back at the sandbar for an adult beverage!

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Image courtesy of Brent Tartamella

Insider Track 

Head out to Pocomo and have the bravest family member try kite boarding. It’s awesome for everyone, the rider and the team. Kitetucket does an awesome job with kids and who wouldn’t want to fly through the air? Try You’re Up water sports for the more traditionalist tubing and waterskiing and I think even parasailing!

Oh wait…another way to do it!

This one is a little more involved but you will never forget the experience. Rent a Paddle board from the beach at Washington St Extension and go SUP in the Creeks.  Remember to ziplock your phone. The little ones can sit on the front of the board as you make your way through this calm SUP’ing experience.


Go fishing

Oh, the books that have been written about the life lessons learned from fishing, too many to name! Grab a rod, get some bait and cast a line. Go see the guys at Bill Fisher Outfitters and they’ll get you all set – you’ll only have to cast the line and reel in the fish.

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Image courtesy of Brent Tartamella

Insider Track

Pond fish, charter fish, or go big and go the Canyons….go down to the docks and strike up a conversation to learn all about your options and hear the legendary fish tails of Nantucket waters. As you hear the excitement of reeling in the big catch and the battles had, plan your adventure out to sea!  

Oh wait…another way to do it!

Don’t want to charter a boat? Want the freedom of your own boat? Go right down to Straight Wharf and see the guys with Island Boat Rentals, this makes for another incredible adventure where you can storm the shores of Coatue. They will set you up with a boat, some directions and then shove you off to go forth and conquer!


Hike the island

Say land-based and go for hike! Explore Altar Rock, the Cliff Walk in ‘Sconset (be sure to look for the topiary whale made famous in Ahab’s Wife), or any of the Nantucket Conservation Foundations amazing properties. Pick berries, see deer, bunnies, snakes (if your looking otherwise you won’t really see any slithery creatures) and some of the incredible birds that make a stop in the 02554! Sanford Farms is one of my favorites. With a three different-sized trail walks, there is something for everyone.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Image credit: Shutterstock

Insider Track

Be the guide and explore the Linda Loring Foundation Self Guided Nature Trail or attend one of their many summer events!  Learn about Nantucket’s biologically diverse ecosystems and how LLF is a leading research institution!

Oh wait…another way to do it! 

A fun land-based activity that you might not have participated in before, or at least not on an island, is Disc Golf. Yup, another 18 hole course was added to the island. The Sunken Ship has what you need to get started.  Check out an area of the island you might not have been to, but before you go visit their website for all the 411!


Work out the island way

As we get to the end of this list that is meant to paint a small picture of the many incredible family activities, we are reminded that for the most part people come to Nantucket because they love nature, the outdoors and being active. What better way to celebrate the best of Nantucket and the health and wellness of your family by working out together. There are plenty of 5k’s, Swim Events, golf and tennis spots for you to hold a great family challenge. I have been fortunate to play several of the top courses in the US and one of my favorite rounds was on Skinner’s pasture-type golf course with a group of 3 special young boys. It is the perfect spot to teach kids about golf, all while taking a beautiful walk!

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Image courtesy of Brent Tartamella

Insider Track

Ok, so you know you can go for a walk, take a run or swim together but mix it up and make it just for your group. Have a yoga teacher meet you on a beach for family yoga session. Or hold your own cardio boot camp with one of the many terrific instructors! Or, meet others and head to the Rotary early Saturday mornings and start out with the dedicated spandex crew that launches from this point every Saturday. Sometimes, they do two loops, the first one will blow the average recreational rider off their seat but usually the second loop has a “no rider left behind” policy.


Drive on the beach

Of course, then there is Great Point and general island exploration!  Rent a jeep and wander or, if you have brought your own sand-loving 4×4 vehicle, go get a beach sticker and a map and explore the areas are permissible for beach driving. Yes, they do mean deflate your tires down to 15psi – this is no joke and most of us have 1 story about getting stuck, no need for you to become another statistic!

Insider Track

Thanks to the Trustees of the Reservation, you can have an island adventure that your kids will dream about, forever. The Great Point Lighthouse sticker is one worth getting. Pack a cooler, snacks, beverages, lunch, dinner, fishing poles, beach towels, blankets, a small shovel, whiffle ball stuff, snorkels and go explore the terrain – the inside route, the outside route, the far reaching corners to the towering lighthouse and enjoy it all. Be wowed and ask somebody where the real haulover is (not the shop) and why it was important to the history of Nantucket sea captains!

Now, after reading this list, once on island and presented with the words “I’m bored,” come see me at Fisher Real Estate on Main Street and I promise to find some activity that your children will find at least mildly entertaining. I still have 3d printing, the aquarium touch tank, arrowhead exploration, incredible art and pottery making, group surf lessons and wild food foraging up my sleeve! Plus, the extra special nighttime activity where kids can go in their pj’s and though a magical lens stargaze at Maria Mitchel’s observatory.

For more insider information, contact Brent Tartamella at  508-901-0191 or [email protected].

Brent Tartamella is the exclusive agent representing the Nantucket, Massachusetts real estate market as a member of the Haute Residence Real Estate Network. View all of his listing here.

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