Which of These Places Is Not an Island? Nantucket

Which of These Places Is Not an Island? Nantucket


Nantucket, a picturesque and charming destination located off the coast of Massachusetts, is often mistaken for an island. However, contrary to popular belief, Nantucket is not an island but rather a part of an archipelago known as the Nantucket Shoals. In this article, we will explore the unique geography of Nantucket, its history, and the reasons behind the misconception of it being an island. Additionally, we will address some frequently asked questions to provide a comprehensive understanding of this fascinating location.

Geography of Nantucket:

Nantucket is situated approximately 30 miles south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. It covers an area of approximately 105 square miles, making it the largest island in the Nantucket Shoals region. The island is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, and its landscape consists of a mixture of sandy beaches, rolling dunes, and lush greenery. The island’s unique geography attracts tourists from all over the world, seeking to experience its natural beauty and tranquil environment.

Historical Significance:

Nantucket has a rich history, particularly in the whaling industry. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the island was a prominent center for whaling, with its residents becoming skilled sailors and shipbuilders. The profits from the whaling industry brought prosperity to the island, allowing the construction of beautiful homes, which can still be admired today. However, as the whaling industry declined, Nantucket’s economy shifted towards tourism, transforming it into the popular vacation destination it is today.

The Misconception:

The misconception of Nantucket being an island arises from the fact that it is often referred to as such due to its separation from the mainland. However, Nantucket is part of a larger geological formation known as the Nantucket Shoals, which is a series of underwater sandbanks and shoals extending southeast from the island. These shoals, along with Tuckernuck Island and Muskeget Island, form the southernmost part of the shoals.

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FAQs about Nantucket:

1. Is Nantucket accessible by ferry?
Yes, Nantucket is accessible by ferry from several locations, including Hyannis, Massachusetts, and New Bedford, Massachusetts. Ferry services are available year-round, with increased frequency during the summer months.

2. Are there any airports on Nantucket?
Yes, Nantucket has its own airport, Nantucket Memorial Airport. It offers both commercial and private flights, making it convenient for visitors to reach the island.

3. What are the main attractions on Nantucket?
Nantucket offers a wide range of attractions for visitors to enjoy. Some of the popular sites include the Brant Point Lighthouse, the Whaling Museum, Sankaty Head Light, and the beautiful beaches such as Surfside Beach and Cisco Beach.

4. Is Nantucket a suitable destination for families?
Absolutely! Nantucket is a family-friendly destination with numerous activities for children and adults alike. From exploring the natural beauty of the island to enjoying water sports and visiting kid-friendly museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

5. What is the best time to visit Nantucket?
The best time to visit Nantucket is during the summer months, from June to September, when the weather is mild, and the island is bustling with activity. However, Nantucket also offers unique experiences during the off-peak seasons, such as peaceful walks on the beach and cozy evenings by the fireplace.


While Nantucket is often mistaken for an island, it is actually part of the Nantucket Shoals archipelago. Its unique geography, historical significance, and natural beauty make it a sought-after destination for travelers. Whether you are interested in exploring the island’s rich whaling history, relaxing on its stunning beaches, or indulging in the local cuisine, Nantucket offers a memorable experience for all. So, the next time you plan a trip to this enchanting destination, remember that Nantucket is not just an island but a place where dreams come true.

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