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Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

2002

Nantucket... with 80 miles of beaches there is ample room for discreet topfree and nude use. On the parts of beach you can drive, vehicles can be creatively positioned as privacy breaks and wind breaks.

Miacomet is the recognized venue for nude use. This beach is on the south side of the island close to the pond of the same name. It is east of the pond and west of the small hamlet of Surfside, with it's more well known (clothed) beach. Walking time along the beach from the nude area to Surfside, which has restrooms and a snack stand, as well as umbrella rentals, is about 20 minutes(about 3/4 mile). The nude area is much smaller now than it was in the eighties, due to changing demographics, and the greater number of vehicles roaming the beach, mostly filled with families who enjoy a giggle when spotting the "naked people". Still it has never deterred those of us who have gone there for ten or twenty years. No one complains. Nantucket Police on ATV's patrol and enforce the requirement that vehicles have the current season's beach sticker. In theory, glass is not allowed.

If you do have a rental car, go from Nantucket town south on Surfside Road and pass the Muse, a bar and pizza place. Keep this place in mind for after the beach. Very local bar, pool tables, Keno, $2.50 Bud drafts!!! Take the SECOND right on Miacomet ROAD. (The first right is Miacomet Avenue-easy to confuse!) On Miacomet Road, go south to where the asphalt ends and the road turns to hard packed sand. Keep straight on this sand road. Miacomet Pond will be visible on your right most of the way. There will be a fork in the sand road, one goes right, toward the pond, the other straight, away. Go away from the pond, straight. This fork in one more minute will bring you to a parking area with wooden fences. Park and walk through the established cut in the dunes to the beach. You are in the nude area!

You can also take the gray NRTA shuttle bus from Nantucket town to Surfside in season, usually June 10 to Labor Day. It only costs one dollar and the bus can hold two bikes. It leaves once an hour. The bus arrives at the snack stand/restrooms at Surfside. Go down to the beach and go right (west) and walk about twenty minutes until you come to Miacomet Beach. You will know when you are there, you will see others nude. I prefer this option because I do not own a car and I like the exercise of walking along the beach.

A bike path runs from town south to Surfside Beach, distance three miles. You could bike one way and take the shuttle the other, or bike both ways! There are bike rental places on Nantucket right as you get off the ferry boats. Nantucket Bike Shop, Straight Whf.(Hy Line Fast Ferry), 508-228-1999. Young's Bike Shop Steamboat Whf.,(Steamship Authority Fast Ferry)508-228-1151.

Another beach option, if you really like long walks, is to take the NRTA shuttle to Madaket, one dollar. There is a small store for drinks and snacks there. Go on the beach and walk left, east, for literally a half hour! If you have a map look to where Hummock Pond and the reservation land is-there are no houses behind the beach for a significant distance, anywhere there away from vehicle access points should be fine. Miacomet can get crowded sometimes with too many vehicles so I enjoy this as a quiet alternative.

As for getting there, if you are not staying overnight it is possible to do Nantucket as a day trip from Cape Cod, Mass. IF you take the fast ferry or fly. If you take the conventional slow boats you will waste too much time (two and a qtr. hrs one way!!) I prefer the Steamship Authority's Fast Ferry. One hour Hyannis to Nantucket. $52. round trip. Call 508-477-8600 to confirm times and reserve. www.islandferry.com Coffee and simple snacks onboard. A good one to get is the 8:15 am from Hyannis. You're on Nantucket an hour later, have time for breakfast, and hit the beach early! Leaving Nantucket, they have a 5:55pm and a 8:40pm. Hy Line Cruises also has fast ferry service, 800-492-8082. $58. round trip. To explore (expensive) overnight options go to www.nantucketonline.com. For more rustic lodgings, there is a Youth Hostel and it is right at Surfside! $22. per night but can be tough to reserve. 508-228-0433. The upside is you wake up right next to the beach, cook your own breakfast and walk twenty minutes to the nude beach. The downside is you are three miles from town, including stores, restaurants, and nightlife. The shuttle bus stops at 6pm. And, speaking of nightlife, the curfew is 11pm-you must be in by then-and they mean it!

For a nude beach experience on one of America's most beautiful and historic islands, with superb restaurants, cobblestone streets, and quaint New England architecture, Nantucket is hard to beat! Any questions, please email the above address.

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