Getting there: Most visitors catch a ferry to Nantucket from Hyannis, Mass., ($18.50, one-way), or fly on a variety of airlines, including Delta, JetBlue and Cape Air.

Getting around: Nantucket's Wave shuttle buses circle the island for a nominal fee, everything from $2 rides to $30 seven-day passes.

Finding your beach: Nantucket's 82 miles of coastline offers up many beaches. Here are some favorites. North Side beaches, protected by Nantucket Sound, are generally warmer and quiet. Try Jetties Beach with all the amenities, from rental umbrellas and sunscreen for sale to lifeguards and restrooms. Children's Beach has shallow waters and, during the summer months, organized activities for children such as yoga and tie-dye classes. South Shore beaches face the Atlantic, so expect cooler water and high waves. Cisco Beach is a beauty, but has few amenities. Surfside has food, restrooms and a wide beach. East Shore beaches also face the Atlantic. Siasconset, or "Sconset" to locals, is farther from town and so more quiet, and reportedly is one of the few places on the island where you might spy seals.

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Kerri Westenberg