Break out the hats, swimsuits, and umbrellas. After a long, hard winter, beach season is almost upon us. And with that, an important question: Which sandy expanse should you venture out to?
Luckily, Condé Nast Traveler has recommendations, including one right here in Massachusetts.
A list of the 25 best island beaches around the world includes Siasconset Beach on Nantucket, coming in at number 23.
The picturesque shore sits on the eastern flank of the island, accessible via a six-mile bike path or a shuttle bus. It’s featured alongside a dozen or so more tropical locations, like the British Virgin Islands, Oahu, French Polynesia, and Aruba. (Did the list, compiled from a Readers’ Choice Awards survey administered in 2020, come out late last year? Yup. Were we thinking about travel and beaches and the potential of life post-COVID then? Nope, but we are now.)
For swimmers, the waves at Siasconset “can be heavy with strong currents,” according to the Insider’s Guide to Nantucket. Condé Nast Traveler called the water rough, even in the summer. But those who prefer sand to surf should wander to the Sankaty Head Light at the northern tip of the beach. Or they can meander along the ‘Sconset Bluff Walk, which borders both the Atlantic Ocean and a row of enviable multimillion dollar homes.
The beach nears Sconset Village, a quaint town with rose covered cottages, a golf course, and a host of historic sites. It is brimming with restaurants (and restrooms) for beachgoers.
Condé Nast Traveler also recommended the Nantucket Hotel & Resort as the perfect place to stay. The 36 rooms and suites are within walking distance from Sconset’s attractions, and the small-town charm is undeniable. See the four-story structure of the site and the front porch “strewn with Adirondack chairs,” as the Traveler put it.
So what are some of the other top 25 island beaches? As far as U.S. beaches go, Sunset Beach on Oahu came in at number 21, Honokalani Beach on Maui ranked 19, South Carolina beaches grabbed two spots with Hilton Head Island at number 13 and Kiawah Island at number 8. And the top U.S. island beach was Marco Island, Florida, at number 7.
But of course, gorgeous sandy stretches are by no means limited to this country. The breathtaking North Island, Seychelles, came in at number 3 on the Conde Nast list (Prince William and Kate Middleton honeymooned there), and White Beach, Boracay, Philippines, ranked number 2.
So what’s number 1? Lovely Gouverneur, St. Barts, with its white sand and aquamarine water.