Several lovely, paved bike paths radiate from the center of town to outlying beaches. The bike paths run about 6 1/4 miles west to Madaket, 3 1/2 miles south to Surfside, and 8 1/4 miles east to Siasconset. To avoid backtracking from Siasconset, continue north through the charming village and return on the Polpis Road bike path. Strong riders could do a whole circuit of the island in a day. Picnic benches and water fountains stand at strategic points along all the paths.
For a free map of the island's bike paths (it also lists Nantucket's bicycle rules), stop by Young's Bicycle Shop, at 6 E. Broad St. (tel. 508/228-1151; www.youngsbicycleshop.com). It's definitely the best place for bike rentals, from basic three-speeds to high-tech suspension models. In operation since 1931 -- check out the vintage vehicles on display -- they also deliver to your door.
For shellfishing you'll need a permit from the marine coastal resources office at 34 Washington St. (tel. 508/228-7261), which costs $25 for nonresidents for the season. You'll see surf-casters all over the island ($10 permit required). Deep-sea charters heading out of Straight Wharf include Capt. Bob DeCosta's The Albacore (tel. 508/228-5074; www.albacorecharters.com), Capt. Josh Eldridge's Monomoy (tel. 508/228-6867; www.monomoychartersnantucket.com), and Capt. Brian Borgeson's Absolute (tel. 508/325-4000; www.absolutesportfishing.com). You'll find other options on the boat rental marketplace site GetMyBoat.com.
FitnessNantucket has a number of fitness studios for group classes as well as personal training options. Nantucket Cycling and Fitness offers barre, crossfit, weight and indoor cycling classes; Studio Nantucket has bootcamp and bar classes; and the Nantucket Health Club has a full gym, personal trainers and classes of all sorts. All offer weekly passes as well as day passes, and admission just to individual classes.
Two pretty courses are open to the public: the 18-hole Miacomet Golf Course, 12 W. Miacomet Rd. (tel. 508/325-0333; www.miacometgolf.com), and the 9-hole Siasconset Golf Club, off Milestone Road (tel. 508/257-6596; www.miacometgolf.com/siasconset-golf). You'll pay between $105 and $185 depending on the season and time of day.
Through preservationist foresight, about one-third of Nantucket's 42 square miles are protected from development. Contact the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, at 118 Cliff Rd. (tel. 508/228-2884; www.nantucketconservation.org), for downloadable maps of its holdings, which include the 205-acre Windswept Cranberry Bog (off Polpis Rd.), where bogs are interspersed amid hardwood forests; and a portion of the 1,100-acre Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, comprising the barrier beaches beyond Wauwinet. The Maria Mitchell Association sponsors guided birding and wildflower walks in season.
Six public courts are available at The Jetties Tennis at 2 Bathing Beach Rd. Jetties also has a program of tennis camps, and lessons for people with all levels of ability. A number of home rentals on island also come with tennis courts.
Nantucket Community Sailing manages the concession at Jetties Beach (tel. 508/228-5358), which offers lessons and rents out kayaks, sailboards, sailboats, and more. Rental rates for single kayaks are $25 per hour; sailboards $25 per hour; and Sunfish $35 per hour. Sea Nantucket, on tiny Francis Street Beach, off Washington Street (tel. 508/228-7499), also rents stand-up paddleboards and kayaks; it's a quick sprint across the harbor to beautiful Coatue. Single kayaks rent for $25/hour, and tandems for $40. Sea Nantucket offers free delivery and weekly and daily rates.. Nantucket Island Community Sailing (tel. 508/228-6600) gives relatively low-cost private and group lessons from the Jetties pier, Polpis Harbor and Children's Beach pier for adults (16 and up) and children. They also rent boats
Gear for scuba-diving, fishing, and snorkeling is readily available at the souvenir shop Sunken Ship, on South Water and Broad streets, near Steamboat Wharf (tel. 508/228-9226). The Sunken Ship also gives lessons and leads scuba diving excursions.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.