Nantucket Dog Walk

Walk. Walk your dog. Walk Nantucket.


Public Beach

Hard sandy shore

Few dogs

No shade

To find Monomoy Beach, take the Milestone Road heading out of town and take your very first left after the rotary onto Monomoy Road. Follow Monomoy Road until you must either go left or right. Take a left here onto a small dirt road, and another left into a parking lot. The beach access is across from the parking lot down a small public way that ends in stairs to the beach. You can walk either to the left or right (or both).

In the summer, this beach will be populated with full-on picnic spreads, towels, kids, kayaks, boats, etc. So it’s better to go early morning or early evening if you are going in the summer. You will occasionally see a dog here at other times of the year, but it’s not the norm.

Monomoy Beach is close to mid-island and has a lot of extras—like views of the harbor (heck, you’re on the harbor) and some of the best horseshoe crab viewing on the island.

Horseshoe Crabs. In the spring, the horseshoe crabs show up in the shallow waters to mate. They are a fascinating species. They live between 10-20 years and have 9 eyes! To learn more, go here. You won’t have any trouble finding them, as they will be both in the water and on the sand (sometimes half-way buried in the sand as singles or couples). You will see them, the male on top of the female (sometimes some other hopeful near-sighted male on top of them both), as they swim along at the shoreline. They are very gentle creatures and will not harm you, but if you find them in the sand, do not disturb them and please don’t let your dog harass them. This is part of their mating/egg-laying process.

Pottery. I have found most of my good pottery shards at Monomoy. If you take a left from the stairs, follow the shore until you come to a bend. Here, at low tide, is where you want to start looking. Be sure you have shoes on at this point, as there can be sharp fragments of shells here, and glass. Search in this spot for shards and fragments of pottery and ceramics. I have found stoneware crockery chunks and blue and white china pieces.

Eel Grass. Depending on the tide, there may be large masses of drying eel grass—the long, single-strand seaweed—along the shore. This makes great fertilizer or mulch for your garden. (Please be sure to leave some eel grass for the wildlife, though.)

Birds. Monomoy has some marshy areas and tidal pools, so there are plenty of birds around: blue herons, ducks, geese, oyster catchers, and cormorants can be seen. Egrets are plentiful here, too, and don’t seem to be too disturbed by humans, so if you want a picture, they are usually happy to oblige.


Eelgrass along the shore at Monomoy Beach.