Great Point and Coatue
Four-wheeling out on Nantucket’s remote, northeastern sand spits (which together form the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge) lets you experience the island’s most pristine land- and seascapes. Here you’ll find windswept dunes, waving marsh grasses, miles of golden sand, and clear green waves dotted with bobbing seabirds—and you’ll likely have them all to yourself (unless you come during slack tide, when local fishermen can be seen surfcasting for—and sometimes fighting with harbor seals over—bluefish). You’ll need a 4x4 vehicle with a beach permit to get here; you’ll also need to pay an entry fee of $25 and decrease the air pressure in your tires at the Wauwinet Gatehouse before driving on the sand. Newbies may want to stick to driving Great Point, where the sand is relatively firm; Coatue is markedly softer and trickier to navigate.
Tip: Don’t forget to bring lunch, water, and sunscreen with you—once you’re out here, you’ll want to spend the whole day.