Dionis Beach

Dionis beach

Current Driving Status: Open to oversand vehicle traffic

Emergency Beach Access Number: 1

Current Beach Conditions: 

beach signs

Rules & Regulations  

  • Fishing is permitted with a state license, which can be purchased here
  • Dogs are allowed, providing they are leashed and licensed. Dogs and owners are not allowed in any dune vegetation, marsh grass, protected wildlife and other fenced areas at any time.
  • Bonfires, campfires, and fireworks are not permitted.
  • No kites (of any kind) or drones within 200 meters of any fenced shorebird habitat.
  • Alcohol is not permitted on public property.
  • Glass is not permitted on public beaches.
  • Smoking is not permitted on public property.
  • Please do not dig holes deeper than the waist. Fill in any holes before you leave the beach.
  • Beachgoers must stay at least 150 feet away from any marine mammal.

Basic Information

Dionis Beach is an idyllic Nantucket beach that is well-loved and used by just about everybody. Calm, clear blue water makes it popular with families and experienced swimmers alike. Dionis offers a fantastic view of ferries and sailboats coming and going from Nantucket Harbor in the distance. It is a good place to paddle-board on a calm day and during low tide there is a shallow sandbar, but watch your toes – Dionis is the preferred home of the beautiful yet aggressive lady crab. Dionis is located relatively far out of town, but there are restrooms, changing rooms, outdoor spigots (for washing sand off), and vending machines with snacks and drinks located in the parking lot. It is a very popular beach during the height of summer and despite a large lot, parking can be a challenge. It is an unpaved lot with no delineated parking spots, including no handicap spots. There is no oversand driving on Dionis Beach. Federally-protected shorebirds utilize this busy beach for nesting and breeding during the spring and summer months, so please respect any symbolic fencing and signage in place, and do not enter any fenced areas. Look out for signs stating “Restricted Area” that delineate shorebird habitat. 

Directions and Access Information

Dionis is one of the easier beaches to reach by car, however during the summer traffic may be thick. There are several ways to access Dionis beach. Heading from the Milestone rotary, go onto Sparks Ave and follow it until you reach the intersection near the high school. From there, turn onto Prospect St and continue past the hospital until you reach another intersection. Go straight onto Quaker Rd, past the cemetery, and turn left onto Madaket Rd at the stop sign. Follow winding Madaket Rd nearly 2 miles until you see Eel Point Rd on your right. Turn onto Eel Point Rd and drive approximately half a mile – there will be a dirt road with a white-painted rock that says “Dionis Beach” on it that marks the entrance to Dionis. Accessing the beach does require a laborious walk along a narrow soft-sand dune trail. There is a metal ramp at the end of the trail that provides access down the bank onto the beach during the summer months.

Beach Driving Information

Dionis Beach is closed to oversand vehicle traffic year-round. There is no vehicle access point at Dionis or any point along the north shore east of Dionis, and beach driving is strictly prohibited along the north shore from Dionis west to the entrance of 40th Pole. Please respect private property and the rights of private property owners. 

Swimming and Recreation

Soft white sand, tall rolling dunes, and calm waves make this the perfect beach to grab the umbrella and a sandwich and enjoy the afternoon. The beach faces Nantucket Sound and the water is often warmer and calmer at this beach than some of the other island beaches. Lifeguards are on duty at Dionis Beach during the summer months. There is a building in the parking lot that has changing rooms and vending machines as well as areas to rinse sand off before you leave the beach, but there are no restaurants or other food nearby, so make sure you come prepared if you plan to spend the day at this beach. Dionis is great for shell and seaglass collectors, and during the winter it is a good place for a secluded walk on the beach. Fishing is popular a popular activity at Dionis, with the primary fish caught being Striped Bass. Grilling on the beach is allowed, preferably with a charcoal or propane grill (please do not leave charcoal briquettes on the beach). Small, enclosed cooking fires located away from any flammable material or dune vegetation are allowed without a permit – please click here for further regulations on fires. Keep this beautiful beach clean - all trash and items are “carry in, carry out”, there are no trash receptacles on the beach so please bring any trash you create with you when you leave. 

Shellfishing and Water Quality

To ensure the safety of Nantucket’s beaches during the busy summer season, the Town of Nantucket Department of Health and Human Services conducts weekly sea water testing. Done in conjunction with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the samples are collected weekly for analysis at the Barnstable County biolab, and coliform bacteria levels monitored to ensure safe swimming conditions. Should levels exceed safe margins for two consecutive weeks, the beach will be closed to swimming and monitored until it’s safe to return.  

The recreational scallop season runs from October 1 – March 31 and is open to all who carry a recreational shellfish permit from the Town of Nantucket. Permits are $35 for residents and $125 for non-residents, and are available at the Public Safety Facility at 4 Fairgrounds Road. Scallops taken must have a legal raised growth ring a minimum of 10mm from the hinge or are larger than 2.5 inches (63.5 mm) from hinge to shell. Quahogs and oysters can be harvested year-round under a recreational shellfish permit. Soft-shell and razor clam shellfishing is prohibited from June 15th – September 15th. A comprehensive list of Town of Nantucket Shellfishing Policy and Regulations, including daily harvest limits and shellfish sizes, can be found here. A shellfish classification area map for the Dionis shore is available here. For questions about any shellfishing closures, please contact the Department of Marine Fisheries directly.

Wildlife 

Dionis may not offer some of the same marine life often found on other beaches around the island, but it is an excellent area for bird-lovers. This calm shore is a good loafing area for the Herring and Great Black-Backed Gull, and sandpipers run along the shore picking out small insects and crustaceans from the seaweed. A nearby wetland is good habitat for sparrows and warblers. Spring and summer bring nesting Piping Plovers. This tiny little shorebird is a federally-protected species that needs our help to survive – please respect all fenced areas and make sure that your dogs are leashed. For a complete list of the bird life that can be found on Nantucket, click here

Important Phone Numbers & Web Addresses

Nantucket Police & Fire Department (emergency) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 911

Nantucket Police Department (non emergency) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(508) 228–1212

Nantucket Fire Department (non emergency) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(508) 228–2324

Beach Hotline/ Marine Dept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(508) 228–7261

Natural Resources Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(508) 228–7230

Coast Guard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(508) 228–0388

Environmental Police . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(800) 632–8075

Marine Mammal Stranding Team (via Police) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(508) 228–1212