Going Ashore

Given Cuttyhunk's sparse year round population (numbered only in the dozens), its highly seasonal visitation and its assertively uncommercial attitudes, it's difficult to anticipate from year to year exactly what you'll find in the way of man-made attractions. There may be a couple of artist's studios and a couple of small stores. There's a guy who cooks a prix fixe dinner in his kitchen and serves it at tables in his back yard, except when he doesn't. The Cuttyhunk Fishing Club B&B has a public breakfast in the restored facilities of the exclusive (ie Teddy Roosevelt) 19th century Cuttyhunk Island Striped Bass Club -- in season. You'll see a few remains of WWII era coastal defenses scattered across the island.

And that's the point. Residents and visitors love Cuttyhunk for what it isn't - Nantucket, Edgartown. There are no bars, no restaurants in the typical sense. There's no traffic; golf carts are more common than cars. There are no crowds of well-dressed couples, no college kids.

What Cuttyhunk has in abundance is quiet. Outside of town, the island is mostly undeveloped private land, surrounded by a nearly unbroken horizon.

cuttyhunk beach
Geoff Rand
Walk across the island from the harbor to a west-facing rock beach.
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Geoff Rand
The stone tower on the west end of the island was built in 1902 to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Gosnold's landing here. Gosnold and his men built a small fort on an island in the lake for the summer, but abandoned it in the fall.

One Hour Ashore

Summer evenings the Cuttyhunk Shellfish Farms offers an informal dockside raw bar featuring their local shellfish (They also deliver to moorings). But save time for the short walk through town to the hilltop observation deck.

Off the Beaten Path

A series of dirt paths and cart tracks lead to the nearly uninhabited moors and stone beaches of the West End.

Maritime History

Cuttyhunk's closest brush with history was Bartholomew Gosnold's stopover during his exploratory voyage to New England in 1602.

In 1924 the whaleship Wanderer wrecked on Cuttyhunk in an August gale. She was one day out of New Bedford in what proved to be the last voyage of an American square-rigged whaler.

Rainy Day

The Cuttyhunk Historical Society has a small museum open July and August.

Facilities

  • Dinghy
  • Restrooms
  • Trash
  • Public Trans

The dinghy dock is behind the marina. Go in leaving the slips to starboard.

There are restrooms on the wharf, new in 2002. There were no showers.

As with any island, trash is an obstacle. Cuttyhunk charges (modestly) by the bag for disposal; better to unload it on the mainland.

Cuttyhunk Boat Lines runs ferry service to the island from New Bedford.