17 Best Places and Things To Do in Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nantucket, Massachusetts is a charming island located about 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Known for its idyllic beaches, rich history, and quaint New England charm, Nantucket offers a variety of activities and attractions for visitors.

1. Whaling Museum

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The Nantucket Whaling Museum is a must-visit attraction on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Located in Nantucket Town, the museum provides a captivating glimpse into the island’s rich whaling history and its impact on the local community. The museum houses an extensive collection of artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that bring the whaling era to life. You can explore the various galleries to learn about Nantucket’s role as the whaling capital of the world during the 18th and 19th centuries. The exhibits showcase the tools, equipment, and techniques used by Nantucket whalers, as well as their daily lives at sea.

2. Great Point Light

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Great Point Light is a historic lighthouse located at the northernmost tip of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. It stands as a beacon overlooking the vast Atlantic Ocean and is a notable landmark and attraction for visitors to the island. Great Point Light is situated within the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge, a pristine and protected area on the northeastern side of Nantucket Island. The lighthouse is only accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles, bicycles, or by walking along the beach. It’s important to note that access may be limited or restricted, so it’s advisable to check current regulations and guidelines before planning your visit.

3. Sankaty Head Lighthouse


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Sankaty Head Lighthouse is a prominent and historic lighthouse located on the eastern edge of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Known for its striking appearance and scenic coastal location, Sankaty Head Lighthouse is an iconic landmark and popular attraction for visitors to the island. Sankaty Head Lighthouse is situated in the village of Siasconset, commonly referred to as ‘Sconset, on the eastern side of Nantucket Island. It stands on a bluff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding coastline. Visitors can access the lighthouse by car, bicycle, or by walking along the picturesque bluff.

4. Brant Point Lighthouse

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Brant Point Lighthouse is a charming and historic lighthouse located at the entrance of Nantucket Harbor on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. As one of the most recognizable landmarks on the island, Brant Point Lighthouse has a rich history, picturesque setting, and serves as a welcoming beacon for mariners.

5. Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum

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The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum is a captivating museum located on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. It focuses on the island’s maritime heritage, specifically the history of shipwrecks and the heroic efforts of the island’s lifesavers. The museum is located in the village of Siasconset, also known as ‘Sconset, on the eastern side of Nantucket Island. It is housed in a historic building known as the “Coffin School,” which was originally built in 1849 and served as a schoolhouse for the island’s children.

6. Nantucket Atheneum

The Nantucket Atheneum, located in Nantucket, Massachusetts, is a historic library that serves as a cultural and educational hub for the island’s residents and visitors. Established in 1834, the Nantucket Atheneum has a rich history and offers a range of services, resources, and events. The Nantucket Atheneum is housed in a beautiful Greek Revival-style building, which was constructed in 1847 and underwent renovations and expansions over the years. The architecture of the building itself is a sight to behold, with its grand columns and elegant facade.

7. Sconset Bluff Walk

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The Sconset Bluff Walk is a scenic coastal trail located in the village of Siasconset, or ‘Sconset, on the eastern side of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. This picturesque pathway offers visitors breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, dramatic coastal cliffs, and charming seaside cottages. The Sconset Bluff Walk stretches along the bluff on the eastern edge of Sconset village, starting near Sankaty Head Lighthouse and extending towards the village center. The trail is easily accessible, and you can access it by walking along Shell Street, which runs parallel to the bluff.

8. First Congregational Church


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The First Congregational Church is a historic and prominent church located in the heart of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Established in 1711, it is one of the oldest congregational churches in the United States. The church’s rich history, beautiful architecture, and active community make it a significant landmark on the island.

9. Wauwinet

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Wauwinet is a picturesque area located on the northeastern end of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. Known for its serene beauty and natural surroundings, Wauwinet offers a peaceful retreat away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Nantucket. Wauwinet is situated on the northernmost part of Nantucket Island, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Nantucket Bay. It is known for its pristine beaches, peaceful atmosphere, and expansive views of the water. The area is less developed compared to other parts of the island, offering a tranquil escape and a sense of seclusion.

10. Old Mill

Old Mill Nantucket MA.jpg

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The Old Mill is a historic landmark located in the town of Nantucket on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. As the oldest functioning windmill in the United States, the Old Mill holds significant historical and cultural value. The Old Mill, also known as the “Nantucket Windmill,” was built in 1746 and operated as a working windmill for over 200 years. It was constructed by Nathan Wilbur, a local millwright, and served as an essential part of Nantucket’s economy during its whaling era.

11. Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum

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The Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum is a unique and fascinating museum located on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. It showcases the artistry and craftsmanship of Nantucket’s iconic lightship baskets, which have become a symbol of the island’s rich maritime history and cultural heritage.

12. Altar Rock

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Altar Rock is a notable natural landmark located on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. As the highest point on the island, Altar Rock offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape and serves as a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

13. Hadwen House

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The Hadwen House is a historic house museum located in Nantucket, Massachusetts. Built in 1846, the house showcases the architectural and historical significance of Nantucket’s whaling era. The Hadwen House was constructed for William Hadwen, a prosperous whaling merchant, and his wife, Lucretia. The house reflects the wealth and success of Nantucket’s whaling industry during the 19th century. It stands as a testament to the island’s maritime heritage and the economic prosperity it experienced during that time.

14. Jethro Coffin House

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The Jethro Coffin House is a historic landmark located in Nantucket, Massachusetts. It is one of the oldest houses on the island and is recognized for its architectural significance and historical value. The Jethro Coffin House, also known as the Coffin House, was built in 1686 by Jethro Coffin, one of the original English settlers of Nantucket. It is believed to be the oldest house on the island and provides a glimpse into the early colonial history of Nantucket. The house was constructed during a time when Nantucket was primarily a farming and fishing community.

15. St Paul’s Episcopal Church

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St. Paul’s Episcopal Church is a historic church located in the town of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Known for its architectural beauty and spiritual significance, St. Paul’s has been an integral part of the island’s religious and cultural heritage. Here’s what you should know about St. History: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church has a rich history dating back to 1834 when it was established as a parish on Nantucket Island. The church was initially constructed in the Gothic Revival style, with subsequent additions and renovations over the years to accommodate its growing congregation and preserve its architectural integrity.

16. Nantucket United Methodist Church

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he Nantucket United Methodist Church is a prominent place of worship located on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. With a rich history and a strong sense of community, the church has been serving residents and visitors for many years. The Nantucket United Methodist Church has a long history dating back to the mid-18th century. The congregation was established in 1769, making it one of the oldest Methodist congregations in New England. Over the years, the church has played a significant role in the religious and social fabric of Nantucket.

17. Long Pond Trail

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The Long Pond Trail is a scenic trail located on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. It offers visitors an opportunity to explore the island’s natural beauty and enjoy a peaceful outdoor experience. The Long Pond Trail is situated on the eastern side of Nantucket Island, near the village of Siasconset (also known as ‘Sconset’). It is easily accessible and can be reached by car, bike, or on foot.

Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor activities, or simply enjoying the natural beauty of the island, Nantucket offers a wide range of experiences that will make your visit memorable.