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Best things to do in Nantucket

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Where in the world: USA  /  Massachusetts  /  Nantucket

Top 15 things to do in Nantucket

1. Whaling Museum

Home to a large number of artifacts, tools, and displays, Whaling Museum documents the history of the industry in the region. Though controversial and outlawed today, the practice of whaling played a crucial role in the economic and human development of New England. Examine the instruments used by whalers to find, hunt, and process whales; the press for extracting whale oil is the only example of its kind remaining in its original place of use. Be sure to examine the whaling-related artwork throughout the facility. You'll find that the giant sperm whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling provides an impressive centerpiece for the museum. If you have time, try climbing up to the observation deck for a view over the Nantucket harbor.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Whaling Museum

2. Cisco Brewers

Taste local alchoholic beverages at Cisco Brewers. The company produces a variety of drinks, ranging from wines and beers to whiskey and liqueurs. Take a tour of the three facilities, learn about the company's history and the production process, and settle into the relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. While the tours that include tastings are available only for adults, visitors of all ages can take part in the non-sampling tours. In addition to regular tours, you can reserve a private tour by phone or email.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Learn more about Cisco Brewers

3. Great Point Light

Great Point Light, officially Nantucket Light, is a lighthouse located on the northernmost point of Nantucket Island. First built in 1784, the original wooden tower was destroyed by fire in 1816. The following year a stone tower was erected which stood until toppled in a storm in March 1984. Rebuilt again in 1986, the stone tower was built to replicate the old one, and still remains in operation today. Modern additions include solar panels to recharge the light's batteries, and a sheet pile foundation and 5-foot (1.5 m) thick concrete mat to help withstand erosion.

The lighthouse sits on a thin spit of beach where the currents of the Atlantic Ocean and Nantucket Sound meet.

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 as Nantucket Light and removed after the destruction of the listed structure in 1986.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
Tours from $525 › Learn more about Great Point Light

4. Private Nantucket Beach Fishing Activity with a Guide

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Fish and explore the beaches of beautiful Nantucket Island with your native guide, Steve Tuna. Fish hard or simply explore and enjoy the beach. Steve knows the backroads of his island and will customize your beach adventure based upon wind, tide, beach conditions and your desires.Each area of the Nantucket beach has a different and distinct personality. The south side of the island has the surf. The north side is more protected and much calmer. Great Point, the 7 mile long beach peninsula on the eastern shore, offers the greatest variety - an amazing combination of wildlife, pristine environment and great fishing! Steve is dedicated to helping his guests discover the joys of Nantucket that are hidden away from the vast majority of island visitors. Beginning fishermen are welcomed! Steve will teach his guests how to cast their lures and other necessary techniques. Be prepared to make memories and, perhaps, catch a few fish!
Suggested duration: 4 hours
Tours from $525 › More about this tour at viator.com ›
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5. Brant Point Lighthouse

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Surfside Beach

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Madaket Beach

Revel in romantic views at Madaket Beach, the perfect setting for a sunset stroll. The views of the rolling waves and the feeling of sand between your toes will come as a welcome reward after a scenic bike ride through Madaket. Grab a bite at the nearby restaurant to make the most of the evening, or find a particularly pretty spot and settle in for a picnic. Bring warm clothes with you to protect against cool winds, and keep an eye on children venturing into the strong swell.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Madaket Beach

8. Sankaty Head Lighthouse, Siasconset

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Old Mill

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum

At Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum, learn about the island’s history of basket-weaving, as well as the origins and practicality of the craft. The small museum boasts a permanent, continuously expanding collection of lightship baskets--from those made in the whaling era to some contemporary examples. Look for the tools from the workshop of Jose Formoso Reyes, the famous 20th-century basket-maker. Watch the documentary explaining the making process and the similarities and differences between Native American and New Hampshire farm baskets. The museum keeps the tradition alive by offering weaving courses to guests.
Suggested duration: 30 minutes
Learn more about Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum

11. Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge

The Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge is a nature preserve on Nantucket Island and is managed by the Trustees of Reservations. It encompasses miles of beaches, the largest red cedar woodland in New England and Great Point Light.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge

12. Miacomet Golf Club

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Siasconset Beach

Siasconset Beach Preservation Fund is a 501(c)3 organization that was formed by a group of 'Sconset homeowners concerned about erosion of the Sankaty Bluff and the threat it poses to the village of 'Sconset. Since the early 1990s, SBPF has worked to research and install, on an experimental basis, a series of measures that might control the erosion of the 'Sconset Beach from south of Sesachacha Pond to south of the 'Sconset sewer beds. The goal has been to find an effective, environmentally benign and economically feasible approach. All funding has been provided from private, non-governmental sources.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Siasconset Beach

14. Maria Mitchell Association

The Maria Mitchell Association operates two observatories, a natural science museum, an aquarium, and preserves the historic birthplace of Maria Mitchell. A wide variety of science and history-related programming is offered throughout the year for people of all ages.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Maria Mitchell Association

15. Loines Observatory

Suggested duration: 2 hours
Learn more about Loines Observatory