This “faraway isle” off Cape Cod is lost in time. Once the “world whaling capital,” this 50-square-mile National Historic Landmark is easy to explore. From cobblestone Main Street to enchanted Sconset, from its architectural treasure chest to high-brow shops, Nantucket provides a peerless holiday setting. Aesthetic treasures aside, 80 miles of pristine beaches offer a gentle and brisk surf and the full spectrum between.
“With copious collections of historical and cultural landmarks, historic sites and museums, one can immerse in history and lore, topping days off shopping, fishing, kayaking or surfing,” said David Martin, president and CEO of Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce. “A wide repertoire of visitor experiences for every age and pocketbook is on offer.”
Nantucket Whaling Museum
Nantucket Whaling Museum, converted into a museum in 1929 and restored in 2005, features an engaging exhibition space, rooftop observation deck overlooking the harbor, 46-foot sperm whale skeleton and a restored candle factory. The museum has more than 20,000 artifacts including scrimshaw, paintings and whaling implements.
Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum
The Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum displays a collection of distinctive lightship baskets and provides profiles about their makers. The complexity of this art form, which is unique to Nantucket, is outlined. Many baskets are available to view along with weaving tools.
Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum
During the 19th century, ships without modern nautical technology passed Nantucket navigating intense storms, dense fogs, strong currents and treacherous shoals. The Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum preserves the memories of islanders who risked their lives to save shipwrecked mariners.
A Nantucket building cluster is home base to Triple Eight Distillery, Cisco Brewers and Nantucket Vineyard. Cisco Brewers creates great beers; the adjacent distillery turns out five vodkas, whiskey, rum and gin. Nantucket Vineyard crafts small-batch wine varietals. There are tasting rooms, but it’s best to grab an outdoor table in the biergarten-style courtyard.
Nantucket Island Chamber of Commerce