Nantucket Guide: Must See Places on the Island


Last Updated on: Sep 19, 2022 

Are you planning a visit to Nantucket? Great! It is a fantastic destination to visit. From the serene beaches, tantalizing dishes, and plenty of activities to indulge in, to the warm hospitality, you will be glad you chose the island.

To ensure your holiday fun flows seamlessly, arrange your finances and book your accommodation in advance – especially during the island’s high season. Among the best accommodation options are vacation rentals. Their affordability, privacy, services and facilities make them a favorite among tourists.

Beaches at Nantucket

While almost everything is delightful on the island, some places stand out more than others.

When in Nantucket, ensure to visit these places for unforgettable memories!

Best Places to visit in Nantucket Island

The Eminent Nantucket Lighthouses

Nantucket lighthouses pride themselves in a rich history, distinctive look and unique personalities. They have stood the test of time and held out against the most brutal island winters.

In the past, they were used as a navigational aid for sea captains. Some no longer serve that purpose and have been converted to tourist sites to help visitors relive the island’s memories.

Looking at them, it is hard to believe they are over a century old as their look is insta-worthy splendid.

The lighthouses are three in number, namely:

Brant Point Light House

It was built in 1746, which makes it the second oldest lighthouse in America. However, standing at only 26 feet tall, it is the shortest lighthouse in New England. But do not underestimate its short stature; the lighthouse’s red light is visible 10 miles away!

The lighthouse is said to hold some good luck. When you toss a coin around its waters when leaving the island, it is a guarantee that you will be back.


Sankaty Head Lighthouse

The lighthouse stands tall among its surrounding, which according to the natives, perfectly depicts its name Sankaty meaning highland. It stands 70 feet tall and flashes a white light every 7.5seconds.

Sankaty head lighthouse was built in 1850. Following its old age, in 1990, the U.S Army Corps of Engineers predicted that it would crumble within ten years. They were wrong! Thirty-two years later, the lighthouse beautifully stands out.

Great Point Light House

It is also known as Nantucket light as it produces the most powerful light in Nantucket, making it invaluable to navigators to this date.

The lighthouse was first constructed in 1784. Unfortunately, the wooden structure was destroyed by fire; hence a stone structure was built in its place in 1818. The stone structure collapsed in 1984. A replica of the original structure was built in 1986.

Considering its modifications and re-constructions it is not considered a historic structure like the other two lighthouses. But this does not take away from its glory and charm. It still is one of the most breathtaking spots on the island.

Altar Rock

When away from a city’s hustle and bustle, most people crave a tranquil place to unwind. The Altar Rock offers this and more!

You get to enjoy a calm, secluded spot with stunning views. This makes it an excellent location for bike riding, hiking or walking your dog, especially during the off-season.

Furthermore, you can watch planes come in for landing and take dazzling pictures for your gram.

Cisco Brewers

It can best be described as a drinks haven and a buzzing entertainment hub. Just as its name suggests, you will find all manner of brews, including beer, wine and spirits.

The rustic brewery has a restaurant and seven bars. You read that right – seven! This means your adventure, stomach and entertainment needs are well cared for.

While downing your drink of choice, you can enjoy a surf-inspired theme, ambient atmosphere and live music. The vibe is laid back, and the energy is always pleasing.

Source: Wikimedia

Whaling Museum

If you have a thing for history, the whaling museum will leave you mesmerized. You will learn all about the former whaling capital and view impressive displays. There’s an 1849 Fresnel lens from the old Sankaty lighthouse, and a skeleton from a 46-foot whale found ashore in 1998. Other noteworthy items on display include scrimshaw art, artefacts, and treasures.

Nantucket beaches

Additionally, a rooftop deck provides a relaxing atmosphere while taking in incredible Nantucket Harbor views.

To maximize your visit, ensure it coincides with the Whale Hunt Presentation, which elaborates how Nantucket came to be recognized as the ‘whaling capital worldwide’. You can find out when the presentation is to be held via the museum’s management.

Surfside Beach

As is expected of an island, there are many beaches on Nantucket. Each offers a unique set of niceties depending on your interest. Among the crème del a crème is surfside beach. Nicknamed ‘the family beach, it offers plenty for people of all ages.

The beach is cleaned daily and constantly supervised by lifeguards and police. Moreover, there are several support services, including restrooms, showers, and accessible ramps for persons with disability. Its services and welcoming environment have earned it a top spot in autism-friendly travel destinations.

For fun, you can swim at the beach, surf, engage in games such as volleyball or build sandcastles. There’s plenty of room and activities to relish!

After exhausting your energy, you can revitalize at any snack stand or beach eateries. There’s a wide array of foods, including Hotdogs, Hamburgers and strawberry feta salad with candid pecans.

Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge

Experience nature at its best at Coskata- Coatue Wildlife Refuge! You can either take a stroll or drive while enjoying the beautiful scenery. On your way around the refuge, you will see deers, raptors, nesting birds and seals swimming freely along the beach.

Adorning the landscape are rolling maritime dunes supporting numerous plants, including beach plum, heather, bayberry and beach grass. Moreover, you get to enjoy crisp cool air thanks to Coskata woods.

Ensure to carry your camera to capture the numerous captivating moments you are guaranteed to encounter. Also, do not forget a bug spray to prevent bugs from dulling your moments while exploring the woods.

Final Remarks

There’s plenty to see and experience in Nantucket, which makes it one of the top travel destinations in the world.

The above-mentioned cool spots are only the tip of the iceberg! Other remarkable places include Sconset Bluff Walk, Jethro Coffin House, Madaket Beach, Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum, and First Congregational Church, just to mention a few.

Pin it for a later read!

Nantucket Travel Guide

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Agni Amrita Travel Blogger

Hey! we’re Agni & Amrita.

We have been travelling together since the last 15 years and writing independent and personal travel content since 2014. Travel is one of the best teachers and through this blog, we aim to share our experiences and travel tips. We encourage you to travel more and see the world through your eyes and not through filtered templates.

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