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Must-Visit Spots In Nantucket

The quaint and tranquil island of Nantucket is one of the top-desired destinations in the USA, and there are many good reasons for its popularity.

Although it is quite small, this island which is 30 miles south of Cape Cod, MA, has some of the most beautiful beaches. It also has three postcard-like lighthouses, cobblestone streets, and more preserved pre-Civil War buildings than in any other place in the country.

With its charming gray cedar shake cottages, covered by roses, its blooming hydrangeas, unique nautical charm, untouched flora and fauna, and some of the best fine dining restaurants and exclusive boutiques, Nantucket has a lot to offer to its many visitors.

You can book one of the many available rental residences around the island and start exploring its must-see spots.

The Lighthouses

The small New England island is nicknamed “the Little Grey Lady of the Sea” not because of the iconic weathered gray shingle-style cottages but because it is often covered with unexpected heavy fog.

Because of this, there have been over 750 shipwrecks around the island through the centuries.

Also, because of it, there are three historic lighthouses on the island, which are centuries old but are still very much functional.

Each of them is a site worth seeing because every lighthouse has an incredible history and unique architecture.

If you arrive in Nantucket, you will be greeted by the Brant Point Lighthouse at the Harbor. It has been guiding the way of arriving and leaving mariners on the island since 1746.

This lighthouse is adorned with flower wreaths during the spring Daffodil festival, with a Christmas wreath on Christmas and with a USA flag on the 4th of July.

The Great Point Lighthouse, known as Nantucket Light, was built in 1784 on the island’s northernmost point. You can get there by hiking or over-the-sand driving through the stunning Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge.

The third lighthouse is the Insta-worthy red and white striped Sankaty Head Light. It was first built in 1850 on the eastern coast of Nantucket, next to the picturesque village of Siasconset.

The Whaling Museum

If you want to understand what makes Nantucket such a unique place, with such amazing architecture, nautical charm, and a tight-knit community, you should visit the Whaling Museum.

Nantucket used to be known as the whaling capital of the world, and it was this industry that was the driving force of the islanders for hundreds of years.

The famous whaling ships, their brave captains and crew, and their travels around the world inspired Herman Melville to write the classic American novel “Moby-Dick.”

At the Whaling Museum, you can learn everything there is to know about the true story behind this famous novel. You can also see a 46-foot real sperm whale skeleton, the original Fresnel lens of the oldest lighthouse, and thousands of unique artifacts and exhibits from those glorious years.

The museum is located in a restored factory that used to make candles from whale oil. It is in the historic downtown and has a viewing deck on the roof, which offers a stunning bird’s eye view of the Nantucket Harbor, the Nantucket Sound, and the town.

Cisco Brewers

Cisco Brewers combines the island’s local craft beer brewery, the Triple Eight Distillery, and the Nantucket Winery. It is among the most popular places to spend time tasting the different local brews, wines, spirits, and handcrafted cocktails, along with the other tourists and locals.

Cisco Brewers was famously named “the happiest place in the world.” It has a large beer garden, a stage where customers can enjoy listening to live music every day, and various food trucks to indulge in all kinds of snacks and local seafood delicacies.

It is one of the top-rated places to visit when in Nantucket, so make sure you leave an afternoon free to experience it yourself.

Main Street

As its name suggests, this is the main street of the Town of Nantucket. It is a historic street with cobblestones, planters with blooming flowers, and beautiful gas lanterns.

You can see some of the most famous buildings, stores, and symbols of Nantucket on Main Street.

The street passes through the meticulously preserved and restored mid-Victorian, Greek revival, and Federal Style houses, mansions, and other buildings. These include the Thomas Macy House, the George Gardner House, and the historic homes of local legends Captain Edward Cary, Thomas Macy, and Henry Coffin.

Also, on Main Street, you can visit Murray’s Toggery Shop. This is the only physical store on the planet where you can buy the famous Nantucket Reds pants. Or You can buy other apparel made of the famous faded red to dusty rose canvas. The clothes from the Nantucket Reds collection are essential to the preppy northeastern coastal culture and style.

As you stroll along this picturesque street, you can stop by the beautiful Compass Rose mural at Gardiner’s Corner to take some fantastic photos to share with friends and family.

At any point of your walk, you can sit down and relax on one of the many sidewalk benches, admire the view, or enjoy a drink and snack.

 ‘Sconset Bluff Walk

One of the first things which pop into many people’s minds when they hear Nantucket is the picture of a postcard-like rustic cedar shake cottage, all covered by pink and red climbing roses up to the roof.

The famous rose-covered cottage and many other very similar ones are located in the village of Siasconset.

The best way to explore the fairytale-like village and admire its charming houses, cottages, and impeccable gardens is via the Sconset Bluff Walk.

This walking path is a mile long but is among the most beautiful walking trails in the country. It will lead you right by those stunning gray-weathered cedar shake houses, their manicured yards, and blooming gardens and will take you to Siasconset Beach and the historic Sankaty Lighthouse.