Calling all history buffs and sight seekers. We have your bucket list for the best Nantucket museums to visit during your next trip to the island. From shipwrecks to stargazing, there is something for everyone to enjoy during your next visit. We have everything you need to know about exploring the museums only our Atlantic island could offer.
Still want more? Complete your trip planning with our exclusive Vacation Guide. Our complimentary guide offers the best recommendations on where to eat and what to see during your trip.
Everything You Need to Know About the Best Nantucket Museums
Embark on Nantucket’s rich history through one of its pristine museums during your next visit. Discover what made our cobblestone streets famous and the extraordinary people that walked them. What are you waiting for? Start planning your Nantucket museum tour today!
- Nantucket Historical Association’s Whaling Museum
The Nantucket Whaling Museum is one of the most renowned museums on the island. Founded in 1929 and crafted out of a retired Hadwen and Barney Oil and Candle Factory, the museum now houses artifacts and stories covering four centuries. Awe at the paintings of the Williams Forsyth gallery, observe the tools used in the dangerous whaling industry, and come face to face with a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton.
- Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum
Egan Maritime’s Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum is located just outside of town off Polpis Road. It has been dubbed the “graveyard of the Atlantic” and holds the thrilling stories of Nantucket’s washed-up ships. In addition to the stories and artifacts, the museum offers an array of activities for children. It’s also the perfect summer spot for a relaxing picnic.
- Maria Mitchell Association and Loines Observatory
Maria Mitchell was one of the world’s first female astronomers. She was born on the island in 1818 and quickly became one of Nantucket’s greatest prodigies.
The Maria Mitchell Association includes an aquarium, two observatories, a Natural Science Museum, and the Mitchell House. Loines Observatory features an 8-inch, restored Clark telescope along with a state-of-the-art research telescope. See the unfiltered, Nantucket night sky during your next visit.
- Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum
Nantucket lightship baskets date back as far as the early 1800s to the Native Americans. During the whaling era, the splint baskets shifted from a Native American art form to a necessity for captains aboard the whaling ships.
Discover the baskets and the history woven through them at the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum. The intricate, handmade work of generations past is sure to leave you in awe.
Come Back to the Periwinkle Inn
After a day of exploring Nantucket’s best museums, you’ll be ready to rest your feet at the Periwinkle Inn. Book your stay in Pequod room and revel in authentic Nantucket. From the hand-tied, fishnet canopy to the Egyptian cotton linens and Turkish towels, the Periwinkle is the perfect blend of traditional New England and luxurious Nantucket.
Planning your trip from Boston? We have everything you need to know about making the voyage. Book your flight from Boston Logan and arrive promptly or take your time and enjoy a ride on the Steamship Authority. We can’t wait to welcome you to Nantucket!