There are 92 steps to the top of the tower of the First Congregational Church and though not air conditioned, visitors always seem to find the climb worth the effort. The windowed tower offers views in all directions; from the red and white stripes of Sankaty Lighthouse to the brick and cobblestone quaintness of Nantucket Town directly below. A collection of historic photographs and artifacts are on display on a mezzanine level, providing a nice, informative, resting stop on the climb up. A donation is requested.
Keeping the island's history alive is the goal of the Nantucket Historical Association. Many of the museums and historical sites on Nantucket fall under the NHA's umbrella, which makes it an excellent place to start when taking a tour of the island. Purchase a membership to receive admission to all of the NHA's sites and immerse yourself in the island's past. Individual memberships provide far more benefits other than just museum entrance fees.
You didn't come to Nantucket to sit in the sun all day or to shop. No, you came because you want to catch one gigantic trophy fish for your wall. Monomoy Charters can help you achieve that dream. They offer the opportunity to fish from the deck of a 31 foot Bertram Sportfish, the perfect place to reel in that striper you've been dreaming of. E-mail Monomoy Charters for current rates.
Like Jetties Beach, Surfside Beach is considered a great family destination with all the fixings for a great beach day, including some decent surf. Lifeguards, restrooms, public phone, parking and a food stand are amongst the amenities found at Surfside. If you don't have your own car on the Island, you can take the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority (NRTA) shuttle bus from town or bike along the 3 mile Surfside Bike Path directly to the beach.
This is a beach with a bit of everything within walking distance from Town. There are lifeguards, restrooms, and a concession stand with food and drinks and public phones. Being on the Nantucket Sound, the surf is mild and many families come to enjoy the beauty and safety of this beach. There is also a playground and volleyball net. The NRTA shuttle runs a beach loop to Surfside and Jetties Beach from June 15 until Labor Day.
One of the most photographed lighthouses in the United States, Brant Point Light Station is Nantucket Island's historic landmark. Though this iconic structure was established in 1746, it underwent numerous alterations through the ages, with its overall automation being one of the most notable events in its long and illustrious history. Armed with a powerful 5th-generation Fresnel lens, its signals have the capability of traveling distances up to 19 kilometers (12 miles). The monochromatic wooden tower that one sees today was built in the year 1901, and sits at Brant Point surveying all ferries, yachts and cruises from the mainland that pass its picturesque side on their way into the harbor.
The buildings in the Historic District of Nantucket reflect all the charm of an old New England town. It is here where every nook, every alleyway, and every antiquated cottage coyly croons the secrets of the neighborhood's storied past. Its ocean-side Historic District is touted to be one of the oldest in the country. Although the dainty, wood-built buildings may not be the most scenic, their very fabric weaves together stories which date back as far as the 17th Century, some also lending insights into the Civil War. At this olden district, modest, pastel-hued shops, bed and breakfast inns, and traditional restaurants lie strewn across the winding, cobbled lanes, as well as Main Street, a major thoroughfare of the area. Mornings spill into afternoons at this antiquated quarter which is a heartwarming slice of American history. Since cars are discouraged in the laid-back quarter, Nantucket is a pleasant zone traversed only by cycles, bikes, and mopeds.
Spermaceti is a substance derived from whales that was once used to make candles. This converted 1846 candle factory is now home to a museum about Nantucket's whaling history - and it's an excursion that can not be missed. It features a tremendous collection of artifacts including the skeleton of a 46-foot sperm whale, the 16-foot (5-meter) glass prism from Sankaty Head Light, portraits of sea captains, a large scrimshaw collection, and so much more!
Walk up the stairs of this island gallery, which are covered with photographs of island life, open the door, and step into the studio. Made on Nantucket is a gallery for Nantucket artists and Nantucket artists only. Check out the framed photos, the painted tables, the landscapes and the sculptures. Not only are they fascinating to look at, they are also very reasonably priced.
Keeping with true Nantucket charm, the Aquarium is housed in a quaint, small cottage complete with inviting windowboxes and wainscotted walls. Don't let the casual appearance fool you; inside you'll find serious information about the aquatic life found in Nantucket's saltwater marshes. Interns are on-hand to answer questions on the many varieties of crustaceans and fish found on (and around) the island. Children's activities include hands-on workshops and outdoor excursions.