Nantucket Visitor Guides

Nantucket traces the origins of its name to a Native American word that means “faraway island.” The community is a resplendent National Historic District where you can enjoy saltwater taffy, fine dining, fascinating museums and exciting outdoor adventures. The attractions on this 14 by 3.5 mile wide island are accessible on foot, bicycle or the shuttle.

Each of the 28 neighborhoods on the island provides a different experience. Wauwinet is situated near unspoiled conservation areas, and Monomoy affords panoramic views of the town and harbor. The island has over 60 eateries that serve fresh seafood, ethnic cuisine and casual fare. The cobblestoned main thoroughfare transports you back to a time when local resident Herman Melville chronicled the misadventures of Captain Ahab. Many of the homes on the island were built prior to the Civil War. Historic venues recount the islanders’ struggle and partnership with the environment and each other. Museums share the community’s journey from an agrarian community to leader of the whaling industry.

Nantucket’s observatories enable you to survey the skies that captivated Maria Mitchell. There is an observatory and natural history museum named in the astronomer’s honor. Constructed in 1847, the island’s historic library is a well-preserved Greek Revival that once hosted Thoreau, Emerson and other prominent luminaries. Ms. Mitchell served as the first librarian. The marine habitat that encompasses the island supports humpback whales, grey seals, dolphins and a variety of seabirds.

Situated 30 miles south of Cape Cod, the tranquil isle is a mosaic of peaceful marinas, grand estates, iconic lighthouses and expansive beaches.