The Maria Mitchell Observatory has public astronomy lectures and star viewing on clear Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights in the summer between 9PM and 10:30 PM. The program consists of a lecture by an astronomer about the seasonal constellations, stars and planets, followed by a chance for everyone to look through a telescope at one of the things that wre discussed in the lecture. This is done as a fundraiser for the observatory, so there is an admission charge of $20 per adult.
The Maria Mitchell Association is a non-profit organization on Nantucket dedicated to promoting science education. One of the facilities that it operates is a small aquarium located along the waterfront in the town of Nantucket. The aquarium is great for small children because it allows them to touch many of the sea creatures, including horseshoe crabs, clams, and other shellfish. The aquarium's highlight is its blue lobster, a rare creature that looks like a normal lobster but is colored blue instead of red due to an unusual recessive gene.
Nantucket is a very wealthy resort town, and many of its summer and year-round residents have boats. We always like to walk around the docks checking out the boats, which run the gamut from small motorboats to huge yachts.
Madaket is the small town at the western end of Nantucket Island. It is a very quiet town, with almost no commercial businesses. We like to go there because its beach is almost always empty, and is a nice quiet place to read a book, look for seashells, and help Anna build sand castles. There are almost no waves at this end of the island, and the water is very calm.
Main Street is the heart of the historic town of Nantucket. It is a bumpy cobblestone street that begins at the waterfront and runs toward the center of the island. The first few blocks of Main Street are lined with shops, galleries, and real estate offices (unfortunately, every year seems to bring more galleries and real estate offices and fewer shops). Our favorite store on Main Street is the pharmacy, which also has an ice cream counter. It is a frequent stopping place during the course of a week on the island.
At the top of the hill, Main Street passes an old bank building and then transitions into a residential neighborhood, which features some brick homes, which are unusual for Nantucket (most homes have faded wood siding).
My family and I found the greatest thing, it's called Nantucket Adventures. These guys take you on a seal encounter cruise out to Muskeget Island. I though it would be fun for the kids but I must admit, I loved it and my wife loved it too. It was pretty amazing. The boat they use was built just to go out and see the seals. The seals get so close that a few of them stuck their noses right in the boat. My kids just thought it was the greatest thing! We had a great time and I would recommend the trip to anyone going to Nantucket. You can find them on the web http://www.nantucketadventures.com/
Every time we go to Nantucket we rent a Jeep and drive on the beach to Great Point unbelievable swimming , fishing and sunsets.
Best family activity on Nantucket.
We always rent from Nantucket Island Rent-A-Car at the airport, the staff is so friendly and helpful we would rent from no other place.
Give them a try!
The First Congregational Church is one of the oldest and largest churches on Nantucket. The church's interior is fairly plain, in traditional New England style. Church services are held on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings.
The highlight of a visit to the church is the climb up the stairs of its belltower to a room at the top that offers one of the best views of the town and the island. Halfway up the belltower there is also a lower room that has some very interesting photos and information regarding the history of the church and its town.
Nantucket's Whaling Museum gives visitors a good overview of the town's whaling history. One of the highlights of the museum is a 46-foot long skeleton of a sperm whale that washed ashore in the 1990s.
Surfside Beach is one of the more popular beaches on Nantucket. It is located on the island's southern coast, between the airport and Madaket. Surfside is a nice long and wide sand beach, with plenty of room to spread out. Older kids like surfside because of the big waves that it gets and because its water is deep enough for swimming. However, you need to be careful with small children at Surfside, because the waves and undertow can easily overpower them - hold on to them at all time when in the water!
If you get hungry, there is a small snack bar with bathrooms next to the parking lot at the entrance to the beach.
We took a day and biked around the entire island. This was a marvelous but very tiring day. I think our favorite sights were the lighthouses. They are scattered hither and yon, so it takes some effort to see many of them.
You drag a basket across the water and catch scallops. In the basket you see them open and close. Kids love it. Fun summer activity. Take a boat to one of the quiet beaches and run around in the long grass with barefeet.
There are loads of public and private beaches along the coast of the island. In some places you can also surf-cast.
This is a popular tourist attraction known as the Oldest House.
Um, I think it's the oldest house on Nantucket.