Few museums will leave you inspired, whether you’re a fine arts lover or a history enthusiast. Located at the heart of Nantucket, the Whaling Museum is Nantucket’s top cultural site and one of the world’s most sought-after art institutions.
Inaugurated in 1930, the whaling museum is a creative hub of tradition and history run by the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA), featuring a chock-full of gorgeous art.
Restored in 2005, the whaling museum features a large and diverse collection. The highlight of the sprawling museum is a dazzling 46-foot sperm whale skeleton towering over an immense collection of priceless artifacts and prestigious art.
You have eleven structured galleries and exhibit spaces packed with thousands of prolific pieces of art and artifacts that showcase the heritage of Nantucket.
You’ll need ample time to explore the rich exhibitions, intimate spotlight tours, galleries, live storytelling, daily programs, and historical films.
Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Whaling Museum has plenty to offer.
You can download the commentary on your phone using a QR code. This informational tool will help you seamlessly navigate the well-laid-out museum.
Plan your visit to coincide with the iconic Whale Hunt Presentation for a history class on how Nantucket earned the trademark “whaling capital of the world.”
The Whaling Museum is usually open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. From October until the end of December, it closes at 4 p.m.
You can purchase your tickets online here. The entry fee for adults is $20, while students and seniors aged 65 and above pay $18. For students, the ticket costs $18; for youths aged 6 to 17 years, the fee is $5, and kids under 6 years enjoy free access.
A tour of the 1847 Hadwen & Barney Oil and Candle Factory will impress you as you learn how whale oil is refined to make spermaceti candles.
Once you’re done exploring the museum, from the Discovery Center to the featured exhibitions, head over to the rooftop deck for a calm and relaxing experience as you enjoy the spectacular views of the Nantucket harbor.