Here’s Why Loines Observatory Needs a Place on Your Nantucket Bucket List

Escape the hustle and bustle of Downtown Nantucket with a visit to Loines Observatory. The two-domed telescopes capture some of the most beautiful sights on the island and allow for guests to see space unaltered. The observatory is thrilling for all ages! Discover the excitement of the stars during your next island getaway.

For additional recommendations on what to see and do during your trip, be sure to access our exclusive Vacation Guide. Our complimentary guide provides hand-picked suggestions guaranteed to simplify your trip planning!

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Everything You Need to Know About Loines Observatory

Wish upon a star from Loines Observatory during your next Nantucket visit. The facility offers two immaculately refurbished, 8-inch, Clark telescopes for public viewings and research purposes alike. A visit to the observatory is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. 

  • History

Loines Observatory is a part of the Maria Mitchell Association. The non-profit organization also serves the Nantucket Aquarium, Vestal Street Observatory, the Natural Science Museum, and the Mitchell House. 

Maria Mitchell was the world’s first professional female astronomer. She was born on Nantucket in 1818. Mitchell went on to create navigations for sailors, served as the Nantucket Atheneum’s first librarian, and discovered the first comet through a telescope, for which she earned a gold medal from the King of Denmark.

The observatory was constructed in 1908 and named in honor of Mitchell. In 2009, it was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring for their immersive internships in astronomy and astrophysics.

  • Research Telescope

The legendary Clark telescope is one of the world’s most advanced astronomic devices. It has been used to map voyages such as the Apollo Moon Voyage and has been involved in studies of Mars. From 1913 to 1995, Loines telescopes were solely responsible for an array of wide-field glass photographic plates that recorded large swaths of the sky.   

  • Public Programs

Loines Observatory offers several opportunities throughout the year for the public to enjoy the telescopes. 

Join the professionals during the first week of each month for a tour of the skies. The helpful astronomers will guide you along with views of the moon, distant planets, galaxies, and more. During the summer months, you’ll want to get your ticket for a tour of the Vestal Street Observatory before making your way to Loines. Vestal Street provides informative lectures, a scale model of the solar system, and fun activities like learning to use a sundial.

Come Back to Anchor Inn

Wanderer - Full View of RoomAfter a night of stargazing, you’ll be ready to lay your head at the cozy Anchor Inn. Book your stay in the first-floor Wanderer room and enjoy a queen-sized bed, private bath, a flat-screen TV, complimentary high-speed WiFi, and a decadent, house-made breakfast each morning of your stay.

Want to find more of the best Instagrammable spots on the island? From Sankaty to Steps Beach, there is so much to see. Follow our guide to fill your feed with the most amazing sights on Nantucket. We can’t wait to welcome you to Anchor Inn