Here’s What You Need to Know About Exploring the Nantucket Whaling Museum

Discover Nantucket’s whaling history through the interactive Nantucket Whaling Museum. From daring whale hunts to rare works of art, there is something for everyone to explore at the museum. It’s conveniently located just down the street from the Anchor Inn and makes for the perfect day trip. Gain a new Nantucket perspective by visiting the island’s Whaling Museum today!

For additional tips on where to eat and what to do during your trip to our Atlantic island paradise, be sure to access our exclusive Vacation Guide. Our guide is easy to access on-the-go, and best of all, it’s free!

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Everything You Need to Know About the Nantucket Whaling Museum

Start planning your trip to the Nantucket Whaling Museum. The Downtown museum boasts some of the best art exhibits and an in-depth look at the extensive whaling history of Nantucket. Discover it all during your next trip!

  • About the Museum

The Nantucket Whaling Museum was restored and opened to the public in 2005. The museum features several exhibits designed to immerse visitors into the island’s 1800 whaling community. There are nine premium exhibits featuring artifacts dating back over four centuries. The building itself was initially a Hadwen and Barney Oil and Candle Factory—make a stop at the gift shop to find tokens from Nantucket’s past and present.

  • Current Exhibits

Whale Hunt Gallery

Explore Gosnell Hall and come face to face with a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton. The awe-inspiring skeleton is representative of Nantucket’s whaling past. It displays the beauty of what put Nantucket on the map as a prosperous fishing port during the eighteenth century. To truly appreciate the island’s rich history, you must start at the beginning.

Hadwen and Barney Oil and Candle Factory

When you think Nantucket, what comes to mind? Chances are it’s not candles. However, candles and oil represent, what was, a booming industry on the tiny island. The museum, itself, is housed in the old Hadwen and Barney Oil and Candle Factory, and part of it is sectioned off to represent times passed. Take a walk through and discover processes and products that made Nantucket thrive. 

Modern American Realism: Highlights from the Sara Roby Foundation Collection

The Whaling Museum isn’t only harrowing antiquity; it’s also high art. Creative connoisseurs will appreciate the museum’s collection by Sara Roby. Much like the island’s landscape, the native Nantucketee flawlessly captures the contour of the island’s history. You will leave the exhibit with a sense of free-spirited traditionalism. 

Scrimshaw Gallery

Scrimshaw is defined as the art of engraving images on ivory. Explore artifacts from whaling ship sailors of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The Nantucket Historical Association possesses abundant amounts of scrimshaw on canvas’ such as whale teeth, walrus tusks, and bones. It is one of the most important collections in the world.   

Stay in the Historic Anchor Inn

Horatio - View centered on bedThe Nantucket Whaling Museum is located just half a mile from our cozy inn, making it the perfect spot to call your Nantucket home. Book your stay in the Horatio Room and enjoy the comforts of a queen-size bed, a flat-screen TV, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a complimentary continental breakfast each morning of your stay. 

Enjoy all of our five-star amenities during your visit to Anchor Inn. From our breakfast to our beach service to our friendly concierge, we truly take the stress out of vacation planning. For even more planning tips, get our helpful Nantucket Vacation Guide. We can’t wait to welcome you to the island!