29 Jun 2023
A Look Into Nantucket’s Lighthouses
Filed under Island Times
Nantucket, a picturesque island off the coast of Massachusetts, is the epitome of a perfect coastal getaway. Its pristine beaches and quaint streets have long been a favorite destination for travelers. However, one of the island’s most fascinating features is its collection of lighthouses that have served as beacons for sailors for centuries. In this blog, we look at these three iconic structures with immense historical and cultural significance, making them an absolute must-see on the island.
Brant Point Lighthouse
Brant Point Lighthouse, located at Brant Point Beach, is the most accessible Nantucket lighthouse to visit. Just a 15-minute walk from downtown, visitors often glimpse Brant Point Light as they arrive on the ferry. This lighthouse was first built in 1746 and is the 2nd oldest in the country. Over the years it has undergone two renovations, one in 1983 and another in 2000, and it is now fully operational after being repainted in April 2023. Whether you walk or bike, visiting Brant Point Lighthouse is free, making it a convenient and accessible attraction.
Sankaty Head Lighthouse
Sankaty Head Lighthouse, located in Siasconset, offers a more secluded experience. You’ll need a car, moped, or bike to reach this lighthouse, or you can opt for public transit. From ‘Sconset Village, Sankaty Head light is accessible by foot via the Bluff Walk, another Nantucket favorite. Built-in 1849, Sankaty Head Light stands tall and proud, owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and fully operational. Multiple parking options are available near the lighthouse, ensuring easy access for visitors. It’s worth noting that in 2007, the lighthouse was moved to protect it from bluff erosion, adding a layer of significance to its history.
Great Point Lighthouse
Great Point Lighthouse, built in 1784, is located in the northernmost part of the island within the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Reserve, and offers a breathtaking view of the island’s rugged beauty. This lighthouse has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. The first being by a fire in 1816. Following that a stone tower was built to replace it but eventually fell over and was replaced by the final reconstruction in 1986. Great Point Lighthouse has a rich maritime history. Getting there requires more effort and planning. You can embark on a 7-mile hike in soft sand, drive a 4×4 vehicle with the necessary permits, or take a guided tour. All-wheel drive vehicles are not permitted at Great Point. Your car will be inspected at the gate, so plan accordingly. If you’re interested in touring the inside of the lighthouse, guided tours are available on certain days throughout the year. To arrange a time, reach out to the Board of Trustees directly.
With these three incredible options, you can better understand what each lighthouse offers. Whether you explore one or challenge yourself to see all three, a trip to these beautiful Nantucket lighthouses is an excellent addition to your itinerary. Not only will you have the opportunity to capture stunning photographs, but you’ll also gain a deeper appreciation for the island’s rich history. So, plan your visit, embrace the allure of Nantucket, and venture on a journey through time and maritime tradition.
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