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Whaling Museum, Nantucket

4.8
Home to a large number of artifacts, tools, and displays, Whaling Museum documents the history of the industry in the region. Though controversial and outlawed today, the practice of whaling played a crucial role in the economic and human development of New England. Examine the instruments used by whalers to find, hunt, and process whales; the press for extracting whale oil is the only example of its kind remaining in its original place of use. Be sure to examine the whaling-related artwork throughout the facility. You'll find that the giant sperm whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling provides an impressive centerpiece for the museum. If you have time, try climbing up to the observation deck for a view over the Nantucket harbor. Plan to visit Whaling Museum and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Nantucket attractions using our Nantucket travel route planner .
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Whaling Museum Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,331 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • The whaling museum tells an interesting story of Nantucket. Watched the presentation by Sean and he really made the history come to life. Best for adults or older children.  more »
  • This museum provides insights into the whaling industry that once was a big part of Newport. The presentations are very insightful. We enjoyed the movie. We heard a storyteller that was excellent. She...  more »
  • If you do one cultural outing on the island, make it the Whaling Museum. Be sure not to miss the movie/presentation “the Whale Hunt”. It’s the best part.  more »
Google
  • It's a very nice museum to visit with kids. As someone else mentioned, there's a lot to read, but it's all very engaging. Our tour guide, Don, gave us a succinct overview of the museum and its artifacts. Plan to spend around 1.5-2 hours here. Also, the tickets give you access to 5-6 other historical places in Nantucket, all of which are within walking distance.
  • A must visit if you are in Nantucket. Make sure you go early, as your admission grants you access to other places around town. The museum isn't a celebration of whaling itself, but a celebration of the brave men who risked their lives on the ocean in pursuit of their American dream. They have amazing displays throughout of ingenuity and amazing craftsmanship. It truly is a must see. I would recommend you read In the Heart of the Sea before going as well. It will give you an even greater appreciation for the museum.
  • Great small museum that tells the gory details about Nantucket's key industry. The visitor service assistants are a wealth of information, they offer have lots of talks and presentations, I left feeling very informed. It does celebrate the whaling industry a little too much, given how violent and destructive it was, but I suppose that it is Nantucketers celebrating Nantucket. In the end, I would visit it again--plus a ticket allows you into multiple other historic sites, well worth the $20 dollars.
  • We loved the museum. We have family ties and they were very happy to help us to see family pictures. We will go back as it was very interesting. The people working were so great.
  • We really enjoyed the museum, from the details of people's lives, to the place of whaling in the community, to the impact of the settlers on the Wampoag, the presence of a vibrant ex-slave community, the impact of Quakerism, all the way to the story of the present day sperm whale whose skeleton is there. Watching the clock mechanism was fascinating. The scale of the oil press was impressive. After walking the streets and docks the rooftop view was great. All in all a great time that helped us connect with those who have gone before.
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