Whaling Museum
Whaling Museum
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
The Whaling Museum, operated by the Nantucket Historical Association (founded in 1894), is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Featuring permanent and rotating exhibitions in 9 premium galleries, with over a thousand works of art, artifacts and treasures on display, it tells the Island's facinating stories over 4 centuries. Numerous daily programs by our interpreters, childrens' activities in the Discovery Center and intimate spotlight tours compliment the visit. The museum is home to a 46-foot sperm whale skeleton, a massive Fresnel lens, a restored 1847 candle factory and a relaxing, fully-accessible rooftop deck offers stunning views of Nantucket harbor. Maximize your visit by going to our 9 historic homes and sites which are open to the public.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
1,656 reviews
Excellent
1,274
Very good
308
Average
51
Poor
19
Terrible
5

Halliesmum
San Antonio, TX64 contributions
May 2023 • Couples
I was torn about going to this one considering the history, however, it is so much more that a historical perspective of whaling! The museum gives you background into the people of Nantucket which was eye opening and refreshing. You will learn about the politics of the time and Nantucket’s fight to do the right thing, and how important the women of the time were. They offer military discount so make sure to ask if you are affiliated as the discount is worth it!
Written May 29, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting with us; so glad you enjoyed the many stories of Nantucket history we explore throughout the museum! Hope to see you again soon.
Written June 5, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

starla729
Burlington, CT161 contributions
Sep 2022
This spot comes up as the top suggestion for something to do when it's raining on Nantucket and I agree, check it out! I honestly probably wouldn't have gone if it was not raining, but I was pleasantly surprised how much I learned and enjoyed this visit. My husband and I are not huge museum people, but it's laid out in a way you can spend as little or as much time as you want. We spent longer than we expected and I was really amazed at the history behind the whaling industry I knew so little about. Definitely make a stop if you like history, or if it's raining :)
Written October 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

James W
Clearwater, FL567 contributions
Jun 2021
We made this a priority to visit based upon recommendations of other. We were pleased with our experience. We learned a fantastic amount about the history of Nantucket and its whaling industry. The exhibits were very well done and super informative and fun. The museum is extensive and we were only able to spend about 90 minutes there; I wish I could have spent 1/2 of the day there. Nicely, the admission price to the museum granted access to other historical sites in Nantucket, several of which we visited.
Written June 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting. We are ao glad you enjoyed your visit to the Whaling Museum and could also stop at some of our historical sites as well. We look forward to your next visit to spend more time with us!
Written July 13, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

holly
Rosemount, MN3 contributions
Jun 2023 • Family
First, I think this is overpriced for the museum. Second, we felt that the video we watched did not have the content we were looking for - it was the history of Nantucket - we were more interested in the whales/whaling. Several other individuals came to sit in and must have felt similarly as they left during the middle. Interesting journals from the early days and some cool relics for the time. The whaling boat was amazing and the process of harpooning and catching the whales given their size was fascinating. . .
Written June 2, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting us at the Whaling Museum. Providing a wide array of offerings that are included in museum admission for our visitors is a priority for us. Our daily films cover a vast array of topics covering Nantucket history, so we are sorry to hear you did not enjoy the Nantucket film. However, we are glad to hear you could enjoy one of our daily program presentations presented by a museum guide that covers Life Aboard A Whaleship, presented in our main hall under our whale skeleton and beside our whaleboat. We hope you also were able to take advantage of visiting our Historic Property, Hadwen House, included with your Whaling Museum admission. We hope to welcome you back soon.
Written June 5, 2023
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tina R
United Kingdom49 contributions
Jul 2022
Excellent! Don’t leave Nantucket without a visit to here and make sure you go to any of the staged story telling, which takes place at various times throughout each day. It is well thought out, interesting and innovative. Well worth the entry fee.
Written August 3, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting with us; so glad you could join us for one of our daily live programs! Hope you can visit with us again soon!
Written August 8, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

maggie311_99
York, PA147 contributions
Jul 2022
Museum was a wonderful reflection on Nantucket's whaling history. I especially enjoyed the life size whale in one of the great rooms. Well laid out and educational. They also had a room for children to play which is great for parents who maybe need a break. Do not miss the observation desk accessible by steps or via the elevator. It offers a magnificent view of the Nantucket harbor. While I was there, they also had on display the Asian art collection of David and Beverly Billings. It was a wonderful surprise since I love Asian art and their collection is spectacular ranging from ceramics, jewelry, textiles. It was a unexpected but much appreciated bonus. My only criticism stems from the lack of information when I purchased my ticket. I was not offered an audio tour, any map or told about the audio clips on the floor (which I didn't realize until almost finished with the museum.) After I purchased the ticket I was simply pointed in the direction to go.
Written July 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting with us this weekend; so glad you could enjoy so many of our offerings. We appreciate this feedback about informing our visitors about our audio tour. We will work to provide more details upon entry and add additional signage in the entryway to notify visitors. We hope to see you again soon!
Written July 18, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

VTLA
Vermont367 contributions
Mar 2022 • Family
A must see if you’re in Nantucket! First the museum is beautiful. It’s bigger than what it appears from the road. Secondly, the museum is really spectacular it terms of curation and interactive exhibits. Because we traveled in the off-season, we had the entire museum to ourselves and had a lot of fun taking photos in the photo booth. Do visit if you have time. It’s worth it!
Written March 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TarHeel
Durham, NC1,068 contributions
Jun 2022
This attraction was part of our tour package, and did not disappoint. You could spend a few hours here (we did) if you enjoy history and culture. There was also a special, temporary exhibit of Asian art in one of the halls. There is a lot to see in the various exhibits and floors, not to mention a nice view from the roof. They have talks in the main hall area if you want to learn more about what it was like to be a whaler in New England. A nice little gem of a museum, especially on a drizzly day like when we visited. Of course you exit via the gift shop and can check out some local souvenirs or wares.
Written July 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for visiting with us this weekend. We are glad you could spend a couple of hours with us and take in our exhibitions and see the view from the rooftop. We hope to see you again soon!
Written July 18, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sigrid H
3 contributions
Oct 2022
LOVED this museum! The exhibits were really well done--signs were readable and clearly explained what we were looking at. I knew a fair amount about whaling from having visited a number of museums and reading various books over the years, but I still learned a lot. The docent who gave live lectures really made things come alive, but it was also interesting to see the movies that showed the history and the recent stranding on a sperm whale on a Nantucket beach. The whale skeleton was fascinating, as was the whaling boat (even if it came from New Bedford!). Nice history of Nantucket itself. The gift shop was also excellent.
Written November 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Boojums70
Charleston, SC49 contributions
Oct 2022
The organization of the museum is a little confusing, especially if you are also listening to the audio tour, but, that said, it is a must for solid history. Good balance of objects to text. They do a fairly good job of highlighting underrepresented peoples of the island (women, indigenous, POC). At the top is a walk where you can see the harbor and a good bit of downtown.
Written October 24, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Whaling Museum (Nantucket) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Whaling Museum

Whaling Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM