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The former ‘Whaling Capital of the World’, Nantucket is an island situated less than 15 miles off Cape Cod in the American state of Massachusetts. It is a tourist destination and summer colony that has a spectacular combination of cliffs, beaches, lighthouses, old mansions, harbors, museums, forests and gardens. It presents itself as a nice and relaxed alternative to those who are looking to spend some quick time out with friends or families over the weekend, but are not interested in any of the conventional tourist-heavy places in the country.
Housed inside a former candle factory, the Nantucket Whaling Museum is dedicated to the history of whaling in the city. It has an extensive collection of whaling artifacts and memorabilia, besides those related to the candle industry. Its centerpiece is a skeleton of a 46-foot long Bull Sperm Whale and a beam press that was used to extract oil to make candles, the latter being the world’s only beam press that still in its original location. Also of note are an 1849 Fresnel Lens and the restored workings of the Nantucket 1881 town clock.
The Oldest House (or the Horseshoe House)
The Oldest House is a historic house museum and the oldest surviving structure from the island's 17th century English settlement in Nantucket. It is a saltbox house that was built as a wedding gift for the grandson of one of the island’s original proprietor. This historical structure is hallmarked by an inverted U-shaped design on its chimney, possibly as a curse for warding off witches or as a local version of Jacobean brickwork styling.Maria Mitchell Aquarium (or the Nantucket Aquarium)
The Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium is a seasonal aquarium and the island's only marine science center and scientific education and research centre. It is operated by a non-profit organization to serve the legacy of Maria Mitchell (1818-1889 AD), America's first female astronomer and a native of the town. It collects a number of fish and suchlike marine species from around the island that are are released back into the waters at the end of each summer.