Brant Point Lighthouse: Nantucket’s Blast into the Past
November 4, 2022
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Nantucket, or The Little Grey Lady of the Sea, is home to several attractions that one visit may not be enough to explore. As a history buff, you will love the numerous sites that will take you back in time, like the Brant Point Lighthouse.

It is one of the three lighthouses on this island, the others being Great Point Lighthouse and Sankaty Head Lighthouse. This piece focuses on Brant Point Lighthouse due to its historical significance, considering it is America’s second oldest lighthouse. Let us learn more about this attraction.

The History of Brant Point Lighthouse

Brant Point Lighthouse came to be in 1746 to guide sailors who frequented Nantucket due to the whaling boom. Some reports indicate that before the structure’s erection, a bonfire guided ships in the early 1700s. At 26 feet, Brant Point is the shortest lighthouse in New England but has a mighty backstory.

The existing structure has been around since 1901, being the tenth light and seventh tower. The preceding towers on the same spot went through fires, rotting parts, and condemnation, calling for renovations and rebuilding.

The lighthouse is still functional and has been part of the National Registry of Historic Places since 1987. Brant Point Light is easily the most popular lighthouse on the island due to its proximity to the town center. You may spot it on your way to Nantucket on a ferry.

How to Get to Brant Point Lighthouse

The lighthouse’s location is 0.8 miles north of Nantucket’s town center via Easton Street. You can reach the lighthouse by vehicle, bike, or foot. Due to limited parking spots, it is convenient to ride a bike or walk to the site.

What to Do in Brant Point Lighthouse

The majestic view of the lighthouse, with the vast ocean in the background, is breathtaking. Let us look at the fun things to do around this attraction.


You cannot pass up the chance to take photos of this piece of history. If you are into photography, you can take amazing snaps of the lighthouse from different angles to expand your portfolio. Let your artistic side take charge to get the best pictures.

The ideal times for photography are the mornings when the atmosphere is warmer and more vibrant. The dusk is also great, especially if targeting a nostalgic or sad mood. You may also capture the activities around the lighthouse, like the sailing boats and the occasional fishermen fishing while seated on the rocks.

A Walk in the Vicinity

The area around the tower has a calming ambiance, suitable for spending a lazy afternoon. Bring your family for a walk along the beach and footbridge, where you can gaze at the expansive sea. You may also chill by the rocks and engage in some banter with the fishermen.

Private Fishing with a Guide

If you are interested in fishing, you can get a guide for a private fishing session around the lighthouse. You need fishing permits, which your guide will help you get. Enjoy the ocean breeze as you try your luck in catching something for dinner.

Can I Get into the Lighthouse?

While most of us would want to get into the lighthouse, it is impossible. The tower still works and is run by the United States Coast Guard. You can walk around the building, the footbridge, and surrounding areas but cannot get in.

Dine in the Surrounding Areas

After checking out one of Nantucket’s prominent monuments, you may fancy a hearty meal to end the day. Several dining spots dot the area around Brant Point Light, such as the Brant Point Grill. It is the place to check for fine dining, especially if you love seafood or grill. Its calm atmosphere makes it perfect for a date.

Breeze Restaurant, The Beet, and American Seasons are other places to try out.

Final Word

Your Nantucket exploration trip schedule should include the lighthouses, a reminder of the island’s booming shipping and whaling industry. Presently, the Brant Point Lighthouse is the only functional tower on the island.

While it may look subdued, save for the occasional light blinks, it has a story to tell, being the second oldest lighthouse station in the US. Check out the lighthouses and test your photography skills while at it.

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