Hike-in Required
ADA accessible
Guided tours
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Built in 1850, Sankaty Head Lighthouse is a 50-foot tower located on the bluffs of Nantucket. The lighthouse was originally built on these 100-foot bluffs to allow safe passage though the Sankaty and Rip Bass channel. Being the first lighthouse in Massachusetts with a Fresnel lens, the Sankaty Head Lighthouse flashes were full, vivid and striking, and they earned it the nicknamed “The Blazing Star.” Sailors were reported to have seen the light flashes over 40 miles away.  

When visiting the Sankaty Head Lighthouse, you will notice the great heights that surround the lighthouse. However, a fence wraps around the ledge and protects visitors from falling. There is also a great view of the nearby Sankaty Head Golf Course from the lighthouse. You may notice that the lighthouse was moved in 2007 due to the erosion on the bluffs, and you can see its previous location, which is marked by a circular bench. There are various information stands throughout the area that provide information about the lighthouse history. Although you cannot go up to the top of the lighthouse, these stands allow you to still learn much about the Sankaty Head Lighthouse.  

While the Sankaty Head Lighthouse may be short on ammenities (there are no restrooms or concessions), the beauty and history that surrounds the land make it a nice stop on your Nantucket Adventure.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Great views.


Cannot tour the lighthouse.

Pets allowed



ADA accessible
Family friendly


Nearby Adventures

Martha's Vinyard + Nantucket, Massachusetts
Martha's Vinyard + Nantucket, Massachusetts
Martha's Vinyard + Nantucket, Massachusetts


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