Nantucket’s world is, of course, one defined by the sea, and when you’re strolling one of our postcard-worthy beaches along the Atlantic swash it’s only natural to ponder what lies beneath offshore.
Well, as it happens you don’t have to leave it at mere pondering: not as a guest of ours at Greydon House. You’re just a hop, skip, and a jump from the perfect place to go to learn more about our undersea ecology: the Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium on Washington Street.
Under the Sea
The aquarium is unique in that it displays native Nantucket marine life collected by staff as well as local fishermen and charters. These critters, which range from tiny crustaceans to good-sized fish, serve as Atlantic ambassadors during the aquarium’s summertime operations, and then are released back into the brine at the end of the season.
You never exactly know what you’ll see, therefore, on a visit to the Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium: Its inhabitants provide a snapshot of our local waters at any given point in time. Lobsters, mantis shrimp, triggerfish: Whatever’s peering back at you from the tanks, it’ll be extraordinary!
The Outdoor Circle Tank typically comes cruised by dogfish sharks and other larger fish, plus spider crabs and horseshoe crabs. In the Touch Tank, meanwhile, you’ve got the opportunity for some hands-on interaction with such marvelous beasties as snails, clams, and crabs.
The Maria Mitchell Association
The non-profit Maria Mitchell Association showcases science and interprets natural wonders for both Nantucketers and out-of-towners. It’s named after the pioneering Nantucket astronomer who, in 1847, identified a comet from a rooftop along Main Street.
In addition to the aquarium, the association manages several other treasures, including the astronomical Vestal Street Observatory, the Natural Science Museum, and the 18th-century childhood home of Maria Mitchell herself. Admission to the aquarium gains you entry to these other equally fascinating destinations.
The association also offers a fine spectrum of interpretive programs and events, including children’s and adult classes, science camps, and guest lectures on a variety of topics.
Get to Know Local Sealife this Summer on Your Greydon House Getaway to Nantucket
The Maria Mitchell Association Aquarium will be opening for its 2019 season before long. This summer, reveling in Greydon House hospitality, maybe you’ll decide to follow up a visit to one of Nantucket’s superlative beaches with a (dry-footed) voyage under our backyard waters!