Nahant, a town of Essex co., Massachusetts, 10 m. N. E. of Boston by water; pop. in 1870, 475. It consists of a peninsula, projecting about 3½ m. into Massachusetts bay, and connected with Lynn by a narrow beach of sand and gravel so hard that a horse's footsteps scarcely leave a trace. The extremity, called Great Nahant, is 2 m. long and ½ m. broad, and contains 463 acres. In many places the shore is lined by rocks rising 20 to 60 ft. above the tide; and there are many singular caves and fissures, the most noted of which are the Swallow's cave and the Spouting Horn. A large hotel, erected on the E. extremity in 1824, was burned in 1858, and there are now only three small hotels. The peninsula is chiefly occupied by handsome cottages, used as summer residences by the citizens of Boston. Ma-olis garden, a public picnic ground, occupies about 20 acres along the shore on the N. side, and is adorned with fountains and shell work. Between Great Nahant and the mainland, and about ½ m. from the former, a rocky ridge, called Little Nahant, crosses the beach, rising 80 ft. above the sea, and comprising about 40 acres. A mile E. of Nahant is Egg Rock, rising abruptly to the height of 86 ft., and crowned by a lighthouse.
The town was separated from Lynn in 1853.