The Atheneum is the island's library.

We visited Nantucket on my birthday and walked down to the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum. On the way we saw interesting signs, beautiful homes, windows and doors, and lovely plantings.

The Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum is a fascinating place to visit.

They normally do not allow photographs, but I was given permission to take a picture of their display showing the steps to make a basket.
The annual Daffodil Festival is held on the last weekend of April. There is a children's parade, an antique car parade and a hat contest.
There are only two ways to get to the islands, either by water or by air. Our guide told us that Nantucket Airport is the second busiest in Massachusetts, second only to Logan. Despite the bumper stickers that some Cape Codders display, there is no tunnel. We rode on the Hyline ferry, the Great Point.

They also offer a high speed catamaran called the Grey Lady.

On our way, we passed the three masted schooner, The Arabella. During the summer months she is available for windjammer cruises. In the winter, she is based in Florida.

The coast guard station on the harbor.

This is the White Elephant Hotel. It is said that it got its name when friends of the woman who purchased it exclaimed, "What are you going to do with that white elephant?"

Many yachts are moored in the Boat Basin. There is a seven year waiting period to get into the Nantucket Yacht Club.

We got a good view of Nantucket from the ferry.

The ferry docked at Straight Wharf.

On the wharf are many gift shops and restaurants including a kite shop and a pet specialty shop called Cold Noses.

A display of Nantucket Lightship baskets hangs from the ceiling in this shop. I hope to return to Nantucket to see one of these baskets being hand woven. Some of the baskets are open, others have covers with scrimshaw, which is engraving, originally done on whale bone.
In a shop called The Sailors Valentine Gallery you will find Sailors' Valentines. Sailors made these intricate designs with tiny shells they found while they were away at sea and sent them home to their sweethearts.

We took a minibus tour with Ara's Tours and learned quite a lot about the island. Nantucket is an island of 47.8 square miles. There are 8,700 homes on the island, about 6,000 of which are used only during the summer and have their pipes drained and the electricity turned off for the remainder of the year. Nearly 10,000 people reside on the island year round. Nantucket first began as farmland where they planned to raise sheep, but whaling was found to be much more profitable. Nantucket is the name of not only the island, but also the county and the town.

The Pacific National Bank was named after the Pacific Ocean because much of the whaling money came from there. The father of Maria Mitchell, the first woman astronomer, was once president of the bank and she watched the stars from the roof of the bank.
The United Methodist Church is right next door to the bank.
St. Mary, Our Lady of the Isle is the Catholic church one block over.
This area of shops is known as Petticoat Row. They were run by the wives of the whalers while their husbands were at sea.
In 1845, Jared Coffin built the first three story building on the island for his wife. She was unhappy living on Nantucket, however, so they soon moved to Boston. The Jared Coffin Inn is a very popular place to have lunch or dinner or to stay overnight.
The Whaling Museum is a good place to learn about the history of the island.
The Peter Foulger Museum hosts rotating exhibits from the collections of the Nantucket Historical Association.
These lovely homes are on the waterfront..

Brant Point Coast Guard Station is right next to Brant Point Light.
Brant Point Light is the second oldest lighthouse in the United States, first built in 1746. It is also the shortest, the dimmest, and the most often rebuilt, with this one being the tenth in this location.
This medallion on the front of a house indicates that its owners have authenticated that it was built before 1840.
This house dates back to whaling times. It is unusual with two windows to the right of the door and four to the left. The glass lights over the door are bullseye glass.
The Jethro Coffin House, also known as the Horseshoe House because of its chimney, is the oldest documented house on the island, built in 1686.
Whaling captain, Joseph Starbuck built three identical brick houses in a row for his three sons. His daughters would have to find good husbands to do the same for them.
The windmill used a ship's mast and a cartwheel to turn the blades toward the wind.
We passed the second oldest African Meeting House with its four windows across the front.
The Lifesaving Museum has the original lens of Great Point Light out front.
Sankety Head Light was built in 1850 and its original lens came from France. At the time, it was the brightest lighthouse.
We visited Siasconset, known to the locals simply as Sconset. It is a very popular summer area and homes are quite close together.
Bicycles are a great way to get around the island.
The lace cap hydrangeas are a beautiful shade of blue.
This home looks out over the water.
Most of Sconset, including the market, is closed in the off-season.
There is an old hand-pump well in the center of the village.
The oldest house in Sconset, which may have been built in 1675 as a sea shanty, is called Auld Lang Syne.
This is the former home of Peter Benchley, author of Jaws, and his father, Nathaniel, who wrote, The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming.
One of the best known French restaurants on the island is called Chanticleer.
Antiquing is very popular on Nantucket.
Half of the island is designated as open space with bogs, blueberries and marshes.
Learn about the history of the Nantucket Lightship Basket in this museum.

When we returned from the tour, we took a walk up Main Street past quaint shops and gorgeous homes.
This water trough is right in the middle of Main Street. The cobblestones which pave the street were brought to the island as ballast in the ships.
A hand points you in the right direction toward the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce.
These pink steps lead to the camera shop.
Murray's Toggery is a longtime merchant on the island.
The compass rose on the side of Nantucket Looms gives the distances to various places around the globe.
Pratt's Antiques had lovely windowboxes.
Silver Hearts has a model of the Chales W. Morgan above its door.
Past the shops are the elegant homes of the owners of the whaling vessels.

These homes had so many interesting details that we took photographs at almost every one.
There were other interesting homes off of Main Street as well.
This plumber's shop was just around the corner.
This Civil War monument was in the center of the road.
We reached the former home and observatory of astronomer, Maria Mitchell.
As we walked toward the ferry, we passed the Chestnut House, named for the horse chestnut tree that stands out front.
This gallery displays the paintings of local artists.
As we were leaving the island we had a nice view of some birds near the ferry. The first is a snowy egret wading in the water.
A group of cormorants was sitting on some nearby rocks.
Great Point Light is visible in the distance.
Click the name of the town to see photos