Hey, hey, Monday!
Today, I’m going to answer all of your questions and share my random thoughts on our experience in both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket this summer. As I was blogging our vacation, I had so many questions/DMs/emails asking me to compare the two, so I thought it would be more succinct to do it in one post. BIG DISCLAIMER: I am in no way an expert on either location (especially MV!), and I imagine that if you’re reading this post for any sort of travel information, you aren’t either (or else you don’t need this post!). I’m just sharing a bit to make things easier for you/answer the FAQ and help any of you who want to go there. Again, my name is Shay and I’m not an expert. I am a travel agent, but my agency doesn’t offer services to these locations, so I’ve had to learn along the way.
RANDOM FAST FACTS:
1: I’ve been to Nantucket (ACK) too many times to count.
2: I’ve only been to Martha’s Vineyard (MV) once.
3: We stayed three nights in MV on this trip and 9 nights in ACK (and then, went back four days later and spent another 2 nights).
4: We stayed at the Winnetu Beach Resort in MV and The Nantucket Hotel & Resort in ACK. They’re owned by the same people (that’s why we picked Winnetu, we knew we liked The Nantucket).
5: You can fly into either island or take a ferry (with or without a vehicle).
6: Martha’s Vineyard is the name of an island made up of six different towns.
7: Nantucket is the name of the island AND the name of the one town.
8: There are no traffic lights on Nantucket.
9: Martha’s Vineyard is significantly bigger in both population and size.
10: ACK doesn’t have anything that’s a chain (no Subways, Starbucks, McDonalds, etc.).
Here’s that map again just to remind you…
…you can fly into either island from select airports or you can fly into a city like Boston and drive to a ferry terminal to hop a ferry over to the island (depending on the ferry and destination, it could be a one to two hour ferry ride). You can also take a ferry from one island to the other (about an hour). You can buy your tickets the day of, but we prefer buying them in advance. The Hy Line is the faster passenger ferry that I would recommend if you’re not taking a car over.
1: We loved Martha’s Vineyard! It was so different than Nantucket that, even though they’re neighboring islands, it felt very much like two completely different destinations.
2: I would personally highly recommend you renting a car or taking a car over if you’re going to be there any extended period of time. We rented a car in Boston and set it up with the rental agency that we could drop it off in MV when we were done. We drove a lot in MV and were very thankful we had a vehicle.
3: Here I am holding a map of the island in the car as we took a GREAT scenic drive (told to us by a local). We were told specifically to use Music Street to Middle Road to get there for the most scenic route. It was GORGEOUS! I was shocked to see that this half of the island looked like Scotland or Ireland! Rolling hills, tall trees, stone walls, farm animals, old homes…it was about a 45 minute drive and I would tell everyone to do it!
…I would highly encourage anyone going to MV to head to Aquinnah to see these cliffs!
5: We visited the town of Oak Bluffs on the first day, and it was fun, kind of hip, reminded me of a great college town, but by far, our favorite town was Edgartown.
6: Edgartown reminded me the most of Nantucket. It was quaint, historic, had the cutest little shops and restaurants tucked into old buildings, it had bigger stores like Lululemon and delicious waterfront restaurants. We could have stayed in this town for a week!
7: I would highly recommend making as many dinner reservations in advance as possible for MV.
Overall, we really loved Martha’s Vineyard! Our beach day was fabulous, we loved our resort, the towns were all so different and unique…it is a place we’ll want to revisit again and again. We BARELY SCRATCHED THE SURFACE of all the things you could do or see here, but in our three days, we realized it was a gem worth repeating.
1: Well, I’m obviously biased because I’ve been there the most. It’s a part of my childhood and where I want to retire. It has my heart for sentimental reasons, but that doesn’t mean it’s the “better” island.
2: I would say that having a car is not a necessity in ACK. Sometimes, we go and rent one for a day, sometimes, we go and don’t rent one at all, and on this last trip (because we have six people in our family and wanted to do things further away from town), we rented one for the entire nine days.
3: The ferry literally drops you off right in the middle of town, so everything is within walking distance. If you don’t want walk or rent a car…
4: You can rent from multiple bike shops either scooters or bikes for the day/week/etc. They have bikes for kids and families too…
…or you can rent a scooter 🙂 . This is a very fun way to see the island as well!
5: Our hotel was in town, so we could conveniently walk everywhere (shops, dinner, grocery store, ferry…all of it!). You can even walk to the beach or…
6: You can use their bus system to take you all over the island and back. It’s very convenient!
7: I would highly recommend making as many dinner reservations in advance as possible for ACK too.
That’s really my thoughts in a quick nutshell (for a Monday, this seems like a lot of info 😉 ). I share ALL of the places where stayed, ate and as many sources as I could for all of the excursions we did in each individual post:
Cape Cod Vacation: Chatham
Cape Cod Vacation: Martha’s Vineyard Part 1
Cape Cod Vacation: Martha’s Vineyard Part 2
Cape Cod Vacation: Martha’s Vineyard Part 3
Nantucket: Part 1 The Ferry
Nantucket: Part 2
Nantucket: Part 3 Beach & Boat
Nantucket: Part 4 Grandparents!
I am positive that I missed some of your questions, so if you’ll leave them here in this comment section, I’ll answer them today (that way, later on, this post is one big resource for someone looking to go to either place).
Happy Monday, friends!! I hope you have a great day!