How to Visit Nantucket

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Visiting Nantucket, a charming island off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, involves planning for transportation, accommodation, and activities.

Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to visit Nantucket:

1. Getting to Nantucket

By Ferry:

Steamship Authority: Offers both traditional ferries (about 2 hours and 15 minutes) and high-speed ferries (about 1 hour) from Hyannis, MA.

Hy-Line Cruises: Provides high-speed ferry service (about 1 hour) from Hyannis, MA.

Seastreak Ferry: Offers seasonal high-speed ferry services from New Bedford, MA, and New York City, NY.

By Air:

Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK): There are flights from several major cities and regional airports. Airlines like Cape Air, JetBlue, and American Airlines operate regular flights, especially in the summer.

Private Boats: If you have access to a private boat, Nantucket has marinas and moorings available.

2. Getting Around Nantucket

Bicycles: Biking is a popular way to explore Nantucket. There are several bike rental shops on the island.

Public Transportation: The Nantucket Regional Transit Authority (NRTA) operates shuttle buses that cover major routes across the island.

Taxis and Ride-Sharing: Taxis are readily available, and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft operate on the island.

Car Rentals: While not always necessary due to the island’s size, car rentals are available if needed.

3. Accommodation

Hotels and Inns: There are a variety of hotels, from luxury options like The White Elephant to more budget-friendly inns.

Bed and Breakfasts: Charming B&Bs are scattered throughout the island.

Vacation Rentals: Websites like Airbnb and VRBO offer many rental homes and cottages.

4. Activities

Beaches: Nantucket is famous for its beautiful beaches like Surfside Beach, Madaket Beach, and Siasconset Beach.

Whaling Museum: Offers insights into Nantucket’s rich whaling history.

Historic Lighthouses: Visit Brant Point Light, Sankaty Head Light, and Great Point Light.

Shopping and Dining: The downtown area has a variety of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants.

Outdoor Activities: Enjoy activities like sailing, fishing, and kayaking. There are also numerous walking and biking trails.

5. Best Time to Visit

Summer (June to August): The most popular time, with warm weather and numerous events.

Shoulder Seasons (May to early June, September to October): Quieter, with pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

Winter (November to April): Much quieter, with some attractions closed, but offering a peaceful retreat.

6. Tips

Book Early: Especially during peak season, accommodations and ferry tickets can sell out quickly.

Pack Accordingly: Even in summer, evenings can be cool, so bring layers.

Plan Activities: Make reservations for popular restaurants and tours ahead of time.

By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to Nantucket.

If you would like to visit more islands near Cape Cod, check out this article on how to visit Martha’s Vineyard.

Sources:
“Culture & Tourism.” Nantucket, nantucket-ma.gov/2441/Culture-Tourism
“Visitor Information.” Nantucket, Ma, nantucket-ma.gov/854/Visitor-Information

About William Briscoe

William Briscoe is a seasoned travel blogger and adventurer based in Massachusetts. With a passion for exploring hidden gems and sharing his travel experiences, Briscoe's website, "Mass Attractions," has become a go-to resource for those seeking seasonal attractions in Massachusetts. William enjoys exploring the scenic beauty of New England, spending time with his family and two rescue dogs, and experimenting with classical New England recipes in his kitchen. He holds a degree in English Literature from Boston University, which he believes laid the foundation for his writing skills.

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