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Jenniflower May 4th, 2013 09:06 PM

4 days on Cape/Hyannis/Nantucket/Martha's Vineyard
We will be in the Boston area at the beginning of August and are trying to make it to the coast for about 4 days of our trip. Should we have a "home base" to explore these areas, or stay at each one separately? Will one serve as a "home base" better than others? Any suggestions of hotels or places to stay would be great. Oh, and should we rent a car? I'm assuming we should...


Ackislander May 5th, 2013 03:54 PM

Two/three days on the Cape with a day trip to either Nantucket or the Vineyard would be good.

You will need a car.

There are three basic areas of the Cape that are especially nice: the towns along the Cape Cod Canal from Sandwich to Woods Hole , the towns along MA 6A, and the Outer Cape from Provincetown to Chatham. The south shore along Nantucket Sound is more variable, with honky tonky towns interspersed with towns so private that you can't get near the beach.

Nantucket Island, an hour from Hyannis by fast ferry is very compact, with lots of beautiful houses and gardens, to say nothing of hopping and eating near the ferry terminal. The Vineyard, about 45 minutes by ferry from the mainland, is much more spread out, with some of the nicest parts, Chilmark, Menemsha, and Gay Head a long way from the ferry.

You have a lot of tough choices ahead of you. As a practical matter, very few inns will rent for one night, so you will need to make a choice and then tour from there.

seafox May 6th, 2013 05:47 PM

the point about Inns is a good one. You may want to pick one town as a base (or 2). Also, if you plan to take the car on the ferry...reserve now, it may already be too late.

Ackislander May 7th, 2013 03:51 AM

I would not take a car on the ferry. You don't need it for a day trip, and it would cost about $500 RT to Nantucket.

vincenzo32951 May 7th, 2013 04:34 AM

What Ack said about the car on the ferry. And, yes, you will need a car on Cape Cod. Leave it at the ferry parking lot when and if you go to Nantckt.

If I were going to pick a home base from which to tour other parts of the Cape -- and that would be my strategy -- I guess it would be Orleans.

sassy_cat May 7th, 2013 05:34 AM

Hyannis is a very convenient base for the ferry but otherwise I wouldn't choose to stay there.
So perhaps 2 nights in Hyannis with day trips to the Vineyard and Nantucket and 2 nights on the Outer Cape for the beaches. I like Wellfleet.

If you can choose between MV and Nantucket and just visit one island.

JJ495 May 11th, 2013 11:23 AM

Hope you don't mind, Jenniflower, if I piggy back on this. Want to do a day trip on Nantucket and wondering how to get around outside the town if we aren't able to pedal around on a bicycle. Are there (argh) small tours, rentable cars or scooters, or what would you (who've been there) suggest?

Ackislander May 11th, 2013 04:09 PM

I live there.

Nantucket has a number of small tour companies. Gail's is a standout, but many others are good. We also have reliable bus service to most parts of the island, but you don't get any history, only a cheap ride.

Scooters are a bad idea unless you are very experienced, but our emergency room is expert (ditto on the Vineyard) in treating accident victims if you have a problem. Traffic is pretty heavy in town and roads are narrow and slippery with sand. Not a good combo.

JJ495 May 12th, 2013 05:57 AM

Thank you, Akislander. Wasn't entirely serious about a scooter unless it was considered The Way to see the island. Have been on an island where everyone has a golf cart -- works well -- slow and quiet; but thought if that were the case on Nantucket, it would be so noted in guides.

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