7 days on Cape Cod, day trip to islands?

Jul 13th, 2008, 04:38 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 459
7 days on Cape Cod, day trip to islands?

We are headed to Cape Cod July 20th, staying in Wellfleet for a week.

Hubby wants to take a day trip to either Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket.

1. Is it worth the hassle? I'm reading the posts on "crowds" and I'm not feeling confident about relaxing this trip. Is it worse than Outer Banks?

2. If it is worth it, which island would be better for newbies? MV, or Nantucket?

3. How do we go about booking a trip to said island? We have a rental car.

Thanks for your time.
beentheretwice is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 16
there are ferries that run from hyannis and harwich. the fast ferries take about an hour and last year were$75 roundtrip to nantucket. nantucket is fun if you take the island tour, go to the whaling museum and leave. it is very crowded in town in the summer. think a mall on dec. 23. but it is a beautiful spot. i understand one of the ferry companies runs a package to nantucket and mv for the same day.
kfitz is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 06:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,206
You may or may not be able to bring your rental car to either island- auto reservations are often filled months ahead of time - however, if you do not want to do a bus tour of either island, you might look into the difference between renting a car for the day when you arrive vs. the cost of bringing your car over and back IF you can even get a rezzie -

the other thing is to call and ask about jeep rentals - get the ones with the pass for beach driving - we just rented on Nantucket a few weeks ago so we could drive some friends who were with us and had never been not only all around the island, but to be able to take the jeep out on the sand of the beaches you are allowed to drive on -

The islands are crowded just like the Cape is crowded in the summer - and they will be worse on weekends, so I would suggest a midweek visit would be better -

Main Street in Nantucket - the shopping 'mecca' of the island, can be crowded - worse on some days than others, worse on rainy days and holidays and with day trippers on weekends -

Martha's Vineyard is the same, but more towns to choose from to walk around if shopping is an interest -

if not, both islands have quiet, areas of solitude and beautiful hikes -

MV is closer, if that timing matters -

do a search here on both islands and you will get all sorts of opinions on which is the best -



escargot is offline  
Jul 13th, 2008, 07:21 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 274
I am one who has always preferred the Vineyard. Nantucket is nice, and pretty, and I am glad I made a few trips there, but when I really want to enjoy a day I take the ferry over to the Vineyard. Both can be crowded, but I find the crowd a bit more fun and welcoming on the Vineyard. There is a ton to do there, for every type of person. I have gone over for fudge and ice cream as well as elegant evenings at fine dining. My advice is to leave the rantal car on the Cape. I have never had a car on the Vineyard... only once did we have a car and that was a rented limo for a birthday party. Walking is great in all the towns and there is a very affordable and convenient shuttle that brings you from town to town.

I know there are others who strongly prefer Nantucket... but my bias has always been with the Vineyard and she has never let me down.
Shandy1977 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 03:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,380
We're Nantucket lovers. We've found the island (and town) to have a unique character. The other factor, for a day trip, is the fact that you can see the town (the heart of the island) by walking. Easy on a day trip. Be a bit tough to do justice to Martha's Vineyard on a day-trip.
bookhall is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 03:31 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 196
I would contact the Chamber of Commerce to find out about the possiblity of renting a car .. Taking a car over is probably out of the question or very iffy at best .. Reservations go almost immeidately .. I think both islands are worth seeing .. MV has a bus that will take you all around the town as well as an island tour .. You might want to consider renting bikes as well .. and there is much to see and do when you get off the Island Queen or the Steamship .. Nantucket offers a nice island tour .. This is a beautiful island .. and you can see lots without renting a car by just taking the bus tour and walking around after getting off the boat .. We took the high speed and were there in an hour .. As beautiful as it is .. once every five years or so is fine .. I would say I think the Vineyard is a little more accessible .. and people friendly overall ..
mahs is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 03:52 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Okay, I live on Nantucket, so I am naturally prejudiced in our favor!

You will have to leave your car in a parking lot in Hyannis. You can't get a reservation now, and if you could, it would cost you $380 round trip for the car plus $33 per person!

Plan on taking the 8:00 Steamship Fast Ferry from Hyannis(cheaper and more reliable than the Hyline). You can see everything in town on foot. When you arrive, please get away from the Strip at the end of the ferry docks as quickly as possible. Bypass Main Street. Walk up Broad Street to Centre Street. Turn left and walk to the top of Main at the Pacific Bank. Save the shops for later.

Turn right onto Upper Main Street and walk through the historic district as far as the Three Bricks on your right. Turn left onto Pleasant Street. Walk down until you come to Moor's End, a very large brick house on the right with a brick walled garden.

Take the next left. Wander around the small streets until you come to Orange. Turn left on Orange, and walk back to Main.

Now you have seen something and can shop or go to the Historic Association museum, depending on your tastes.

For lunch, pick up a large deli sandwich and drink at Walter's at the end of the strip on Steamboat Wharf. Walk out South Beach Street past the yacht club and Lola 41 to a small street, Harbor View Way, turning right. This will take you to Children's Beach, where you can picnic under the trees, use the toilet, watch the kids, and enjoy the boat traffic.

After lunch, walk out the other end of Harbor View Way one short block to Easton Street. Turn left and walk out to the end of Brant Point, where you saw the lighthouse when you came into town on the ferry. Watch the boats come and go.

Walk back to the Steamship Wharf and catch the 3:45 fast ferry.

Ackislander is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 04:26 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 489
We have spent 12 summers vacationing in Wellfleet on the National Seashore which is our favourite spot on the Cape.

We never took a car to the Vineyard as it really isn't necessary. Yes, it's busy but definitely worth the effort. It's a quick trip - just about an hour which is why we chose it over Nantucket.

Enjoy your trip.
Royal is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 04:48 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 459
Thank you all for the great information!
beentheretwice is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 04:03 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 1,762
ACKislander - This is my 49th summer on the Cape and at the age of 49 I think it is time I venture to one of the islands for a day this August....I think we will follow your itinerary - thanks!
seafox is offline  
Jul 14th, 2008, 08:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 76
We're headed for a week in N Truro this w/e too. A day trip to either island would be a nice change of pace, but I'm with Shandy in that I prefer MV for the same reasons: a more fun welcoming crowd.
Having done both in the past a couple of times, I'm looking forward to just lounging in the lower cape area with no exursions this time.
JLBRN is offline  

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