Cape Cod/Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket

May 18th, 2010, 10:46 AM
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Cape Cod/Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket

We've never been to any of the above places. On another thread, we got this great advice about the Cape.....

"Weekdays are fine. We are always go to the Cape midweek & never have any problems. Rt 28 would be the most crowded. How many days depends on how many days you have & what you enjoy doing. Some people go for a whole week; we often times go for a night or two. The most beautiful part of the cape is the outer cape where the National Seashore is located. Go to towns such as Wellfleet, Truro & Provincetown. Brewster and Eastham are nice, too. You can spend all day at the beaches; the national seashore beaches are great, such as Herring Cove, Race Point & Head of the Meadow. Coast Guard Beach, Nauset & Marconi are very popular. These are ocean beaches. The bay beaches are warmer & calmer, such as Skaket Beach. You can rent bikes, go on a whale watch, play mini-golf, eat great seafood, shop. For shopping, Chatham & P'town are favorites. Brewster has lots of antique shops. If you have time for only an overnight, by all means go for one night. But stay longer if you have the time. One of our favoriate places is Inn at Duck Creek in Wellfleet. We love to have lunch at Bookstore Restaurant in Wellfleet overlooking Mayo Beach."

To which I replied:

"Are these "beach" towns -- lots of stores selling tubes and googles -- or are they "quaint" and "charming" towns (like Woodstock on the water)?

We can go for as long as makes sense -- meaning more than an overnight, but less than a week! We'll look into 3 or 4 days. Where would it make sense to stay (I know it's very expensive)?"

Anyway, we'd be coming after a few days in New Haven. Does one of these places make more sense than the others, from a logistical standpoint (we'd be flying into and out of Hartford)? Are they similar in "feel"? We like quaint towns, like Newport, or Lahaina, or Woodstock, as much for their architecture and history as for the shopping, although we like to poke around all the shops, too (for example, we LOVED the general store in Woodstock). We like walking on the beach, and sitting by the pool. We like eating good food, but not of the "break the bank" variety.

Any thoughts? This would probably be for 3-4 days in July or August (we'll be back east twice this summer, once in DC and once in New Haven)
sf7307 is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 10:51 AM
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what are tubes and googles?
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 11:29 AM
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Tubes = the little floatie things kids where in the pool.

Googles (sp. error) = swim goggles
sf7307 is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 11:30 AM
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OMG - "the little floatie things kids wear in the pool"!
sf7307 is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 12:24 PM
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Northern part of Cape along state route 6A, Sandwich to Brewster, is quaint. Lots of antique shops.

Southern part of Cape along State 28 is not. Decidedly.

From Bourne Bridge to Falmouth is extremely scenic in a very mild New England way, but only on the back roads. Many of these are not marked on regular road maps, but you can drive along the shore or closely parallel to it all the way to Woods Hole. Look for names like "Grey Gardens", "Quisset Harbor" on Google maps and figure out how to link them.

The Outer Cape (Chatham to Wellfleet) is generally attractive to very atractive, with good restaurants. Provincetown is a very strange combination of magnificent dunes and salt-water tatty. Yes, tatty. They probably have taffy, too.

Nantucket is gorgeous and has absolutely everything you want, but I live there, so I am prejudiced.

I like Edgartown and Oak Bluffs (esp the cottage colony) on the Vineyard and am in love with Menemsha, but I don't like Vineyard Haven.

With the exceptions above, these are not miniature golf and boardwalk type places.
Ackislander is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 12:34 PM
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If you like Newport and Woodstock you would love Nantucket. Edgartown on the Vineyard and Chatham or Wellfleet on the Cape would also work. If you have 3-4 days I'd either do the Cape with maybe a day trip to Nantucket, or I'd just pick one of the islands and stay there the whole time. My personal preference would be the islands.
wyatt92 is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 01:28 PM
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wyatt, what constitutes "the islands"?
sf7307 is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 01:50 PM
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Not wyatt, but Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are "the islands".
socialworker is offline  
May 18th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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Thanks! I would have guessed that, but never having been there....

Is it possible to get a decent hotel in Nantucket for under $400 a night in August (I've just been looking at TripAdvisor)?
sf7307 is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 03:11 AM
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Take a look at the inns on Centre Street, Fair Street, and Water Street. They are a few minutes walk from the center of everything and are mostly in historic buildings.

The seductively named Nantucket Inn is basically a motel at the airport but great for families because they have a nice indoor pool.

Sorry not to be more helpful, but since I live here, I don't stay in hotels or inns.
Ackislander is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 04:08 AM
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If you are thinking about the islands, and you intend to take a car, you need a ferry reservation NOW.
oliverandharry is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 05:21 AM
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But there is no reason to take a car for a week's visit unless you are renting a house out in the country.

If you can't get somewhere by bus, it is probably within walking distance.

You can get to: Sconset, Madaket, the airport, Surfside Beach, Jetties Beach, and pretty much anywhere mid-island by bus. You can walk from Centre Street to Brant Point or Children's Beach if you want to watch the boats go by.
You can take a van tour or rent or bring bikes to get still more places.

My guess is that the OP will be happy with exploring the streets behind Main Street (so quaint you will have to carry supplemental oxygen), shopping, and taking the bus to Sconset. Warning to diabetics: Sconset is so sweet that you should plan on extra medication. (If this is tasteless, I am diabetic, so it is tasteless without being insensitive).

I would recommend that anyone take a sailing excursion on the Endeavor, a Friendship sloop on Straight Wharf, and can recommend Just Do It II and the Herbert T for fishing expeditions.
Ackislander is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 06:24 AM
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Hi sf7307,
Several years ago we stayed at the Seven Sea Street Inn in Nantucket; it is very pretty, the breakfasts were great & it's in an excellent location. We walked there from the ferry landing, & walked everywhere in town. We rented bikes to ride around the island. You won't need a car.

I agree with Ackilsander about Rt 28 on the Cape. it is filled with hotels, motels, strip malls, restaurants, etc. Definitely not quaint. Rt 6A is quaint, very pretty & scenic, especially Brewster. As I said in a previous post, my favorite part of the Cape is the outer cape, from Wellfleet, through Truro to Provincetown. Eastham is nice, too, with the National Seashore Visitor Center.

Let us know what you decide to do!
Kwoo is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 07:41 AM
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A little driving info. Midweek Hartford to Provincetown is 3 hrs and 20 minutes. Yo said you liked Woodstock and Lahaina - Ptwon is the NE version - very eclectic, big mix of people, art galleries, clothing shops, junk stores etc. The Natonal Seashore is a National treasuer to be seen for sure! You can also do a whale watch and a dune tour to see the historic "shacks" Lot's to do for a couple of days - and the room prices are better than the islands!
seafox is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 10:29 AM
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Ackislander, what town is this particular Main Street in -- Sconset? And where is that -- island or Cape?
sf7307 is offline  
May 19th, 2010, 10:38 AM
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Sconset is on Nantucket Island
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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As you can see, you have lots of choices, at least it seems that way until you actually contact places to see if there is vacancy! Here's a choice that we have made in the past and that works well for us. We like to stay in a quiet, luxurious but not impersonal B+B's, in a central location for visiting other villages, shopping beaches and nature walks. We have chosen the Fort Hill Bed and Breakfast in the National Seashore in Eastham time and time again because it feels like Cape the best sense of the place.

Eastham is very convenient, not JUST for the beaches, although the beaches are superb, but because it is so central to several other towns that typify Cape Cod. Provincetown, Chatham, and Hyannis are all 20-30 minutes away. These popular villages are more commercial that others on the outer cape but if you are looking for shopping, then they are great places to spend some time. Hyannis also has high speed ferries to Nantucket and MV if you decide to take a day trip or split you trip into two segments. Orleans and Wellfleet are 5-10 minutes from Eastham and offer boutiqe shopping, fine dining and art galleries galore. The Cape Cod Naitonal Seashore Visitor's Center is in Eastham as well as a host of historic home tours, an abundance of walking trails, scenic views and museums. Keep in mind that the National Park has preserved about half of the outer cape land (from Eastham to Provincetown) and prevented the commercialization of the shore. If you like long walks on deserted stretches of pristine beach with dunes at your back and nothing but sea and sand, then base your selves where you have easy access to the National Seashore.
yellowbyrd is offline  
May 20th, 2010, 09:26 AM
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Fantastic info, thank you yellowbyrd (and everyone else -- I never had any "feel" for these places, and now I believe I'm starting to get one).
sf7307 is offline  
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