-- Nantucket OR Martha's Vineyard ??? --

Jun 20th, 2009, 09:53 AM
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-- Nantucket OR Martha's Vineyard ??? --

am visiting cape cod for two weeks this summer and want to do a day trip to one of the above. staying in brewster...two able bodied grandparents, husband, myself, and two boys 12 and 14.

wanting to do just a day trip, know to do fast ferry, not planning on renting a car on the island (have one on cape cod)...not too inclined to want to rent bikes for this day trip either. wanting to get a taste of the place, no big plans, hear the whaling museum is great? interested more in nature than shopping! also, ease of doing this as a day trip, and appreciate advice on that as well, i gather i should make advanced reservations. looking at midweek after the fourth of july. great casual lunch tips, too?

what gets your vote, don't think my 'crew' will be up for the hassles of doing both this year, and i might add, we have never been to either!

mmmooommm is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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The Vineyard has small busses that take you from place to place and maybe that do a tour of the island, but I'm not sure about that. It is much bigger than Nantucket. Both have nice beaches, but that would mean bringing beach stuff and finding a place to change and getting to the beach an back without a car.
emalloy is online now  
Jun 20th, 2009, 03:37 PM
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For a daytrip, I think Nantucket is better. The ferry drops you right in Town and there's a beach nearby as well.
wyatt92 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2009, 03:47 PM
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They are different in culture and size. You could take the Freedom Ferry from Harwich to Nantucket, rather than traveling to Hyannis or Wood's Hole. Free parking. One town, easy 1 hour island tour to see the rest of it, lots of restaurants in town to choose from. Wonderful Whaling museum. Nice day trip.

MV has a fast ferry from either Hyannis (Hy-Line) or 45- min ferry from Wood's Hole (1 hour drive from Brewster). 6 towns on the island, Oak Bluff's where most of the ferries go into is a Victorian beach town, Edgartown is the lovely sea captain's town. I don't know if there is a choice, but the long island tour including Aquinnah is too much rural driving for me, I would get a day pass on the public bus system and do Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. It is about twice the size of Nantucket. Forget the beaches, you have plenty on Cape Cod.
charli is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 02:40 AM
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Naturally, I think Nantucket (ACK) meets your needs best. But then, I am prejudiced.

I agree on the Freedom Ferry so long as the times meet your needs and the sea is not rough. Otherwise, the Steamship Fast Ferry is reliable. The Hy-Line fast ferry is slightly more luxurious and arrives at Straight Wharf, but it costs more and my experience mirrors their advertising "Nantucket in about an hour," with the "about" stretching some distance but never meaning early.

The Whaling Museum is just off Steamboat Wharf, across the street from the Juice Bar, which has fabulous, if expensive ice cream. Just up Broad Street is the Brotherhood of Thieves, which has a nice patio for lunch and is family friendly. If you want something even more casual, I would recommend sandwiches from Provisions on Straight Wharf. One will feed two, and you can sit on a bench on the docks and enjoy a picnic. Turkey Terrifics on Portugese are my favorite. If you want to sit down and eat fish on a beautiful day, go to the end of Straight Wharf for the Ropewalk. Do not eat at Captain Tobey's or the Tavern.

Be sure you get beyond the shops on Main Street. If you continue up Main beyond the Pacific Bank, you will see the houses built by rich merchants from their profits in the Whaling trade. Turn left at Pleasant and continue to Moor's End, the big brick house on a corner, surrounded by a brick wall. This used to be the edge of town. Turn left into any of the little lanes and work your way back to Fair Street and then to Orange Street. These lanes were the dwellings of prosperous working people in the 19th century, carpenters and shipwrights. When you get back to Orange, you are among the houses of wealthy ship captains. Turn left to pass the Unitarian Church and return to Main.

You can take a tour, or you can take one of the minibuses for a few dollars each way to Sconset or to one of the beaches. Then home. With another ice cream from the Juice Bar.
Ackislander is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 04:52 AM
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great recommendations everyone, i think we will do nantucket, just seems perfect!! and the info about the ferry and what to do once i get there is so helpful!

sounds like a perfect day!
mmmooommm is offline  
Jun 21st, 2009, 07:30 PM
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A very helpful thread...be spending a week in Cape Cod on August and planning to visit MV. A bit torn at first with Nantucket but will now definitely choose MV. Still have to decide on which ferry to take though.
frestonia is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 03:34 AM
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yes, the ferry is confusing, this info and the book i have should help me. everyone says the 'fast ferry', but seems there are several. freedom vs. hyline vs. steamship. and, several places to leave from...staying in brewster. advice? i am sure it will all make sense when i get there! good luck, frestonia, have a great trip!
mmmooommm is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 04:33 AM
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"not planning on renting a car on the island (have one on cape cod)..."

I haven't been there for awhile so I don't know if it's changed, but with your comment above, you should realize that if you are planning to take your Cape Cod car over to the islands, you need a reservation, and most of the car/ferry reservations go to people who own a place on the islands and reserve it up to a year in advance.
just FYI.
GBelle is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 04:57 AM
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Interesting responses!
I lead some of the bus tours on the Cape, during the fall season- and the tour company has us take the ferry from either Woods Hole, or Falmouth's Island Queen, for a day trip.
The Vineyard is much lareger than Nantucket, and it is amazing to me that their is so little one can see- a very agricultural island, most of the large, homes are down small sandy roads, that not even the small M.V. buses witht their tour gui=des can get into. Acquinnah is beautiful, but staring out to sea one can do on the ocean without dribing an hour and having to take the ferry to boot. The Campground, in Oak Bluffs, is much fun- but unless your ferry comes into or goes out of Oak Bluffs (and it depends upon the weather- most go into Vineyard Havn, and go out of Oak Bluffs, and little bus will drop you off their after your tour of the island.
Of course, the buses are not allowed into the campground, which is the most interesting spot- so one walks there. That, I feel will be the most interesting part of your day trip.
Edgartown is where you shop, perhaps visit the Old Whaling Church, and see the old Sea CAptains homes. and the Harbor.
Nantucket, I feel is much more conducive to a day trip!
capecodshanty is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2009, 06:24 AM
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good grief, forgive the typos!!
capecodshanty is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 04:40 AM
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no, gbelle, i am not taking my car over, thanks, for the tip, though.

and ccshanty, i will follow your advice about choices other than hyannis for leaving to nantucket.

does sound like nantucket is an easier deal...esp. for a day trip!
mmmooommm is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 06:32 AM
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I don't know about the comment that ferries mostly going into Vineyard Haven - I always pick people up at Oak Bluffs and have never had the ferry change to dock in VH instead - but maybe I have just been lucky ! I would say look at both islands and consider what you and the two teenage boys are gong to best enjoy.

Both islands offer you :
town to walk in from the ferry with plenty of shops, restaurants, ice cream shops, and beaches within walking distance and boats in the harbors/marina - Nantucket's Main St is certainly more high end than Oak Bluffs stores in MV and Edgartown in MV is more like Main Street ( and is easily accessible by the bus that constantly runs between the two or a taxi)

Both have fabulous island transit bus systems that are inexpensive and can take you out to a lighthouse or another area - ( you can look these tours up online, or for example, in MV you would take the bus from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown, walk that area, down to Chappy, the small Chappy ferry, lighthouse, etc) or do a bus tour -

Nantucket also has the stores all along the Nantucket Boat Basin, but I can not imagine a 12 and 14 year old boy being happy either strolling through those or through downtown Main Street for long - so I agree if you choose Nantucket, get that part over with, and if you are a good strong walker, ( and remember sturdy shoes on the cobblestones here)
get out of Main St as ACKislander suggested and explore side streets) and walk to the right along the shore to Jettie's beach are and back for a good walk, and do the Whaling Museum. Or take the bus tour, the boys might enjoy that. They would probably most like eating on one of the restaurants like Straight Wharf right on the water -Acklislander gave you all fabulous restaurant recs - you could take the bus out to Siasconset and eat at the Summer House by the pool which overlooks the ocean, but I think it is a long way and the boys would be bored with that ( no pool swimming unless guests but you could walk onto beach but would have nothing like at Jettie's to sit on -

if they do want to swim for an hour, and you want to rest, go to Jettie's beach, you can rent chairs and umbrellas and sit comfortably for an hour enjoying it - they can swim - there are showers and changing rooms if they bring a backpack with shorts, etc - they have covered deck area where they serve lunch ( sandwiches, salads, fruit, burgers, grill food, most everything)

If you went to MV, whether you land in Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven there is an easy connecting bus and/or taxi: both have shops, restaurants, etc - in OB you can walk through the Campgrounds = historical and interesting - read about it on their webiste
www.mvcma.org - walk the "hill" of Circuit Ave shops, restaurants, and down to the green, the ocean, beach, lagoon - if you are walkers you can walk down to the bridge where they filmed Jaws and most teens love saying they jumped off that bridge - or take a taxi -
Go to Edgartown, the higher end town , all shops, galleries, museum, straight to the water's edge to Chappy Ferry - ( the "on time" ferry) that takes one minute to cross to Chappy the boys can go as walk ons just for fun while you sit on dock/ covered deck sitting area sipping a cold drink -

this gives you many examples of Vineyard homes - all the old whaling captain homes in Edgartown ( walk the side streets too) and all the huge Victorian "painted ladies" of Oak Bluffs that surround the green and side streets -

On a day trip I would not send anyone up island to Aquinnah and the clay cliffs unless that was a dream of theirs to see and to walk the beach and see the clay cliffs, the lighthouse, etc up close - or unless you were to rent a car of willing to do the bike/moped thing - along the way is Menemsha and several other stops, but more time would be needed, just like there are all those fabulous places in Nantucket to walk/explore but you'd need more time.
escargot is offline  
Jun 23rd, 2009, 07:07 AM
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We had a fun day on Nantucket. We went to Jetties Beach and then went sailing on the Endeavor. The Even Keel Cafe was a good spot for dinner.
volcanogirl is offline  
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