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Welcome to another post of helping a reader travel! As I’ve mentioned before, I have not been to every destination (unfortunately), but do get questions from friends and other blog readers on all sort of travel destination questions. Thus far, we’ve been able to help other readers travel to Maui, The Greek Islands, The Pacific Coast Highway, Argentina, and Costa Rica.
So this weeks travel destination includes Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard. I received the following email from reader Kristen:
“My husband and I are thinking of doing a long weekend trip to the islands off of Cape Cod, but we do not know which one to go to – Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard. Which one is easiest to get to? Any recommended hotels or B&Bs? Is one island more worthwhile then the other? Or would you just recommend staying in Cape Cod instead of using it at a launching point to the islands?
This sounds like a great long weekend getaway! I actually have spent a lot of time in Cape Cod, but have never visited the islands (except when I was little and have zero recollection)! I will give you my thoughts, but will still need help from other readers out there!
My personal thought is that the further out you go in the Cape, the more “Capey” it gets (not sure if Capey is a word, but I use it often!). I spent a long weekend in South Yarmouth last year and wrote about the hotel in this trip review of Blue Rock Golf Resort. Other than that, I’ve spent a majority of my time in Mashepee as my grandparents lived their for 20 years. This is only 30 minutes over the bridge, and would recommend going further out for a vacation. If driving, make sure to take into consideration Cape traffic as it can get brutal. There are only two bridges (Sagamore and Bourne) to get you to the Cape and they can both get pretty packed entering on a summers Friday night or leaving on a summer Sunday. From my experience, the Bourne bridge is worse with traffic then the Sagamore. The Cape really is great, but be prepared for some expensive summer hotel rates! If you can go mid-week, you will get a much better deal. The Chatham Bars Inn is a great hotel, but with a high ticket price!
Ferries to the Islands:
Martha’s Vineyard: There are many boats that can take you to this island. Martha’s Vineyard is also a relatively large island, so you will have to find out which part of the island you want to end up in based on where you are staying. Since this island is closest to the Cape it is much easier for a day trip with the ferry ride only taking about 45 minutes (from Woods Hole that is). You can take ferries from: Woods Hole (Falmouth), Hyannis, New Bedford, Nantucket, and Quonset, Rhode Island (seasonally). However, if you are looking to bring a car then Woods Hole is your only option. If you do not need a car, pick the ferry that works best from where you are coming from. For example, if coming from New Jersey, leaving from Rhode Island will be your best option. You can read more about the Martha’s Vineyard ferry options here. Also, the launching point of Woods Hole is a really cool area as well with some great restaurants overlooking the water. There is also great bike path starting in Woods Hole and ending in North Falmouth. The bike path is now 10 miles each way. Although I have not been on this path for awhile, it was a favorite activity growing up!
Nantucket: This is a smaller island and more walkable without a car. There are a few different launching off points to get to this island as well: Hyannis (fast ferry takes about an hour, where the slow ferry is about 2.5 hours) and Harwich Port (free parking if you are just going for the day). You can read more about these ferry options here.
Flying to the islands:
On the mainland, you can fly into Hyannis or Provincetown airport. There is also an airport on Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Cape Air services all four of these airports, but will probably require a connecting flight in Boston, Providence, pr New York Westchester. Luckily, most of the major airlines partner with Cape Air making a connecting flight easy to book.
JetBlue has a direct operated flight to Nantucket from Boston and JFK. Delta also has a direct flight to both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket direct from JFK.
If you’ve been to The Cape or the Islands before, let’s help out reader Kristen by commenting below. Also, if you have any upcoming travel where you need some help, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be a featured “Help a Reader Travel” Monday special. Thanks!