You need to check a map. Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket are islands off the Massachusetts coast, reachable only by plane or ferry. It really isn't practical to even discuss doing both in one day. While you can do daytrips from the mainland, you would only get to see small parts of either island, so we need to know what you really want to see or do there. If this is only to say you've been there, I guess that doable, but I'm not sure it makes the best use of your time or money.
Alanm, thanks for your input. I guess my first sentence was a little confusing; I'm aware of where Cape Cod is. We are actually going to Niagara Falls, then across NY, VT, NH and Maine to Bar Harbor, then down the coast to Portland, Boston, Plymouth, Cape Cod, then Mystic, CT. It's going to be a long trip. I would like to see Martha's Vinyard, or Nantucket or both as well as Cape Cod. If we only have time for one, which would be the best... Martha's Vinyard or Nantucket?
Hi wanderlo - that's some trip you have planned, sounds great.
I definitely would chose MV over Nantucket if you just can visit one of the islands. For one thing it's closer so the ferry ride is shorter and less expensive, you can actually see MV from the Cape. If you're only going for a day trip I would advise you to take a sightseeing tour as soon as you get off the ferry. Even if you're staying over night I'd still recommend the sightseeing tour as it's the best way to see MV for the first time.
Let us know if we can further help you.
MV2 thank you. I've ordered a MV vacation packet. I hope it lists the tour companies. Someone said the bus service on MV is good, or you can rent a vehicle, but the tour service idea sounds like our best bet. We will just go for the day, then the next day, we will try to visit Nantucket. Again, thank you for your help.
The best way to see the islands is to go to Hyannis. Take the www.hy-linecruises.com from Hyannis to Nantucket and spend the night. Then take the afternoon ferry from Nantucket to MV. Then you can take one of the bus tours that leave from the ferry parking lots to see MV. You can then spend the night on MV and go back to Hyannis the next day. You will be very tired and you will not get to see everything. MV is twice the size of Nantucket. To do everything that you stated should take about 2 weeks. If you are doing it in less time, then you should try to cut something out. Good luck and enjoy your trip.
Thanks mvvisitor. If we decide to just go to Nantucket or MV, which one do you think would be the best? They must both be lovely.
I love the Vineyard, wanderlo, but I always recommend Nantucket for those who are planning a day trip or overnight because there's more (and more unique) within close proximity/easy access to the docks... just leave your car parked on the mainland and hop on a ferry. I prefer the Freedom Cruise Line's fast ferry that sails out of Harwich Port -- free parking for day-trippers, great staff, and you avoid the traffic/congestion in Hyannis, although that won't be as bad in September as in the height of the season
Nantucket's Whaling Museum was recently renovated, and although small, it's well-done & offers insight into this fascinating and distinctly New England piece of history:
Some other non-shopping or beachgoing things to see/do on Nantucket:
*Nantucket Life-Saving Museum
*an over-the-sand-and-dunes SUV tour of the Cosckata-Coatue Wildlife sanctuary:
* surfing lesson, even for rank beginners:
HAVE FUN :-)
Thanks CockleCove for all the websites. I had read about the Whaling Museum in some of my literature and had decided to go there if we go to Nantucket. The sand dunes SUV tour sounds like fun as well. Is there a difference from the fast ferry leaving from Harwich Port and the fast ferry leaving from Hyannis? This trip is going to be such a long one, I'm leaning towards just visiting Nantucket this time, and possibly catching MV on the next East Coast trip.
There's no substantial difference between the fast ferry out of Hyannis and the one which leaves from Harwich Port. The Freedom Cruise Line (Harwich Port) has, in the past, priced its fares a bit lower than the Hy-line (Hyannis); its ferry is smaller; the trip a tad longer. My preference is based on the fact that I think the Freedom Cruise people are really terrfiic, and speaking candidly, I avoid Hyannis whenever possible. Not that it's a bad town, it just doesn't "speak" to me whereas I like the Harwiches.
Your decision is most likely to be "driven" by the remainder of your plans for the Cape. E.g., if you'll be staying west or just outside of Hyannis, then it makes sense to make Hyannis your point of departure, but if you'll be staying further out, then Harwich Port will be more convenient (as it is for me 'cause I've been renting the same house in Chatham for a number of years).
One thing to be aware of (if you've not already discovered it): September is now popular enough that many places, especially on Nantucket & the Vineyard, still have their minimum stay requirement in place that month (and even through the Columbus Day holiday weekend). So those contemplating a stay of just 1 night are best off planning to arrive early-midweek.
CockleCove, I've looked at the websites for the ferries. They both seemed OK to me. The times were similar, but the price for the Harwich ferry was cheaper. From everything I've read, Hyannis has a lot of traffic. We'll probably stay in Harwich Port or Chatham and use Freedom Cruise Line. I'm looking at places to stay now. Thanks for all the help you've given me.