Nantucket lies south of Hyannis Port, southeast of Marthas
Vineyard and 30 miles off Cape Cod. Nantucket residents
take pride in their quaint yet bustling island town and
are well known for their hospitable, friendly ways and
their outgoing lifestyles. For transportation, a mere
one to two hour ferry ride takes you away from Hyannis
to Nantucket where the islands pristine and beautiful
beaches line the shore of this popular seaside circuit.
The atmosphere in Nantucket is casual yet still pulsing
as people bustle around town, shopping,
dining, at the beach or enjoying one of the fun festivals
celebrated in town.
Nantucket Island is lined by fabulous beaches which can be found all around the island and remain the biggest and most loved attraction of the town. Amenities such as restrooms, equipment rentals, showers, parking and lifeguards on duty are found on most Nantucket Island beaches. Nantucket Island family oriented beaches include Jetties Beach, Children's Beach and Dionis. The other beaches on Nantucket Island include Siasconset, Madaket, Cisco and Miacomet and they're all noted for their heavy surf and almost all are accessible by paved bike paths.
The Nantucket ferry system is easy to use and there
are three different Nantucket ferry lines servicing the
island every day. There is no bridge connecting the mainland
to the island. Nantucket ferry services include fast and
slow service. Fast service with Steamship Authority takes
roughly an hour while traditional ferry service (slow)
takes just over two hours. Hy-Line Cruises is a family
owned and operated ferry company servicing Nantucket Island
for over 35 years. They too offer fast and slow ferry
service and their slow ferry service makes it in about
and hour and 45 minutes. Freedom Cruise line is the third
Nantucket ferry service and has fast service to the island
High speed ferry services vary from $48-$61 for adults per round-trip while traditional services vary from $28-$30 for adults round-trip. Children's fees are less and rates for kids under 5 and for pets are free. Reservations are highly recommended, especially during the busy summer season and can be made by contacting the ferry lines directly.
The Nantucket Wine Festival is an anticipated event
that's been running annually for the last ten years
and usually takes place in May. The Nantucket Wine festival
focuses on wine and food and a number of events are held
throughout the town. The festival begins with the Opening
Reception and features wine and food seminars, a Winemaker
Symposia, Celebrity Chef and Wine Auction, Dinner and
Winery Lunches and more. The Nantucket Wine Festival holds
the Grand Tasting at the Yacht Club in the highest esteem
with four 2-hour sessions, one on the Saturday and the
other on Sunday. This event is costly but definitely worth
it if you're a wine aficionado. Single session tastings
are available for those who would only like to taste for
The best time to visit the island is in the autumn season when crowds disperse
and humid summer days evolve into crisp cool ones. If
you like to avoid crowds than this is the best time. If
you prefer the dog-days of summer and want to kick out
on the beach, go sailing and enjoy the sun than summer
is the time for you. Just make sure that you are reservation-ready
because there's definitely stiff competition this
time of year!
Nantucket has so much to offer its visitors and guests and has remained a loved island destination for both locals and tourists for many, many years. The combinations of shopping and dining, culture and history, beautiful beaches and water, festivals and events and considerate, easygoing locals makes enjoying island life on Nantucket a breeze.
Top image: mariagilbert (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0