When traveling to Nantucket, one needs to take either a Nantucket ferry or a plane. My dad has often said that one of the reasons Nantucket is so nice is because “there’s a moat around it.” This is, of course, just one opinion. However, the fact remains that there is no bridge providing easy access to the island, which seems to keep the riff raff out while at the same time drawing a group of people who can see Nantucket for the beautiful, unique place that it is. Those of us who have decided to return again and again feel rather strongly about preserving Nantucket as a little oasis. Even so, it appears to be the best kept secret that everybody seems to know.
With this in mind, planning a trip to Nantucket involves a bit of strategizing. Not sure how Mapquest might attempt to direct you there, but I have seen firsthand the sweeping areas of blue that cover the GPS attached to our dashboard when we’re driving out to Great Point. In other words, there’s a whole lot of water between the mainland and paradise.
So I decided over the course of a few posts to outline some of the traveling options by way of sea. Much of your decision might ultimately be based on how long you are staying and whether or not you are bringing a car, but still, it’s nice to have a few insider tips up your sleeve so you can navigate the Hyline or Steamship Authority with as little stress as possible. Because trust me, if you show up to either of those places on a Saturday in August, get ready to experience a Times Square sized-crowd with an aggression level to match.
I have spent the past 30 years traveling to and from Nantucket, and therefore I feel comfortable appointing myself as an expert, so to speak, in terms of the various ferries, the best places to sit on those ferries, what to bring and not to bring, what the dog and kid situation is like, how to get on fast, how to make the most of your money, what to eat and drink, and almost any other detail you can throw at me. This might sound a little dizzying, but believe me, the end result of spending some time on lovely Nantucket Island will make it all worth your while.
Stay tuned for my next post about the Hyline fast ferry, also known as The Grey Lady, which is certainly one of the nicer ways to travel to Nantucket. So make your reservations in advance, show up at the ferry on time, and sit back and enjoy the ride.