Nantucket on a budget? It's not totally out of the question. Below you'll find some helpful tips for getting the most for your money.
Although a lot of visitors complain about the prices, there really is no place in the world quite like Nantucket. With miles and miles of beaches, breathtaking views, historic sites and beautifully preserved historic homes, museums and galleries, historic bed and breakfasts, cozy cafes and world-class restaurants, it is a place everyone needs to see at least once. And the good news is that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. You can enjoy the best Nantucket has to offer at reasonably affordable prices.
Here are some budget conscious suggestions for planning your visit!
1. CONSIDER AN OFF-SEASON VISIT
To take advantage of the best prices on hotels or bed and breakfasts. consider going off-season. Spring or fall is a great time to visit the island. We prefer going in September when the weather is beautiful, and the island is less crowded. Some restaurants may be closed, but most are open year round. Also, some of the guided tours may not be operating, but you can see almost everything worth seeing on your own.
2. GETTING THERE - AFFORDABLE OPTIONS
Although some airports have direct flights to Nantucket, the fares can be pretty pricey. You can always fly into Boston and take a small plane to the island, but that can still be pretty expensive and there are cheaper and more enjoyable options. We usually fly into Boston, take a shuttle to Hyannis, and then take a ferry to the island. It takes a little more time, but it is less expensive, the views from the ferry are breathtaking, and you don’t have to worry about flight delays in or out of the Nantucket airport due to bad weather. Fog is a frequent visitor to the island - there is a reason that Nantucket is known as the gray lady!
3. LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Plan to stay in the downtown area near the wharfs and harbor. Most of the bed and breakfasts, restaurants, shopping and historic sites will all be within walking distant.
4. ON-ISLAND TRANSPORTATATION
Don’t plan to bring a car. You can bring one over on a ferry, but that will set you back about $400. You can bring a bike for about $15 round trip, which will be far cheaper than renting one on the island. If you stay in the historic downtown area, almost everything is within walking distance, but for more remote excursions, renting a bike is preferable to renting a car or taking taxis. Nantucket has a great shuttle system that will get you just about anywhere you want to go for very reasonable prices, but it is seasonal and runs between May and early September, although there is some limited service through mid-October.
Nantucket luxury hotels are fabulous, but the rates can be pretty high. Prices are usually discounted in the off-season months, but probably still too expensive for most budget-conscious travelers.Hotel Savings Alert! Save up to 50% on Your Hotel with Travelocity.
Bed and Breakfasts / Inns
Some of the charming inns and beds and breakfasts have more affordable rates. These cozy, intimate accommodations are perfect for a romantic getaway. Many of them are former sea captains homes - what better way to experience the island. Most beds and breakfasts provide at least one meal, and some have evening receptions. To learn more about the best Nantucket Bed and Breakfasts, Click here!
There are lots of vacation rentals on the island. If you’re bringing your family, and intend to stay for a few days, you might want to consider this option. It is usually a lot less cheaper than the hotels, and you can prepare your meals at home and avoid the high-priced restaurants.
If you are traveling light and really want to save money, you might think about checking HI-Nantucket
6. EAT CHEAP
OK, maybe you can't eat cheap, but there are affordable options that won't strain your budget. Nantucket’s award winning restaurants and world class chefs make for some marvelous dining options, but they can be expensive! Take heart, there are plenty of other choices for great food at prices that should fit within your budget.
VHN Travel Tip: Many of the
restaurants are BYOB, so pick up a bottle at one of the island's liquor
stores or save money by bringing your favorite wine with you!
7. THINGS TO DO FOR FREE OR ALMOST FREE!
For those watching their budget, the best thing about Nantucket is that there are lots of fun and exciting things to do at little or no cost!
8. CONSIDER A DAY TRIP
Probably the best way to save a lot of money is to stay at a hotel or motel on the Cape and then ferry over and back for the day. But I really have a hard time recommending it, because once I get to Nantucket, I just don’t want to leave. Who wouldn't want to spend every possible moment in paradise?
Things to splurge on
Sunset Sailing Cruise
How can you pass up a 90 minute sunset sail around the harbor on the 14-seat Endeavor docked at the straight wharf? It's BYO cocktails and food. Prices vary, but it is worth every penny!
VHN Travel Trip: Nantucket isn't a "cheap" vacation destination by any means, but there are affordable options that will allow you to experience the best of Nantucket. Don't let the fear of high prices keep you away. The best things about Nantucket are FREE!
This is a must-see for all visitors to Nantucket! Great gift shop with unique gifts. Visit their website for more information.
Easy Street is one of our favorite "fast-food" restaurants. Fast, affordable, and family friendly.