It may still be February, but you may find yourself daydreaming about a fun-filled family vacation in Nantucket already. And you are probably right on time if you want to get early bookings of a preferred short-term rental residence as well as ferry tickets for the dates you prefer.
The island of Nantucket, which has become known as a beloved destination for the wealthy and celebrities, is still a place where you can go to have a more affordable family vacation.
How to reach Nantucket?
It is easily accessible via the Steamship Authority or Hy-Line ferries from Hyannis Port in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
The most budget-friendly way to get to Nantucket is via the traditional ferry of the Steamship Authority, especially if you decide to leave your car behind. A round trip ticket for you will cost you about $39, and you will need to pay $20 for kids aged from 5 and up to 12.
The trip via the Hy-Line Cruise passenger-only ferry is faster and will take only an hour, which can be a better choice if your children tend to get impatient when traveling.
Where to stay?
The most expensive part of a family vacation on this New England Island is, no doubt, the accommodation. There are various luxurious hotels. The cheapest ones you can find can cost a minimum of $175 per bed per night, and this is with a shared bath. There are double rooms which can cost $650 and more.
To make your vacation more affordable, you can select one of the many fabulous short-term residential rentals available throughout Nantucket. For the best prices, you can book your stay during the shoulder season rather than the peak of the summer. This means renting a home or other residence in the months of May, June, September, or October. Or you can consider sharing the rent with friends and save up money too.
The earlier you book – the better the price offers you are likely to get.
Once you get to Nantucket, you can begin enjoying one of the most unforgettable vacations and hit the beaches, swim or surf in the warm waters, enjoy sailing, cycling, or other island-based fun.
Here are some of the child-friendly places and activities you can try out while vacationing in Nantucket with your family.
The critter cruise
Take the children on board the Monomoy Point for an hour-long fun-filled critter cruise. Your children can enjoy cruising around the harbor, as well as catching and handling crabs, lobsters, and other critters at the touch tank on board.
The ice cream harbor cruise
If your kids are not into touching and dealing with crawling critters, you can take them onboard one of the boats of Shearwater Excursions for an unforgettable ice cream cruise. You can enjoy the shoreline views along with creamy ice cream and other frozen desserts from the iconic Juice Bar in Nantucket.
Sail on the Endeavor
This is the oldest operating certified sailing charter in Nantucket. You can take a day trip, a sunset trip, or book a private one for your family. The experienced captain Jim will keep you and the children entertained with some incredible stories of the island. There is even a Pirate Hunter Adventure with Ravens Walk’s Robin on the Endeavor.
The beaches are no doubt the number one attraction on the island of Nantucket. With over 80 miles of them, some are more suitable for families with little children than others.
We recommend Children’s Beach as the best option for small kids. It is on the north shore near town and has warm and calm waters, plus a number of child-friendly amenities.
There is a large playground, a grassy space, a snack shack, a beach toy shop, restrooms, and lifeguards on this family-friendly beach.
The Whaling Museum
This is not simply a place to go on a rainy day but one of the top-rated attractions in Nantucket. Your children will be fascinated by the gigantic skeleton of a sperm whale hanging from the ceiling of the museum. There are also various exhibits, pictures, and films that will help the children learn about the island’s history, the whaling industry, and all of this intriguing stuff.
The museum is located in downtown Nantucket and is set up in a renovated whale oil factory from the 1840s. It has a roof terrace where you can enjoy a view of the harbor after exploring the museum.
The Old Mill
There is an Old Mill in Nantucket, which is possibly the oldest functioning one of this type. Based on the iconic Holland windmills, this Old Mill was built centuries ago and still can mill corn.
Take a tour with the children to show them how windmills work, and you will combine an exciting and educational attraction with your family vacation to-do list.
Enjoy Town Pool
You and your children alike will no doubt have fun playing some mini-golf or taking photos in the zero-gravity room at Town Pool in Nantucket. Despite its name, Town Pool is a popular shop and not a swimming pool. But there are various attractions which will keep your children busy and happy there.