Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket: two sister islands off the shores of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, separated by less than 20 nautical miles. While both make for great vacation destinations, locals know that there are several key differences between the neighboring Islands.
Here's why we think the Vineyard is the best choice for your Island getaway:
Nantucket is only about 48 square miles and has just one town and a village, while Martha's Vineyard has six towns spanning nearly 100 square miles. The Vineyard is twice as big, so as you might expect, there is more to do. Each of the six towns has its own unique personality, and traveling from one to the next is a relative breeze.
Anyone who has spent time on both islands knows that the topography is actually quite different. Both have great beaches, but Nantucket is almost completely flat. Martha's Vineyard has several different geographic regions. Depending on which "corner" of the Island you are in, you might feel like you are in the rolling hills of Vermont, on the beaches of Cape Cod, in a historic whaling village or in the agricultural farmlands of Connecticut. With so much to offer, the Vineyard ensures that you'll never get bored.
Let's be honest, neither Island is "cheap." But Martha's Vineyard is far more affordable than Nantucket. In 2015, the median sales price for real estate on the Vineyard was $650,000 compared to about $1,500,000 for Nantucket. The greater variety of real estate and pricing options makes the Vineyard affordable to more people, and helps to cultivate its more relaxed, "down-to-earth" atmosphere.
Martha's Vineyard is much closer to the mainland than Nantucket, allowing for shorter and more frequent ferry trips to the Island for foot passengers and vehicles.
For example, the Steamship Authority's summer schedule offers six traditional ferry rides from Cape Cod to one Nantucket port throughout the day; its summer schedule for Martha's Vineyard has 14 time options serving two ports on the Island. The traditional ferry ride from Cape Cod to Martha's Vineyard takes about 45 minutes, while it takes 2 hour and 15 minutes to get to Nantucket.
To put it simply: Martha's Vineyard is just more fun! Whether you are looking for a vacation spot to enjoy with the family, a romantic escape, or something in between, this is an amazing place to buy or rent property. The atmosphere is lighthearted and relaxed, and there are so many great dining, shopping, water sports, and entertainment options, not to mention the beautiful beaches and rolling coastline.
Maybe you'll even bump into someone famous while you're here - in recent years, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Meg Ryan, Michael J. Fox, Bill Murray, Billy Joel, Carly Simon, Cam Neely, Ray Allen and both the Clinton and Obama families have vacationed on Martha's Vineyard!