Imagine your holiday celebration means gathering for a family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. It’s the perfect escape to a luxury rental property, perhaps a charming waterfront home that can accommodate everyone.
But there’s one sticking point before you book it - which is better, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket?
The good news is both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are fantastic island communities. The bad news is that’s what makes the choice difficult.
So, let’s compare the islands and luxury holiday rentals in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket so you can decide for yourself which is better.
Which is Better, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket?
At first glance, these two islands seem similar. Both are islands off Cape Cod with beautiful beaches, fresh seafood, and a historic New England vibe. Each has vibrant arts and culture and is family friendly. You can reach either one by boat or by air, and tourism peaks in summer.
But there are distinct differences between the two.
What is Martha’s Vineyard Like?
For starters, Martha’s Vineyard is almost twice the size of Nantucket. It has three main towns, each with unique character and charm. This gives visitors a range of attractions and activities that suit all ages and interests.
“The Vineyard” gets a lot more tourists than Nantucket since it’s only 9 miles off the coast and ferries are more accessible. They run from several ports in Cape Cod and Massachusetts, as well as Rhode Island, and New York.
The island’s terrain is lush with rolling hills and steep cliffs,with public beaches in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. (There are other beaches, too, that may require a parking permit.) You’ll also find whimsical, colorful Victorian cottages in Edgartown.
Finally, attire in Martha’s Vineyard is casual and understated. Vineyard Vines is a great place to get the latest preppy outfits for the whole family.
What is Nantucket Like?
By comparison, Nantucket has a single cobblestone-paved town where most of the quaint shops and restaurants are located.
The attire is a bit more formal in Nantucket: Men typically wear “Nantucket Reds” shorts with a collared shirt, and women favor Lily Pulizer dresses. The Nantucket social scene attracts industry leaders who you might find at a country club.
The island of Nantucket is flat, so you can see most everything from the road. In fact, the highest point in Nantucket (Sankaty Light) is just 11 feet above sea level!
Most of the homes and buildings in Nantucket have (by regulation) weathered-gray shingles. The rose-covered fishing cottages on the eastern end of the island in Siasconset are especially picturesque.
Though there are fewer beaches on Nantucket, all are open to the public. However, Nantucket is known as the “Grey Lady” because beaches may stay foggy all day - so plan some alternatives to the beach.
Finally, visitors who want to bring a car to Nantucket should book the ferry several months in advance, since it fills up quickly.
Luxury Holiday Rentals in Martha’s Vineyard
While both islands cater to a higher budget, because Martha’s Vineyard is so much bigger than Nantucket, it’s easier to find luxury holiday rentals.
For instance, when booking luxury holiday rentals in Martha’s Vineyard for a large family, you might consider expansive accommodations like Lightside in Vineyard Haven.
This 7-bedroom home overlooks Nantucket sound and sleeps 15. In addition, the property has 4 baths and a wing with a new kitchen and eating area. A large lawn surrounds this charming rental, making it perfect for children who love outdoor play.
Another example of a luxury holiday rental in Martha’s Vineyard is The Captain Morse House in Edgartown. This historic but fully renovated luxury property is outfitted with 11 bedrooms, a sleep loft, seven full baths on three floors, and more. It even has a game room and a gourmet kitchen. Located near the harbor, there’s plenty for families to do within walking distance.
Luxury Holiday Rentals in Nantucket
Likewise, luxury holiday rentals in Nantucket dot the island in the characteristic weathered-gray shingle exterior.
For example, you’ll find 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom cottages in the heart of Nantucket at resorts from Inspirato. These family-friendly accommodations with full-kitchens are steps from the beach, restaurants, and ferry terminal.
Or, select from luxury vacation homes with a private pool, golf range, or movie theatre. Some of these offerings from Fisher Real Estate are over-the-top and sure to impress guests.
Just be sure to book any luxury holiday rentals early because there is limited availability on Nantucket.
Final Thoughts on Luxury Holiday Rentals in Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket
Both the Cape Cod island communities of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket are spectacular, with offerings to make any holiday rental memorable--especially when you select from the best luxury vacation rentals possible.