A Travel Price Comparison for Massachusetts Martha's Vineyard vs. Nantucket for Food, Resorts, Couples, and Beaches

Should you visit Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Martha's Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard is a peaceful, affluent, and coastal island. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include shopping, food, and beaches.

Nantucket

Nantucket is a upscale, charming, and serene island. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Nantucket than Martha's Vineyard, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Nantucket is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, historical sights, and hiking, while Martha's Vineyard is more popular for its resorts. Martha's Vineyard is well known for its natural beauty, charming New England towns, and upscale local shopping. Nantucket is well known for its pristine beaches, upscale atmosphere, and history of whaling. Also, Nantucket is famous for Great Point Lighthouse.

How is Martha's Vineyard different from Nantucket?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

Nantucket is a good destination for its historical sights. However, Martha's Vineyard is not known for its sights and museums.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Nantucket. There are several museums around town that educate visitors on the island's whaling history and maritime past.

Martha's Vineyard offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. There are a couple of local museums in the area as well as the Martha's Vineyard Museum.


Is the Food Better in Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

Nantucket is an amazing island to visit for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Martha's Vineyard is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Eat your way through Nantucket, as it has many local or world renowned restaurants to choose from. Upscale eateries where you can look out on the water make dining on this island a true experience. There are raw bars, seafood restaurants, and local cafes with elaborate salads and duck carnitas. Dishes usually use the highest quality fresh ingredients and chefs bring their "A game" with every customer.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Martha's Vineyard makes for a great culinary experience. The region prioritizes sustainable agriculture and there are many local eateries that range from upscale to more casual. You'll find the greatest number of options during the peak summer months, but regardless of when you visit, you're sure to eat well.

Is Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket Better for Nightlife?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

Nantucket is a good destination for its evening party scene. However, Martha's Vineyard is not known for nightlife.

If you're looking for night time activities Nantucket has a few options to choose from. You'll find a number of bars and a lively singles scene in town. There's also live music and a laid back but active atmosphere in the evening.

Most people don't head to Martha's Vineyard specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. There's more of a laid back vibe, but the best towns in the evening are Edgartown and Oak Bluffs.

Is Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket Better for Resorts?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

Martha's Vineyard is renowned for its luxury resorts. Also, Nantucket is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its resorts.

If you're looking for a fantastic resort destination, Martha's Vineyard is a perfect choice. There are beautiful and luxurious resorts that attract celebrities and socialites. Many have pools and serene outdoor spaces that you can enjoy.

Nantucket is a popular resort destination that attracts visitors from everywhere. Luxury resorts and upscale inns offer guests a relaxed setting with oceanfront views and family-friendly activities.


Is Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket Better for Beaches?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket both offer high quality beaches.

Many people visit Martha's Vineyard for it's beautiful beaches. The beaches are scenic and peaceful. Head to northern side of the island for shallow water, or south for more surf. While there are some public beaches that are open to everyone, there are also beaches that require a parking or town beach permit to visit.

Nantucket is considered a top beach destination. You'll find the calmest water at the northern beaches, and cooler water with rougher surf to the south. Many of the beaches are accessible from town, but parking can be limited. There are both public and private beaches, each with beautiful settings and relaxing vibes.

Is Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket Better for its Old Town?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

Nantucket is a great island for its historic old town charm. However, Martha's Vineyard does not have a historic old town.

There are many historical things to see in the old town of Nantucket. The Historic District is filled with New England charm, cobblestone streets, and upscale boutiques. There are many great restaurants and a lot of historic character.

Martha's Vineyard does not have a historic old town.

Is Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket Better for Hiking?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

Nantucket is a great island for hiking. Also, Martha's Vineyard is not as popular, but is still a nice island for the nearby hiking options.

Many visitors go to Nantucket for the hiking trails. The island is easy to explore on foot, and its covered with hiking trails that follow the serene coastline or take you through forests, bogs, and marshland.

Martha's Vineyard is a good destination for hiking. There are miles of trails around the island that pass through fields or along the coastline. The island is mostly flat, so the hikes are relatively easy for all skill levels.


Is the Shopping Better in Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

If you're looking to go shopping, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket both offer plenty of high quality spots.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Martha's Vineyard. There are no malls, so you'll enjoy shopping at local stores that sell a mix of locally made items and name brand. There are many art galleries as well as craft festivals during the summer months.

Nantucket is an extremely popular place for shoppers. The Historic District is filled with boutiques, art galleries, and upscale shops. It's the perfect place to spend an afternoon wandering around and shopping.

Is Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket Better for Families?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

Nantucket is a great island for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Martha's Vineyard is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its family-friendly activities.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Nantucket. There's a calm beach that's perfect for kids as well as quaint ice cream shops and plenty of New England charm. The town is also filled with hiking and biking trails.

Martha's Vineyard is a family-friendly place to visit. You can visit local farms or go to a local baseball game. There's also cafes, ice cream shops, and donut shops that kids will enjoy.

Is Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket Better for Couples?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket both first-rate destinations for a couple.

Martha's Vineyard is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. It's filled with charming bed and breakfasts and plenty of New England charm. Couples will enjoy the quaint restaurants and mix of history, small town charm, and outdoor adventure.

Nantucket makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. The New England charm, natural beauty, and relaxing coastal atmosphere make this a perfect romantic destination. There are also many romantic places to stay and great local restaurants.


Is Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

Nantucket is a good destination for times when you don't have a car. However, Martha's Vineyard is not known for its public transit.

While Nantucket offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There are shuttle buses around the island that operate with greater frequency during the summer months.

Public transit is generally limited in Martha's Vineyard. Access to the island is limited to boat and air. There's a bus service that connects the towns.

Is Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket a more walkable city?

Martha's Vineyard
Nantucket

Nantucket is a great island for its ease of walking around. Also, Martha's Vineyard is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its walkability.

Nantucket is a very walkable destination. The town is very walkable and parking can be challenging, so it's best to leave your car in the ferry parking lot.

Martha's Vineyard is somewhat walkable. Many of the towns have walkable downtown areas, but traveling between towns and into the countryside requires a vehicle.

For even more information, also check out Is Martha's Vineyard Worth Visiting? and Is Nantucket Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard?

How long in Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

It's fun to spend time in either Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Nantucket due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Martha's Vineyard, and 2-4 days is enough time in Nantucket.

Families should spend more time in Nantucket than Martha's Vineyard. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Nantucket, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Nantucket than Martha's Vineyard. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Nantucket that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Nantucket than Martha's Vineyard if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Nantucket.


  • How many days in Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket? Ideal Length of Stay
    Martha's Vineyard 1-3 
    Nantucket 2-4

One day in Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

Even though Martha's Vineyard is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Martha's Vineyard has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

With shopping and museums around the small town destination of Nantucket, there's plenty to do. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It offers something for everyone.


A weekend in Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

Martha's Vineyard is a small town where visitors enjoy the shopping and food. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from.

With museums and nightlife around the peaceful island of Nantucket, there's plenty to do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here.

Five days in Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

Martha's Vineyard is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the peaceful small town of Nantucket. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days.

A week in Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

Martha's Vineyard is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Nantucket is a popular choice for travelers. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One of the main draws to the area is the food. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours from Los Angeles, The Best Family-Friendly Tours to United States of America, The Best Wildlife Tours to United States of America, and The Best Hiking & Trekking Tours in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Nantucket or Martha's Vineyard?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Martha's Vineyard is $241, while the average daily cost in Nantucket is $350. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Martha's Vineyard $132
    Nantucket $237
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Martha's Vineyard $264
    Nantucket $474
Compare Hotels in Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket

Looking for a hotel in Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Marthas Vineyard


Hotels in Nantucket


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Martha's Vineyard Hotel Prices and Nantucket Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Martha's Vineyard $83
    Nantucket $47

Is it cheaper to fly into Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

Prices for flights to both Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Martha's Vineyard $60
    Nantucket $81

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Martha's Vineyard $30
    Nantucket $34

Tours and Activities in Martha's Vineyard

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Martha's Vineyard.

  • Best of Martha's Vineyard 3 hour Full-Island Tour: $65
  • 3-Hour Martha's Vineyard Island Tour from Oak Bluffs: $65
  • All Island Bus Tour: $65
  • Martha's Vinyard Driving & Walking GPS-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Martha’s Vineyard Self-Guided (APP/GPS) Audio Walking Tour: $7.75
  • Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard Audio Tour: $13

Tours and Activities in Nantucket

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Nantucket.

  • Beyond the Cobblestones Self Guided Walking Tour of Nantucket: $7.50
  • Discover Nantucket Self-Guided Biking or Driving Tour: $13
  • Nantucket Coast to Coast Self-Guided Biking or Driving Tour: $13
  • Explore at Your Own Pace Self-Guided Audio Tour: $8.00

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Martha's Vineyard $22
    Nantucket $35


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, we can see that Nantucket is more expensive. And not only is Martha's Vineyard much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Martha's Vineyard would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Martha's Vineyard and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Nantucket would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Nantucket than you might in Martha's Vineyard.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Martha's Vineyard Expensive? and Is Nantucket Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket in the Summer?

Both Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Martha's Vineyard for the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, many visitors come to Nantucket in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Martha's Vineyard is a little warmer than Nantucket. Typically, the summer temperatures in Martha's Vineyard in July average around 73°F (23°C), and Nantucket averages at about 68°F (20°C).

In July, Martha's Vineyard usually receives less rain than Nantucket. Martha's Vineyard gets 2.8 inches (72 mm) of rain, while Nantucket receives 3.8 inches (96 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Martha's Vineyard 73°F (23°C) 
    Nantucket 68°F (20°C)

Should I visit Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket in the Autumn?

Both Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard during the autumn are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Martha's Vineyard in the autumn for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area. Also, most visitors come to Nantucket for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area during these months.

In October, Martha's Vineyard is generally around the same temperature as Nantucket. Daily temperatures in Martha's Vineyard average around 53°F (12°C), and Nantucket fluctuates around 53°F (12°C).

Nantucket gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Martha's Vineyard usually gets less rain in October than Nantucket. Martha's Vineyard gets 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain, while Nantucket receives 4.4 inches (111 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Martha's Vineyard 53°F (12°C) 
    Nantucket 53°F (12°C)

Should I visit Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Most visitors come to Martha's Vineyard for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months. Also, the winter months attract visitors to Nantucket because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

The weather in Nantucket can be very cold. Martha's Vineyard can be very cold during winter. Martha's Vineyard is much colder than Nantucket in the winter. The daily temperature in Martha's Vineyard averages around 28°F (-2°C) in January, and Nantucket fluctuates around 31°F (-0°C).

Nantucket receives a lot of rain in the winter. In January, Martha's Vineyard usually receives less rain than Nantucket. Martha's Vineyard gets 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain, while Nantucket receives 4.2 inches (106 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Martha's Vineyard 28°F (-2°C) 
    Nantucket 31°F (-0°C)

Should I visit Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Martha's Vineyard as well as Nantucket. The spring months attract visitors to Martha's Vineyard because of the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty. Also, the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty are the main draw to Nantucket this time of year.

In the spring, Martha's Vineyard is a little warmer than Nantucket. Typically, the spring temperatures in Martha's Vineyard in April average around 48°F (9°C), and Nantucket averages at about 45°F (7°C).

It's quite rainy in Nantucket. Martha's Vineyard usually gets less rain in April than Nantucket. Martha's Vineyard gets 3.7 inches (94 mm) of rain, while Nantucket receives 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Martha's Vineyard 48°F (9°C) 
    Nantucket 45°F (7°C)

Typical Weather for Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard Nantucket
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 28°F (-2°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 31°F (-0°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Feb 30°F (-1°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm) 32°F (-0°C) 4.6 inches (117 mm)
Mar 38°F (3°C) 4 inches (101 mm) 38°F (3°C) 4 inches (102 mm)
Apr 48°F (9°C) 3.7 inches (94 mm) 45°F (7°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm)
May 58°F (15°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm) 53°F (12°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm)
Jun 67°F (20°C) 2.6 inches (67 mm) 62°F (17°C) 3.6 inches (91 mm)
Jul 73°F (23°C) 2.8 inches (72 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Aug 72°F (22°C) 3.9 inches (99 mm) 68°F (20°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm)
Sep 64°F (18°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 62°F (17°C) 4.2 inches (106 mm)
Oct 53°F (12°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 53°F (12°C) 4.4 inches (111 mm)
Nov 44°F (7°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm) 46°F (8°C) 3.8 inches (96 mm)
Dec 33°F (0°C) 4.1 inches (105 mm) 36°F (2°C) 4.5 inches (115 mm)