Looking for a day trip or weekend adventure idea off island? Introducing Aquidneck Island Escapes, our new series highlighting the not-too-far away destinations you can get to from Newport via a quick trip in your car or public transportation.
If you love the colonial architecture and history of Newport, than you will absolutely love this unique little island 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod. If you time it right, you could leave Newport and get to the Grey Lady in less than 3.5 hours, making it a great place for an overnight trip or even an ambitious day trip.
Speaking of timing, the time of year you go to Nantucket is important to consider during planning. From Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day Weekend, the island population surges with visitors, and you can expect high rates at hotels/Airbnbs and packed bars and restaurants all summer long. If you want to experience a quieter Nantucket, check it out in early May or during the fall months.
Getting to Nantucket from Newport
We recently wrote about the new Southern Airways Express service from T.F. Green to Nantucket, but the easiest way to Nantucket from Newport is still by ferry either from Hyannis Port or New Bedford Both ports are just a short drive from Newport – one hour and twenty nine minutes to Hyannis and forty four minutes to New Bedford.
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Hyannis To Nantucket
Hy-Line High-Speed Ferry Rates: Adult $77 round-trip, $41 one-way; Child (5-12) $51 round-trip, $29 one-way; Child (under 5) free; Bicycle $14 round-trip, $7 one-way. Reservations: 800-492-8082 or hylinecruises.com.
Steamship Authority High-Speed Ferry Rates: Adult $69 round-trip, $36.50 one-way; Child (5-12) $35 round-trip, $18.75 one-way; Child (under 5) free; Bicycle $14 round-trip, $7 one-way. Reservations: 508-477-8600 or steamshipauthority.com.
Hyannis To Nantucket Traditional Ferry
Steamship Authority Traditional Ferry Rates: Adult $18.50 one-way; Child (5-12) $9.50 one-way; Child (under 5) free; Bicycle $7 one-way; Vehicle Under 17′ in length (Apr. 1-Oct. 31) $200 one-way. Reservations: 508-477-8600 or steamshipauthority.com.
New Bedford to Hyannis High-Speed Ferry
Seastreak High-Speed Ferry Rates from New Bedford: Adult $90 round-trip, $50 one-way; Child (12-under) $50 round-trip, $30 one-way; Island Resident & Military $80 round-trip, $40 one-way; Bike $20 round-trip, $10 one-way. seastreak.com
Things to Do on Nantucket
Nantucket Whaling Museum – Don’t miss this chance to learn about Nantucket’s fascinating whaling heritage. Exhibits include a documentary, an amazing collection of 18th and 19th century artifacts, and the full skeleton of a sperm whale that are well worth the price of admission.
Bike Ride – Need some some exercise? Nantucket it bike friendly and one of the best ways to explore the whole island. Bring your own bike or easily rent them at Young’s Bicycle Shop right near the ferry. For a longer ride, you could grab sandwiches from Provisions and pedal out to the famous beachside cottages at Sconset and head over to Sankaty Head Light. For a a shorter trip from downtown, you could ride out to Dionis Beach.
Shop – From beach gear to high end fashion to housewares, downtown Nantucket’s boutiques offer a diverse shopping experience. If you’re into antiques, you’ll love Sylvia Antiques right on Main Street.
A number of impressive art galleries dot the streets and reflect the island’s thriving artist community – you can find a list of galleries here.
Bars on Nantucket
Cisco Brewers – If you like craft beer and live music, do not skip out on a visit to this island brewery that’s also a live music venue, food truck destination. Enjoy any of Cisco’s classic and seasonal brews on tap, or if beer isn’t your thing, you can enjoy cocktails from Triple Eight Distillery. Bonus: Dogs are welcome guests.
Looking for s night scene back in town? Check out The Chicken Box, Cru, Slip 14, Town, or The Charlie Noble.
Restaurants on Nantucket
In town, you’ll find plenty of casual and high end dining options on the island. Here’s a list of some of our favorite restaurants for dinner on Nantucket.
– Oran Mor
Is there a nearby destination that you’ve been thinking of traveling to and would like to know more about? Let us know in the comments!