The island of Nantucket, or ACK as it’s frequently abbreviated, is located 30 miles off the coast of mainland Massachusetts and is just over 100 square miles — about half the size of neighboring Martha’s Vineyard. While the two islands are not far apart geographically, culturally, they are separated by a wide chasm: Martha’s Vineyard is more subdued and laid-back, while Nantucket is more glamorous and ostentatious. Martha’s Vineyard feels more like New England, while Nantucket feels more like Manhattan.
Nantucket is synonymous with vacations for the wealthy, and the island does beckon high-rollers comfortable splurging on some of the priciest hotels, restaurants, and boutique shops in the nation. But the island does not preclude visitors on a more modest budget from visiting and having a good time. In fact, some of the most rewarding activities on the island are free or almost free, and there are also plenty of delicious cheap eats. With the glorious, crisp weather of the coming months, now is the perfect time to start planning a last-minute budget vacation to Nantucket.