Although they’re only about 30 miles apart, each island has its own unique character – created in part by their proximity to Massachusetts. Nantucket, which is very cold in the summer, is very remote and has only one, albeit beautiful, commercial center – locals love it that way and even seasonal tourists patronize it. On the other hand, Martha’s Vineyard is very busy, with many nightlife events in Edgartown, Vineyard Haven, and Oak Bluffs – the latter famous for its nightly line for fresh donuts at Back Door Donuts in Post Office Square. Martha’s Vineyard also has bragging rights as the setting for the movie Jaws, which is shown regularly on the island during the summer.
Below we tackle two of New England’s favorites, to help you find the right fit this summer.
Which island has the best place to live?
Winner: Martha’s Vineyard
All these islands are expensive, so visitors should not expect bargains – especially in the summer. While both islands offer a similar range of dining and activities, it’s the accommodation prices that raise the bar. On Nantucket, the bright boutique B&B 76 Main (from £126) reopened this summer after a complete renovation and the beloved White Elephant Resort (from £297) got a new look.
The resort, Faraway Nantucket (from £787), which has several restored 19th-century houses and includes the Sister Ship, a bar and restaurant, has acquired a sister property, Faraway Martha’s Vineyard (from £946) in Edgartown. A short walk away, a new B&B boutique, The Coco, recently opened its doors in a restored 1892 sailor’s cottage (from $118).