Oh Nantucket! You exceeded our expectations! We absolutely can't wait to go back!
To be completely honest, we really did not know all that much about Nantucket before planning this trip. We thought it might be a great little addition to our Boston trip but it actually turned out to be the highlight! (see here for part 1 & 2 of our Boston trip and also a little bit of our experience traveling during Covid times)
Now there are multiple ways to reach Nantucket so you'll need to think it through and decide what works best for you. Because of covid, we ended up having to change our plans anyway but it ultimately worked out fine. Also important to know that Nantucket is not necessarily a budget trip- we saved where we could but just know going in that it's not the simplest option- Cape Cod would be your best bet if you are looking for a budget version.
Originally we had planned to take a car service from Boston to Hyannis, take the ferry to Nantucket and then just Uber or taxi as needed on the island. Then we had a flight directly out of Nantucket that connected in Chicago before landing us home in Denver. Due to covid, the Nantucket flights were completely taken away, leaving us with a one-way ferry ticket and no way out of Nantucket.
A few phone calls later, we had things back in order, this time renting a car in Boston, driving to Hyannis, parking for the 4 days we were on Nantucket, adding a round-trip ferry ticket, then flying back out of Boston home to Denver.
Not a bad way to do it at all. Another option would have been to take the car on the ferry with us, but that requires a different, slower ferry that was already sold out by this point. Cars can also be rented on the island but rental prices start at $145/day!
We left Boston around 1:30 to make the 45+ minute drive down to Hyannis. There was some traffic but nothing terrible on a Sunday afternoon. We made it to the ferry terminal in plenty of time, dropped our luggage and parked the car in our pre-booked lot (we opted for on-site which was just a few yards away. Off-site is available for a little less $ and accessible by shuttle).
We got in line for the ferry and soon we were on, seated in a nice section with a table. Masks were required the entire ride which was just under an hour. There is food and drink available for purchase. Once off the ferry, we grabbed our bags and headed into downtown Nantucket. We were staying in Sconset which is about 15 minutes across the island. Our plan to grab an Uber did NOT pan out well- Ubers are not readily available, especially Uber XL for a family of 5. Taxis are the best option and cost right about $24 from downtown to Sconset. There is an island shuttle as well that's only $2-3/per person and takes closer to 35-40 minutes. We opted for this later to go into town one evening for dinner (no luggage). Realizing the Uber limitations, we were able to reserve a taxi for our departing morning so that we would not have to worry about missing our ferry!
Finally, we arrived in Sconset which is just a little slice of perfection! Our rental house was just a couple of blocks from the beach and steps away from the town center which includes the cutest little market and a handful of restaurants.