Cheap sleeps are hard to come by on Nantucket, and many places require two- and three-night minimum stays in summer. Knowing that, zero in on the amenities that will appeal to your bunch. The Beachside at Nantucket (from $256; 800-322-4433; www.thebeachside.com), near Brant Point, offers rooms with one queen bed and a sleeper sofa, two double beds, or two kings or two queens. Some rooms are pet-friendly. They’ve got a heated outdoor pool, proximity to Jetties Beach, and — a biggie — no minimum stay requirements. The luxe Nantucket Hotel & Resort (from $1,025 for a four-person suite; 508-228-4747; www.thenantuckethotel.com) lays out the welcome mat for families, with two heated outdoor pools, afternoon lemonade and cookies, a kid’s club, “Dive-In” movies, a fitness club, and indoor and outdoor dining (including beach picnics). Choose from one- to four-bedroom suites and one- and two-bedroom cottages; many of these have kitchenettes. The classic White Elephant (from $195; 800-445-6574; www.whiteelephantnantucket.com) offers 112 accommodations, including guest rooms, lofts, cottages, and suites, spread across multiple buildings. Fun things for kids include in-room teepees, Radio Flyer wagons, and beach toys. Guests can borrow bicycles, and have access to 2020 BMW SUVs, too.
How to maximize the fun, minimize the hassle
Skip the car. The car ferry is pricey, and parking spaces are often scarce. Instead, bring bicycles if you have them. The island has 32 miles of cycling trails that’ll get you pretty much anyplace you want to go. For rentals, try Young’s Bicycle shop (www.youngsbicycleshop.com); they’ve been operating on the island for 70 years, so they’re good at matching up kids and bikes.
Use The Wave. Another option for getting around is the Wave bus, www.nrtawave.com, run by the Nantucket Regional Transit Authority. The Wave operates year-round, and they offer one-, three-, and seven-day passes. The buses cover the island, including most beaches.
Stay in or near town. It’ll be that much easier to get to the ferry, and walk to dinner, bus stops, and so on. Most inns and hotels are located within a mile or less of downtown; if you’re going the rental route, go for the best location. And they’re super-serious about cleaning and sanitizing protocols on the island.
Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be reached at email@example.com