Biking on Nantucket
Whether you choose to bring your car or rent a car while on vacation, I still think that biking while visiting Nantucket is not just one of the best ways to get around but also a fantastic way of experiencing the island! I'm not a big biker in my everyday life. We live off a busy main road and with three kids in tow, it's just not that appealing at this point. The only place we could easily bike to from our house is the marina, and it's more a golf cart/car situation with the gear that comes along for a family boat day. But I absolutely love biking on vacation!
We live in Massachusetts so it's relatively easy for us to get to and from Nantucket. Usually our trips are booked relatively last minute. I have had luck finding a car to use while on island, but there have also been trips we've relied solely on biking and taxis and they've been some of my favorite.
Here's a few reasons:
Full immersion in the beautiful Landscape of the island:
My husband is the default driver in our family. Even before we had kids, he much prefers to drive and I much prefer to be a passenger. When we moved out to California, he drove the entire trip, while I read books aloud to him. My days of narrating books and kicking my feet up on the dash are over, and I don't know about you but when I am not driving, if I am in the car with my family I am basically a full time flight attendant. Performing car seat checks, fielding snack requests, picking up toys off the floor, adjusting the temperature, changing the music, texting with friends, making dinner reservations etc.
The entire island of nantucket is a feast for your eyes. The natural beauty of the landscapes, the coast line, the homes, the gardens - heck, even the storage facility is beautiful. Biking allows you to be fully engaged in the terrain, ground below, sky above, breeze through your hair (But wear a helmet!). No one is asking for a device, no one is snacking, everyone can see smell and experience the reason you're there - the island.
More time to play/ Less time in traffic and looking for parking
Ok this was a big point in my last post about getting to the island earlier by not being restricted to car ferry times. But have you been to Nantucket in July and tried to drive around town? It's possible, It's fine, it's still nantucket, it's still pleasant, you can roll down the windows and listen to 97.7 and still take in the sights. But you'll likely be spending a solid amount of precious vacation time in traffic, and doing some laps along with 10 other vehicles, to find a parking spot while bikes and pedestrians and snails pass you by. (Ask them to save you a seat at the bar!)
Biking will get you through the traffic and to your destination faster.
Also, the transportation becomes part of the fun!
Quality family fun / Forced Family Fun
Biking with kiddos at different ages definitely comes with challenges, but I really believe the relaxation and fun on vacation is even sweeter after putting in some muscle on a bike, walk, or hike. It's a great way of getting the blood flowing, getting a little sweat, working together to navigate, before finally reaching the destination chock full of endorphins. The bike rides become part of the trip, part of the stories, a bonding experience between family members of all ages.
We used to have a cargo bike that we brought when my kids were infants and couldn't hold their heads up. Don't @ the FDA, but we'd bungee the carseat into the cargo section and just like in the car they'd snooze as we cruised around island. We left the bike in the city when we sold our house, but with a newborn coming ahead of this summer, I am now in the market for another. I'll keep this one. The cargo component also came in handy for grocery shopping!
I'm not going to put this reason in bold, but another reason to bike instead of drive is to avoid drinking and driving. Yes I mainly visit with my family, but I also visited as a teenager, college kid, and now a lightweight mom that still likes to go out and have fun in town now and then. It's a drag to have to leave your car overnight, but leaving a bike isn't a big deal. (Don't drink and drive a bike either obviously.) But I feel like that is less tempting to most people. Leave the bike, take a taxi home, keep yourself and others on the road safe, and then go back for your bike in the morning before traffic picks up :)
To that end, there's also a new transportation option as of last summer - a bike that you don't have to drive! No, self driving bikes haven't reached Nantucket (that I know of, again I'm not an expert just an avid tourist), but Nan Tuk Tuk is a new pedicab that services the island.
I haven't taken it myself but I it was my go to way of getting home from Red Sox games when we lived in the city. Singing songs, enjoying the lights of the city, the breeze in my hair, and the thrill of cruising past traffic around Fenway back to the South End will stay in my heart forever <3
Check them out on Instagram @nan_tuk_tuk what a fun way to get home!
Nantucket Bike Path info: