Fall color is reaching its peak here on Cape Cod and the weather has been great. Some recent guests at our historic bed and breakfast raved about their bike excursion on Martha’s Vineyard. I have written a few blogs about our favorite bike paths on Cape Cod, but my guest’s enthusiasm reminds me that the travel industry advertises us as the ‘Cape and Islands’. So to be fair and balanced, I need to also cover biking on the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard. I also should not digress too much into the discussion that, in fact, Cape Cod is also an island since it was separated from the main land by the building of the Cape Cod Canal in the late 1800s.
Many of our guests want to see one or both of our famous sister islands. Jan has blogged about the ease of day tripping to them in previous blogs and the many sites to see, so I’ll just focus on the biking opportunities. From our Inn in Sandwich, the docks for the ships to these islands are about 20 miles away. To Nantucket you sail from Hyannis and to Martha’s Vineyard you sail from Woods Hole. The Massachusetts’ Steamship Authority which charges a small additional fee for taking your own bikes with, services both islands: Nantucket is $7.00 and Martha’s Vineyard is $4.00.
Of the two islands, Nantucket is the smallest and the most biking friendly. The main part of the island is only about 10 miles long by about 3 miles wide and has an extensive network of paved bike paths that allows you to see up close the natural beauty.
|Nantucket Bike Trails|
|Martha's Vineyard Bike Trails|
Again, you take the Steamship Authority to either Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs. The Vineyard has seven separate villages including the two ports. Paved bike paths run parallel to most of the major roads, but it can be a long hall from one village to the next. Our favorite place is Edgartown and before we started inn keeping we annually stayed at B&Bs in Edgartown. I was younger then, but in fact may not have been in as good of shape, but I found out how far it is form Edgartown to Oak Bluff the hard way. We rented bikes in Edgartown and rode the six plus miles to Oak Bluff along the breath taking Beach Road which is the famous beach from at least two of the JAWS movies. I could not make the return ride and happily learned that all the public buses on the Vineyard are equipped with bike racks for wimps like me. The very efficient bus system is a most convenient way to cover the whole Island, jumping off with your bike to ride to a specific beach or village, then back on the bus for the longer trip back to the boat. Also, a short ferry ride takes you from the Edgartown dock to Chappaquiddick where you can ride to Wasque Beach on the Atlantic Ocean and visit the unique and beautiful Japanese gardens in the Mytoi preserve. Martha’s Vineyards Information has good information about the bike paths and rental options.
The fall season is here, the crowds are gone, and the biking is still great on the Cape and Islands. Come stay with us at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast and we’ll help you get to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard for a very memorable experience.
Charlie Preus, the Innkeeper's Assistant and Wine Steward at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts