The Ins and Outs of Getting There and bACK

It’s that time of year again; bars and restaurants are packed full of people trying to get their food and drink on, purple beach stickers are on pretty much every car you see, and you’ve got ACK sunsets on your mind thanks to those insane Instagram posts by @Nantucket365.

While it might be a little chillier than it is on the mainland, SUMMER is here on ACK and business is booming… it is officially time to plan your summer outing to this little island thirty miles out to sea.
That being said, Mother Nature can often have us fooled – even though hotels are booked and restaurant reservations can be hard to come by, those June-uary nights can leave the flight and ferry crossings a bit dicey. Between ferry vs. flight debates, good eats for the journey, and getting stuck on either side (Plan B), we’ve got you covered! Here’s the blACKbook list for HYA to ACK!


Whether you’re coming or going, fast boat or slow boat, snacks for the road are always a must. Of course there are countless options on the cape for grab and go, but one certainly stands out.
PAIN D’AVIGNON in Hyannis in unbeatable. Between their ready to go pastry selection from the bakery to their ala-carte breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus, this one stop shop will keep you satisfied just long enough to carry you into dinner at your favorite Nantucket hot spots. The veteran move? Get to Hyannis early enough to post up for a cocktail at the bar while waiting for your take-out, then enjoy the spread on the ferry ride over.
 Leaving Nantucket is sad enough, no need to mix in the feeling of getting hit by hAnger halfway through the boat ride. There are two stops that come highly recommended on your way out, depending on where the trip left you. If you’re riding the hangover express, FRESH is the way out. Hearty choices made with a love for sandwiches that is indescribable will boost your spirits and keep you riding that Nantucket high all the way home.
 If you’re like me, and the need to be healthy after a long weekend of debauchery is overwhelming, head to LEMON PRESS and load up on a green juice, fully-loaded avocado toast, and a golden latte for the road. This grab and go organic market in the heart of downtown has all your food and drink needs covered. No time to wait for an order because you’re running dangerously close to being late for the boat? No problem, check out their fridge stocked to the brim with ready made items for you to toss in your purse and head out the door.


After chatting with Philip Scudder from HY-LINE CRUISES, and Trish Lorino from CAPE AIR, it is clear that the decisions to cancel ferries and flights do not come easy.
Flights are cancelled on a case by case basis, but Trish did say that when planning a trip to the island, travelers should take special note to check the weather on both ends. Boston may be beautiful, but if those ocean winds are too strong, or blowing in the wrong direction, you’re better off getting down to the cape and hopping on the slow boat.
Winds blowing stronger than 25mph? Chances are the fast boats will be cancelled. Sometimes the Hy-Line will go in 30mph, but only if the winds and tides align – moving in the same direction often leads to a smoother sail, but in opposite directions you’re in for a rough ride. Seasoned pros will tell you that (in the off-season especially) the best thing to do is book transportation on your preferred method (sea or air), and when checking the weather that day, book a precautionary reservation if things are looking dicey.
Cover your bases; trust me, you don’t want to be sprinting into the airport with 100 other panicked people trying to get to the other side, only to find out that because everyone else made a reservation there is no room for you on the remaining flights. Book now, cancel later. If the HY-LINE of your choice is delayed or cancelled, passengers must call to re-book their ferry, and if you’re not too pressed to get on the boat, the good news is that tickets are good for up to a year… you might have missed this trip, but you’ve already put the deposit down for your next island getaway!


You’ve planned ahead, checked the weather, made multiple reservations, and still the worst has happened. You’re stuck. On one side or the other, it can be a bummer either way.
If you’re stuck on the CAPE trying to get bACK the good news is you get to enjoy the perks of logging some extra hours in ‘America’ – get a movie in at a full-size theater or get your OM on if you have to namaSTAY in Hyannis at Just Be Yoga Studio on 326 Main Street where this awesome new yoga spot has a new student rate of 3 classes for just $20! Hungry? Head over to the colorful and quirky thai restaurant, Bangkok Kitchen, across the street from staples (according to some of our islands favorite bartenders it’s a must), or visit island favorite, Tiki Port. When you’re done taking in the Hyannis cuisine, head over to the Courtyard Marriott next to the Cape Cod Mall and save your pennies by getting the Islander discounted rate. Islanders with Nantucket ID receive a 20-25% discount off the regular room rate – great deal for locals in a pinch!

Stuck on the island? Well, first off, there are certainly worse places to get munsoned. Take advantage of the extra time and visit some new island hot spots, or go to the Brewery again. Grete Salck-Pedersen, our go-to gal at 21 Broad and 76 Main hotels gave us the inside scoop on getting stuck.
 First things first, if you’re stuck on the island or unable to get over, let your hotel know. Chances are the rooms will balance out because those unable to get over will open up rooms for those who got stuck and you can extend your stay at these beautiful downtown properties. And if you’re sitting on the Cape listening to the ferry cancellation announcement and staring longingly out at the open ocean, fret not – your Lark Hotels reservation and deposit will go towards another stay at these properties, so you can enjoy another ACK getaway down the road!


 There you have it! The ins and outs on HYA to ACK travel, now remember all the best places to be are hard to get to so plan your trip bACK and get over here!

about our blACKbook blogger

ACK raised islander, Kiri Mullen moved to Nantucket at the ripe old age of 6 and hasn’t missed a summer (or many winters) since. Kiri has spent the last 5 years working in various restaurants on Nantucket and beyond, and has developed a passion for the food and beverage industry. In addition to bartending, Kiri manages Studio Nantucket, runs a mobile spray tanning company, and spends as much time on the beach as possible. Follow her adventures on Instagram, @Kiriosities