· By scooter
Our chosen mode of transportation, we opted to take a scooter for 1.5 days, costing us $125 total. It's steep, but during nice weather, nothing beats the independence of a moped and wind in your hair (though helmets are mandatory and will be provided). A scooter got us from town out to The Wauwinet (a 20-minute ride going 25mph) and then down another 15 minutes to 'Sconset, and then over to the Cisco Brewery for a 40-minute drive, in one day, with many hours of leisure time in between hopping on the Yamaha Vino. Had we more time, we would've made it all the way to Madaket and Surfside.
A full tank of gas is included! Had we biked, it would've been a much more sweaty, frustrating time with fewer minutes of the day for enjoying the places we did stop. Nantucket Bike Shop rents single and double seater mopeds, starting from $85/day.
Note: You will need to show your driver's license and it is advisable to have previous moped experience. It's not difficult at all, but there are some etiquette things with car vs. moped traffic and feeling comfortable on a scooter goes a long way towards keeping you safe.
· By bike
The highest recommended (and also oldest) bike shop on Nantucket is Young's, at 6 Broad Street at the wharf. It's neighbors with Nantucket Bike Shop, so competition is fierce. Still, Young's hands out the best maps and rates are cheaper, with hourly or daily plans. A basic bike for one whole day will run you only $18, whereas Nantucket Bike Shop starts at $25.
· By car (if you simply must have four wheels)
Again we have to say Young's Bicycle Shop, as they also do sedan and Jeep 4x4 rentals. Check the rates on their online calendar and reserve in advance. During "super-peak" time of July and August, rates for sedan are $100/day and Jeeps are $200/day. If you want to reach all ends of the island and do some beach driving, then the Jeep would be ideal for just 24 hours. Still, you don't need a car if you're trying to do the island on a budget. Most places are walking or biking distance from town.
Even better is getting a car ride for free! To scope out the beaches of the far NE coastline, indulge in a lunch of lobster roll or just get out of town, grab the free shuttle from The Wauwinet Inn. It goes between the visitor centre in Nantucket Town and The Wauwinet, giving you a complimentary change of scenery. Guests of the hotel even get to ride in a vintage Chevrolet.