Nantucket © Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism
Thirty miles (48km) off the coast of Cape Cod, the small and remote island of Nantucket is an escape from the city stress and chaos of everyday life. The land has miles of unspoilt beaches, rolling wind-swept moors, solitary windmills and lighthouses, church steeples, and peaceful lanes. Its only settlement, Nantucket Town, was once the whaling capital of the world and retains much of its 17th to 19th-century character with historic mansions, old fashioned street lamps, and cosy inns lining the cobblestone streets. Bar a few villages, the rest of the island is mainly residential. There isn't a billboard, fast-food franchise, or flashing neon light in sight. Nantucket has long appealed to wealthy visitors and has grown to a summer vacation retreat for nearly 50,000 tourists. Despite the increasing amount of luxury houses going up, more than 36 percent of the land is protected from development and the island still feels like a romantic paradise. The excellent Whaling Museum is an added attraction to the beaches, strolling and biking, and window-shopping at the exclusive boutiques. July and August are the most popular months and the busiest times, and although off-season has its charms thick fog often covers the island at this time.