Martha’s Vineyard and the Berkshires and Nantucket, oh my! All three of these East Coast destinations are recognized as prime vacation spots for anyone who wants a blend of culture, exquisite nature (aka beachfront), and incredible food. If you’re looking for a low-key and satisfying vacation getaway to relax your body, calm your mind, and rejuvenate your soul, consider one (or all three) of these destinations.
1. Nantucket Island, Rhode Island
This stunning island off Rhode Island is surrounded by crystal-blue Atlantic ocean waters and beckons visitors to explore its many beaches. On the North Shore is Jetty Beach, which is lined with beach umbrellas and picnic tables for late afternoon picnics. If you’re on the South Shore, head to the family-friendly beach, Surfside Beach, which has impressively large waves for surfing and a separate children’s beach area for the little ones.
After a long swim in the ocean, head to one of several popular fresh seafood restaurants for a clambake. For food with a view, dine at Cru, which overlooks the ocean. For a mean surf and turf, head to Brant Point Grill. And for a light but filling lunch, visit Straight Wharf Fish Store, renowned for its crab sandwiches and other seafood fare.
It won’t take long to see why this is one of the best East Coast destinations to visit, and there’s much more to do than just eat and lie on the beach. For such a small island, Nantucket has a strong lighthouse game. Start off at Brant Point Lighthouse, which is closest to the downtown area and easy to reach by foot. If you’re feeling adventurous, rent some dune buggies, pack a lunch, and ride through the sand to the slightly more remote Green Point Lighthouse. The third and final lighthouse is the quaint little Sankaty Lighthouse, which sits on the eastern edge of the island.
2. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Martha’s Vineyard is an example of a scenic locale with a beauty that can only be described as otherworldly. Although the name suggests that this island is the place to go for winery tastings, Martha’s Vineyard, one ferry ride away from Cape Cod, is home to some incredible natural wonders with breathtaking views of the Atlantic. To begin, plan a day trip to Aquinnah Cliffs, found in the town of Aquinnah on the western edge of the island. This mile-long expansion of cliffs is comprised of brightly colored layers of gravel, sand, and other natural elements. Another special way to appreciate nature on the island is by visiting Menemsha Hills, a natural reserve with over 200 acres to explore, including beachfront, wetlands, forestry with red maples, black oaks, and plant habitats.
After exploring the natural wonders within and around Martha’s Vineyard, visit Edgartown, the oldest colonial settlement on the island. Stroll down red brick and cobblestone roads, and marvel at the historic homes (some of which were built in the late 1600s). The quaint town, definitely one of the best East Coast destinations to visit, is also home to plenty of shopping boutiques, art galleries, and bars like The Wharf, a lively pub that is situated right on the oceanfront and serves up some delicious seafood. If you are still in Edgartown, stop by Alchemy on Main Street, a French-fusion restaurant with an extensive wine list, artfully created dishes, and a cozy ambiance complete with a fireplace.
3. The Berkshires, Massachusetts
Tucked away in Massachusetts, the Berkshires accomplishes something rare: It maintains an understated, unfussy atmosphere while being packed to the brim with cultural activities and natural beauty. Although it is especially aesthetically pleasing during the autumn season, the Berkshires is a versatile locale that makes it one of the best East Coast destinations to visit any time of the year.
For dining, the Berkshires has everything: Mexican, Indian, Italian, Mediterranean … whatever suits your fancy. But when you’re staying in the Berkshires, the best way to treat your taste buds is by feasting on meals created with locally sourced, farm-to-table ingredients. Cantina 229 serves up inventive, farm-to-table dishes and other New American vibes in a rustic yet posh setting.
For lodging? Hands down, The Hampton Terrace Inn is the way to go. Who wouldn’t want to relax in an 1897 mansion with beautifully decorated rooms, jacuzzi tubs, and an outdoor pool? Still not sold? This bed and breakfast also treat guests to complimentary liqueurs. For a taste of the outdoors, go to Beartown State Forest any time of the year. When you’re in the mood for a cultural experience, browse contemporary art at MASS MoCA. The Berkshires has perfected the art of balance: It has just enough nature when you need it and the right dose of culture when you want to switch it up.
Have you found the right East Coast destination for your next vacation? Why wait any longer? Buy your bus ticket from BusTickets.com today!