Cape Cod and Nantucket, United States

Few places depict the classic American summer more than Cape Cod – after all, this is where the Kennedys summered and, indeed, where 'to summer' became a verb. The 112km long peninsula angles out into the Atlantic Ocean like a crooked lure, and beaches are always a few minutes away. Fresh seafood – oysters on the half shell, lobster rolls, seared sea scallops – is more a way of life than simply a diet. Iconic lighthouses line the coast, grey clapboard houses fill the 15 quaint towns and bobbing white sails dot the waves. It was landscapes such as these which inspired artist Edward Hopper, a long-time summer resident, to create some of his most memorable works. Cast 48 kilometres south of Cape Cod is Nantucket, a sandy-shored atoll with 128 kilometres of pristine beaches, sophisticated shopping and fine-dining. This storied whaling capital once lured fortune-seeking fisherman and now entices wealthy summer sun-seekers. Stringent conservation efforts ensure that the interior ponds, bogs and captivating coastline are protected, which makes for postcard worthy shots at every turn. And, as if on the set of a colonial-era drama, meticulously maintained cedar-shingled cottages and stately Federal-style homes line the cobblestone lanes as they have for hundreds of years. Pedal the sea-grass-fringed bike paths, kayak through wildlife-rich marshes or meander the vibrant harbour-side town – Nantucket may be small (just 23km long), but its appeal is broad.

When to go

Summer – late May to early September – is peak season. The consistently pleasant temperatures result in a population swell every year. Crowds thin out during the shoulder months of March, April, September and October, and some shops and restaurants close. Some weekends in November and December can be quite lively if there’s a festival, but come January, the bulk of businesses shutter their doors and reemerge in spring.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Cape Cod: Boston’s Logan International Airport is the closest major airport, 83 miles away. Providence’s international airport is only slightly further, at 92 miles away. Boston has direct flights to most major international hubs, and Providence offers connecting flights from most US and Canadian cities, both from airlines such as Jet Blue (, Southwest (, Delta Airlines ( and US Airways ( Cape Air ( also offers a couple of flights a day between Boston and Hyannis’ Barnstable airport, about 20 miles from the inn. Nantucket: Major US cities have direct or connecting flights to Nantucket Memorial Airport on Jet Blue (, United Airlines (, Delta Airlines (, US Airways Express ( and Cape Air (
  • Boats

    Nantucket: The ferries out of Hyannis, Massachusetts are the way to travel for a nautical bookend to your island escape. Reserve tickets in advance for car and passenger service on the Steamship Authority ( or the passenger-only Hy-Line Cruises (
  • Automobiles

    Cape Cod: You will want to have a car to explore the peninsula. Nantucket: A car is not essential on the island, which can be explored by bike. However, those traveling with a car to the island need to book passage from Hyannis, Massachusetts on the Steamship Authority ( car ferry. There are several reliable taxi companies (including Canty's Cab: +1 508 228 2888) and car rental agencies on the island.