While it’s hard to unwind these days, this luxe resort is making it a little easier to get some much-needed R & R. Extra pre- cautions—including contactless golf-cart pickup, grocery-delivery service, and reduced capacity at pools and at Ocean Edge’s private beach—provide peace of mind, while new private experiences such as beach yoga and oyster tours make it easy to practice social distancing while giving the kiddos an unforgettable adven- ture. So go ahead, book that luxurious mansion suite. Boozy mudslides delivered straight to your beach chair await. 2907 Main St., Brewster, MA 02631, oceanedge.com.
Who knew brunch in a takeout box could be so sweet? Before escaping to the National Seashore, pick up some much-needed fuel at this restaurant and bakery with locations in Orleans and Eastham, which offers its beloved stacks of cinna- mon-roll pancakes and scallion-cheddar biscuits smothered in sausage gravy to go. Word to the wise: Whatever you get, don’t forget to add a dozen hand-cut doughnuts (including specials like blueberry crum- ble, s’mores, or Reese’s) to your order. 98 MA-6A, Orleans, MA 02653, theholecapecod.com.
Who needs dinner and a show when you can simply spread out a picnic blanket on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and watch the sky turn vibrant shades of red and orange? The sunset is beautiful anywhere along the expansive shoreline, which can be accessed by foot, bike, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, permitted over-sand vehicle. Only the dolphins that swim nearby could make the view even more breathtaking. Provincetown, MA 02657, nps.gov/caco/planyourvisit/race-point-beach.htm.
The granddaddy of rail trails, this 20-plus-mile paved pathway stretching from Yarmouth to Wellfleet offers no shortage of things to see and do en route. Zip past cranberry bogs, cool off in Seymour Pond, and reward yourself after an exhilarating ride with an ice cream cone or ice-cold beer (why not both?) right along the trail. mass.gov/locations/cape-cod-rail-trail.
Yeah, yeah, everyone talks about sunset in Menemsha, but you know the same show is playing at every beach with a western view, right? Great Rock Bight Preserve, one of the MV Land Bank properties, offers an excellent, secluded alternative to the crowded affair by the docks. Hike down the trail to the beach—there’s a short and a long way—and take in the view from there or, if you’re feeling adventurous, from atop the large rock just off the shore, for which the beach is named. Chilmark, MA 02535, mvlandbank.com/34great.shtml.
This charming bakery is already legend- ary for its pies, breads, and cookies, but in the era of brunch al fresco, it’s also a can’t- be-beat breakfast joint. The hot, fresh, and just-greasy-enough breakfast sand- wich is perfect for a picnic (if you can wait that long to eat it), but there are more and less healthy options, too (hot ancient grains with apples and cinnamon, and a loaded breakfast burrito, respectively). 977 State Rd., Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, scottishbakehousemv.com.
Islanders know that the best fish on the Vineyard isn’t by the harbor, it’s by the airport. (No, they’re not flying anything in.) The Fish House, a new seafood market/takeout spot from a young island couple, is slinging catch so fresh they’ll even tell you who reeled it in. Their com- mitment shows in to-go classics such as fried clam bellies and boiled lobster din- ners, as well as more modern favorites like tuna poke bowls. Tucked off Edgartown-West Tisbury Road right next to the package store, it’s an islanders’ secret—or at least it was. 17 Airport Rd., Edgartown, MA 02539, thefishhousemv.com.
You’ve never seen brunch like they do it at “Props,” as the locals like to call it. Creative menu items—including a breakfast sandwich piled high with fried green tomatoes, egg, chili jam, and ranch pickles, and a yogurt parfait with roasted strawberries and coconut-blueberry granola—make this Sunday-only meal service something you’ll anticipate all week. And with an outdoor patio and easy-order pop-up brunch takeout window, it’s never been easier to get your fix. 9 India St., Nantucket, MA 02554, proprietorsnantucket.com.
Like all things on this island, Nantucket’s bike paths were designed with aesthetics in mind—think: rolling hills, unspoiled harbor vistas, and, best of all, the safety of being tucked away from traffic, occasionally meandering through forests and other preservation land. If you must pick one direction, head west to Madaket, where at the end of the road you’ll find Madaket Beach, a favorite for families to while the day away under rainbow umbrellas. Before heading back into town, stop by Millie’s Market for a scoop of s’mores ice cream and savor the sweetness of summer. Nantucket, MA nantucket-ma.gov/985/Bike-Paths.
As the sun sinks into the rocky base of one of Nantucket’s oldest lighthouses, families wave as the ferry chugs by, fish- ermen cast their reels in ankle-deep water, and happy couples celebrate after the occasional surprise proposal. Want to see for yourself what’s making them all so jubilant? All you need is a beach chair and a bottle of something bubbly to toast to the happiest moments in life unfolding before you under a cotton- candy pink sky. Easton Street, Nantucket, MA 02554, nps.gov/nr/travel/maritime/brn.htm.
When you slurp an oyster from this hip dockside restaurant overlooking the harbor, it’s likely that the fresh, sweet bivalve was in that very same water just hours before. But it’s not just the oysters, of course, that earn Cru its title. The buttery fried clams, famous lobster roll, and jumbo cocktail shrimp all deserve recog- nition, especially when accompanied by a cool and refreshing “Crucumber” martini. One Straight Wharf, Nantucket, MA 02554, crunantucket.com.
Maybe it’s the waterfront vistas that make White Elephant resort, situated on the east side of Nantucket’s downtown harbor, so magical. Maybe it’s the specialty bed linens, so beloved by guests that you can actually buy them, mattress included. Maybe it’s the pool, where on sunny afternoons you can sprawl out on a plush cushioned lounge chair or in a private cabana and sip a berry smoothie from the snack bar. Or in fact, maybe it’s all these things at once that make a stay here as blissful as an island breeze. 50 Easton St., Nantucket, MA 02554, whiteelephantnantucket.com.