Nothing says summer like a coastal escape—the pristine shores, fresh seafood, fruity cocktails. Jetsetter has the lowdown on where to get your beach fix now, whether you’re looking for a splashy see-and-be-seen hotspot or an off-the-radar hideaway.
Shelter Island, New York
The 12-square-mile atoll sits between the tony North Fork and the Hamptons—but feels a hushed world away (more than a third of the area is fiercely protected by the Nature Conservancy). Here, it’s all about unwinding, from the golden-sand beaches and hiking paths to farm fresh produce and sunset cocktails. The island’s newest place to bed down is Chequit Hotel, with 37 shabby-chic rooms, C.O. Bigelow toiletries, and complimentary breakfast. For dinner, don’t miss the Montauk pearl oysters and lobster pot pie at Vine Street Café (or pick up goodies to go at the food market out back).
Brewster, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Nestled in the elbow of Cape Cod, Brewster is a charming hamlet with classic New England flair. Power up for the day in the airy Brewster Fish House, where the local cod fish and chips are a cult favorite (get there early—they don’t take reservations), then dive into the 1900-acre expanse of thick oak woods and sun-lit, glacier-formed ponds at Nickerson State Park. The 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail, once used by the Old Colony Railroad Company, connects Brewster with Wellfleet and Dennis and can be traversed by foot, bike and horseback. Or, spend the day at the beach (our favorite spot is Crosby Landing), where low tide reveals a mile stretch of sand. End the evening with a sundowner on the sprawling terrace at Ocean Edge Resort.
St. Michaels, Maryland
Fronting the Chesapeake Bay, St. Michaels is a low-key escape just a quick hop from D.C., Philly and Baltimore. Take the 90-minute Frederic Douglass walking tour with the St. Michaels Museum to learn more about the iconic slave-turned-abolitionist, then wander the town’s quaint sidestreets; you’ll find a selection of carefully edited antique shops like Guilford & Company, which specializes in estate jewelry, from Boucheron to Bvlgari. Come nighttime, locals pack the tables at Ava’s Pizzeria & Wine Bar, as much for the vino as for the the oak-fired prosciutto, arugula and balsamic pizza.