Is there anything better than an East Coast summer? From charming New England to the Hamptons, the northeast coast of the United States is the ideal summer respite for the discerning traveler—serene stretches of sand along the Atlantic, farm-to-table restaurants, and rich American history abound.
These five destinations are the perfect retreat for a quintessential summer in the Northeast—and you can stay with Inspirato in all of them.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Just south of Boston, this hook-shaped peninsula on the eastern end of Massachusetts is revered for its pastoral scenery, inviting towns, and beautiful beaches. Take a spin on the 25-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail and see the towns that dot the peninsula, while 40 miles of beaches await on the Cape Cod National Seashore—myriad stretches of coastline, ponds, marshes, and towering dunes are all protected there. And at the northern tip, LGBTQ-friendly Provincetown offers a wealth of nightlife and welcoming atmosphere.
Hampton Bays, New York
On the eastern end of Long Island, Hampton Bays is a quiet, cozy hamlet nestled in the town of Southampton, just 45 minutes from the typical Hamptons attractions like high-end boutiques and farm-to-table restaurants. Watersports abound, like boating, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and more. Ponquogue Beach is a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming, but there are also plenty of marinas, golf courses, and nature preserves. And with its abundance of waterfront, Hampton Bays boasts the highest amount of restaurants on the water in New York—perfect for foodies.
Where to stay: Inspirato’s coastal chic two- and three-bedroom accommodations in Hampton Bays are nestled right along the Shinnecock Canal at the Boathouses at Canoe Place Inn, perfect for getting out on the water.
First put on the map as the historic vacation destination of the Bush family, coastal Kennebunk—along with its next-door neighbor, Kennebunkport—offers historic architecture, quintessential New England charm, and no shortage of beautiful beaches. Peruse the quaint downtown with its boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants serving up the day’s catch. In Kennebunkport see Cape Porpoise, a working fishing village, and Walker’s Point, the stunning summer home of the Bushes. (Though you can’t actually visit it, you can see it from across the water at Blowing Cave Park.) There’s plenty of room to catch some sun, too. The most famous of Kennebunk’s myriad beaches are Gooch’s Beach, Middle Beach, and Mother’s Beach. Stroll these wide, sandy stretches to look for sand dollars, listen to the waves crash on the rocks, and brave the cooler waters for a swim in July and August.
Where to stay: Located near the Kennebunk River, White Barn Inn is less than a 5-minute drive from these local beaches. And right in the heart of Kennebunk, Birchwood is a classic Coastal Maine retreat.
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Just south of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard is a Massachusetts isle that’s beckoned visitors for summers throughout the centuries with its idyllic landscapes, historic lighthouses, and colonial architecture. Be sure to pay a visit to the island’s charming towns like Vineyard Haven and Edgartown, with a variety of shops, art galleries, and restaurants. The island also boasts a rich maritime history and the colorful Gingerbread Cottages in Oak Bluffs—a cluster of 318 Instagram-worthy pastel cabins. To really get away from it all, take a ferry over to Chappaquiddick off the island’s eastern end to take in stunning views and stroll serene nature preserves.
Where to stay: Just a 10-minute drive to South Beach and 5 minutes from Edgartown, expansive Harthaven boasts its own outdoor heated pool and beautiful chef’s kitchen.
Just to the east of Martha’s Vineyard and home to some of the famous beaches in the country, Nantucket is a dreamy, all-American getaway where historic buildings, clad in gray shingle siding, now host farm-to-table restaurants and upscale boutiques. With more than 82 miles of gorgeous New England coastline to explore, there’s a little something for everyone: Children will love Jetties Beach, while surfers and stand-up paddleboarders flock to Cisco Beach, and history buffs would love a stroll through the Nantucket Whaling Museum. On the western end, Siasconset offers a break from the crowds—originally a fishing village, it’s now home to the island’s more laid-back and under-the-radar side.
Where to stay: You’ll be in the heart of Nantucket at cozy Whitesail, just two blocks from the ferry; or, stay just a few minutes outside town with beautiful views of the waterways and harbor at Shearwater, just a short walk to shops and restaurants.