BEACH VACATION IDEAS
10 Beautiful Beach Town Bargains for Fall
From the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, from New England to Southern California, America’s beaches stay open long after Labor Day. It’s the same sun and surf—oh, except the crowds are gone and hotel rates have come back down to earth.
Where to eat: Aloha Mixed Plate (1285 Front St., alohamixedplate.com, lau lau, featuring pork and beef wrapped in taro leaves, with white rice and potato mac salad $7.95).
Where to stay: Kaanapali Ocean Inn (2780 Kekaa Dr., kaanapalioceaninn.com, from $149).
Get there: Maui is an eight-hour flight from Los Angeles, with one stop in Honolulu (Hawaiian Airlines flights from $571).
Eighteenth-century architecture meets 21st-century style
"See what a real corner of the world it occupies; how it stands there, away off shore, more lonely than the Eddystone lighthouse," wrote Herman Melville about Nantucket in Moby-Dick. This charmingly whale-shaped island still holds its lonely position off the coast of Cape Cod, but of course these days the whaling captains, sailors, and harpooners who made the island home two centuries ago have been replaced by captains of industry who can meet the sky-high summer rates. But things cool down literally and figuratively come September, when you can have perfect beaches, 18th-century cobblestone streets lined with contemporary galleries—and a table with a view—to yourself. (And don't miss the Nantucket Historical Association, with its beautifully designed whaling exhibits and exceptional docents, in the heart of downtown.)
Where to eat: The Jetties (4 Bathing Beach Rd., thejetties.com, lobster roll with French fries $17.75).
Where to stay: Nantucket Inn (1 Miller Ln., nantucketinn.net, from $204).
Get there: Hyannis, Mass., is 70 miles southeast of Boston; from there, opt for the slower, more affordable ferry option (great clam chowder and cold beer!) to Nantucket, and remember Herman Melville's great prose as the island appears on the horizon.