FEATURE

Unfasten Your Seat Belts!

Gas prices, traffic, kids screaming in the backseat.... It's enough to make you want to get out and walk. So why not do just that? At these 10 spots, there are no cars at all (unless you count a golf cart or two).

In the town of Tylerton, accessible only by boat, women pick crabmeat from their husbands' haul to sell at the Smith Island Crabmeat Co-op (410/968-1344). If you're not ready to rejoin civilization in Ewell, the Inn of Silent Music overlooks the sound (410/425-3541, innofsilentmusic.com, from $110).

The Smith Island Cake was declared Maryland's state dessert in April. "The goal is to have lots and lots of layers," says Beverly Guy, who sells her 10-tier cake at the Bayside Restaurant (410/425-2771, slice $3.50). –Andrea Sachs See photo

MAINE
Monhegan Island
The tiny island 10 miles off Maine is home to about 60 residents, who love living in a place so remote that medical care comes via helicopter. Three ferry companies operate in the summer from Port Clyde (Monhegan Boat Line, 207/372-8848, monheganboat.com, $30 round trip), New Harbor (Hardy Boat Cruises, 800/278-3346, hardyboat.com, $30 round trip), and Boothbay Harbor (Balmy Days Cruises, 800/298-2284, balmydayscruises.com, $32 round trip)

Once on land, you can stroll to where you're staying—just toss your luggage onto your inn's baggage truck. One of the most scenic B&Bs is The Island Inn, on a bluff over the harbor (207/596-0371, islandinnmonhegan.com, from $130).

There are plenty of things you can't do here: Cell phone service is iffy, Wi-Fi is nonexistent, and bikes are banned from the more than 17 miles of hiking trails. What is plentiful, however, are the birding opportunities on a Puffin Watch cruise (hardyboat.com, $22). The island has inspired many artists, including Rockwell Kent. To see some of his best work, stop by the Monhegan Museum, next to the lighthouse (monheganmuseum.org, $4). –Sarah Mahoney See photo

CALIFORNIA
Catalina Island
The car is king in California, but golf carts rule the streets of this island an hour by Catalina Express ferry from Long Beach (800/481-3470, catalinaexpress.com, $60 round trip). Rent your own golf cart through Island Rentals (310/510-1456, $80 for three hours) and do the loop up to the Wrigley Memorial & Botanical Garden, landscaped with native plants (310/510-2595, $5). Carts aren't allowed in the interior, where 200 buffalo roam, but Discovery Tours offers trips to the region (310/510-8687, $72).

Follow the crowds to Original Jack's Country Kitchen for breakfast, lunch, or dinner: The Portuguese-bread French toast is a standout (310/510-1308, $6). Big Olaf's (310/510-0798, scoop $2) is a popular ice cream parlor down the street from the art deco Avalon Theatre (310/510-0179, movie $8).

Since 1896, the Hermosa Hotel has had the cheapest lodging on the island (877/453-1313, hermosahotel.com, from $45). Away from Main Street's bustle, the hilltop Zane Grey Pueblo Hotel is where the author of The Lone Star Ranger wrote more than 80 books (800/378-3256, zanegreypueblohotel.com, from $65). –Brian Wilson See photo

NORTH CAROLINA
Bald Head Island
Bald Head has a rowdy past as a pirate hideout, but the island has since become a vacation-home haven. Old Baldy, as the island's lighthouse is often called, was what inspired Jeff and Tonya Swearingen to first visit Bald Head. Last year, they bought a second home there. "We love having no cars and having the woods next to the beach," says Tonya.

DITCH THE CAR!

Get Inspired with more from BudgetTravel.com


Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

Budget Travel Real Deals


  • From $2,727

See more deals »

Video


Our newsletter delivers vacation inspiration straight to your inbox.

Check Prices