The Perfect Family Island Getaways (I)
1. Perfect Family Island Getaways: Mount Desert Island, Maine — The main attraction on Mount Desert Island is Acadia National Park, with spectacular landscape of rocky cliffs falling down into the ocean below. The 27-mile driving loop provides photo-ops at every turn, suit might be wise to park the car and take one of free Island Explorer buses that run through the park. Don't miss the vista from atop Cadillac Mountain and Thunder Hole. Everyone in the family will enjoy exploring the shoreline and surrounding islands by taking a boat tour where you can see local wildlife such as port seals, puffins and dolphins, and many picturesque lighthouses that dot the harbors. Bar Harbor is the social, cultural and artistic center of Mount Desert Island and where you will be most likely find inns, B&B's, restaurants and shops. Don't miss eating lobster fresh off the boat at one of the local lobster pounds.
2. Perfect Family Island Getaways: Nantucket, Massachusetts — Thirty miles off the coast of Cape Cod, known as "The Far Away Island," Nantucket is the quintessential destination for a family summer vacation. Beachgoers will love the numerous beaches ranging from the wide sandy beach and calm, lapping waves at Jetty's Beach to the punishing surf at Cisco or Madaket. Stroll along the historic cobblestone streets and wharves in town and stop into one of the old fashioned pharmacies for lunch at the counter. There are numerous bike trails all over the island making it a great way to get around. It is worth the dive out to Siasconset (otherwise known as S'conset) to see the rose covered cottages and the imposing lighthouse. When the fog rolls in, be sure to visit the impressive Whaling Museum. There are numerous lodging options available ranging from pricey vacation home rentals to charming small B&B's.
3. Perfect Family Island Getaways: Chincoteague, Virginia — Eternalized by Marguerite Henry's iconic children's book, Misty of Chincoteague, Chincoteague Island is off the coast of Virginia's Eastern Shore. While the wild ponies actually live on nearby Assateague Island, the annual pony swim across the small channel separating the two isles is only one of the many reasons why tourists gather in this area. The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge includes more than 14,000 acres of shores, banks, swamps and forests, much appreciated by beachgoers, kayakers and birdwatchers. A variety of accommodations are available ranging from hotels, inns and campsites. Maddox Avenue makes up the center of town, where boutiques, antique stores and restaurants are plentiful.