While the city beaches of Boston may leave something to be desired, the stunning coastline of Nantucket—a small island off of Cape Cod—make it a beach destination worth visiting. Over 100 miles of coastline (nearly all of it open to the public) rim this quaint island getaway with rolling, scrub-dotted dunes. Beaches along Nantucket Sound on the north shore offer warmer water and gentler surf, while south on the Atlantic side the waves are heavier. Check out the popular Surfside Beach on the south shore of the island, great for swimming and lined with a bike path. To avoid big crowds try Madaket Beach on the western tip; home to the island's strongest waves and finest sunsets. The sole town on the island—also called Nantucket—is a classic 19th-century seaport town and the entire island has been designated a historical landmark, with its streets and architecture virtually unchanged. Check out galleries, locally made arts and crafts and clothing stores along with the Whaling Museum on Broad Street. Restaurants are on the expensive side, but try the fried clams at Sayle's Seafood for a true New England specialty. Transportation to and from the island isn't the easiest, but it's worth the effort. The two hour drive out to the Cape is a beautiful ride, and the ferry across only adds to the feeling of an isolated island getaway. Nantucket is a known summer destination, but for smaller crowds and a more intimate experience, visit during the late spring or early fall.