Before stewing in umpteen hours of bridge traffic, get a leg up on the crowds with inside info on the newest Cape and island offerings.
Scamper off the ferry and straight into Cru (1 Straight Wharf, Nantucket; 508-228-9278), for lobster rolls, fried clams, and bivalves galore. Brighten a drab rental with picnic baskets and color-block buoy pillows from C. Wonder’s pop-up shop (opens June 8). A bike ride down Polpis Road takes you to the just-unveiled picnic knoll at the Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum overlooking Folgers Marsh (the new lighthouse exhibit also looks illuminating).
Francophiles can gather for an alfresco croissant at La Cave du Grenier (82 Main Street, Vineyard Haven; 508-693-0023), a bistro from chef Jean Dupon. Customize your dream burrito at tiny takeaway spot La Choza, which also has gluten-free options. Itching to hit the water? Book boat charters, sunset yacht cruises, and flotilla parties at Harbor View Hotel.
The renovated Sea Crest Beach Hotel entices with a pool bar, fire pit, and bayside restaurant serving Chatham cod loin and spinach gnocchi. Fido can revel in a blueberry facial or massage therapy at Hot Diggity Dog Wash & Boutique. After a day at Herring Cove, refuel with a protein-spiked smoothie at sandwich cantina CastAways or head straight for the frozen bellini machine at revamped Sage Lounge.
Photo: Courtesy of Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum