Island Life: Shelter Island
By Aaron Hicklin
Named for the shelter it provided Quakers during their 17th-century persecution in New England, you’ll find a different kind of refuge today—as a less kempt, more charming alternative to the social whirl of the nearby Hamptons.
Yes, there’s a pricey André Balazs hotel, but that’s the last reason to visit this idyll of windswept shores tucked between the twin forks of eastern Long Island. Go for a day to hike the Mashomack Preserve -- 2,039 acres of tidal creeks, oak woodlands, fields, and marshes -- or stay the weekend at the low-key La Maison Blanche, where guests are welcome to borrow the inn’s bikes. Pack a few stellar pastries from the attached bakery and take a ride to the wood-framed Union Chapel in the Grove, the island’s oldest building. Or just hang out poolside with a book.