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The off-season is the perfect time to visit the island of Nantucket, off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts – a real-life “Pleasantville,” complete with cobblestone streets, grey-shingled houses and miles of picturesque beaches and conservation land. The island is especially inviting in October, when the water’s still warm, many restaurants are still open, the sea air is crisp and the streets aren’t lined with tourists toting a year’s worth of Nantucket reds home from Murray’s Toggery Shop. Do you need any more reasons to board the ferry?

Make the 30-mile passage out to sea for chef Michael LaScola (of Nantucket’s American Seasons) and chef Matt Jennings’ (of Providence’s Farmstead) Hogtoberfest, a 2-day celebration of all things pig, cooking and beer. The annual event – now in its 4th year – takes place on October 13 and 14. READ MORE

The stifling heat this summer has me dreaming about the ocean breezes on a tiny island 30 miles out to sea. A place where no one spends much time indoors, where cobblestone streets weave through town, where protected land — nearly 50% of the entire island! — reigns supreme, and where you may just find yourself with a warm stretch of beach all to yourself.

My version of paradise is Nantucket, MA — the “Faraway Island.” Packed within this island of 105 square miles, you’ll find a place where days can be spent lazing on a quiet beach, afternoons can be enjoyed shopping for one-of-a-kind items at tiny boutiques and evenings savored with dining experiences at world-class restaurants. As you walk around Nantucket, you may even hear people refer to mainland USA as “America” — as if you’re in another country altogether.

Hungry for a taste? Here are 8 ways to truly savor the very best that this much-beloved (and very wealthy) island has to offer:

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