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Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
When to go: Late May/early June
Why visit: Lighthouses, saltwater taffy and fresh sea air: When it comes to finding the perfect stretch of shoreline, it's hard to beat Massachusetts, either on Cape Cod or one of the nearby islands. Travel expert John DiScala of JohnnyJet.com visits Nantucket in the early summer, before the masses arrive. "There're no traffic jams, you can get reservations at restaurants, (and) there are discounts on B&Bs and house rentals," he says.
Banas agrees: "Martha's Vineyard has great deals in May and June. Maybe the kids aren't quite out of school yet, but it can be the best time to go and have some awesome weather -- without the horrible crowds."
Prices are particularly friendly before Memorial Day. If you visit during the school year, go for stays during the week instead of over the weekend.