America is in love with beaches, but in New England they are packed during the summer months when the kids are off from school and the weather is easy. In early fall, crowds begin to fizzle and couples can enjoy spending time together without a rogue volleyball ruining the moment. Even then, that magical romantic beach is difficult to find but there are a handful of secluded beaches out there for spending some alone time with your sweetheart. Two of the region's island destinations, Newport and Nantucket, offer opportunities to relax on a peaceful weekend getaway with the one you love.Madaket Beach, Nantucket — Photo courtesy of Amber Nolan
Nothing spells “island romance” quite like Nantucket, MA. While tourists flock to Jetties Beach, an area not far from downtown, on the other side of the island is Madaket, which features a sweeping stretch of soft sand that extends as far as the eye can see. The area gives you a tourist-free taste of what it's like to live on Nantucket Island. While locals set up shop near the entrance, take a stroll hand-in-hand with your sweetie and you’ll be able to find an isolated spot to watch the majestic sunset and share a bottle of wine. While many people opt to drive, biking there from downtown Nantucket will take couples past beautiful cliff-side homes and occasional scattered beaches like Dionis Beach - a great detour off the main route. Stop for a drink at The Galley Beach bar at the infamous Cliffside Beach Club, a small, independently run a hotel and private club. If you choose to drive to Madaket, parking is available near Millie's, a local's favorite that serves up fresh fish tacos and other seafood dishes.[PHOTO_212442]
Known for its Gilded-Age mansions, pristine harbor, and shores laced with soft-sand beaches, Newport, RI has been a summer vacation destination for the well-to-do throughout the ages. After Labor Day the locals breathe a sigh of relief and reclaim their beaches when things start to calm down. While First Beach (Easton's Beach) is often full of seaweed, Sachuest Beach (Second Beach) - nestled between the Norman Bird Sanctuary and the Sachuest Point National Wildlife Refuge - offers a quieter, pleasant option for beach goers. The string of beaches are located just outside Middletown (about a 10-minute drive to downtown Newport) with restrooms, a snackbar, and outdoor showers.
Just next to Second Beach is, Purgatory Chasm, a romantic scenic overlook and majestic place to watch the sun rise or set as the waves crash into the cove. The rock formations are challenging (and fun) to climb on but be aware that there are steep slopes along the bluffs that can be dangerous. The trail is marked for hikers and there are cooking areas for barbecuing, however parking is limited to 30 minutes, so park at the beach and walk up if you plan on staying a while (which is very easy to do).Purgatory Chasm, Newport — Photo courtesy of Paul_Irish