In New England: Biker's Vineyard
Taking a car on the ferry to Martha's Vineyard for a short visit makes no sense at all - it's expensive and hard to get a reservation. Taking a bike costs just $6 above your round-trip passenger fare. The island has bike paths and marked bike routes everywhere and a bike lets you go where you want, when you want, without worrying about gas prices or parking tickets.
Only have one day? Take the fast, bike-friendly Island Queen ferry (www.islandqueen.com) from Falmouth to Oak Bluffs. Bike down to Edgartown along the shore road for lunch - great sandwiches at Soigne (508-627-8489) or enjoy a pint and something tasty at The News From America Pub (508-627-4397).
Spend your afternoon either biking the back roads of Chappaquiddick or pedal the bike path to Katama and lounge on the beach. On a long summer evening, do an early dinner at The Wharf (508-627-9966) before riding in the twilight back to the ferry.
If you want to make an overnight of it, in Vineyard Haven the Crocker House (508-693-1151, www.crockerhouseinn.com, $115 to $415 per night) is very casual/friendly and convenient with a wonderful porch for post-ride lounging. You can walk into town for dinner (try Zephrus for reasonable prices and an eclectic menu; 508-693-3416).
In Edgartown stay at the Ashley Inn (508-627-9655, www.ashleyinn.net, $125 to $315 per night) if you prefer a welcoming, romantic b&b, or the Clarion (508-627-5161, www.clarionmv.com, $189 to $379 per night) if a quiet, small hotel is more to your taste. Both are very cyclist-friendly and convenient to town.
If you don't have your own bike or don't know how to ride a two-wheeler, you can still pedal the Vineyard.
Lucinda Chandler's Trike Panther Adventures (www.guidedcycling.com, 866-443-2071) takes people for half-day, full-day, or multi-day tours on high-performance recumbent tricycles. She picks you up at the ferry or your hotel, you pedal as much as you want to on the back roads and bike paths, then explore the rest of the island by van.
The trikes are amazing machines. You sit comfortably in a reclining chair, pedal with your legs stretched out in front of you, and simply float along. There's no strain on your neck, arms or back. They are easy to shift and you can go as slow or as fast as you want.
Find more travel features and the Get Away with Fran blog at www.wickedlocal.com/getaway.