Boutique Hotel on Peaceful Shelter Island
There’s not a single traffic light on Shelter Island. It’s a sign of the leisurely pace that prevails across this 27-square-mile stretch of land situated on the east end of Long Island. Where the streets end, you’ll find Mashomack Preserve, a sprawling refuge for hundreds of bird species. Located just minutes from the ocean, La Maison Blanche puts guests in prime position for enjoying this peaceful natural setting.
After arrival, you’re free to take out complimentary bicycles from the concierge. You can pedal past historical estates on secluded side streets or head into town to check out antique shops and art galleries. Back at La Maison Blanche, you can lounge on a covered wraparound porch with white wicker furniture.
The hotel has eight spacious guest rooms and suites. When New York Times travel correspondent Donna Paul stayed in a king suite, she lauded its 165-square-foot bathroom as “like being in a grand private home.” In the morning, you can gather around the hotel’s wood fireplace to enjoy French-style pastries that are baked on the premises.
Long Island’s Shelter Island: Small, Secluded Retreat with Victorian Mansions and Wildlife Preserves
Shelter Island is a secluded getaway nestled between the North and South Forks of Long Island. It can be reached only by ferry, which keeps the crowds to a minimum, even during the summer. While gourmet restaurants, such as Vine Street Café, draw the occasional celebrity (Kelly Ripa, Anderson Cooper, and Bill Clinton have all been spotted here), Shelter Island still maintains a relaxed, small-town vibe thanks to its quiet beaches, winding country lanes, and Victorian-era homes. The most popular beach on the island, Crescent Beach, offers swimming and dazzling sunset views. For a more private afternoon, find a spot on one of the narrow strips of sand along Oak Tree Lane, which runs parallel to Shelter Island Sound.
The Mashomack Preserve stretches across 2,039 acres, covering a third of the island. Within its varied landscapes—oak woodlands, marshes, and freshwater ponds—you’ll find harbor seals, hummingbirds, and one of the largest concentrations of nesting ospreys on the East Coast.