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illustration by daniel o'leary and Finally . . . I it. When it comes Feud For ThoughT battle of the beaches WHEN IT COMES TO SUMMER GETAWAYS, THERE'S COMPETITION FOR YOUR LOVE. by lauren beckham falcone s it me, or do the Cape and the islands have a serious case of sibling rivalry? Think about to summer vacation, each of the Massachusetts hot spots is more desperate for attention than a trio of six- year-olds doing handstands in the pool. Look at me! Pick me! I'm the best! Exhibit A: Nantucket, the Marcia Brady of summer spots. The cool, fash- ionable older sister—it does everything effortlessly. It hosts the wildly popular Nantucket Film Festival, the see-and-be-seen wine festival, and is fast becoming a serious foodie destination. Its beaches are public, over-sand permits are coveted, and it's home to all walks of fame—John Kerry, Bill Belichick, and Chris Matthews, to name a few. It straddles both the cere- bral and the beer soaked with nonchalant ease. What other island can host the think tank The Nantucket Project, featuring industry leaders from all over the world, in October, only months after trading vodka tonics for beer pong for the raucous regatta known as Figawi? And there's the confidence. Not only does Nantucket have its own signature color—red—it was just named the best island in the world by National Geographic, which is like hav- ing no braces or pimples in prep school and being voted Best All Around. Then there's Martha's Vineyard. She has that baby-of-the-family quali- ty—the one who can do no wrong. She's wildly cool—think Spike Lee or the Outerland bar—without being showy. Environmentally conscious: an over- sand permit? Puh-lease. What about the piping plovers! And talk about antiestablishment: How's this for attitude? Naming the nude beach after a local librarian so puritanical she cut the naughty words out of books. Cheeky. Yet Little Miss Martha aims to be as exclusive and popular as her older sib. Most of the beaches—where the It car is a beat-up Jeep—require a resident sticker. For the private beaches, you need a key—to the tune of an easy mil. And boy, does she surround herself with the cool kids. Celebrities (Larry David, Meg Ryan, Lady Gaga) and presidential families (the Clintons and Obamas) love to play here. And while the island may not have its own hue, Vineyard Vines is giving Nantucket reds a run for their money. Then there's that poor middle child known as the Cape, which practi- cally cries, "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!" as people park their Land Rovers at Hyannis and Woods Hole and take to the Atlantic to spend the weekend at Brant Point or Oak Bluffs. What can you expect from a region split into three parts? The Cape needs a therapist, stat. Sure, Provincetown has the most gay pride north of the Keys, but hot damn, it's like the queen of Candy Land. You have to pass through a gauntlet of mini-golf palaces, cheap motels, and ice cream stands along 6A to get there. Yet Hyannis was the hub of the Kennedys and the Cape Cod National Seashore (particularly Coast Guard Beach, which consistently has been named one of the world's best), and the dunes of Truro are a spectacle. Have you ever had a lobster roll from Arnold's Lobster & Clam Bar? Worth. The. Wait. Sure, The Beachcomber in Wellfleet is a little honky-tonk, but anyone who has watched the sunset from a porch in Eastham or climbed the jetties at sun- down at Rock Harbor in Orleans knows there's no need to get on the Gray Lady or The Steamship Authority to experience beachside bliss. Here's the thing, kids. You don't need to worry about making us love you all. We already do. And even if we have a favorite? When it comes to the Cape and the islands, there's a lot of summer love to go around. BC Wickedly Good F un! 144

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