Cloaked in legend and mystery, the rocky Isles of Shoals
are the focus of boat tours off New Hampshire's tiny seacoast. Each of the nine islands is privately owned (and some are actually in Maine waters); the island called Star houses a conference center and museum. Shoals Marine Laboratory, affiliated with Cornell University, and 19th-century poet Celia Thaxter's garden sit on Appledore Island, while the lighthouse shines from White. Shoals Marine Laboratory, 603-430-5220, sml.cornell.edu/sml_publiceducation.html; Island Cruises, 603-964-6446, uncleoscar.com.
Michele McDonald/Globe Staff
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