Part of the Elizabeth Islands chain, which stretches out from Woods Hole on Cape Cod, Cuttyhunk, Mass., is about an hour from New Bedford, Mass.
"The real beauty of this island is the connection we have to nature and the environment," said Cuttyhunk historian Shelly Merriam.
She said the animals include migrating birds like Canada geese and rabbits, which appear at dusk between grass blades.
"There's Scottish highland cattle and they do a good job of grazing -- a fun thing for those of us who like to go kayak along those shores or maybe motor boating to have a look," Merriam said.
Lobster fisherman Charlie Tilton said fishing it is probably the reason most visitors come to Cuttyhunk.
And Cuttyhunk Fishing Club director Bonnie Veder, a lifelong Cuttyhunk resident, said the area also is of historical interest.
"This place is rich in history due to the fact that there were so many presidents that came to the island -- Grover Cleveland, [Theodore] Roosevelt, Taft, the Garfields," she said. "Why they came is for the fishing and camaraderie."
Veder said part of Cuttyhunk's charm is that it is not overrun by tourists.
"What makes Cuttyhunk so special," she said, "is the peace, tranquility the surroundings and noticing what's around you, along with your people who have been around for generations -- families and things that have been here forever."