Martha’s Vineyard combines an island escape with small-town New England charm. Located just 11 km off the southern coast of Massachusetts, beautiful beaches ring the Island, while the interior is crisscrossed with biking and walking trails. The pleasant climate (summer temps average 16-27°C) creates a perfect outdoor destination, sweetened with luxurious accommodations, fine dining, and boutique shopping. The Vineyard also boasts a vibrant arts scene and a varied cultural landscape.
Read on and find out all that Martha’s Vineyard has in store for you!
Get Out and About – On Land and Sea
Being active on Martha’s Vineyard takes all forms and accommodates any skill level. On the practical side, biking is an ideal way to navigate the Island. Bike routes between the larger towns (Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Vineyard Haven) are mostly flat and easily navigable, covering about 30 km round-trip. Biking to these towns eliminates the difficulties of parking and saves money on gas. More experienced cyclists can trek “Up Island” to the Vineyard’s smaller towns of West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah. Conquer these the winding, hilly roads and be rewarded with magnificent views of a national landmark: the colorful clay cliffs at Aquinnah on the Island’s westernmost edge.
After traversing the inland bike routes, get on the water and do some fishing! Stock up at one of the Island’s bait-and-tackle shops, where many of the owners are seasoned fishermen ready to point you to the best locations for angling, either from land or a rented boat. Not sure you want to go it alone, or want to learn from the best? Book a fishing charter to be sure you come home with a trophy. Bluefish, striped bass, bonito, and Spanish mackerel are just some varieties you might reel in.
Explore a range of other aquatic activities at many other rental businesses. Hop in a kayak or try out increasingly-popular paddle-boarding. Get your feet wet as part of an excursion, in a class, or on your own. Harness the wind in a sailing class or on a tall-ship cruise! If you’re looking to relax, you can stretch out and soak up the sun or splash through the waves on more than a dozen gorgeous public beaches all across the Vineyard.
A Home Away from Home
Lodging on Martha’s Vineyard runs the gamut from luxurious resorts to a rustic campground, and even includes a seaside bed & breakfast that flies the Canadian flag year-round! (Isabelle’s Beach House in Oak Bluffs) For the no-frills traveler, the Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground is a great place to “rough it,” if only to a certain degree, with cabins, RV hook-ups, and wooded tent sites. If you’re planning a longer stay, consider a rental property that you and your family can call home for the duration of your stay. The colorful “gingerbread cottages” built in the late 1800s for the Methodist Camp Meeting in Oak Bluffs are now privately-owned and rented as a one-of-a-kind place to spend your vacation.
A Haven for Creativity
Arts and culture thrive on Martha’s Vineyard. Artists from the world over can’t help but be inspired by the Island’s overwhelming natural beauty and tranquil, relaxed way of life. Authors, painters, sculptors, photographers, dancers, artisans, and filmmakers infuse Island communities with vibrant culture. Open galleries display works from talented Vineyarders alongside world-renowned off-island artists. Artisans’ Festivals showcase the highest quality of goods handcrafted on the Island. Classical and experimental incarnations of the performing arts also find an outlet here, including dance, music, and theater in venues ranging from a large performing arts center to more intimate stages scattered across the Island.
Savor the Tastes of the Vineyard
Surrounded by water, seafood is a pillar of what Vineyard restaurants do best. At one of the several fine restaurants on the island, savor lobster, clams, or oysters that came off a boat earlier in the day. Or grab a quick bite at a gourmet café or pizzeria. Farm-to-table produce and dairy are mainstays of Vineyard cuisine – a difference you’ll taste whether you’re enjoying an elegant romantic dinner or a relaxed family meal.