Martha's Vineyard is an island located 8 miles off the Cape Cod peninsula in Massachusetts. Once a whaling center, it has become a vacation hotspot and a favorite summertime haven of many celebrities. Due to this, it has picked up the nickname "Hollywood East". It is the 57th largest island in the United States and third largest on the eastern seaboard. It is believed to be the inspiration of Amity Island, from the movie Jaws.
Martha's Vineyard is made up of six towns, each with a selection of restaurants and accommodations.
- , formerly known as Gay Head
- , including the fishing village of Menemsha
- , which includes Chappaquiddick Island
- , often mistakenly referred to as Oaks Bluff
- , including the main village of Vineyard Haven in the town center
Residents have come to say "up island" to mean western areas of the island Aquinnah, Chilmark and West Tisbury. Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury are "down island." These terms refer not to north or south, but to longitude. (From the island's whaling past...)
Celebrities have been coming to Martha's Vineyard for decades. Locals have gotten used to them and scarcely seem to notice any more. It's considered impolite to stare.
South-facing beaches have the most surf. Uncle Seth's Pond on Lambert's Cove Road is the only freshwater beach and has only very limited parking.
- Martha's Vineyard Museum, 59 School St. (Cooke and School Sts), PO Box 1310, Edgartown, MA 02539, . Open: Summer: mid Jun-early Oct, Tu-Sa 10AM-5PM; Fall: early Oct-mid Dec W,Th,F 1PM-4PM, Sa 10AM-4PM; Winter: early Jan-mid Mar, Sa 10AM- PM; Spring: mid-Mar to mid-Jun, W,T,F 1PM-4PM Sa 10AM-4PM. Authoritative source for history and genealogy on the island. Excellent exhibits including the Thomas Cooke house, the Francis Foster Museum, the Captain Francis Pease House and Carriage Shed with coverage of whaling and Wampanoag history as well. Adm.: $7 adult, 6-15years $4, under 6 free.
Vineyard Haven, also called Tisbury, is the main port of entry for the Steamship Authority Ferries.
address: 65 South StHyannis. To/from Woods Hole (Falmouth) and Vineyard Haven (year round) or Oak Bluffs (mid-May to mid-Oct). The only line that carries autos. Make reservations well in advance if you're taking your car.
address: 1347 Roger Williams WayQuonset Point, North Kingstown, RI 02852. Between North Kingstown (at Quonset Point), Rhode Island and Oak Bluffs.
address: 49 State Pier, New Bedford, MATo/from New Bedford, Massachusetts. One hour.
phone: +1 508-778-2600address: 49 State Pier, New Bedford, MATo/from Hyannis and Oak Bluffs.
phone: +1 508-693-7022address: Airport Rd.
- Cape Air, Phone: +1-800-352-0714, . Regional airline serving Hyannis, Provincetown, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket with service also to the off cape cities of Boston, Providence (seasonal), and New Bedford.
- American Airlines, Service from Washington (DCA).
- JetBlue, Phone: +1-800-JETBLUE offers seasonal service from JFK and BOS on its 100 seat Embraer E190 Jet aircraft
phone: +1 508 693-944011 A Street, Airport Business Park, Edgartown. Buses run all over the island. $1 each way per town you go through or buy passes. 1 day $10, 3 day $15, 7 day $25, 31 day $40.
- Adamcab, Phone: +1 508-627-4462, +1-800-281-4462.
- All Island Taxi, Phone: +1 508-693-2929, +1-800-693-TAXI.
- Atlantic Cab, Phone: +1 508-693-7110, +1-877-477-8294.
- Bluefish Taxi, Phone: +1 508-627-7373.
- Jon's Taxi, Phone: +1 508-627-4677, +1 508-627-5298.
- Mario's Taxi, Phone: +1 508-693-8399, +1-877-627-6972, +1 508-645-2377.
- Martha's Vineyard Taxi Company, Phone: +1 508-693-8660, +1-877-454-5900.
- Stagecoach Taxi, Phone: +1 508-693-9632, +1-800-299-5411.
- Tisbury Taxi, Phone: +1 508-693-7660, +1-800-597-2362.
- Your Taxi, Phone: +1 508-693-0003, +1-800-396-0003.
- Admiral Taxi Phone +1-508-693-2020
Most of the vineyard's roads are accompanied by a bike path.
- Anderson's Bike Rentals Circuit Avenue Extension, Oak Bluffs Phone: +1 508-693-9346
Edgartown Bike RentalsOne Main Street, Edgartown. Apr-Oct. Daily 9AM-6PM. Book through phone or email. Delivery.
address: 212 Main StEdgartown. Full service and on the bicycle path in Edgartown with parking. Delivery.
address: 4 Lagoon Pond RdVineyard Haven. Will pick-up and deliver to any Island location. $15-$50 per day depending on the bike.
- Martha's Vineyard Bike Rentals, 2, Dock Street, Edgartown, Phone: +1=800-627-2763, . Apr-Oct. Daily 9AM-6PM.
- Sun 'N Fun, Lake Av., Oak Bluffs, Phone: +1 508-693-5457.
- Quawk Cycle of Martha's Vineyard, Vineyard Haven, Phone: +1 508-693-1188.
- Vineyard Vehicles Rentals, Beach Rd., Vineyard Haven, Phone: +1 508-693-1185.
address: 19 Beach RdVineyard Haven.
- King's Rental, Inc., Circuit Av., Oak Bluffs, Phone: +1 508-693-1887.
- Vineyard Bike & Moped, Oak Bluffs Av., Oak Bluffs, Phone: +1 508-693-6886.
- A-A Island Auto Rental, +1-800-627-6333, +1 508-696-5300, firstname.lastname@example.org, . Locations in Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown
- Menemsha Bike Ferry: +1 508-645-5154, : a small ferry carries bicycles and pedestrians from North Road on the northeastern side of Menemsha Harbor to West Basin Road on the southwestern side of the harbor.
- The Chappy Ferry: +1 508-627-9427, : carries pedestrians, cyclists, and up to three cars between Edgartown and Chappaquiddick.
The Gay Head cliffs at Aquinnah are a "must see". Moshup Beach below the cliffs was also named as at top ten "walking beach" by the Travel Channel in 2003, beating out beaches in Hermosa Beach, CA and Maui. Menemsha is one of the few places on the east coast where you can see the sunset over the water.
Cape Poge LighthouseA 4-wheel drive vehicle is required to visit it. Tours available by the Trustees of Reservations
Edgartown Lighthouseaddress: Edgartown harborrecently made open to the public
West Chop Lighthouse
BeachesThe Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce lists 19 beaches. These include:
- South Beach. Located in Katama section of Edgartown, this is a large public beach with good surf. Free parking, a few miles bike ride from downtown Edgartown, or via the MV bus system.
- State Beach. Located between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, on Oak Bluffs Edgartown Rd, this is a large public beach with practically no waves. A good beach for young children. Free parking available along Oak Bluffs Edgartown Rd.
- Aquinnah Beach (Moshup Beach). Located at the far western end of the island, this is a public beach with pay parking available. A small walk is required from the pay lots to the beach. This beach is known for the picturesque clay cliffs that rise up from the edge of the beach. Nudity has at times been common and tolerated on the northern end of the beach.
- Lucy Vincent Beach. Located off of South Rd in Chilmark (listed as Lucy Vincent Rd on some maps, it is a dirt road just before the big bend at Windy Gates Rd), this is a private beach for town residents during the summer. Nudity is allowed in the area that is more than 1,500 feet from the entrance. It is open to the public during the off-season, October 1 through May 31. A great beach.
- Charter Fishing
- Horseback riding in West Tisbury.
- Art Galleries: The island also offers several first class art galleries for the art lovers making a visit. Several of the best are:
- Island Art Gallery +1 508 693-3948 Tisbury/Vineyard Haven
- All Things Millie Briggs -- +1 508 693-9232 (Tisbury/Vineyard Haven)
- Chilmark Gallery -- +1 508 645-2587 (Chilmark)
- Edgartown Scrimshaw Gallery, Inc. -- +1 508 627-9439 (Edgartown)
- Farm Neck Golf Course -- +1 508 693-3057 (Oak Bluffs)
- Island Cove Mini Golf -- +1 508 693-2611 (Tisbury/Vineyard Haven)
- Mink Meadows Golf Course -- +1 508 693-0600 (Tisbury/Vineyard Haven)
- Waskosim's Rock Reservation, Chilmark. Stand atop one of the highest peaks on the Island, travel alongside a pretty brook and trek across foothills and valleys on this 184-acre preserve.
- Cedar Creek Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, West Tisbury. Miles of trails lead you over hills, alongside brooks and bogs and to a wonderful rocky beach on Vineyard Sound overlooking the Elizabeth Islands.
- Aquinnah Cliffs and Beach. A spectacular view awaits at the top of these 150-foot cliffs, while miles of shoreline below invite walkers.
- Public programs available all month long at the Massachusetts’ Audubon Center at Felix Neck.
Martha's Vineyard Sharks Baseball
- Annual Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby (Sept. 15 - Oct. 15)
- Aquinnah Music Festival
- Chilmark Road Race (August)
- 4th of July parade and fireworks
- 12 Meter Boat Race at the Edgartown Yacht Club (Featuring many winning America's Cup boats)
- Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby (Early Fall)
- Midsummer Faerie Festival link title
- Oak Bluffs Harbor Festival link title
- Summer Solstice Celebration link title
- Fireworks at Ocean Park by the Sea link title
- Built on Stilts dance festival link title
The island supports a full range of restaurants from casual to fine dining.
Lobster Tales CateringSpecializing in traditional New England clambakes.
- Theo's Restaurant, +1 508 645-3322, 74 North Road, Chilmark
There are two towns on the Island that permit the selling of alcohol: Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. A third town, Vineyard Haven, recently passed a law that permits the serving of beer and wine (but no hard liquor)at restaurants, and only with meals. The remaining three towns -- West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah -- have a "BYO" policy at most restaurants, enabling diners to bring their own alcoholic beverages. Places to grab a drink with (or without) dinner are
- Sharky's Cantina. 31 Circuit Ave, Oak Bluffs +1 508-693-7501 & 266 Upper Main St, Edgartown +1 508-627-6565
- Sidecar Cafe' and Bar. 20 Kennebec Ave, Oak Bluffs, +1 508-693-6261
address: Kennebec AvenueThe island's only brewery, open all year round
The island's only campground is in Tisbury.
The island of Martha's Vineyard features a surprising number of options for lodging. Victorian inns, sizable resorts, and private cottages are all available, residing mostly in Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven.
- Nobnocket Boutique Inn, 60 Mount Aldworth Road, +1 508 696-0859. Vineyard Haven.
Pequot Hoteladdress: 19 Pequot AvenueOak Bluffs.
Island Innaddress: 30 Island Inn RoadOak Bluffs.
The Madison Innaddress: 18 Kennebee AvenueOak Bluffs.
Ashley Inn Bed & Breakfastaddress: 129 Main StreetEdgartown.
The Edgartown Heritage Hoteladdress: 227 Upper Main StreetEdgartown.
The Clark House Innaddress: 20 Edgartown RoadVineyard Haven.
The Crocker House Innaddress: 12 Crocker AvenueVineyard Haven.
The Dockside Innaddress: 9 Circuit AvenueOak Bluffs.
The Harbor View Hotel & Resortaddress: 131 North Water StreetEdgartown
The Hanover Houseaddress: 28 Edgartown RoadVineyard Haven
High Haven Houseaddress: 85 Summer StreetVineyard Haven.
address: 90 Manaquayak RoadVineyard Haven.
- The Lightkeepers Inn 25 Simpson's Lane, Edgartown +1-800-946-3400
Mansion Houseaddress: 9 Main StreetVineyard Haven.
The Nashua House Hoteladdress: 30 Kennebec AvenueOak Bluffs.
The Thorncroft Innaddress: 460 Main StVineyard Haven
address: 9 Main St, Vineyard HavenForty-room hotel with fitness centre and spa, four blocks from Woods Hole ferry dock.
phone: +1 508-627-4747 (front desk)address: 31 Dunes Road, Edgartown, MAConsists of hotel rooms, 1-4 bedroom suites, private cottages and private homes. It's open mid-April to the end of Octobre. The restaurant has ocean views and among the resort's facilities are a fitness centre, tennis club, a children's program and shuttles to Main street.
- The island's newspaper since 1847 has been The Vineyard Gazette, 34 South Summer St., Edgartown, Phone: +1 508-627-4311 Fax: 508-627-7444, .
- A less stylized, more newsy island newspaper is the Martha's Vineyard Times.
- Martha's Vineyard is home to one of the oldest "freeform" independent radio stations and early adopters of internet radio, WMVY at 88.7 FM and at mvyradio.com.
- Martha's Vineyard has a unique low-power FM community radio station, WVVY at 93.7 FM. Its signal can also be heard clearly in Woods Hole and parts of Falmouth on the cape. Highly varied, eclectic music and news/affairs programming 7/24.
- There is very little crime anywhere on Martha's Vineyard.
- Beware of poison ivy, a low-growing vine (which may climb) with three shiny leaves. It can cause skin inflammation at any time.
- Ticks can be a problem and may carry Lyme Disease. Also, ticks in Aquinnah, particularly at Moshup Beach, may carry Tularemia. Martha's Vineyard is the only place in the continental US where Tularemia has been known to be carried and transmitted by tick bite.
- When you are at the beach, swimmers should be aware of jellyfish that float north in the summer. Jellyfish are common at the State Beach, on the Edgartown-Oak Bluffs connector.