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Vineyard Haven Cultural District: Art & History on the Island

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Posted by Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Martha’s Vineyard has quite the reputation as an idyllic summer destination, and for good reason.

The island’s beaches, restaurants and shopping make it a outstanding place to spend time, especially when the weather is warmer, but those are far from the only reasons to hop on over.

Martha’s Vineyard also beckons with a whole lot in way of history and arts, which are especially well represented in Vineyard Haven’s cultural district.

When you visit, what will you find?

Read on for an introduction to the area!

Vineyard Haven Habor

Vineyard Haven Harbor from above

Vineyard Haven, for those who haven’t yet had the chance to go, is located within the town of Tisbury on the northern end of Martha’s Vineyard.

There are a few different ways to get there. Year round, a ferry runs from Woods Hole on Cape Cod to Vineyard Haven (traveler’s tip: the ferry has snacks!).

Additionally, there’s seasonal service between New Bedford and Vineyard Haven, which operates from mid-May through mid-October.

The ferry terminal is a part of Vineyard Haven’s cultural district, so guests will be in the right place as soon they step off the boat.

Martha's Vineyard Haven

Hustle and bustle on the harbor docks

Once they do, there will be plenty of enjoyable ways to spend the day. To stay up to date with all things arts on the island, the ArtsApp is a great resource.

The Martha’s Vineyard Film Society, located on Beach Road, always has something fun on screen. The center shows a huge variety of works during all seasons, ranging from independent films to classics to documentaries.

The Society’s film center is also home to the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, which brings excellent entertainment and movie stars to the island each year.

Move stars like Jake Gyllenhaal!

For a little live action, head for the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse.

This professional theater presents contemporary and classic plays, along with the staged readings, musicals and the occasional world premiere, all inside a cozy setting.

Martha's Vineyard Playhouse

Getting familiar with each other at Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse via Facebook

Like all of Massachusetts, Vineyard Haven has quite a bit of history to explore, too.

The William Street Historic District, located just a quick walk from the water, boasts a magnificent array of Greek Revival homes built by wealthy maritime tradesmen during their heyday.

At the Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway, the island’s extensive boatbuilding history is alive, well and on display. Bunch of Grapes, the highly esteemed independent bookstore that also hosts events, is well worth a visit as well.

Bunch of Grapes Martha's Vineyard

A sunny day outside Bunch of Grapes via Facebook

When it comes to shopping, Vineyard Haven has an embarrassment of riches. All Things Oriental, Rainy Day and Midnight Farm are just a few of the boutiques to put on your list, with many more listed here.

Want to grab a bite? The iconic Black Dog Restaurant is great place to do it on the water. Art Cliff Diner and Copper Wok are two more outstanding choices; to see more, just click here.

Black Dog Tavern

The famed Black Dog Tavern

There are a host of places to sleep over in Vineyard Haven, although they do often book up quickly during the busy summer months. The Mansion House Inn and Crocker House Inn are two of the best, with many more fine choices here.

You take an even closer look at the Vineyard Haven Cultural District, along with 22 more unique Massachusetts neighborhoods, on massvacation.com.

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  • MVFILM

    In the blog above, the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival web site is incorrectly linked to a site that we are not associated with. The actual link should be http://mvfilmsociety.com/festivals/marthas-vineyard-international-film-festival/
    thank you.

    • MassVacation

      Thank you for catching. We apologize for that. The link has been corrected.

      • MVFILM

        Thank you for your prompt attention and correction. Have a terrific day

        • MassVacation

          Sure thing! And same to you. Again, apologies for the initial error.

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