Just a 45-minute ferry ride from the mainland, the Vineyard features pristine sandy beaches, golf courses, natural beauty, and more than its fair share of sun-seeking celebrities.
Oak Bluffs’ brightly-painted “gingerbread” cottages began as a nineteenth-century Methodist summer campground; the town’s Flying Horses are the oldest continuously working carousel in America. Vineyard Haven is a picturesque community and the island’s year-round ferry port. Edgartown is an elegant yachting center, its streets still lined with whaling captains’ stately homes; the Old Whaling Church is now a performing arts center. “Up Island” are the rural communities of West Tisbury and Chilmark and the dramatic, color-streaked Aquinnah Cliffs.
When 17th-century British explorer Bartholomew Gosnold discovered the island, replete with wild grapes, he named if for his youngest daughter, Martha.
The island has five lighthouses, all originally built in the 1800s and subsequently replaced, and, in some cases, moved back from the encroaching sea. The Aquinnah and East Chop lighthouses are open for sunset tours on a limited schedule.
Plan your transportation to Martha’s Vineyard well in advance, particularly if you plan to take a car since auto reservations are limited. Better yet, go car-free and take advantage of the island’s shuttle buses, taxis, bikeways, and
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