Just off Cape Cod, Massachusetts is the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard. It is a popular and affluent summer colony where people flock to rest. Celebrities with their summer homes as well as city dwellers looking for a peaceful getaway are all part of the crowd the island attracts. Visiting Martha’s Vineyard is a key part of any Cape Cod getaway.
Martha’s Vineyard is the third largest island off the east coast of the United States (the largest are Long Island and Mount Desert Island). It can be included as part of a Massachusetts road trip if you have the time. While in the New England region, visit The Breakers, a prestigious and historic Rhode Island mansion.
What to know about Martha’s Vineyard
The island was renamed (the inhabitants of the Native American Wampanoag tribe called it “Noepe”) in 1602 by the British. A British sailor named Bartholomew Gosnold named the island after his daughter, Martha. And “vineyard” is a reference to the vine undergrowth on the coast – not because it has vines.
- Vineyards: There are no vineyards on the island
- Micro-breweries: There are micro-breweries on the island but no vineyards
Most of the houses there are seasonal with a permanent year-round population of 16,500. Many permanent residents are musicians, artists, and people looking to get away from it all and get back to nature. But summer goes from 100,000 to 200,000 as people flock to the island. As an affluent summer destination, the cost of living is also significantly more expensive than the national average.
- Resident population: Approximately 16,500 residents
- Summer population peak: 100,000 to 200,000
One of the attractions of Martha’s Vineyard is that it remains largely untouched by the rampant commercialism that characterizes much of the country. You won’t find a single chain of restaurants on the island. The vineyard is full of chef-run restaurants, cozy inns, leafy farms and peaceful beaches.
- The biggest: Martha’s Vineyard is the largest island in New England
- Authenticity: There are no chain stores, restaurants or hotels on the island
- Vibrant: There are year-round arts and cultural scenes with galleries, theater, dance, live music, and more.
What to expect on the island
“If your idea of romance is to be out all day, enjoying rugged natural beauty in many ways, then enjoying a fabulous meal or delicious entertainment or a comfy blanket on the beach for bedtime of the sun, then you can’t help but fall in love. love.”Martha’s Vineyard
There are 50 local farms on the island with a local commitment to sustainable agriculture. One can enjoy locally grown food – or freshly caught fish from the waters. In the summer, the farmers’ markets are a great attraction to visit. There are also taste walking tours to be taken in the fall and spring to sample local dishes and more.
- Point: Take time to see the local farmers markets
As you chat with the islanders, you’ll hear the local stories of who nearly everyone was an extra in the movie JAWS – or how they once met President Clinton. The atmosphere on the island is very relaxed and laid back.
Getting to the island and what to do there
The only way to get in and out of the island is by boat or plane (unless one feels like swimming the 7 miles to the island). There are plenty of ferries that one can take to get to the island.
- Getting There : by ferry or plane
If you’re short on time, it’s even worth visiting the island as a day trip if you’re already staying on Cape Cod or New Bedford.
If one enjoys sightseeing, there are plenty of guided tours on the island that run almost daily from May to November. Options include air, water, and walking tours around the island. Activities on the island include fishing, biking, hiking, farm tours, spa treatments, plays, art exhibits, water sports, and more. There are plenty of things to occupy everyone while visiting.
Although the island is more expensive, it can be done on a budget. Plan ahead and research the costs of activities and transportation on the island.
You can plan your accommodation, activities, restaurants, etc. on the dedicated Martha’s Vineyards website.
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