Located just 7 miles (11 km) off the southern coast of Massachusetts, Martha’s Vineyard combines an island getaway with the charms of small-town New England. Beautiful beaches ring the Island’s edge, while the interior is crisscrossed with biking and walking trails, accentuated by natural and cultivated foliage and flowers. Cosy lodging, casual and fine restaurants, and a vibrant cultural life fill Martha’s Vineyard’s six towns: Vineyard Haven (also known as Tisbury, the main port of call), Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Chilmark, Aquinnah, and West Tisbury.
Summer is the peak season for visitors to Martha’s Vineyard. Throughout June, July, and August, pleasant temperatures average between 16°-27°C. This weather makes taking in the beautiful scenery and spending time outdoors – on land and sea – wonderfully enjoyable. Even so, the “shoulder seasons” of spring and autumn promise smaller crowds and greater tranquillity. Water temperatures stay between 17-20°C in September, drawing honeymooners and adult vacationers after children return to school.
An Island Brimming with Natural Life
Much of the Vineyard’s land remains pristine and unspoiled, from the colourful clay cliffs of Aquinnah to several nature preserves. Plant life makes up a large part of this natural wealth. In the spring and summer, the flora of Martha’s Vineyard bursts forth in all shades of green and colourful blooms. Spend some time at the Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury to view native plants and visit protected woodlands. Or, follow one of the many walking paths to encounter wildflowers, beautiful meadows, and tranquil forests. Even in the towns, many historic houses and neighbourhoods like those in Edgartown boast lavish gardens, which passers-by are free to observe and enjoy.
Several areas of the Island are protected wildlife sanctuaries and environments that support diverse flora and fauna. Take part in a birding tour or explore on your own! To visit one of the must-see landscapes of Martha’s Vineyard, board the small ferry from Edgartown to Chappaquiddick Island, (known to the locals as “Chappy”). There, the Trustees of Reservations maintain Mytoi, a Japanese-style garden showcasing native and exotic plants, with quiet groves designed for contemplation and reflection.
Avid shoppers will feel right at home on the Vineyard, where boutique shops are the norm. There aren’t any chain stores on the Island, making nearly all purchases distinctive to the Vineyard. Many artists and artisans make their homes here, and their distinctive artwork and goods, ranging from hand-blown glass to island-inspired jewellery fill numerous galleries and shops.The Wampanoag Tribe also sells authentic Native American crafts at shops in Aquinnah.
Finish the day by sitting down at one of the Vineyard’s lovely restaurants. Surrounded by water, seafood is a pillar of what Vineyard establishments do best. Much of the seafood served in the evenings came off a fishing boat that morning, and many restaurants maintain great farm-to-table relationships with local farmers. Whether you’re enjoying a romantic night out or relaxing at a casual place with the family, you are sure to taste the difference.