Which of Martha’s Vineyard’s Towns is Best for Me?
First-time visitors often wonder which town of Martha’s Vineyard’s six will be best for them. Some seek solitude, others, a vibrant night-life. Still others want a place where kids can roam on their own or a beach suitable for little ones. We hope the following snapshots will help you to find your perfect spot on Martha’s Vineyard, this summer and for many summers to come.
Once a whaling port and now a popular summer harbor, Edgartown is an eclectic mix of Old New England and a popular spot to stroll, shop and enjoy summertime’s upbeat energy.
Just a short stroll or bike ride takes you to the Edgartown Lighthouse and town beach at the entrance to one of the busiest summer harbors on Martha’s Vineyard.
Edgartown’s shops, restaurants, cafes, historic homes and gardens make it the favorite summer destination for many Martha’s Vineyard visitors. Buses leaving from downtown link to other Island towns and depart for South Beach frequently.
Downtown Oak Bluff’s centerpiece is Ocean Park, surrounded on one side by Victorian era homes and on the other by Nantucket Sound. A great place for kids to romp, it’s just steps away from the oldest operating carousel in the United States, as well as downtown’s shops, restaurants, cafes and the colorful Gingerbread Cottages.
The Steamship Authority car ferry as well as passenger-only ferries service Martha’s Vineyard through Oak Bluffs in the summer. The expansive and tranquil town beach attracts day trippers and seasonal visitors alike.
The boardwalk bordering the Oak Bluffs Marina is a popular place to stroll, enjoy an ice cream cone and watch the boats ply the waters of Oak Bluffs.
Vineyard Haven is Martha’s Vineyard’s year round port of entry. Check out the shops, cafes and restaurants line the downtown streets. Adjacent to the ferry terminal, tour buses as well as buses to all points on Martha’s Vineyard can be found.
Steps from the Steamship Authority Ferry terminal, the original Black Dog Tavern on Martha’s Vineyard commands a view at water’s edge.
Just outside of town, Owen Park offers a small beach, swings and room to play. In spite of the movie theater and Vineyard Playhouse, Vineyard Haven tends to be quieter at night than either Oak Bluffs or Edgartown. There are no bars in Vineyard Haven and it was just in 2010 that its restaurants were permitted to serve beer and wine.
Up Island —Aquinnah, Chilmark & West Tisbury
Aquinnah is renowned for its beaches, the Gay Head Cliffs and its remote beauty.
Rolling pastureland, sheep farms and views to the south shore of Martha’s Vineyard provide Chilmark with the natural beauty for which it is justly famous. Downtown consists of a small store, a restaurant, a church, town hall and a lending library. Summers are slow and quiet and the beaches restricted to those living or renting here.
Menemsha is Chilmark’s fishing port. Stroll the beach or the docks as fishing boats come and go. Stop for ice cream or a cup of chowder and experience the Martha’s Vineyard that summers are made of.
West Tisbury is farm country. From its ancient stone walls to the annual Agricultural Fair in August, a summer spent here offers the opportunity to enjoy the rhythm and relaxation of another time. Farm stands abound and Lambert’s Cove beach provides a quiet stretch of sand and sea.