If you’re from the East Coast, you’ve inevitably heard of Martha’s Vineyard, even if you’re never visited. Located just south of Cape Cod, off the coast of Massachusetts, Martha’s Vineyard is a popular summer resort, thanks to the ocean breezes that offer some relief from the summer’s heat. It’s a well-known celebrity haunt, being less crowded than the Hamptons, and with limited housing and accommodation supply, it becomes exclusive by default. Who knows who you may run into?
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And of course, the whole island isn’t just a vineyard – in fact, there are no actual vineyards there. It’s unclear if there ever were entire vineyards, but the island was home to winemaking family Chicama Vineyards in the past and the island was reportedly strewn with vines when it was first settled back in 1602. There are a number of cute towns and pretty beaches on this island which measures just 100 square miles, so it can easily be explored in a few days or over a weekend.
So, what is Martha’s Vineyard actually famous for, besides being a celebrity spotter’s paradise?
Well, it was the island where the 1977 Steven Spielberg movie, Jaws, was famously filmed. Menemsha is the harbor where it was filmed and the town also has a great selection of bars and restaurants to enjoy.
Edgartown is Martha’s Vineyards’ oldest colonial settlement and has beautiful period buildings and a good selection of places to stay, eat and drink. It’s pretty streets, quaint shops and clapboard houses with picket fences look like everything this part of America should!
And, if you enjoy pretty houses, be sure to check out Oak Bluff, where there are streets of picture-perfect gingerbread houses, which look just like the real thing. The 318 houses were previous Methodist camp houses, where families would gather to pray and commune. While you’re in the area, be sure to check out the Famous Flying Horses Carousel.
Aquinnah is located on the west of the island and is home to the Native American Wampanoag people, as well as being the perfect location for seeing beautiful cliffside sunsets and exploring the Native American culture at the visitor center.
The best beaches are those of Memesha, Lambert’s Cove and Joseph A. Sylvia State Beach and it would be a crime to not enjoy the freshly caught local lobster and crab, which are famous throughout America, not just MA. Chappaquiddick is also a great waterside spot, famous as being the place where Senator Ted Kennedy had a vehicle crash after a party that killed his passenger.
Head out to Felix Neck or Long Point to enjoy the wildlife – as an island, Martha’s Vineyard is a nature-lovers paradise, with wild birds and other unique creatures that are native to the island, including the wild turkeys which roam free, and the somewhat less native (but cute) alpacas.
Don’t forget to take a trip to see the Lighthouse at Edgartown Harbor – the views are something else, especially as the sun sets at the end of another perfect day on this delightful Eastern island.
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