The list of things to do in Martha's Vineyard is at its longest during the summer season, and as a result, this is when the island is at its most crowded. Thanks to all the great Martha's Vineyard attractions that can be enjoyed year round, however, visiting the island during a different season is still a delight. Even if a lot of restaurants and such have limited hours in the winter, the peaceful nature of Martha's Vineyard during the cooler months is enticing, and spring and fall both have their many merits. Regardless of when you decide to go, there are some activities and attractions that you might not want to miss out on, especially if you are interested in getting the full experience.
Martha's Vineyard has some excellent beaches, and as you might expect, they are at their best during the summer season. Some of the beaches on the island can be found in a town harbor, as is true of Menemsha Beach, while others are more isolated, such as East Beach. It's the beaches that are mostly responsible for bringing in the summer crowds, and you can bet that the island's beach accommodations fill up fast as Memorial Day approaches.
Martha's Vineyard has a rich maritime history, and being that it is an island, there are numerous opportunities to get out on the water. Boating excursions of all kinds are offered by local charter companies, and you can always hope to add fishing to the mix. Perhaps a boat trip out to the Elizabeth Islands for some beach time will be in order, or perhaps you are enjoying a romantic escape and wish to take a sunset cruise for two. Those with their own boats will find several marinas on the island of Martha's Vineyard, so bringing your own watercraft along on a visit can be a splendid idea.
There's just something about lighthouses, and Martha's Vineyard has several. There are five total, and you can visit all but one. The one that is off-limits to tourists is owned and operated by the Coast Guard. As for those that you can visit, they include one that overlooks the Aquinnah Cliffs. These cliffs, it should be noted, are also among the top Martha's Vineyard attractions, so you might add them to the agenda as well.
Old Whaling Church
The Old Whaling Church in Edgartown is a wonderful attraction for various reasons. For starters, few structures in New England are better examples of Greek revival architecture, and since the building is now an events center more than anything else, it can be a great place to go for some entertainment. Worth noting is the fact that the Old Whaling Church can be a great venue for New England weddings.
If you like to shop, then Martha's Vineyard can make for a fine destination. This is a popular vacation destination for the rich and famous after all, so it only seems fitting that there be some amazing shopping opportunities. Many of the best boutiques and galleries are found in the down-island towns, such as Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, and they specialize in everything from high fashion apparel to alluring jewelry.
As is true of most destinations that offer good shopping opportunities, Martha's Vineyard also provides its visitors with some tempting dining options. Fresh seafood is in very good supply, which is enough to convince some people to visit, and there is no shortage of fine dining establishments should you be looking to celebrate a special occasion. There's something for every taste when it comes to the Martha's Vineyard restaurants, and at some point during your visit, you might pack a picnic basket and make a break for the beach.
Made famous by a deadly car accident that involved one of the Kennedy family members, Chappaquiddick Island doesn't exactly have the reputation that it deserves. This largely undeveloped island just off the southeastern end of Martha's Vineyard offers plenty of opportunities to get in touch with nature, not to mention escape the bigger crowds on Martha's Vineyard. You might venture over to spend some time on one of its beaches. The ferry ride from Edgartown only takes about five minutes.
Taking a tour in Martha's Vineyard can be a very rewarding pursuit. Tour packages that cover multiple days can be arranged, and they can include your accommodations, so you might entertain the option of going that route. Most of the Martha's Vineyard hotels provide tour information for their guests, and you can also find out what's available in the tour department by visiting one of the Chamber of Commerce offices found in the main tourist towns of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Vineyard Haven.
Image: Courtesy of MOTT