Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Martha's Vineyard

From Claire Lyddon

The island of Martha’s Vineyard, one of two islands off of the coast of Cape Code in Massachutes, is a great place to visit for a day or two when in New England. Only 2 hours south of Boston, it is very easy to get to, with lots to see and do for however long you choose to stay.

Martha’s Vineyard is a seasonal island and gets packed with tourists between June and September. May is a nice time to visit the island until the beginning of June and again, the middle of September to October. You still get the nice weather, but it’s not so busy so you are able to enjoy the Vineyard more!! The Vineyard has 6 towns. If you arrive by ferry you will arrive into Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs. Along with Edgartown, these are the 3 main towns! To the Islanders, the towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark and West Tisbury are known as ‘Up Island’ although they are situated from the south west to North West points of the island. Most visitors to the island will stay ‘down island’ and visit up island during there stay.

Be aware, Martha’s Vineyard had 4 ‘dry’ towns (Aquinnah, Chilmark, West Tisbury and Vineyard Haven), but you are able to bring your own alcohol to restaurants in these towns. Edgartown and Oak Bluffs are the towns that are home to all the bars and the few clubs! This is where a lot of the younger people ‘hang out’.

Staying on Martha’s Vineyard.
There is a lot of accommodation on Martha’s Vineyard, catering for all needs and desires.

The Harbor View Hotel
Located in the town of Edgartown, the views over the harbour, lighthouse and Chappaquiddick Island are amazing and make staying here worthwhile. The Harbor View is the Islands only full service hotel. The hotel has a swimming pool on the grounds, which is very useful for the summer months! It is only a small 5 minute walk from the centre of Edgartown, so walking, or crawling home at the end of the evening is not a problem!

The Kelley House
The sister hotel to the Harbor view, the Kelly house is situated in downtown Edgartown. It is a small inn, which is very homely. They provide a free continental breakfast in the morning, afternoon tea and cake and milk and cookies in the evening! The Kelley house is only open through season.

The Arbor Inn
The Arbor Inn is set just outside of Edgartown and has a family feel to the inn. Although out of the main part of town, it is still in an ideal location! Near the inn is a pizza shop, deli, supermarket, liquor store and bike shop to name a few. One of the islands many bike paths runs in front of The Arbor Inn, which will take you any where you want to go, as long as the bike path goes there!

What to do on Martha’s Vineyard
The first step to deciding what to do on Martha’s Vineyard will be to deciding how to get there. The main way and most convient way is to take the ferry from Woodshole, MA to either Vineyard Haven or Oaks Bluffs
. If you are going to take a car across, book tickets before hand, as during the height of season the ferry is very busy. You do not need to car to spend time on the island.

The bus service is very good, a
lthough there is bus stops along the side of the road, they will pick up anywhere on route, as long as you put your arm out. The taxis are also very reliable for getting around the island. The other means of transport that is commonly used it a bicycle. There are lots of bike paths around the island, which will take you to every point of the Island!

While on Martha’s Vineyard, make sure you see...
The Old Whaling House’s in Edgartown,
Chappaquiddick Island (Chappy) - you need a car or a bike to see Chappy!
Aquinnah – Gay Head and Aquinnah Cliffs are a must
The fishing village of Menemsha – come here at dusk to see the best sun set on the island.
Oak Bluffs Cottages, where there are over 1000 cottages, painted in bright colours.
The Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs - the oldest continuously operating carousel in the country.
The old Whaling Church in Edgartown

Where to eat:
Casual Dinning (located in Edgartown unless stated):

The Newes from America - a great ‘local’ pub feel where the food is really good.

The Wharf Pub and Restaurant - great for a bite to eat or a drink or two with friends.

Main Street Diner – a typical American diner.
Harry’s Deli – a great place to get a sandwich to take to the beach with you.
Lattanzi’s Pizza and Italian Restaurant – The best pizza on the island, has the casual pizza one side and the upmarket restaurant on the other side of the kitchen.
The Black Dog – with several locations around island, the main being in Vineyard Haven, the black dog is an icon to the Vineyard. Clothes, freshly baked goods, coffee and a restaurant, is there nothing that the black dog doesn’t do.

Restaurants (remember, if the restaurant isn’t located in Edgartown or Oak Bluffs, it will be in a dry town and you can BYOB):

Seafood Shanty
Lamberts Cove Inn

The Beach Plum Inn

Chesca’s Mediterranean - a very nice restaurant in Vineyard Haven, with a deck over looking the harbour with excellent views.
Smoke‘n Bones – a rib joint in Oak Bluffs, a little of off the main circuit (We drove around for 15 mins looking for it) a great place for a night of fun food.

This is just a few of the restaurants that I like on the Vineyard, if I were to put them all there, there would be a lot!

Useful Websites
(the local papers website, contains information about what’s going on).>>