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Martha's Vineyard Summer Vacations

Updated on June 4, 2012
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South Beach, Martha's VineyardMap of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket IslandBiking Martha's Vineyard
South Beach, Martha's Vineyard
South Beach, Martha's Vineyard
Map of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island
Map of Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island
Biking Martha's Vineyard
Biking Martha's Vineyard

A short ferry ride from Cape Cod will take you to the beautiful island of Martha's Vineyard for a summer getaway, a day trip or a romantic weekend. Here you will find old New England whaling towns with antique homes and romantic inns, rural towns and rolling countryside and landmarks like the Cliffs of Aquinnah. Visit the three main towns on the island, each with a distinctive flavor and browse the one of a kind shops and art galleries. There are a variety of beaches suiting every taste, from gentle waves and fishing havens to the rough Atlantic Ocean beaches with long stretches of soft white sand and waters perfect for surfing.

Accommodations vary on the island. You will have your choice of antique inns and spas, a luxury waterfront resort, and huge selection of rental properties across the island. Whether you are looking for a small condo, a waterfront estate or something in between, you will easily find something suitable that can be rented for a week, month or entire summer.

Edgartown Tour and Katama Beach

Chappaquiddick: A Short Tour

Sunset on the Beach in Aquinnah

Oak Bluffs Houses

Things To Do On Martha's Vineyard

Here is just a sampling of the recreational activities to enjoy on Martha's Vineyard:

  • Water-sports: Sailing, surfing, windsurfing,kayaking and jet-skiing.
  • Relax at one of the many beaches, search for seashells, go clamming.
  • Bike the island. Martha's Vineyard has miles and miles of bike paths through the rural areas and along the beaches, safe for kids to ride too.
  • Rent a scooter or a Harley and tour the island.
  • Ride The Flying Horses Carosel , the oldest indoor carosel on the East Coast and reach for the brass ring. Warning: visitors get very competitive with this old fashioned game and it is addictive!
  • Take a 45 minute ferry ride to the neighboring island of Nantucket. Nantucket is also bike friendly!
  • Take a 2 minute ferry ride across the Edgartown Harbor to explore the rustic island of Chappaquidick.
  • Browse the art galleries in Vineyard Haven and enjoy a coffee and pastry at one of the outdoor cafes.
  • Visit the tiny fishing town of Menemsha, fish from the rock wall and enjoy the fresh fare from the waterside raw bar.
  • Take a pony ride or horseback riding lesson and take in the beautiful views at Pond View Farm .
  • Tour the many historic lighthouses on the island.
  • Visit the stunning red Cliffs of Aquinnah, but be sure to stop at The Scottish Bakehouse on your way there for the tastiest shortbread this traveler has ever encountered!
  • Tour the Jicama Vineyard (the only vineyard on the island).

Watch the videos for more information and ideas about how to spend make the most of your Martha's Vineyard vacation!

Coming Soon: Where to Eat on Martha's Vineyard

You won't find a Stabuck's or chain restaurant anywhere on the island, but trust me, you won't mind!


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You have provided some great information on this very special place. I have been spending summers on the Vineyard for over 30 years and lived year round there from 2002-2006. Voted up and useful.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I just my vacation there and it was a great place! I'd recommend everyone to check out the place and lots of things to do there too!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      9 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Write on Target! The Vineyard is a beautiful spot and as a New Englander, I agree, it's a great area all around. I haven't made it to the Outer Banks YET - but I have heard it's beautiful and certainly worth the trip. Thanks for reading!

    • Write On Target profile image

      Write On Target 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Enjoyable read. Love Martha's Vineyard. NE is one of my most favored areas of the US. The Outer Banks down here isn't too shabby either. Looking forward to reading some of your work/passions/addictions :-)

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Hi Billy, thanks for commenting. It is an expensive island! If we could figure out how to live there year round we probably would. :) As far a Aquinnah, I have noticed that they now use both names. For the sake of the article, I figured I would stick with Aquinnah, lol, to avoid the questions! My husband jokes about it frequently when we are there. :)

    • billyblogthornton profile image

      Steve VanReenen 

      10 years ago from Boston

      nice post. i grew up on the cape and used to go to the vineyard all the time. when we were younger, we used to rent mopeds and cruise around all day. my buddies used to drive the van taxis as well. and i have a couple friends who still live there year round. it's expensive, but you get paid pretty well to work there in the summer. there are also many beautiful foreign girls from eastern europe that work there.

      when did they change the name to aquinnah? it just doesn't have the same ring as gay head.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Karen, that's so funny because I would love to live on the west coast! There is so much there that I haven't seen and enjoyed. I do appreciate our little east coast treasures like the vineyard, Newport, Rhode Island and Cape Cod.

    • Karen Ellis profile image

      Karen Ellis 

      10 years ago from Central Oregon

      Sometimes I wish I lived on the east coast - would love to see Martha's Vineyard some day.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Woody, for reading. Yeah, I think the vineyard is known in other parts of the country as a playground for the rich and famous. It is, in a way, but it is also culturally rich and a great family spot!

      Thanks Cailin! I'm jealous. :( I don't think we will make it this year. Stop at the Scottish Bakehouse and have some shortbread and coffee for me! :) Have you been to Smokin' Bones for bbq ? That is another of our favorite outings.

    • Cailin Gallagher profile image

      Cailin Gallagher 

      10 years ago from New England

      Beautifully put-gether with more great information. I love the Vineyard. I'm going across this summer again with the kids. Thank you! Puts me in that "island-mood". Hmmmm.

    • Woody Marx profile image

      Woody Marx 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I've wondered about The Vineyard ever since I heard the Clinton's took their vacations there when Bill was President. So now I know something about it! :)

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thank you, prasadijain. :)

    • prasadjain profile image


      10 years ago from Tumkur

      Good article about a less famous spot.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Decrescendo. :)

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks everyone for reading and commenting. I am glad to hear you are adding this lovely spot to your must see lists! :)

    • desert blondie profile image

      desert blondie 

      10 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

      Just found this hub of yours...Martha's Vineyard/Nantucket/Cape Cod an area I've always wanted to visit. Evocative hub!

    • embitca profile image


      10 years ago from Boston

      Great hub! It's funny, but I've lived in Boston off and on most of my life and I've never actually been to Martha's Vineyard. And I've only been to Nantucket once. I should try and get to the Vineyard this summer.

    • RyanRE profile image


      10 years ago from Bellingham, WA

      I am ashamed to say that I have never traveled to the east coast :( However, when I do I will make sure to visit Martha's Vineyard.

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks everyone, for reading and commenting! Neil, the fog and foghorns are still constant, but the cape has gotten a little crowded. There are still some quiet spots, but I think the locals keep them secret. :) We visit a beach on the Vineyard that is breathtaking and peaceful - few tourists know of it!

    • proudgrandpa profile image


      10 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      Thanks for a trip down mermory lane. My first wife and I were fortunate enough to visit and stay all the way out on the end of the cape. My memory is of the fog and foghorns in the early morning and seeing the Kennedy Yacht off Martha's Vineyard with some family members on board. Later I would remember this as a peek at Camelot. At the time the cape was a slow moving peaceful place. It sounds like it grew up.

      Great Hub. NEIL

    • Lifebydesign profile image


      10 years ago from Australia

      Have heard so much about this place- its nice to be able to view it from home. Thanks!

    • SweetiePie profile image


      10 years ago from Southern California, USA

      Hopefully I will be able to visit one day. Thanks for providing the informative travel guide.

    • jacobworld profile image

      Jakub Wawrzyniak 

      10 years ago from Ireland

      I went to France quite a few times and they have great stuff there . I really like your article and would like to read more .I also write travel articles . Good one

    • ridendurance profile image


      10 years ago

      Nice travel story amy jane. I like to see places that have been a special part of someones life. Your love for the vineyard shows through. Thanks!

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks travelgirl! I am sure my kids will always remember reaching for thebrass ring too! We once rode for two hours straight, as a family team to help my daughter (then 4) get the ring. :)

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks Zsuzsy and Steve, glad you liked it!

    • stevemark122000 profile image


      10 years ago from Southern California

      This seems like a great vacation spot. Thanks for this very informative hub.

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 

      10 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      I always wanted to visit the vineyards. Thanks for sharing. Now I definitely need to plan that holiday.

      regards Zsuzsy

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      10 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks guys! We have spent many wonderful summer vacations at the vineyard and I really wanted to share all that this island has to offer. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • John Chancellor profile image

      John Chancellor 

      10 years ago from Tennessee

      You make a very strong case for visiting the island. Very good research and presentation.

    • Dave Saunders profile image

      Dave Saunders 

      10 years ago from Washington, DC

      nicely done

    • Trsmd profile image


      10 years ago from India

      very nice and interested hubpage..


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