When it comes to keeping yourself busy on Martha’s Vineyard your options are endless, or simply choose to spend your time basking in the beauty of the island and your time would still be well spent.
The allure of Martha’s Vineyard is that you can do as much or as little as you want to - just ask the locals who have called the island home for generations. Residents and visitors alike have been entertained by both its hustle and bustle in the summer months and comforted by the tranquility and solace it provides in the winter. The in-between seasons of spring and fall offer respite and balance, and are some of the best times to visit the island.
No matter what you’re hoping to get out of your visit to Martha’s Vineyard, know that above all you will be inspired by its rustic charm and natural beauty. Across the six island towns of Edgartown, Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah you’ll find endless coastlines and unique beaches.
Hit the beach for a picture-perfect picnic (make sure to stock up on picnic eats at any local farmstand and market), mid-day nap on the sand, energizing swim or relaxing stroll collecting seashells or sea glass. If you meet a local during your visit and are feeling lucky, ask them to share their best advice on finding sea glass on the island - they might share if you’re nice in asking!
For those seeking adventure on the water Martha’s Vineyard is the perfect place to enjoy boating, kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddleboarding and even surfing! The island is packed to the brim with a variety of companies offering water sports and have all the equipment at your disposal. If you’re more laidback, a sunset cruise on a sailboat is considered a sport in our book!
Continue your tour of our beautiful island paradise by exploring our vast network of maintained trails and conservation areas, which offer scenic views, birdwatching and wildlife sightings, and terrain perfect for hiking, biking, walking, and horseback riding. There have been sightings of American Bald Eagles on the island, as well as the evasive yet glorious Snowy Owls, so make sure to keep your eyes to the sky. The scenic views provide rest and relaxation, while the open air delivers that fresh, crisp New England air your lungs have been seeking.
For those who enjoy sightseeing you’ll want to set your sights on our five historic lighthouses, each a beacon of history in their own right and many of which are open for tours in the summer months. Here’s a list of them so you can keep track of the ones you visit: The West Chop Lighthouse, The East Chop Lighthouse, The Edgartown Lighthouse, The Aquinnah Lighthouse, and The Cape Poge Lighthouse.
No expedition on Martha’s Vineyard is complete without a trip to the majestic red clay cliffs of Aquinnah; the historic and colorful gingerbread cottages of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association and the nation’s oldest operating platform carousel the Flying Horses in Oak Bluffs. Then of course there’s the notable whaling captains’ homes dotting the streets of North Water Street in downtown Edgartown, and the bustling fishing village of Menemsha that can’t be missed.
Want to learn even more about the fascinating place we call home? Immerse yourself in the rich history of Martha’s Vineyard with a trip to the Aquinnah Cultural Center, the Martha’s Vineyard African American Heritage Trail, The Carnegie, or the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, our significant cultural institutions celebrating island life over the years. One of our other favorite ways to immerse ourselves in the history is by booking a walking tour of Edgartown or a bus tour with one of the island’s many locally-owned tour companies.
Let’s not forget about the shopping local! You can’t depart from Martha’s Vineyard without spending time exploring our local boutiques, markets, vintage shops, and art galleries. With no big box stores on the island, you’ll be able to support small businesses with every purchase you make here, and you can feel good about treating yourself to special somethings and souvenirs commemorating your stay. Every town has a variety of shops, each with its special character and persona, so shop ‘til you drop!
The downtowns of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven all offer a concentration of local retail options. Not sure where to start? Ask our team at Martha’s Visit to help you curate a personal Martha’s Vineyard shopping experience tailored to your tastes and preferences.