Things to do
One of the liveliest towns on Martha’s Vineyard has to be Oak Bluffs, where an abundance of nightspots and shops draw tourists and locals alike. The kids with you (and the kid in you) will want to stop at the Flying Horses Carousel (508-693-9481).
Be sure to tour the nearby cottages of the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association. The colorful cottages, with their fancy trim, domes, and gingerbread cutouts, evolved from the tents of the summer-camp religious meetings that began in 1835.
For a more tranquil experience, create your own route (with the help of a map from the visitor center) through the Polly Hill Arboretum (www.pollyhillarboretum.com, 508-693-9426), 60 acres of rare trees, shrubs, and meadows in West Tisbury. For another unforgettable experience, watch the sun set at the striated red cliffs of Aquinnah, the westernmost point of Martha’s Vineyard and part of the Wampanoag tribe’s reservation land.
While waiting for the ferry or for a refreshing swim after your ride, stop at the Oak Bluffs Town Beach, located on both sides of the ferry wharf. The water is calm, making the beach popular with families, and there is a restroom nearby beside the wharf. Best of all, it’s close to the action on Circuit Avenue, where eateries and candy and ice cream shops beckon.