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2017 Life Annual Guide: Martha’s Vineyard

Aquinnah, Chilmark, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury (Vineyard Haven), West Tisbury

2017 Life Annual Guide Martha’s Vineyard

Edgartown Lighthouse by Denise Warrender

Martha’s Vineyard is a short ferry ride or flight from the mainland, yet with its unique geography and island charms, it’s truly the world unto itself. Famous for many reasons, including the celebrities and Presidents who regularly vacation on the island as well as a certain Steven Spielberg film that was shot there, the Vineyard consists of six unique towns spread across 100 square miles.

Arriving via ferry in Vineyard Haven, travelers are greeted by a variety of shops and eateries, including The Black Dog Tavern, which serves savory chowder and sandwiches, and Mocha Mott’s, a popular choice for breakfast burritos and coffee. Nearby, Rainy Day is a mood-enhancing gift shop selling locally made honey, island-themed ornaments, and more. The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse hosts theatrical performances in spring and summer, and concerts and other events during the year.

A quick drive brings visitors to Oak Bluffs. The town has many highlights beginning with the gingerbread cottages around which the community developed. Founded as a Methodist camp meeting site in the early 1800s, the area developed into a summer destination. The cottages are uniquely decorated, and the neighborhood is perfect for a stroll. Nearby, Circuit Avenue buzzes with shops, and Linda Jean’s is a cozy breakfast spot. Another eatery in town, Nancy’s Restaurant & Snack Bar, is home to scrumptious seafood, live music, and water views.

To the south, Edgartown is a charming town with a rich history. The Old Whaling Church is a rare-in-New-England example of Greek Revival architecture, and Edgartown Harbor Light is a historic beacon on North Water Street. For dining, L’etoile serves French-themed fare with an emphasis on surf, turf, and cocktails. Another fine option is the Terrace at The Charlotte Inn, which prepares entreés such as lamb chops—to follow the caviar.

Up-island, Menemsha is a captivating fishermen’s village with great seafood and scenery, and on the island’s western edge, the Gay Head Light is a must-see in quiet Aquinnah.

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