Martha's Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard Travel Guide

Sitting just south of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard has drawn seasonal vacationers for decades with its laid-back elegance and idyllic summer weather. The island, the largest off Massachusetts’ coast, is only accessible by boat or air and offers all the picturesque charms of a New England whaling town with eye-catching architecture, like the whimsical gingerbread houses and the classic lighthouses. Ditch your car and grab a ferry to travel to Martha’s Vineyard for a summer indulging in its gorgeous sandy beaches, sailboat-dotted blue surf, upscale boutiques, and the general sense of relaxation the island offers.

Things Not to Miss in Martha’s Vineyard

• Take a day to enjoy the unspoiled nature of Martha’s Vineyard at spots like the Longpoint Wildlife Refuge and Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
 • Relax on the sandy beaches or hit the water in a sailboat or on a surfboard
 • Visit the scenic lighthouses, like West Chop Lighthouse and Edgartown Lighthouse, located across the island.
 • Historical tours of the quaint gingerbread houses in Oak Bluffs’ old Methodist encampment.
 • Aquinnah’s “painted” multicolored clay cliffs and unspoiled beaches are unrivaled.
 • Take a ride on the Flying Horses Carousel, a historic 1876 carousel, in Oak Bluffs.

When to Go to Martha’s Vineyard

As any Martha’s Vineyard travel guide will tell you, the best time to visit the island is from May until September, when the Atlantic Ocean ensures temperatures around the low 70s and rarely above 90 degrees. If you’d rather avoid the huge summer crowds, though, visit Martha’s Vineyard in the fall when temperatures stay pleasantly moderate, and the ocean is still warm enough for swimming or surfing.

Articles about Martha's Vineyard

Lay of the Land At just 100 square miles, the Vineyard is split between down-island and up-island towns. Down Island Edgartown: Stately homes of 18th-century whaling captains line the streets of this historic town. Oak Bluffs: Known for its Vi...
I started going to Oak Bluffs in 1981 and fell in love with the light. It reminded me of the light in the south of France, near St.-Paul-de-Vence, which for me was a déjà vu experience—it evoked the summer of 1973, when I spent a wonderful time in...
August 1995, Squibnocket Beach, Martha's Vineyard: the moment we fell in love with the clambake. Above the high-tide line was a band of smooth, flat rocks that made building a hearth less a matter of shoveling than rearranging. We started with lo...
It’s almost impossible to deny the appeal of a classic New England inn, especially in winter—when fires in guest rooms are actually encouraged, hearty roasts appear on dinner menus, and old-fashioned sleigh rides are the best way to enjoy a quiet ...