Introducing the city

£1.00 | $1.26

GBP | USD

3 * Hotel p/n £43.63 | $54.91

One-way ticket £1.77 | $2.23

Beer £5.56 | $7.00

Main Course £43.70 | $55.00

About Martha's Vineyard

Hollywood hideaway meets pastoral island escape; there's no place quite like Martha's Vineyard. Sweeping golden sand beaches fringe the shores, historic lighthouses dot the green hills and sleepy towns boast gourmet restaurants.

With a population of 15,000 Martha's Vineyard is hardly a party-mad beach resort. In fact it's the complete opposite and that's what makes it so special. A verdant island idyl, this slow-paced getaway is all about nature, fine dining and spectacular coastal views. White clap-board houses around harbour towns like Oak Bluffs create old world charm and the landscape is dotted with lighthouses (Edgarton's is one of the best). Wander along windswept South Beach before taking in the panoramas from Aquinnah Cliffs. If you dare, head to Menemsha Beach (filming location of Jaws) before a stroll around serene Mytoi Gardens.

Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs is one of the main thoroughfares of the island and is home to petite galleries and cute ice-cream parlours; the fairy-tale Cottage Museum is also worth a stop off if you're in town. You can take your pick of where to eat - from beachfront lobster shacks to gourmet 'spot-the-celebrity' restaurants.

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Weather

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When should you visit?

July for warm weather and summer holidays vibes.

Enjoying both a humid continental and an oceanic climate, Martha's Vineyard is a popular place to visit in the summer months. Heavily influenced by the surrounding Atlantic Ocean, temperatures stay moderate for most of the year, although winters can get rather cold. The hottest month is July with an average temperature of 27 degrees Celsius and the coolest is January with an average temperature of four degrees Celsius. The wettest month is February, which is also the snowiest.

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Travioor top tips

SUNSET
HIKE
DINE

Insider Info

  • Catch the sunset at Menemsha - it's one of the only places on the east coast where you can watch the sun set over water.
  • Fantastic cliff views, rugged unspoiled beaches and established trails make hiking all over the island a great way to explore.
  • From fresh seafood at a lobster shack to high class dining at chichi restaurants - you can take your pick when it comes to food.

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Food and drink

Main Course £43.70 | $55.00

3-Course Meal £99.32 | $125.00

Cappuccino £4.77 | $6.00

Beer £5.56 | $7.00

The Scene

One of Martha's Vineyard's biggest foodie influences are its dozens of farms; for its size, it has loads. Expect locally prepared, seasonal produce at most eateries. It also makes the most of its island location, with fresh seafood featuring on nearly ever menu. Local favourites include clam chowder (sometimes served with pork belly), fried bread-crumb clams and buttery lobster rolls. If you fancy cooking for yourself then try Larsen's fish market (pick up some Katama Bay Oysters) where everything has been caught the same day.

If you fancy a tipple with your supper then note that only some towns and restaurants allow alcohol while others are bring your own. Check out our Need to Know section for more information.

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History

Martha's Vineyard's Story

Martha's Vineyard was first occupied by the Wampanoag, who referred to the island as the 'land amid the streams'. Named by an English explorer (supposedly after his wife or daughter who were both called Martha) the island quickly became home to more and more settlers from around 1700 onwards. During the 19th century, the island became an important hub for the whaling industry and, in later years, a retreat and holiday destination for mainland Americans. Martha's Vineyard also became famous after Steven Spielberg used it when filming the movie Jaws; today it is a popular retreat for many Hollywood A-listers.

Language

English

The official language spoken in Martha's Vineyard is English, although it is laced with the New England accent. This accent is somewhat similar to the heavier Boston accent and is historically referred to as the 'Yankee' dialect. The following are examples of how you may hear words spoken:

'Pond' pronounced as 'Pawned'

'Bar' pronounced as 'Bah'

'Park the car' pronounced 'Pawhk the cawh'

Need to know

+1 774 Dialling Code
911 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Most visitors arrive by boat - Vineyard Haven (also known as Tisbury) is the main port and it's served by several operators. There's also a national airport. 
  • Two towns on the island permit alcohol to be sold, Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. The town of Vineyard Haven also permits alcohol (but only beer and wine) at restaurants with meals. The other towns have a bring your own policy. 
  • The only campsite on the island is in Tisbury.
  • Beware of jellyfish in the north during summer months, particularly around State Beach. 

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for the USA here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. BEACHES

Whether you want to build sandcastles, soak up some rays or take a stroll, the island's (award-winning) beaches are rugged perfection.

2. FEAST

Buttery lobster rolls, fried shrimp from a beach shack or smokey, creamy clam chowder - yup, Martha's Vineyard is officially a foodie's paradise.

3. INTO NATURE

The island is home to loads of wildlife, including birds, flora and fauna. Hike around or join in a nature trail - many of which are organised by locals.

4. CYCLE

There are plenty of on and off road cycling trails around the island, suitable for all levels. The terrain is relatively flat too, so bicycle is a great way to get around.

5. CIRCUIT AVENUE

Wander along Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs main street, past quaint 'gingerbread' houses, tiny boutiques and street side restaurants. It's a nice mix of locals and tourists.


See What's On In Martha's Vineyard