Imagine you are lying face down on a damp beach rug. The delicious warmth of the sun is dancing on your shoulders. You turn over. Your feet are digging in the cold sand. The sea breeze makes strands of hair fly off your face. You look at the magnificent ocean, its waves flashing all shades of teal. You sip your smoothie, your troubles and worries forgotten for a while. Welcome to Martha’s Vineyard, you are in for a marvelous time!
Martha’s Vineyard is an island and a popular summer colony south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. It is the third-largest East Coast in the United States. Moreover, it is the 58th largest island in the United States, with an area of two hundred and fifty square kilometers. Martha’s Vineyard also includes neighboring lands like Chappaquiddick Island and parts of Duke’s County, including Elizabeth Island and Norman’s Land.
Let’s look at 7 reasons why you absolutely don’t want to miss a trip to Martha’s Vineyard!
Things to Do at Martha’s Vineyard
1. Beach time!
Obviously, you cannot enjoy Martha’s Vineyard without prancing about on its pristine beaches. Some beaches require permits, while others are open to the public. One of the most beautiful locations is Lobsterville Beach. It is a famous fishing spot and a nesting place for seagulls. You can walk the shoreline or go snorkeling in the clear waters.
You can also check out Katama Beach, South Beach because it lies on the south shore. This one has a protected saltwater pond. It is a barrier beach. In contrast to the calm pond on one side, there is fine surf on the other. You can go surfing but prefer not to swim or take kids with you because the waters are kind of rough.
2. Bird Watching
Martha’s Vineyard is home to over 300 exotic bird species. Birdlife on Martha’s Vineyard headlines when the first Red Footed Falcon in North America was spotted here in August 2004. It drew a lot of tourists and bird enthusiasts to the island.
It was once home to the Heath Hen, a subspecies of the greater prairie chicken. It went extinct in 1932. Today you will find many varieties of shorebirds, terns, herons, and egrets on the beaches. You may also spot the Osprey, also called the sea hawk searing across the horizon.
If you happen to visit during winter, you might just catch a glimpse of the Snowy Owl. Unlike other species, this one actively hunts from dawn to dusk. But the Snowy Owl is a migratory bird, and they don’t stay put in one place for long. So you need a little bit of luck too!
Some of the lands are conserved, but the rest is open for tourists. You can go bird watching at Max Audobon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. Various trails are taking you to diverse habitats like Early Birders and Talcon Tuesdays.
Martha’s Vineyard survives on farm products sown and grown on the island. You can get the full farm experience as a part of your travel itinerary. You can be a part of the fun and educational trips about different farm products and their processing.
There are many things to do, from milking cows to gathering eggs to seeing how wool is spun into yarn and how cheese is made on a farm. If you like cooking, you can sign up for a culinary skills workshop. You can walk in a cozy corn maze, pick pumpkins, ride horses and do everything else that you’ve always wanted to do on a farm!
You might also want to visit the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Fair. The fair is hosted in West Tisbury, which is the main agricultural center of the island. It happens in August every year. West Tisbury is also called Vineyard Haven, which is actually the name of a major village.
4. Flying Horses
The Flying Houses Carousel in Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, is a National Historic Landmark. The special thing about this carousel is that it still has brass rings to grab on to while riding. That’s not something you usually get to see on a carousel.
5. Gingerbread Cottages
The gingerbread cottages in Oak Bluffs are just too adorable! Oak Bluffs, also known as Cottage City, is a lively town with lovely nightlife. The cottages were built by Methodists who used to come to Martha’s Vineyard for religious retreats. As their visits became more frequent, they painted the town with their fun architectural style. So if you want to thank anyone for this town-that-looks -like-candy, it’s them!
6. Perfect Climate
Martha’s Vineyard has a sort of oceanic climate, something that is rarely found on the east coast of North America. It features mild summers and cool winters. The climate does not change much around the year. You can expect lovely weather on most summer days, although it might rain on some nights.
7. Amazing History
Martha’s Vineyard is historically one of the most interesting and controversial places in the country. From the Chappaquiddick car cliff accident to William Labov’s groundbreaking work in sociolinguistics about Martha Vineyard’s English dialect, there are many interesting things to learn about this place.
Martha’s Vineyard was apparently named after the mother-in-law and daughter of Bartholomew Gosnold, the first European guy to set foot on the island in 1602. Like most other islands, it was originally home to a Native American tribe called the Wampanoag people.
Later it was purchased by Thomas Mayhew, who started European settlement on the island. What brought the island to the attention of most people was the whales. In the 19th century, the whaling industry had started hunting around for whale oil and blubber. But soon later, petroleum replaced them as a cheaper source of oil.
The industry had collapsed, but the island had caught everyone’s attention. Railroads were built to the lands closest to the island. People began to spend money on building bungalows for spending time in summer. These were mostly royalty or wealthy businessmen. They popularised it as a premium tourist destination.
That was our piece on Martha’s Vineyard! Please check out our website for more articles like these.