If you want to experience a bit of island living in New England, Martha's Vineyard is just the place. This island of wild grapes is a favorite summer destination for New Englanders and out-of-town guests. Tourism is undoubtedly the main economic factor that keeps this island afloat, but celebrity A-listers also find peace and solace here, thanks to hidden homes and private beaches. Martha's Vineyard is far less developed than Cape Cod, but that's what makes this island so appealing as it is a vacation back to simplicity. Farmers’ markets, plenty of beaches, outdoor concerts and plays, and plenty of easy-going nightlife options keep this island area buzzing. There are no direct flights to Martha's Vineyard, but vacationers can book flights to Boston and connect on charter flights to Cape Cod before hopping a ferry to the island.
Each town in Martha's Vineyard has its own unique personality. Vineyard Haven is the island's main port and it is where ferries from Nantucket and Cape Cod arrive and where private yachts dock year-round. Oak Bluff's is the Vineyard's "fun" town. The Flying Horses Carousel in the middle of the village is the focal point and surrounded by cookie-cutter homes, ice cream stands and pizza parlors. Edgartown is the quaint and graceful village with stylish boutiques and restaurants, modern homes and impeccable landscapes. Regardless of which town you visit, Martha's Vineyard is always friendly and welcoming. Visitors will find plenty to do during their vacation here.
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Summer (June to August) is the high tourist season and the time when most people travel to Martha's Vineyard. This is also when the ferries run more frequently between the islands, and when Martha's Vineyard vacation rentals are at a premium.
Months from around November until March are the off-seasons on the Vineyard, but also the most peaceful times to visit the island. The ferries don't run as frequently so be sure to check ahead when booking boats to/from Martha's Vineyard.
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- Take a trip to Gay Head and dip your feet in the red clay cliffs that surround the area. Part of Gay Head is designated nude beaches, but they are secluded from family areas so parents needn't worry.
- Take a walk through downtown Oak Bluff, grab an ice cream and admire the famous gingerbread homes on Circuit Avenue. These homes, which look very much like doll houses, are centuries old and provide a colorful and cheery aspect to the town.
- Dine at the famous Black Dog Cafe -- a Martha's Vineyard favorite -- and walk along Oak Bluff Beach, made famous by the move Jaws.
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