Friday, July 2, 2010

Martha's Vineyard . . .

Summer is finally here, and one of the most popular getaways in Massachusetts is Martha's Vineyard.  Located off the coast of Cape Cod, the island is about 87 square miles with some of the most beautiful spots in Massachusetts.  The island is primarily a summer colony, with a year-round population of about 15,000; this number swells to over 75,000 in the summer months.  Martha's Vineyard is not an economical place to live, with the cost of living estimated to be 60% than the national average, and with home prices being about 90% higher than the average home in the U.S.

The Vineyard can only be reached by plane or ferry, with the latter being the most popular.  In the past twenty years it has become a celebrity and presidential vacation destination - it was the long time home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and was even visited by Princess Diana.  One of the places most often visited by tourist is the grave of comedian John Belushi, who was a long time resident of the island.

Last summer we hopped on the ferry at Wood's Hole in Falmouth for a day trip to the island via the Steamship Authority.  We disembarked at Vineyard Haven, home to the world famous Black Dog Tavern.  Opened in 1971, The Black Dog has evolved into icon with outlets in different locations on the Island and in several mainland locations.  Their famous tshirts can be seen on former patrons all over the world.

Having visited without a car, we bought tickets for local bus service, the Martha's Vineyard Regional Transit Authority to visit Edgartown, a picturesque town located on the other side of the island.

The are many great restaurants on the island.  We chose The Seafood Shanty on Dock Street in Edgartown.  Located directly on the harbor, it is a great place to enjoy a summer meal, with a large outdoor deck where you can watch the activity in the harbor while enjoying fresh seafood and visits from gulls!

After leaving lunch, we strolled through the streets of the town and visited the many shops and galleries that dot the streets of Edgartown.  My personal favorite - Claire Murray - a store that specializes in hooked rugs with the Cape Cod, beach and patriotic themes.

After a short bus ride back to Vineyard Haven, it was time to head back to the mainland for our ferry ride

If you are spending time on Cape Cod this summer, make a trip to Martha's Vineyard and experience this delightful island for yourself.  Visit the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce website for hotel suggestions and planning ideas!

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