The island of Martha's Vineyard, just off the coast of Massachusetts is one of the most popular tourist destinations in New England, if not all of the United States. With beautiful lighthouses, authentic fishing villages, a Native American community, great beaches and spectacular shopping, Martha's Vineyard makes for the perfect vacation. Car rental is the best way to get around, and checking national travel deals gets you the best rates.
If car rental is part of your vacation plan and you're arriving between Friday and Monday from mid-June through mid-September, youеll need to reserve your ferry crossing well in advance. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays itеs possible to travel on a standby basis. Ferry services to the island are available from Woods Hole on Cape Cod, Falmouth, Hyannis, New Bedford and Nantucket.
It is possible to fly directly to the island. Martha's Vineyard Airport, served by Cape Air, Continental Express and Westchester Air, is about 5 miles outside Edgartown. The nearest major airport is Bostonеs Logan International, offering direct flights to most major American cities and cities in Europe and rental cars can be picked up on the complex. From Boston, to get to Woods Hole and other ferry locations, take I-93 to Route 3 and the Sagamore Bridge.
One of the island's best attractions for children and romantic adults is also a great example of what makes the island so special. The Flying Horse Carousel, built in 1876 and once in New York's Coney Island, has been meticulously restored and placed in the charming village of Oak Bluffs.
In Edgartown, check out the Scrimshaw Gallery for some souvenirs of the sea. This town also features many beautiful old sailorsе homes from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Nearby Aquinnah is home to the Wampanoag Tribe and has been named a National Historic Landmark. In the fishing village of Menemsha you will find the authentic Scottish Bakehouse and some great seafood.
Very pleasant and just south of Martha's Vineyard is Nantucket Island. Ecologically fascinating, this sparsely vegetated island is populated mostly by wild cranberries, heather and wild roses. The village of Nantucket is known for its many old houses and great seafood. The island has a whaling museum and an 18th-century windmill. Scenic drives on Marthaеs Vineyard may be short, but theyеre packed with American history and charming views, and money saved by checking national travel deals helps with the cost of gas.
North of Marthaеs Vineyard is the popular visitor destination of Cape Cod. With its varied geography including great beaches, sand dunes, heath lands, pleasant hills, marshes, fresh water ponds, and lakes it offers swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, hiking and bicycling. One of the best areas of the cape is Cape Cod National Seashore, containing very pristine areas for camping and exploring with a rental car.
Given the upscale, island location of Martha's Vineyard, staying safe isn't a problem, although a common sense approach to your valuables is always wise. Beware of ticks and poison ivy when on walks, and swimmers should keep an eye out for poisonous jellyfish. You should also make sure you have current travel insurance.