6 Things to Do on Martha’s Vineyard

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If you haven’t checked out this gem off the coast of Massachusetts, plan a trip today and visit our top 6 attractions below.

The Mansion House Inn, Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard. Image by Caitlin Cunningham.

Mansion House Inn and Spa 

9 Main Street, Vineyard Haven, Mass
Phone: 1-800-332-4112

The Mansion House offers some of the finest accommodations on the island, and hotel guests get free, unlimited use of the health club, which includes yoga and Pilates classes. A spa is onsite and open for drop-ins. A limited number of hotel rooms are also pet friendly.

Tip: Get excited about your upcoming stay while viewing this live roof camera on top of the Mansion House’s cupola.

Getting There: The Mansion House is located in the heart of Vineyard Haven, at the corner of State Road and Main Street.

 

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Flying Horses Carousel 

33 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA
Phone 508-693-9481
Photo Courtesy of Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust

Flying Horses Carousel, the oldest platform carousel in the country, was built in 1876 by Charles Dare. It was originally located on Coney Island in New York, where it was used as an amusement park ride, but it was moved to its current home, a red barn in Oak Bluffs, in 1884. Each of the 20 handcarved horses feature authentic horsehair and reflective glass eyes. While the carousel spins, a 1923 Wurlitzer Band Organ plays on original paper rolls and delights visitors young and old.

Tip: While you’re there, try to catch the lucky brass ring!

Cost: $3.00

Hours: Daily 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 

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The Gingerbread Houses

Oak Bluffs, MA

Formerly an 1800s campground for Methodist retreats, the “gingerbread houses” of Oak Bluffs is a popular tourist destination. There are more than 300 intricately designed and colorfully painted houses, with names like “The Pink House” and “Sea Shrimp,” that make up this colony. Many of them are available for rent. At the center of the colony is the Tabernacle, or meeting place.

Tip: One summer night of each year, the colony has a “Grand Illumination Night.” The houses are decorated with paper lanterns and the town meets in the Tabernacle to sing. Check Martha’s Vineyard Online (Link: http://mvol.com/events/grand-illumination/) for date and time.

Cost: Free to visit; Rentals run $2,000-3,500 per week

Hours: Always open for sightseeing. Check Martha’s Vineyard Online for Grand Illumination details

 

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South Beach State Park

Atlantic Drive, Edgartown, Mass.

Three miles of sandy beach and decent waves await families and surfers alike at this popular Martha’s Vineyard beach destination, sometimes called Katama Beach due to its proximity to Katama Road. Lifeguards are stationed at certain stretches of the beach, and dogs are allowed in the summer after dark. Public restrooms and parking are available.

Tip: Locals separate South Beach into “Left Fork” and “Right Fork,” a reference to the two roads that lead to different parts of the beach. If you are travelling by car, the Right Fork has the most parking.

Cost: Free

Getting There: By Bus – The #8 bus from Edgatown runs to and from South Beach every 15 minutes in the summer. By Car – From the Edgartown center, head south on Katama Road for approximately 2.6 miles. Turn right onto Atlantic Drive. The beach will be on your left. Follow signs for parking.

 

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Mytoi Japanese Gardens 

Dike Road, Chappaquiddick Island, Edgartown, Mass

This Japanese-styled garden on Chappaquiddick Island offers serenity and space for peaceful contemplation to its visitors. Footpaths wind through ponds, islands, flowers, plants, a salt marsh and a stone garden. Turtles, frogs and osprey are just some of the wildlife hikers can expect to see. The trails are easily walkable, and most are no more than one-half mile in length. Public restrooms and picnic tables are available.

Note: Mytoi does not translate to Japanese. The garden’s creator, Hugh Jones, referred to the space as “my toy,” but officially made the name’s spelling M-Y-T-O-I.

Tip: Parking is limited to 15 cars. The best time to visit and find parking is early morning or late afternoon.

Cost: Free

Hours: Year round, daily, sunrise to sunset

Getting There: By Bike – Mytoi is a 3-mile bike ride from the Chappaquiddick Ferry. By Car – Mytoi is located on the far eastern side of Chappaquiddick Island and accessible by Chappaquiddick Road, which turns into Dike Road.

 

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Atria Island Dining

137 Main Street, Edgartown
Phone: 508-627-5850

In the heart of Edgartown, this impressive home-turned-restaurant offers formal, intimate dining in multiple rooms or on the wraparound porch. The cozy basement with brass bar offers a more casual, trendy atmosphere and bar menu. Atria specializes in New American fare and is renowned for its burgers.

Cost: $30-50 US Dollars

Hours: When open for the season, Atria begins serving dinner daily at 5:30 p.m.

Getting There: Atria is located in the heart of Edgartown on Main Street.