Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Martha's Vineyard

Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:31am EDT
 
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By Chris Michaud

OAK BLUFFS, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Just 10 miles off the southwestern shore of Cape Cod, the island of Martha's Vineyard boasts pristine beaches, soaring cliffs, peaceful meadows, bustling towns and plenty of bucolic island charm.

Although a summer resort, much of what the island has to offer is enjoyable and accessible in early autumn after the summer hoards have gone.

Harvest festivals, fishing derbies, cycling events and open air markets add to the mix during a time of year that many locals say is the island's best.

With six towns, and a dose of fame and notoriety, the 100-square-mile island has become known as a summer colony beloved by writers, artists, musicians and presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Its year-round population of about 15,000 can swell upwards of 100,000 on peak summer weekends.

Reuter correspondents with local knowledge help visitors enjoy the island's highlights during a quick trip.

FRIDAY

5 p.m. - Arrive via Steamship Authority ferry (www.steamshipauthority.com for schedules) after a 45-minute trip from Wood's Hole. The only other travel options are plane, private boat or a few longer ferries from other locations. Boats debark in either bustling Oak Bluffs or more staid Vineyard Haven. First-timers are advised to make their base in youth-oriented Oak Bluffs or Edgartown - the only two of the Vineyard's six towns that are not dry. Set out to explore the charming harbor after checking in.

8 p.m. - A wealth of both fine dining and casual seafood joints awaits. Dine at the Lobsterville Bar and Grill (8 Circuit Ave., lobstervillemv.com/) and try to score a table on the second floor porch overlooking the marina before tucking into local specialties such as hand-dug steamed Vineyard clams and steamed lobster.   Continued...

 
A general view of gingerbread cottages in the Martha's Vineyard Campmeeting Association, Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts in this undated handout photo provided to Reuters October 18, 2012. Although the island of Martha's Vineyard is a summer resort, much of what the island has to offer is enjoyable and accessible in early autumn after the summer hoards have gone. The cottages are a National Historic Landmark District. REUTERS/Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce/Handout