Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock/Andrew F. Kazmierski

Families will love:

  • A slower paced beach vacation
  • A quintessential New England setting
  • Biking along the miles of paved bike trails

While Martha's Vineyard may seem like a small island off of the southeastern tip of Cape Cod, don't let its dot on the map fool you! The New England island's 100 square miles lends to its diversified geography that includes dramatic clay cliffs along the island's western shores to miles of sand dune-lined beaches along its southern shores, as well as its surf-filled ocean ... more
While Martha's Vineyard may seem like a small island off of the southeastern tip of Cape Cod, don't let its dot on the map fool you! The New England island's 100 square miles lends to its diversified geography that includes dramatic clay cliffs along the island's western shores to miles of sand dune-lined beaches along its southern shores, as well as its surf-filled ocean settings to its quiet marshy areas ripe for slow kayaking, and to its fields and pastures and farms to its wooden landscape providing plenty of shade while biking along the miles of paved bike trails.

A quintessential New England setting, Martha's Vineyard also features six distinct towns. Vineyard Haven, the main port of entry, was once a bustling whaling town. Today, the actual town of Vineyard Haven refers to the harbor area, while the surrounding town is known as Tisbury, named after the hometown of English settler Thomas Mayhew Sr., who purchased Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket for $200 in 1641. (What a steal!) Edgartown, the island's first settlement, also grew as a whaling town, filling its streets with Greek Revival and Federal style homes that remain today. Oak Bluffs originated as a tent city for a Methodist revival meeting and quickly became the island's first resort town. Where tents once stood, tiny and eclectic cottages were built, earning the town the nickname Cottage City before being renamed as Oak Bluffs in 1907. West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah (formerly Gay's Head) round out the triangular-shaped island's shopping and dining areas. Despite the bustling towns, most visitors to the island skip on resort life and elect, instead, to rent a vacation home on a quiet little spot on the island.

Martha's Vineyard isn't your typical beachfront vacation destination. This island is for families who want to spend time together enjoying the simplicity of a quiet evening at home, lobster bibs tied around their necks, butter dripping down their arms, and relishing in the fresh-caught lobster and seafood before taking an evening stroll along the beach or playing a rousing game of Gin. Days are spent idling away the hours on bicycles, paddling away in kayaks, and building sand castles on the beach. An afternoon ice cream cone is a must before pulling up a chair and reading a book. On this island, even the kids relax and fall in love with the slower pace of the days. One visit here and it's easy to see why so many families, including presidential families, return to Martha's Vineyard again and again.

Written by Lissa Poirot less

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