NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com Logo   Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard MA
Undoubtedly the prettiest and most picturesque town on Martha's Vineyard, Edgartown is the place most people want to see when they come to the island.
 
 

 

Edgartown was the first colonial settlement on Martha's Vineyard, and is therefore the island's oldest town. It has been the county seat since 1642.

Plan to stroll along Main Street, North Water Street and South Water Street to admire the fine 19th-century Greek Revival ship captains' houses (map).

Many of the houses were built by whaling captains with the profits of their voyages, and these same profits provided the funds to build the Methodist ("Whaling") church (1843) on Main Street. For the full story, visit the Martha's Vineyard Museum.

Some of Edgartown's grand houses have become inns, B&Bs and hotels. More...

On South Summer Street, the Federated Church (1828) has old-style box pews as in Boston's Old North Church and other late 18th-century churches.

Besides being the residential center of the island, Edgartown has many good restaurants, and most of the island's finer shops and art galleries.

In more recent times, Edgartown came to national prominence as one of the locations where the movie Jaws and its first sequel were filmed, and many island residents made the daily stroll down to the harbor to look at the small mechanical shark in its special rack, covered by a canvas tarpaulin. (Much of the filming took place Up Island in Menemsha.)

Wander down to the wharf and take the Chappy Ferry on a five-minute voyage across the channel to Chappaquiddick Island for a bike ride or nature walk in the two unspoiled nature areas, Wasque Point and Cape Pogue, owned and maintained by the Trustees of Reservations.

Walk northeast on North Water Street and Starbucks Neck Road to reach Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse. Built as the Essex Light at Ipswich MA, it was dismantled, shipped to Martha's Vineyard and reassembled here in 1939 to replace the decrepit former lighthouse on this spot.

Joseph A Sylvia State Beach, three miles (4.8 km) northwest of the town center along the Edgartown-Oak Bluffs Road, can be reached via the Edgartown-Oak Bluffs Bicycle Trail, and has its own parking lot. More...

South (Katama) Beach at Norton Point (map), 3.5 miles (5.6 km) south of Main Street, is a l-o-n-g barrier beach washed by the surf, great for a refreshing, vigorous splash and some sun time. More...

The 250-acre (101-hectare) Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary of the Massachusetts Audubon Society is three miles (4.8 km) from Main Street at 795 Vineyard Haven Road (map). Go for its two miles (3 km) of nature trails excellent for bird watching, and exhibits and talks on nature and preservation.

—by Tom Brosnahan


Planning Your Visit

Summer Rentals

What to See & Do

Vineyard Haven

Oak Bluffs

Edgartown

Up Island

Island Transportation

Tourist Information

Getting to Martha's Vineyard

About Martha's Vineyard 

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

 

Victorian Inn, Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard MA

Above, the Victorian Inn, typical of Edgartown's graceful old buildings.

Below, Edgartown's Whaling (Methodist) Church, now a performing arts center.

 

Whaling Church, Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard MA

 

 

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