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The favored resort of presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and their families has a long history of hosting families—and US presidents—in summer.

 





Lemonade stand in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Lemonade stand,
Oak Bluffs

 

To most of the world, Martha's Vineyard is a New England island where Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and their families have gone to rent a cottage for a summer vacation.

To Bostonians and denizens of Cape Cod, it is simply "the Vineyard," an island larger than neighboring Nantucket, and a great place to go for a few days. Here's how to get there.

Like Nantucket, its maritime history is long and eventful, but so is its history as a summer resort. Specifically, it was a favored resort for Christian camp meetings during the late 1800s and early 1900s, as you'll realize when you visit Oak Bluffs.

Today, besides US presidents and celebrities from the worlds of entertainment, sports and finance, Martha's Vineyard has many summer residents whose homes have been handed down from generation to generation. It also hosts hordes of day-trippers and visitors looking for summer rentals.

What to See & Do

Vacationers flock to Martha's Vineyard for its beaches, its fine old New England towns, its golf courses (think of Clinton and Obama), for sailing boat cruises, nature walks, seafood dining and sunset views. More...

  Edgartown Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard MA
  Edgartown Light

Towns

Martha's Vineyard's three principal settlements are Edgartown, with its graceful 18th- and 19th-century ship captains' and merchants' houses; Oak Bluffs, filled with 19th-century Victorian gingerbread architecture; and Vineyard Haven, the commercial and light-industrial settlement.

Then there's "Up Island," the western half of the island with its little fishing villages and the multicolored clay cliffs of Aquinnah; and Chappaquiddick, the separate, less-developed island to the east.

Here are tips for planning your visit to Martha's Vineyard.

Transportation

Martha's Vineyard is close enough to Woods Hole (7 miles/11 km) that strong swimmers hardly need a boat to get there (map).

Most people do travel by ferry though, arriving for a day, an overnight, or a week, by the thousands in summer. (Make your car reservations months in advance for summer trips —January is not too soon!)

Ferries arrive at either Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven (map). More...

Martha's Vineyard has a useful bus system for getting around the island, or you can hike or bring/rent a bike. More...

Where to Stay

Lots of good hotels, inns and bed-and-breakfast houses on Martha's Vineyard. Here they are...

A Bit of History

Curious about how the island of Martha's Vineyard got its odd name? Read this Short History.

—by Tom Brosnahan


Planning Your Visit

Summer Rentals

Getting to Martha's Vineyard

What to See & Do

Vineyard Haven

Oak Bluffs

Edgartown

Up Island

MV Transportation

MV Tourist Information

Martha's Vineyard History

Nantucket

Woods Hole

Cape Cod

 

Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

 

Victorian houses in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Victorian gingerbread houses in Oak Bluffs
on Martha's Vineyard MA.








Garden & docks, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Gardens, docks, boats...a Vineyard scene. 

 
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