As cruise ships are not able to dock here you will be tendered ashore.
Printable map to take along.
Watch a destination video.
Martha's Vineyard is an island located 8 miles off the Cape Cod peninsula in Massachusetts. Once a whaling center, it has become a favorite summertime haven of many celebrities.
Martha's Vineyard has taken its time becoming a holiday destination. It was Teddy Kennedy's misfortunes on Chappaquiddick Island in 1969 that put the place on the map. The filming of Jaws (1975) and, more important, the frequent visits of the Clintons in the 1990s all brought visitors flocking to the tiny, 20-mile-long island - and the numbers continue to rise. People come for the natural beauty, the excellent hotels and restaurants and, above all, the gracious, easygoing manner of the locals.
Up-Island is home to the Vineyard's many distinguished and/or wealthy residents, whose multimillion-dollar estates are hidden from the road by a thick canopy of trees and greenery. Asking for directions to celebrities' houses will result in blank stares: Up-Island residents guard their privacy. Better to stop off for a coffee at Alley's in West Tisbury, a general store that opened in 1858 and sells everything from farm tools to CDs; there are rocking chairs on the porch where locals stop to pass the time of day. Who knows who might pop in?
Scenically, Up-Island is a place of rolling hills and ponds, pastureland and dry-stone walls that resembles the Cotswolds.
At Gay Head there are spectacular multi-colored cliffs formed by mineral deposits and an old brick lighthouse; the nearby settlement of Aquinnah is home to the island's remaining 500 or so Wampanoag Indians, who have lived here for 10,000 years.
The small town of Menemsha and its neighbor, Dutcher's Dock, are old-fashioned ramshackle fishing ports. Menemsha also has one of the few public beaches on this part of the island, the rest being the summer preserve of "residents or renters", with outsiders strictly excluded.
Down-Island is more tourist-friendly but, inevitably, more crowded. The island's population of 15,000 can swell to between 100,000 and 200,000 in July. Vineyard Haven is a major point of entry, with bike- and car-rental shops at the harbor and a commercial district on the edge of town. Like all but two of the towns on the island (namely Edgartown and Oak Bluffs), Vineyard Haven is dry - though you can bring your own wine or beer to restaurants.
The Town of Oak Bluffs is a resort town on the northeast shore of the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Originally incorporated in 1880 as Cottage City, in 1907 the town's name was changed because of the growth in the year round population and the changing face of the resort required an acknowledgement the town was not just "Cottage City" any more.
Today, an active downtown is complete with exciting restaurants, charming inns, shops, and galleries, a variety of specialty food shops, movie theatres, and places to enjoy live entertainment and dancing.
Oak Bluffs is home to many historical and nationally recognized landmarks. Located at the foot of Circuit Ave, the Flying Horses Carousel is the nation's oldest operating platform carousel. It is one of the two known carousels built by Charles W.F. Dare in 1876. In 1884, the Flying Horses were brought to Martha's Vineyard; this treasured carousel has been enjoyed by Vineyarders and visitors for more than a century.
For 6$ per day you can ride the VTA buses to anywhere on the island.
It pays to compare your cruise line tours here
Be sure to enjoy a nice lobster meal!
The official U.S. currency is the United States dollar (symbol: $). ATM's everywhere.
Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely used and accepted, even for transactions worth only a few dollars. In fact, in some cases, it may be the only way to make a transaction. Note to overseas visitors: Prices of goods and services always seem lower than they really are, as taxes and gratuities are seldom included.
Most states have a sales tax, ranging from 2.9% to nearly 10% of the retail price; 4-6% is typical. Sales tax is almost never included in posted prices (except for gasoline, and in most states, alcoholic beverages consumed on-premises), but instead will be calculated and added to the total when you pay.
Tipping in America is widely used and expected. While Americans themselves often debate correct levels and exactly who deserves to be tipped, generally accepted standard rates are:
The U.S. has no official language at the federal level, but English is by far the standard for everyday use. Several states have declared their official state language as English. Spanish is also official in the state of New Mexico, where it is widely spoken; French is official in Louisiana and the Hawaiian language is official in Hawaii, but neither approaches the use of English and are official for primarily historical reasons.
In major metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles, many drugstores and supermarkets are routinely open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, while department stores, shopping centers and most other large retailers are typically open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and often with shorter hours on Sundays - generally 11 a.m. or noon to 5 or 6 p.m. On holidays, the tendency is to remain open (with the exception of the most important holidays like Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day where stores are generally closed)
Holidays in the USA
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