Welcome to Martha's Vineyard
Believed to have been named by mariner Bartholomew Gosnold for
his daughter Martha, with the 'vineyard' referring to the abundance
of wild grapes growing on the island, Martha's Vineyard is a
favourite summer destination for New England's wealthy elite.
Tourism is the main economy, boosted by celebrity regulars like
actress Sharon Stone and the Clinton family, but they are usually
tucked away in their private houses and on their private
It is far less developed than Cape Cod, but more sophisticated
than neighbouring Nantucket Island and simple pleasures such as the
weekly farmers' market, miles of coastal pathways to explore and an
agricultural fair blend with the concerts, outdoor theatres,
galleries and nightlife that keeps the towns buzzing throughout the
summer. The six towns have distinct characters, from the upmarket
Vineyard Haven that is the island's main port, receiving ferries as
well as private yachts, to the fun centre of Oak Bluffs where the
old Flying Horses Carousel, pizza take-aways and ice-cream parlours
cater to the young and carefree.
The graceful Edgartown has quaint inns, historic whaling
captains' homes and stylish boutiques lining the narrow streets,
and is the island's oldest settlement. The pace is decidedly
laid-back although the hassles of summer crowds, traffic and high
prices have led to more visitors discovering the appeal of the
off-season, with peaceful roads, friendly folk and private beaches
that are opened to the public.
Information & Facts
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.