Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket offer buckets of fun things to do & seeTake your pick of islands – that is, Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket -- and activities in one of the most scenic and inviting areas of New England. Start with a cruise across Nantucket Sound then enjoy island pleasures in bunches. Stay close to the water , shop indoor and outdoor markets with local foods, flowers, books, clothing and knit goods in quaint villages and harbor towns. Take an island tour on bike or by van; see wildlife in their native habitat; go to a picnic or concert or some other public event , stroll windswept beaches; or just sit and take in the breathtaking views.
A highlight of natural beauty on Martha’s Vineyard is Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge on Chappaquiddick Island, adjacent to Martha's Vineyard. Chappaquiddick Island’s eastern edge is a barrier beach that extends for seven miles, passing the Cape Poge Lighthouse to the Gut. The refuge offers 14 miles of beachfront and oversand vehicle and walking trails. Facilities include picnic tables, bike rack, restrooms, which are open May 30 to October 30. Tours include a natural history tour, a wildlife kayak or canoe tour, a fishing discovery tour, and Cape Poge Lighthouse tour. Open year-round, daily, with an entrance fee May 30 to October 15. Phone: 508-627-8390.
In the 19th century, hundreds of ships passed by Nantucket Island each day. Unpredictable storms, dense fog, and strong currents could catch the most experienced sailors off guard. Treacherous shoals and inclement weather led to over 700 shipwrecks near Nantucket, causing the area to be dubbed “a graveyard of the Atlantic.” The Nantucket Shipwreck and Lifesaving Museum at 158 Polpis Road, Nantucket, preserves the memory of Islanders who risked their lives to save shipwrecked mariners. The museum takes visitors inside maritime history, featuring over 5,000 objects from famous shipwrecks and lifesaving equipment used to save seafarers in trouble. Open daily, late May through Columbus Day.
For some of us, vacation and the beach are the time and place to dig into a great (or silly, or sentimental) book. The little island of Nantucket can solve your book-buying needs year-round at at least two well-used bookstore. Mitchell’s Book Corner on Main Street is open-year round, and visitors praise its travel section, with lots and lots of titles – fiction, non-fiction, and coffee-table books -- about Nantucket history (508-228-1080). Nantucket Bookworks at 25 Broad Street gets big huzzahs from visitors who love books. It is near the ferry terminal and visitors say you will find a big selection of new books. It is welcoming to kids, and you can also shop here for board games, cards, calendars and silly gifts (508-228-4000).
The Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, located in the town of Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, is a neighborhood of hundreds of colorful, ornate gingerbread cottages that are a delight to the eye and great fun to see and photograph. The neighborhood has its roots in the religious revival camp meeting movement of the 1850s. Members of the campground – originally a tent community -- conducted popular Bible meetings where the cottages are now.