I often rave about Martha's Vineyard and then get asked where in the world it actually is. Well it's an island just off of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, on the east coast of America.
I made a first and sadly much too brief visit in 2004 and since then I have returned three times for longer stays. I hope that you will be able to see why I like the island so much from my photographs on this page.
The island is totally geared up for the main summer months when the usually empty holiday homes get occupied and the ferries become busy. I would imagine that the island is very peaceful out with those months.
The island is around 200 square miles in size, but there's no real need to bring a car. In fact a car could be a bit of hinderence for getting around and parking. The bus service is superb, connecting all of the islands towns and points of interest. There are also miles of cycle pathways and the busses have cycle carriers installed if you want to combine a bike ride with a bus trip.
Here is a journey around the island, featuring some of my photographs taken from a total of four trips to Martha's Vineyard.
Edgartown is the principal town. At its heart is Main Street, which is a stereotypical unspoilt American Main Street. Art galleries, antique and craft shops share the street with artisan coffee shops. There's also a cinema which shows the 1977 Jaws film practically every day. More about Jaws, which was filmed on the island in the 1970's later in this blog.
There are good sandy beaches within easy reach, as well as some excellent restaurants and a massive natural harbour, with the impressive Edgartown Light lighthouse to direct incoming boats.
Our most recent visit coincided with July 4th Independence Day celebrations, when the town hosted a big parade and firework show at Lighthouse Beach.
Technically Chapaquidick is now connected to the main island by a spit of sand that has formed in recent years. However, you will need to take the wonderfully named 'On-Time' ferry for the short crossing Fromm Edgartown to Chapaquidick. It's called 'on-time' because it doesn't run to a timetable and just goes backwards and forwards all day.
Much of Chapaquidick is looked after by The Trustees of The Reserve, who organise trips and activities. if you take your car you'll need to take some of the air out of your tyres to travel across the sand and then hope that you don't get stuck! On the island you can enjoy some excellent kayaking, explore the islands beaches and search for sea life in rock pools, or take a trip to visit the islands wooden lighthouse.
Menemsha was one of the main locations used in the filming of Jaws, here's the trailer for the iconic 1970's film...
The small fishing village on the north coast of Martha's Vineyard is where people gather at the end of the day to watch the sunset. The sunset viewings are nothing short of spectacular and the experience can be greatly enhanced by buying a lobster take way from the fish market. If you're taking your car beware as there is limited time for parking. The bus connection is good, just don't miss the last one!
There are also some wodnerful little shops, restaurants and a generally good vibe to this little gem.
Just along the coast from Edgartown is Oak Bluffs and whilst they may be neighbouring towns they couldn't be more different. Oak Bluffs is one of two places where the ferry comes in and fills during the morning with day trippers, there is a completely different vibe to this town, but it does have its own charm.
The large harbour is lined with bars and seafood restaurants. Just across the road from it is the oldest wooden carousel in America, with a free ride if you are the lucky rider that pulls the brass ring on the carousels final rotation.
At the west of the island is Aquinnah, with its impressive cliffs and Gay Head Lighouse.
Martha's Vineyard has been a favourite vacation for the two most recent US Democrat Presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. In fact Barack Obama was just a few miles away playing golf on the island during one of our visits.
You can reach Martha's Vineyard by coach, with regular Peter Pan coaches from Boston's Logan Airport and South Street Station in downtown Boston.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading my photography blog about Martha's Vineyard
Paul Saunders is a Marketing Consultant, based in Loch Lomond, working throughout Scotland and specialising in marketing, video production and photography for businesses and charities. Just for fun Paul blogs about his travels in Scotland and across the world. All photographs are available for purchase.