Martha's Vineyard is a pleasure destination from way back, a place where mainlanders can escape the summer heat. Once a bustling haven for whaling and merchant fleets, it gradually became a vacation resort and, more recently, the holiday spot du jour for the rich-and-famous.
Despite the abundance of big business and show business types who occupy their second, third or fourth homes here for the summer, the island is still a quiet beach town with a burgeoning art scene which comes alive just in time for the private jets and helicopters to arrive.
Oak Bluff is the centre of the holiday merriment, a Victorian-era resort town with porch-wrapped summer houses and a gazebo where bands play, while the Vineyard's other towns still have a foot planted in their whaling origins.
Generally, Martha's Vineyard attracts a more ethnically and economically diverse holiday crowd than nearby Nantucket. Unlike much of New England, Martha's Vineyard has long been a beguiling mix in which locals, homeowners, and summer people coexist in an almost effortless comfort, united in their disapproval of traffic, their criticism of the Steamship Authority, and their protective attitude toward the island.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track