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“Martha's Vineyard Review”
Review of Martha's Vineyard

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Marthas Vineyard,Massachusetts,USA
Level 2 Contributor
2 reviews
25 helpful votes
“Martha's Vineyard Review”
Reviewed 13 May 2008

My name is K, I live here in Martha's Vineyard year-round. This review is my point of view as a local resident of the Island. As you heard, the island is an expensive place to have a vacation,that's true but if you know where to spend and splurge, getting here and enjoying the island is not that expensive at all. To get here from Boston/New york/Providence thru land, you can take the Bonanza Bus going to Woodshole (this is the end point where u take the boat to Martha's Vineyard) The boat fare is $7.50.If u want to park your car, u can leave ur car at Falmouth Steamship Authority Parking (see their website)lot for around $10/day but u should check the availability of this parking during Summer time. You should equip your driving skills with so much PATIENCE when driving towards the Cape, traffic tends to be slower on the peak months. Reserve your car ahead of time w/ Steamship Authority, getting your car on the island needs a long term planning. For those people who travel with the family, renting a cottage is very expensive, they are usually overprice. Some B&B are cheaper deal, besides if u target for sight seeing and experience, hotel stay is better, not unless u come for a retreat and serene cottage experience then go for it. I do not recommend eating out for dinner, most of the restaurants here are very expensive and ur dollar spend is not worth paying for the food. Bring ur own groceries & supplies, Stop & Shop and rest of the items here are very expensive. Be sure to gas up ur car off island the fact that prices per gallon here is at least 50cents or more. Parking here is a big industry, be sure to time ur car or else u will be going home with a lot of fine tickets specially in the Town of Tisbury(Vineyard haven), Edgartown & Oak Bluffs. Better yet go around thru public bus and enjoy walking around the tourist spots. Common misconception was the island is small, NO it's not! u can not cover the island in one day by Bicycle or Moped. The island size is around 20miles by 7 miles. The farthest end of the island is Aquinnah & Chilmark. Oak Bluffs is the center of gigs at night. Vineyard Haven is dry city, so no liquor allowed. Be careful of renting a MOPED, this kind of transportation is the most prone to accidents on the island, observe your driving speed seriously. The police here are notorious in issuing speeding tickets on peak months. Most of the restaurant serve fried ordinary food that they claim gourmet, correct me if Im wrong but most of it is overpriced and not good food. If u want to go to the beach, that depends on what kind of water current ur enjoy. If u like strong wind & current, go to South Beach and be sure to be there early, parking is tough to find on later hours of the day. If u want kid friendly, a little serene water current, u can enjoy the Oak Bluffs Beach Road. Bring ur own food on the beach there is no concessioners on the beach if u happen to get hungry. Just be sure to keep ur litters away with you. Jet Ski & othet water sport equipments are expensive so prepare ur budget accordingly. The hospital here is very reliable, although its the only hospital on the island, it tends to get busy but they tried to be fast and prompt in their services (better than what u get from big city hospitals). Arrive their by around 2am to 5am this is the hour when patients is not crowded at the ER. People from the South , don't be offended if most of the people here are snobs--stuck-up,uppity and persnickety...there may not as warm as the people in your town but they just mind their own bussiness. There is zero to none criminal incidents here, most of us here leave our house doors unlocked but just to make sure, guard your own, who knows some off-islander might take advantage of this island serenity. For more inquiries and question you can leave me a message and I will be glad to answer your questions. Thank you!

25 Thank rstuv12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
5 helpful votes
“Beautiful Island, But some merchants are VERY INDEPENDENT.”
Reviewed 8 September 2007

My company sent me to Martha’s Vineyard for business and I decided to go a day early to check out the island. I found the island to be very beautiful, but some of the merchants are border-line rude. The explanation I received about this impoliteness was because during the summer months some of the visitors to Martha’s Vineyard are impolite to the workers, so the staff by the end of the summer treats their guest with this rude behavior. I was also told that the merchants are “sick and tired” of dealing with the tourist and that they made their money and they just want to close shop for the summer. Would I return to Martha’s Vineyard, YES! Like I said the island and beaches are beautiful. Just be careful where you do business. The hotel and B&B policies are pretty strict about cancellations.

3 Thank EndoEastProvidence
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlanta, GA
Level 4 Contributor
17 reviews
65 helpful votes
“Martha's Vineyard is two Faced”
Reviewed 25 June 2007

You must really decide what type of vacation you are seeking before making any committments to MV. You have two choices: Down island or Up island. The differences are dramatic!

Down Island in my view includes the major cities of Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown. These towns are small but very crowded and fast paced in the summer months. The streets and shops are crowded with everybody chatting away on their cell phones.

The shops are quaint but decidely tourist based in their offerings. Black Dog clothing remains the rage and you'll hear and see the word/stuff all around Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky certainly created a cottage industry in this stuff (not that the Douglas family (of McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft) need the money.

Parking is a real mess in all three towns. "No Parking" is posted all over the place so be ready to be creative when finding a parking solution. Mind you, the police know al the tricks at this point. Oneway streets are the norm and can be frustrating when trying to get around.

The ferries arrive into Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven so traffic really crawls until they have been unloaded of vehicles and passengers. Oak Bluffs is the most "touristy" of the three cities. Countless numbers of t-shirt shops, and fast food type (burgers, pizza, etc) restaurants. The town most of the kids like to hang-out in.

Edgartown is more upscale and has the best restaurants on the island. Since the ferries don't dump tourists by the "Boat load" into its harbor, the shops ar less tourist based but don't get me wrong, Edgartown has its fair share as well.

I prefer a different MV experience from the above. A back to nature experience and that can only be found in the Up island area of MV. I never stay in a hotel but rent a local house for the week or two. Tea Lane Associates has a comprehensive list of available properties.

Property taxes are very high and coupled with the Inheritance Tax places many exlcusive type homes on the island available for rent. Their loss is your gain because a vast variety of homes are available. Many current blueblood families of MV inherited hundreds of acres and must pay the inheritance and property tax. Prime pond/beach access is going for $1 million plus per acre as these families parcel out these tracts to cover the taxation..

If you can locate a home with a key access to a private beach you'll find yourself in a quiet, peaceful environment. 100% different from staying in the major cities. I prefer the feel of a real home to a hotel room. Yes, more work is needed on your part but the peace and quiet of your surroundings more than makes up for it. Many have incredible views of the ocean or ponds and contain 5+ acres providing privacy and quiet.

If you rent a home, check out the pantry and make your list of food related needs. Then head over to Stop-n-Shop (Upper Main St - not in downtown) in Edgartown. best selection and prices in town. Great quality breads, cheeses, meats await you. Probably, one of the "hottest spots" on MV.

Next, and just a few hundred feet south of Stop-n-Shop is the MV Land Bank Association also on Upper Main St and facing/directly across from Cannonball park. There you can pickup the best map of MV for free. No barrage of tourist ads just a geat map of MV highlighting the public lands available for visit.

Up-Island main tourist attraction is Gay Head Lighthouse and beach. It's located on the far westside of the island. Tourist buses arrive daily so if you can "miss" seeing the lighthouse I would recommend staying away. Check your Land Bank map for more quiet, less visited sites on the island.


6 Thank rarotonga58
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Candiac, Qu������������������bec, Canada
1 review
6 helpful votes
“A dream island on the North Atlantic”
Reviewed 29 September 2005

My wife and I live in Montreal and have quite intense and stressfull occupations. We travelled to MV last week (Sept. 17) The weather was divine i.e. in the mid-80's all week. Less tourists, no waiting lines, available parking all over the island. We rented a cottage in Vineyard Heaven, namely one of the Bird Houses, the "Sparrow Cottage" in Vineyard Haven (hi to Caron & Dana, our lovely hosts) on Main street. Typical small MV dream Home. It was a delight. We rode our bicycles all across the island. We found peace and serenity. Cars travel at 25 MPH most of the time; the islanders are classy, patient and calm. Nature is at its best. The cost of living is high, for sure but it may prove beneficial at the end of the day...natural selection...

We found the island to be a true oasis of peace and relaxation. We will be returning next September, in Oak Bluffs this time in one of the gingerbread houses on the Campground...for 2 weeks. The surroundings and the ambiance there are surreal. One is litterally transported into the middle of the 19th century amongst the Methodists of New-England.
No junk food places, no chain stores, no wild night-clubs and bars...several dry towns. This island is not for everyone. But for those who fit the bill, it is paradise!

Claude and Chantal Sept. 30, 2005 Au revoir!

6 Thank LCboucher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Downstate Illinois
Level 5 Contributor
55 reviews
32 helpful votes
“Hey, is there a bridge around here?”
Reviewed 22 June 2005

While staying on Cape Cod, we took a day to explore Martha's vineyard. You take a ferry from either Woods hole or Hyannis. I believe the woods hole ferry accepts cars. The high speed ferry was not yet running for the season. (Middle of June and many things were not yet open.) The traditional ferry took about 1 hr. 45 min. and was nice. Here's my advice: When you get off the ferry, get a car or get an all day bus pass for the public bus. We wandered around, ate lunch at a nice brewery and decided to take a trolley ride. Well, the trolley was not yet in season. (seeing a trend here?) So we paid $20 a peice for a bus tour. The history and information was fine, but the driver had to be going 50 miles an hour most of the time. He would point things out and if you could see it, it went by in a blur. The bus stopped in Gay Head, where there is a small collection of shops and a spectacular view. The driver loved to tell you where all the famous people live, but there's really nothing to see. Just dirt paths and grape vines. For the cost of the tour, we could have rented a Jeep and seen the same stuff at our leisure. After the bus ride, we decided to go over to Chapaquidick to see the imfaumous Dike Bridge that Ted Kennedy drove off of in 1969. (Rebuilt in 1996, but hey.) We jumped on the public bus and got off at Edgartown. From there we walked down to the Chapaquidick ferry. You pay 3 bucks as a walk on and they take you about 75 yards across the water to the island. We were using some info that we found on a website, which said that there were bikes to be rented on the island. When we got there, no bikes. So we started walking. And walking. And walking. We asked a couple of people and they sort of laughed at the fact that we were on foot. We ended up on a dirt road that was obviously not leading to the bridge. Our time was up and I was very frustrated by the wrong information that we had received. So we started walking back to the ferry. Pretty soon a nice old couple from Vineyardhaven stopped and picked us up. They took us to the ferry and saved us from further frustration on Chappy. Our day at it's end, we boarded the ferry back to Hyannis. It was a different boat this time and only took 1hr. 30 minutes. Lessons learned: Don't get on the tour bus. Get a car, bike, scooter, or take the public bus. Take your time and enjoy yourself.

8 Thank travelwithmydear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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