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What to do on Martha’s Vineyard


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In June, I’m going to Martha’s Vineyard.  I’ve never been.  I’m staying in Oak Bluffs.

what are the must do’s?

should I rent a car to explore or should I plan on renting bikes to get around?

we are flying directly onto the island…

what about excursions to Nantucket?   Are there private guides that I can hire for a day trip over there?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2022 at 5:58 PM, BnaC said:

In June, I’m going to Martha’s Vineyard.  I’ve never been.  I’m staying in Oak Bluffs.

what are the must do’s?

should I rent a car to explore or should I plan on renting bikes to get around?

we are flying directly onto the island…

what about excursions to Nantucket?   Are there private guides that I can hire for a day trip over there?

I've never been to MVY. I'd call your hotel or B&B directly and ask them what they'd recommend. Certainly, there seem to be both flights and ferries between MVY and ACK. I'm not sure why you'd hire a private guide. I'm sure just about everyone speaks English, and things can't be that difficult to find. The tourist office on those islands might also be helpful.

Cape Air lands passenger service to Augusta – Knox County VillageSoup

https://www.nantucket-ma.gov/891/Travel-by-Ferry

"...A seasonal inter-island ferry operated by Hy-Line Cruises runs between Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard from late May to early October...."

https://www.nantucket-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/24169/A-Day-on-Nantucket---Option-1

Nantucket has several individuals and companies that offer guided driving tours.
These tours will take you through the main town and then out to the east side of the
island. Highlights usually include development of the Town, Upper Main Street
whaling captain’s mansions, the old mill, oldest house, the cranberry bogs, ‘Sconset
village and Sankaty Head lighthouse. We strongly suggest that you call the tours well
in advance of your arrival as they are often are sold out the day you would like to
take a tour. Tour departure times vary through the day. We suggest taking an early
tour so that you have enough time to explore the island. If you can’t take a tour in
the morning, there are departure options at different times in the afternoon.
Barrett’s Tours 508-228-0174
Gail’s Tours 508-257-6557
Nantucket Island Tours 508-228-0334
Val’s Tours 508-680-1300

https://marthasvineyardexcursions.com/

 

Edited by Unicorn
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On 5/17/2022 at 1:38 PM, Lucky said:

You say "I am flying..."

"Should I rent a car?"

"Private guides I can hire"

But, whaddabout this? "We are flying..."

You gonna dump her at the airport? 😁

Guilty as charged!  It depends on her behavior 😂😂

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2022 at 8:58 PM, BnaC said:

what are the must do’s?

Relax and enjoy the ultimate Northeastern Island Life.
It’s mostly great beaches and a few ok restaurants.

On 5/16/2022 at 8:58 PM, BnaC said:

should I rent a car to explore or should I plan on renting bikes to get around?

You will absolutely need a car.

On 5/16/2022 at 8:58 PM, BnaC said:

what about excursions to Nantucket?

Depends on the length of your visit.
Less than a week? Don’t bother. They’re very similar.
More than a week?
The Vinyard isn’t that big, and you’ll be looking for something to do. Go for it. 

On 5/16/2022 at 8:58 PM, BnaC said:

Are there private guides that I can hire for a day trip over there?

I can’t imagine needing a guide on either island. 
They are both relatively small with relatively little to do.
Don’t get me wrong, I love them both, but it’s pure Kennedy R&R fantasy time.
Nothing more. 

Edited by nycman
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So, WE’ve opted for bike rentals
WE shall opt for a private tour guide - apparently all I need to do is buy out the tour van for a “three hour tour”

WE shall make a day trip to Nantucket where the new universal topless beach ordinance may be in effect…and my girlfriend will be pleased with that opportunity (of course, the woman who pushed for the ordinance noted in her support that “many of the men she observed on the beach had breasts bigger than hers…😅)

WE shall experience a different restaurant each night, lounge at the beach, go see a Sharks game, and arrange the tour on a cloudy day.  I will probably awake each day for a 20-30 mile bike ride to counter balance the dining.  I may even do a tech detox while there…right now I’m searching out boat rentals as well  

i am surprised that Delta offers First Class service to the island so I’m guessing it’s more than an RJ.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 5/27/2022 at 12:16 PM, BnaC said:

...i am surprised that Delta offers First Class service to the island so I’m guessing it’s more than an RJ.

Delta flies regional jets into ACK and MVY (Embraers and CRJ's). They do have first class sections. 

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On 6/18/2022 at 5:03 PM, Deadlift1 said:

It's probably very chilly there right now.

It absolutely is but refreshing from the heat we left behind!   Today may actually involve time on the beach without layers on!

12 hours ago, Unicorn said:

Delta flies regional jets into ACK and MVY (Embraers and CRJ's). They do have first class sections. 

Until Saturday, Sault Ste Marie and Hilton Head competed for the smallest airports on my list.  MVY is now top of my list.   

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So far, Edgartown is more our speed.  Oak Bluffs is a bit more touristy. Vineyard Haven doesn’t seem to have much to offer.   The next few days will involve some nature hikes to secluded beaches.  I’m impressed with the amount of conserved land here  
I’m not sure how one tiny island can support so many T-Shirt stores 🤣

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In my early 20’s, I used to join a close college friend on sailing trips to MV, Nantucket and other points in New England. We always sailed into Edgartown and rented a mooring from the Edgartown YC. They had a launch that would pick you up and take you to the dock. From there you could walk to Chappy across the infamous little bridge. This was in the early 80’s, so it was still an old money town without all the nouveaux-riches with oligarch yachts, etc. It was magical. Cute college kids worked at the long-closed seafood restaurant. I went three years in a row, the first two by sailboat. One September we had to ride out a hurricane attached to a mooring. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but heading to Wood’s Hole the next day we were buffeted by huge swells and it was rough going.

I’d love to return after 40 years and see how much it’s changed. 

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18 hours ago, Pensant said:

In my early 20’s, I used to join a close college friend on sailing trips to MV, Nantucket and other points in New England. We always sailed into Edgartown and rented a mooring from the Edgartown YC. They had a launch that would pick you up and take you to the dock. From there you could walk to Chappy across the infamous little bridge. This was in the early 80’s, so it was still an old money town without all the nouveaux-riches with oligarch yachts, etc. It was magical. Cute college kids worked at the long-closed seafood restaurant. I went three years in a row, the first two by sailboat. One September we had to ride out a hurricane attached to a mooring. It wasn’t as bad as it sounds, but heading to Wood’s Hole the next day we were buffeted by huge swells and it was rough going.

I’d love to return after 40 years and see how much it’s changed. 

From your description, I’d guess it’s not changed much in Edgartown except that the retail and restaurants may be more “refined”.   The stately homes are very well maintained with what appears to be historic accuracy.  The bridge to Chappy is gone.  It’s very New England nostalgic.  If I opt to return, I think I’d spend less time on MV and would opt to stay in one of this historic inns or B&B’s in Edgartown.  

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8 hours ago, BnaC said:

The bridge to Chappy is gone.

Minor points…..

There never was a "bridge to Chappy". The bridge is on Chappaquiddick Island. It connects two parts of Chappaquiddick.  Basically it connects the main body of Chappaquiddick to East Beach and Cape Poge. I’d call it a "short cut across an inlet", except you can’t go the long way because there’s no road that way. So it’s the "only cut". 

Although the original bridge was demolished, it was replaced with a more modern bridge, also named ”Dike Bridge". So the "bridge to Chappy" never existed, but Dike Bridge still does. 

And yes, Kennedy failed to notify authorities for over 10 hours, and not until he found out they already new about the crash. Mary Jo Kopechne was alive in an air pocket for at least two hours and his self-serving silence cost her her young life. Like most of the Kennedys, he was a piece of shit. 

Edited by nycman
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Reflections as my week ends:

Next time, We will split the trip between MV and Nantucket.  As I spent a day on Nantucket, I’m surprised at how different the two are.  On MV, I’d favor Edgartown over Oak Bluffs.  We opted for bikes and not car…but it’s not as bikeabke for my GF who’s less skilled in riding.  But, there’s also few convenient bike parking spots, so walking was easier than riding for daily errands and dining.  
However, the beaches are awesome and New England is less stifling in June than southern beaches.  I will return for sure. 

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On 6/24/2022 at 7:52 AM, BnaC said:

Reflections as my week ends:

Next time, We will split the trip between MV and Nantucket.  As I spent a day on Nantucket, I’m surprised at how different the two are.  On MV, I’d favor Edgartown over Oak Bluffs.  We opted for bikes and not car…but it’s not as bikeabke for my GF who’s less skilled in riding.  But, there’s also few convenient bike parking spots, so walking was easier than riding for daily errands and dining.  
However, the beaches are awesome and New England is less stifling in June than southern beaches.  I will return for sure. 

I've been to the Vineyard a few times but never Nantucket.  Must confess, I assumed they were pretty similar.  What are the major differences?

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