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Road Trip: Martha’s Vineyard

October 27, 2010 12:26 AM

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Two children search for shells at Katama Beach on August 1, 2010 on Martha's Vineyard. (Photo credit DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Two children search for shells at Katama Beach on August 1, 2010 on Martha’s Vineyard. (Photo credit DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Martha's Vineyard

(credit: AP)

Although it is only seven miles off the Massachusetts coastline, it feels like you are in another world. The hustle and bustle of Boston’s streets are lost in the sound of tranquil ocean waves, beautiful beaches and priceless scenery that only one island can offer. Welcome to Martha’s Vineyard.

The Vineyard is a destination spot for many people, and when you get there, it is easy to see why. The island is perfect for any type of trip – whether it be a day trip, a week… or even longer, a vacation to Martha’s Vineyard is guaranteed to make the list of your best vacation spots.

Getting There

Miles from Boston (Roundtrip to Woods Hole): 170
Travel Time: About three hours

Ferry Prices (roundtrip):
Adult: $16
Children 5-12: $8:50
Children under 5: Free
Steamship Authority Website

The Polly Hill Arboretum

This beautiful botanical garden is 50 years in the making. Developed in 1958 by horticulturist Polly Hill, this 20-acre sanctuary is home to more than 1,600 plants — and is the perfect spot for visitors to Martha Vineyard to walk through. Some of the plants featured at the Arboretum are grown there to protect them from extinction. Visitors can also view native plants of Martha’s Vineyard.

Visiting Polly Hill is also very inexpensive. The facility asks for a $5 donation and children under 12 are free.

Artisan Festivals

Held every Sunday from June through September at Grange Hall, you can browse through the treasures created by island artisans. Handmade jewelry, ceramics, home décor and more. The festivals are also held Thursdays in July and August and on some special holiday occasions. Check the Vineyard Artisans website for exact dates.

Visit The Beaches

Martha’s Vineyard has several beautiful beaches that visitors can spend the day at. The Vineyard is known for its many scenic beaches.

The Island’s Moshup Beach – located beneath the Gay Head (Aquinnah) Cliffs – was named the best walking beach by the Travel Channel in 2003. Moshup Beach is covered in white sand and has a spectacular view.

Although Martha’s Vineyard has about 125 miles of shoreline, it is not all accessible to the public. So make sure you check out the Island’s chamber of commerce website before you head out with your towel and sun block!

Gay Head (Aquinnah) Cliffs:

A must see while in Martha’s Vineyard are the Gay Head (Aquinnah) Cliffs. Dubbed a national historic landmark, the cliffs are comprised of red and white clays, green sands and other organic materials to create a colorful layered cliff along the island’s coastline.

The cliffs are a huge tourist attraction for Martha’s Vineyard. The colored cliffs, which were created by glaciers over the centuries, stand 200 feet tall and are absolutely breathtaking.

Atop the cliffs sits the Aquinnah lighthouse, which was built in 1799. The bricks used to build the lighthouse were made with clay from the cliff.

How To Get There:

Your car will only take you so far on your journey to Martha’s Vineyard. Visitors to the island will have to take a ferry as well. The rates for most ferries are very reasonable, so all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the boat ride!

When you get there, you do not have to take your car everywhere you go. There are several alternate means of transportation, including buses, shuttles, taxis and even mopeds! And if you do not want to venture too far from your vacation spot, walking could be your best option.

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