Vivian's Corner
U.S. Areas, Cities, States
Foreign Cities
Foreign Countries
Adventure & Sports
About Us
Yearly Index
Contact Us
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Where New Englanders Summer

During the summer of 1993 and 1994 when President Clinton vacationed on the Vineyard his presence brought traffic jams and media attention, unusual for this laid-back island. Celebrities have been coming here for years, but sighting them is not a usual pastime. The 23 mile-long island, near the shoulder of Cape Cod, is a stretch of ponds, forests, sandy beaches and small communities with carefully preserved homes, country inns, restaurants and B and B establishments. There are no special spots where the gliterati gather for the communities are scattered, small and often secluded. One senses that a strong Preservation Society is monitoring the island's development. Nothing disturbs the original New England setting. Edgartown, the largest resort town, dating from 1642, with its rows of stately white Greek revival homes built by whaling captains, looks like a prosperous seaport village. It boomed during the 19th-century whaling days and became a yachting center during the 20th century.

Shivrick Inn, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

Restaurants, shops and a fine harbor where the ferryboats dock are the highlights of Vineyard Haven (Tisbury). Nearby Oak Bluffs is a Victorian seaside resort; its pastel-colored gingerbread houses line the beach front. West Tisbury has all the characteristics of a typical tiny New England Village—white church, picket fences, general store, post office, old mill and working farms. Without a map and an occasional sign, you might drive by the other very quiet hamlets—Gay Head, Chillmark and Menemsha, all down island, and hardly know that they were there.


Fishing, golf, tennis, sailing and sightseeing in museums and historic homes.

Where To Stay

Our favorite place to stay is a beautifully restored mansion dating from 1840, Shiverick Inn on Edgartown's Pent Lane, a short stroll from the storybook streets to the town's center. The inn's architectural details are splendid—hand-carved moldings, marvelous mantels and wide floorboards. Antique furnishings, Oriental rugs, paintings, chandeliers, china and crystal reveal that this is a collector's home. Innkeeper Denny Turnelle is as cheerful and enthusiastic as Mary Poppins. "Can I get you anything? Something to drink? Did you get your messages?" Isn't being fussed over what vacation is all about?

Shiverick Inn, PO Box 640, Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, MA 02539. Tel. 508-627-3797, 800-723-4292. Rates start at $170 including breakfast. Highly recommended. www.shiverickinn.com

Where To Dine

Although the restaurant has many fans and gets lots of publicity we found dinner at the Beach Plum Inn to be disappointing. From all the hype we looked forward to something elegant, but except for the view of Menemsha Bay the setting was pedestrian. Fifty dollars for a three-course prix fixe dinner is a pricey tab on the Vineyard. We liked the gazpacho, the veal with caper sauce and the peach pie, cuisine that was more homey than haute. The same dinner at half the price? Well, maybe!

Beach Plum Inn, Menemsha, Martha's Vineyard, MA 02552. Tel. (508) 645-9454, (877) 645-7398. www.beachpluminn.com

Home Port, about a half-mile down the road from Beach Plum Inn, seems to be the most popular restaurant on the island. The phone starts ringing in April for summer dining reservations Don't head there without one unless you want to eat picnic-style on the porch from their take-out counter. Twenty-six dollars bought the special shore dinner–appetizer, corn, lobster, mussels, stuffed clams and dessert. Other fish and seafood dinners were reasonably priced and tasty, too.

Home Port, 512 North Road, Menemsha. Tel. 508-645-2679. www.homeportmv.com

How To Reach Martha's Vineyard

Fly Cape Air (800-352-0714) from Boston or Hyannis. Ferries shuttle passengers from Falmouth, New Bedford, Hyannis and Woods Hole to the island. The only car ferry leaves from Woods Hole. Reservations (508-477-8600) are necessary. www.flycapeair.com

For brochures, listings of seasonal events and other information contact the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, P. O. Box 1698, Beach Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. Tel. 508-693-0085. www.mvy.com

Winter 1994-95