Category Archives: Vineyard Towns

The Must-See Lighthouses of Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard has many charms to offer those who come here to visit throughout the year. Although many come for the beach, nice weather and amazing seafood, Martha’s Vineyard has a rich and detailed history behind its beauty. One of the most telling of historical monuments here on the island is its lighthouses. All of the lighthouses on the island have their own unique story and character. Here are five of the lighthouses that you must see during your Martha’s Vineyard vacation!


West Chop Lighthouse: Located in Vineyard Haven
West Chop Lighthouse

Originally built wooden in 1817, and rebuilt in 1838 of bricks. It is the only lighthouse on the island that does not offer access to the public. This lighthouse does host and houses some of the Coast Guard on the island. The area where the lighthouse sits used to be a sheep Pasture and is situated just minutes away from the downtown area of Vineyard Haven. Downtown Vineyard Haven was one of the major whaling ports on the island, is now where travelers and tourists near and far travel aboard the Steamship Authority to Martha’s Vineyard.


East Chop Lighthouse: Located on Telegraph Hill in Oak Bluffs
East Chop Lighthouse

Originally built in 1828. This particular lighthouse used to receive signals from the island of Nantucket and transmit them to the rest of the island, and Cape coastal towns like Woods Hole. The Coast Guard took over the lighthouse in the Early 1930’s and the keeper’s house was removed in 1933 and never re-built. In the summer season, you will find many people and/or events take place near the lighthouse enjoying the sunset.


Edgartown Lighthouse: Located in Edgartown
Edgartown Lighthouse

Originally built in 1828 it was a ¼ mile from shore, and the only way to reach the light was by boat. Over years the lighthouse has had some structural damage from storms and the current lighthouse (built in 1938) sits on mainland surrounded by a beautiful beach. This beach sees a lot of weddings year round, as well as family picnics. The lighthouse offers tours throughout the summer season. With a 360 degree view at the top glance Chappaquiddick, the harbor, and surrounding Captain’s houses on Water St.


Cape Pogue Lighthouse: Located on the island of Chappaquiddick (part of Edgartown)
Cape Pogue Lighthouse

The original structure was built in 1801, and this building has sure taken a beating over the years. Being situated on the cliffs close to the edge of the island, it has been destroyed and rebuilt at least 5 times. The current lighthouse was built in 1922 and has been moved more recently to avoid having to rebuild again. The lighthouse is part of the Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge, run by the Trustees, and in season offers tours. It is a bit of a walk to get to, but a wonderful reward when you get there.


Gay Head Lighthouse: Located in Aquinnah
Gay Head Lighthouse

Originally built of wood in 1799, and had to be moved in 1844 from erosion of the cliffs. In 1856 the structure was rebuilt after a terrible storm and did so with bricks. Gay Head light is located on top of the clay cliffs, which over time and with major storms has taken a beating. This lighthouse has moved several more times since it’s rebuilding, most recently just a few years ago. In season they do offer tours of the lighthouse, and at the top, you really can’t beat the view. You can see along the coast to “up island” and take in the breathtaking view of the islands beauty. From below the area offers a viewing station to enjoy the view of the cliffs up close.

Visiting the Lighthouses of Martha’s Vineyard is a must for vacationers. We look forward to welcoming you this summer!

Why Do You Need to See the Famous Flying Horses of Oak Bluffs?

Flying Horses Oak BluffsLooking for something unique on your Martha’s Vineyard visit? Visit Flying Horses in Oak Bluffs. This carousel – the oldest operating platform carousel in the United States – is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark. If you’re on the island, stop by and check out this unique piece of American history.

History of the Flying Horses

Experts estimate Flying Horses’ construction occurred somewhere around 1876. It originally stood on New York’s Coney Island. In fact, one of the decorative panels includes a stamp which reads “Coney Island #4.”

In 1884, a man named F.O. Gordon, of New York City, purchased the carousel. He relocated it to a town called Cottage City (what we now know as Oak Bluffs), and situated it near the entrance to Oak Bluffs Harbor. In the late 1880s, the town purchased the carousel, uprooted it from its harbor-side location, and shifted it to its current location on Circuit Avenue, which is Oak Bluffs’ main business and entertainment district.

The carousel has changed hands a number of times since then. Ultimately, in 1986, the Martha’s Vineyard Land Trust acquired it and assumed control over its day-to-day functioning. Today, not much has changed; the 1923 Wurlitzer Band Organ plays tunes from the past century, reading the notes from original paper rolls. Children (and adults!) also still have the chance to grab the lucky brass ring and win a free ride.

The carousel operates daily, from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Rides cost a mere $2.50. As previously mentioned, riders who successfully grab the brass ring win a free ride. This is a fun, family-friendly activity, and something you can tell people about for years. Come enjoy this piece of American history!

After Flying Horses

After you’ve finished, head out to enjoy some of Oak Bluffs’ many outdoor attractions. There are a number of beaches in the area, such as Joseph Sylvia State Beach, Oak Bluffs Town Beach, and Inkwell Beach. You could rent a kayak and paddle around Oak Bluffs’ picturesque harbor. Those looking for real adventure could charter a fishing boat and head out for a fun-filled day in the sun.

If the water isn’t your thing, there are a number of terrestrial activities you can enjoy, such as renting a bike to cruise around town. You may also consider trading Flying Horses’ wooden steeds for real horses and go on a beach trail ride.

Whatever your preference, you’re guaranteed to have a great time in beautiful Oak Bluffs!

Every adventure in Oak Bluffs begins with a great accommodation. Our Martha’s Vineyard vacation rentals provide a perfect base for relaxing and unwinding in between all of the great activities you can participate in during your time on the island. We have rental properties all over Martha’s Vineyard, so you can choose to stay on your favorite part of the island. Whether you want to be right in town or more isolated, we have the perfect rental for you. Visit our website to check availability and learn about all of our services!

Don’t Miss a Visit to the Edgartown Movie Theatre

Edgartown Movie TheatreThe Vineyard is the perfect place to relax and enjoy life.  While you’re here, come check out the Edgartown Movie Theatre.  This quaint and comfortable theater offers charm and character, all while serving up Hollywood’s latest and greatest movie productions.  The theater is housed in traditional Martha’s Vineyard fashion: a white, wooden storefront right on Main Street in downtown Edgartown.  The inside is equally understated and beautiful, with wooden ceilings, old-fashioned theater seating, and even an open porch on the top floor with tables and chairs.

In short, you won’t find many theaters like this one!  If you’re heading to Martha’s Vineyard, you can check the theater listings courtesy of the Vineyard Gazette.  Don’t miss out on a first-run movie in this charming setting.

Before Your Trip to the Edgartown Movie Theatre

You can’t spend the full day at the theater.  Well, you could, I suppose — but if you’re on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, you’ll probably want to do what everyone wants to do: create lasting memories and eat delicious food.  Well, good news: you can do both without ever leaving Edgartown.

Edgartown is home to the beautiful Edgartown Lighthouse.  The lighthouse, first built on a manmade island in 1828, guards Edgartown’s picturesque harbor.  It’s one of five lighthouses which, historically, has protected ships traversing Martha’s Vineyard’s treacherous waters.  All five lighthouses (Edgartown, East Chop, West Chop, Gay Head, and Cape Poge) stand on the north side of the island.

The Edgartown Lighthouse stands  just off of North Water Street. The Martha’s Vineyard Museum maintains the lighthouse, and offers tours late June through early September.  They haven’t released their 2016 calendar yet, but you can use the following link to view their 2015 tour calendar and use it as a reference.

After your short hike to and from the lighthouse, head out for a delicious meal at one of Edgartown’s fine dining establishments.  We highly recommend Alchemy: a bistro and bar located on Main Street in downtown Edgartown.  Their menu features a wide variety of items, including seafood straight out of the Atlantic, beef dishes, and chicken dishes.  They’re also legendary for their wine selection and cocktails.  Cape Cod Life gave their wine selection a silver medal, while Martha’s Vineyard magazine deemed their cocktails the best on Martha’s Vineyard!

So, if you’re feeling hungry, check out Alchemy for great food, great wine, and (as voted by readers!) Martha’s Vineyard’s finest cocktails.  If the weather’s nice, you can even sit on the back patio and enjoy the fresh sea air.

Everything mentioned in this post adds up to a wonderful afternoon: a walk to the elegant Edgartown Lighthouse, a return to town to enjoy delectable food and drink, and a relaxing movie at the charming Edgartown Movie Theatre.

And if you’re heading this way, you’ll need a great accommodation. Our Martha’s Vineyard vacation rentals provide a perfect base for relaxing and unwinding in between all of the great activities you can participate in during your time on the island. We have rental properties all over Martha’s Vineyard, so you can choose to stay on your favorite part of the island. Whether you want to be right in town or more isolated, we have the perfect rental for you. Visit our website tocheck availability and learn about all of our services!