A short seven miles from the Cape Cod coast and bounded by Vineyard Sound, Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic Ocean sits the beautiful “Vineyard” as it is called by regulars. 20 miles long and 9 miles wide at its widest point, the island is the summer home or vacation spot for a host of celebrities including singer Carly Simon, ABC’s Diane Sawyer and husband Mike Nichols and Bill and Hilary Clinton.

The island has a year round population of about 14,000 which swells to 85,000-100,000 at the height of the season. Most activity revolves around the three primary towns each with a character of its own. Vineyard Haven, the main port for ferries, sits on the edge of Vineyard Haven Harbor and is home to a collection of shops and restaurants.  Oak Bluffs is a kind of honky tonk boardwalk town with gingerbread style homes, a carousel, an arcade, and a waterfront promenade. Edgartown is an elegant seaport with narrow streets, beautiful old whaling captain’s homes, fashionable boutiques and wonderful restaurants.

What makes the island particularly interesting is that its geography changes depending upon where you are on the island. In the west are the cliffs of clay, the north, rocky boulders, the south, small ponds and in the center, dense forests.

As Edgartown has the most to offer, that’s where we make our base. The Charlotte Inn (www.charlotteinn.net) is a magnificent inn with museum quality antiques and oil paintings that still manages to be one of the most comfortable places I have ever stayed. Their Terrace Restaurant is the most romantic on the island. The Harborview Hotel (www.harbor-view.com) is perched on a hill overlooking the harbor with a wonderful wrap around porch with rocking chairs. It is a full service hotel with a pool, health club and restaurant/bar. With wonderful views of the harbor, the 28 room Vineyard Square Hotel and Suites (www.vineyardsquarehotel.com) is perfectly located in the center of town, surrounded by shops, art galleries and restaurants. VS usually has the best rates in Edgartown for luxury accommodations. Finally, the charming Hob Knob Inn (www.hobknob.com) is a wonderful B&B, just a block from the center of town with its own in-house spa.

Two of our favorite restaurants are on the western side of the island, which is a bit of a trek from Edgartown, but you’ll be rewarded with spectacular sunsets and great food. The Beach Plum, (www.beachpluminn.com) has magnificent water views and the Outermost Inn (www.outermostinn.com), owned by James Taylor’s brother looks out on the cliffs of Gay Head. In town, L’Etoile (www.letoile.com) is elegant and refined with garden dining and Détente (www.detentemv.com) is a casual bistro with an excellent wine list.

karen hagman
2/19/2013 03:41:04 am

Looking to rent something where the ferry comes into Oak Bluffs either beginning of June or late September............Have spent many summers in the 80 and 90's and love it!!


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