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Vineyard Artisans Festival

Though it famously attracts celebrity guests, this scenic, slow-paced island appeals to anyone seeking simplicity.

An independent spirit characterizes Martha’s Vineyard — no big-brand chain stores here — and the Massachusetts island’s low-key lifestyle encourages guests to slow down. Plus, with reliable public transportation and

Calling All Film Buffs
Martha’s Vineyard starred as Amity Island in Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller, Jaws.

A digitally remastered, high-definition Blu-ray version of the film, with archival footage  and cast interviews, debuted last month — and we’re giving away copies. Visit www.americanwaymag.com/promotions for details.

miles of bike trails on the island, your time here can be car-free and carefree. Year-round ferries from Woods Hole, Mass. (about an hour and a half south of Boston) transport most guests to Martha’s Vineyard, though there are also seasonal routes from surrounding coastal states. Upon arrival, expect an open, undeveloped shoreline, a 5,100-acre state forest and six small towns with options for every budget.

PLAY
To acquaint yourself with the island, board the colorful Martha’s Vineyard Sightseeing buses at the Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority terminals. The 2.5-hour tour visits all six local communities and also stops at Aquinnah’s striking clay cliffs. A new permanent exhibit opening this month at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum traces the island’s story and establishment as a busy summer resort, while other displays explore Native American culture, whaling history and three local lighthouses. West Tisbury’s weekly summer Vineyard Artisans Festivals wrap up in late September, but they’re followed by a handful of autumn and winter presentations. Approximately 70 island artists share their pottery, paintings, sculpture, stained glass, handmade books and more in the annual series.

SHOP
Local craftspeople create products that serve as terrific souvenirs, and more than 50 galleries throughout Martha’s Vineyard make shopping for them a pleasure. The team at Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks turns out exquisite tableware, vases, jewelry and sculptures, and the studio’s working artists regularly welcome guests for glassblowing demonstrations. Director Steven Spielberg and former President Bill Clinton are among clients of Tuck & Holand Metal Sculptors, a Vineyard Haven favorite known nationwide for intricate, custom-crafted copper weather vanes. Just a few miles away, Island Alpaca carries clothing and accessories made with fleece from the farm’s herd.
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Morning Glory Farm Stand


EAT
Restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard capitalize on the island’s rich fishing and agricultural industries by building menus based around the local harvest. At Water Street, the Harbor View Hotel & Resort’s signature restaurant, the chef sources seasonal ingredients from Whippoorwill, Allen and Morning Glory farms. Stop by the Morning Glory Farm Stand between May and December for fresh-from-the-field produce and island-made sweets, spices and snacks. Fishing boats dock at Menemsha Harbor, in the town of Chilmark, and that’s where you’ll find the freshest chowder and lobster rolls around. To wash it all down, order a Menemsha Creek Pale Ale or sample the latest seasonal releases at Oak Bluffs’ Offshore Ale Company. The brewpub pairs its pints with local oysters, steaks and fried calamari cooked with the brewery’s own amber-ale batter.

STAY
Anchoring North Water Street, just a short stroll from the center of Edgartown, the Harbor View Hotel & Resort is one of the island’s largest properties. Accommodations range from standard rooms with garden views to a three-bedroom fireplace suite with three full baths. Start your day on the hotel’s wraparound porch, as the sun rises over the Edgartown Lighthouse. Or, book the balcony room at the Tivoli Inn, an Oak Bluffs bed-and-breakfast housed in a gingerbread-trimmed Victorian. For active travelers, Vineyard Haven’s 48-room Mansion House Inn and Health Club features a day spa, an indoor pool, a fitness center and a full schedule of exercise classes. This summer, the inn unveiled eight new pet-friendly rooms, including three spacious family suites, all overlooking Main Street.



IF YOU GO
(Some island operations are seasonal, so always call ahead.)

Harbor View Hotel & Resort
(from $99 during the low season/from $505 during the high season)
131 North Water St.
Edgartown, Mass.
(508) 627-7000
View Website

Island Alpaca
1 Head of the Pond Road
Oak Bluffs, Mass.
(508) 693-5554
View Website

Mansion House Inn and Health Club
(from $99 during the low season/from $399 during the high season)
9 Main St.
Vineyard Haven, Mass.
(508) 693-2200
View Website

Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks
683 State Road
West Tisbury, Mass.
(508) 693-6026
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Martha’s Vineyard Museum
59 School St.
Edgartown, Mass.
(508) 627-4441
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Martha’s Vineyard Sightseeing
(508) 627-8687
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Morning Glory Farm
290 West Tisbury Road
Edgartown, Mass.
(508) 627-9003
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Offshore Ale Company
30 Kennebec Ave.
Oak Bluffs, Mass.
(508) 693-2626
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Tivoli Inn
(from $85 during the low season/from $275 during the high season)
125 Circuit Ave.
Oak Bluffs, Mass.
(508) 693-7928
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Tuck & Holand Metal Sculptors
275 State Road
Vineyard Haven, Mass.
(508) 693-3914
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Vineyard Artisans Festivals
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Water Street, at the Harbor View Hotel & Resort
131 North Water St.
Edgartown, Mass.
(508) 627-3761
Visit Website