New England

Looking for a Quiet Fall Destination? Visit Martha’s Vineyard

Our favorite time to visit: when the crowds begin to thin.

By Kayla Stewart October 15, 2015

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Image: Shutterstock

Quaint, isolated Martha’s Vineyard isn’t just for celebrities and politicians like Bill Murray and Barack Obama. The island’s a great place for a couple’s weekend or a group trip with friends. While it’s packed with tourists in the summer, things slow down during the fall, making for a more relaxed experience.

How to Get There

You can fly direct from Houston to Martha’s Vineyard through several airlines. Another option is to fly to Boston (which is less expensive) and rent a car to drive to the Vineyard ferry, about an hour and a half outside of the city. You usually leave your car in the ferry lot, as cars aren’t allowed onto the island without a reservation. It’s a 45-minute ferry ride to the island.  


Each Vineyard town has its own unique character. West Tisbury is a farming country, while Oak Bluffs is a prominent area with Victorian-style cottages. There’s Edgartown, where Jaws was filmed, as well as Chappaquiddick Island (yes, this is the town where Ted Kennedy drove a car off of a bridge in 1969, killing a campaign worker). Chilmark and Westernmost Aquinnah are also popular tourist areas. If you’re renting a house, be sure to book fast, as they fill up quickly.    

Eat and Drink

Offshore Ale Co. in Oak Bluffs offers a wide range of seafood dishes and brews its own beers, while The Right Fork Diner in Edgartown offers a substantial brunch. Most bars in the wet towns—yes, these would be Oak Bluffs and Edgartown—are open until 1 a.m. If you stay in a dry part of the Vineyard, most restaurants will let you bring wine or beer to dinner.  


If you visit during the colder months, be sure to bring layers and an insulated rain jacket so you can enjoy hikes around the island, take some extra time to sit at the dock and reflect. If you decide to stay in Edgartown, be sure to visit the Edgartown Lighthouse. For only $5, you can climb to the top for an incredible panoramic view of town. To prepare for an evening in, make sure to get food and drinks early in the day, as most stores close just after sunset and aren’t easily accessible.    

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