The ferry from Wood's Hole to Vineyard Haven, like Martha's Vineyard itself, was fairly empty at this time of year.
And that's the way we like it. This 100 square mile island is the 57th largest in America, and in season it is awash with over 100,000 residents. It's also the largest island not connected to mainland by a bridge or tunnel on the East Coast of the United States.
This is reduced to a little over 16,000 off season, and that's a couple thousand more than the Town of Dennis on Cape Cod.
Martha's Vineyard has six distinctive towns: the smallest are Aquinnah, Chilmark and West Tisbury, and the larger towns are Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven where the ferry comes in during the off season.
We recently returned from a three-day visit to the Vineyard, staying at the beautiful Harbor View Hotel in a one bedroom cottage suite which was awesome.
It's an unparalleled location overlooking the Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse and located a 10 minute walk from the center of this very upscale town.
This is the scene from the dining room and deck of the Harbor View. Pat Brooks photo.
The Harbor View Hotel offers guests spectacular views of the harbor and Chappaquiddick Island. The resort sits at the end of North Water Street in Edgartown where it has welcomed families and returning guests for more than 100 years.
This famous hotel is a national landmark, and it is fully restored to answer every modern traveler's needs. We stayed in one of the incredible, on-site cottages, and words fall short of describing this superb experience. The accommodations were perfection with great attention to detail.
There isn't another hotel like it on the Vineyard. Everything about this hotel is Five Stars. Every staff member was professional, polite and well informed. The food was great, as was the staff in their two restaurants.
If you want to know the difference between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, we recommend you read Shelley Christiansen's article in the Martha's Vineyard Magazine.
Where to shop
Edgartown is one of my favorite places to shop. It is as up-scale as Nantucket while being more accessible. And if you visit here between December 13 and 15, you can be part of Christmas in Edgartown.
However some of the stores and restaurants in Edgartown are closed this late in the season, but Vineyard Haven is a few minutes away by car or local bus where all shops remain open year round since this is where the ferry arrives during this time of year. The Vineyard Transportation buses are excellent, and fares are only $1.00 per town, each way, including town of origin. The fare is half price to anyone over 65.
This island has been the vacation destination of President Obama for the past several years, and if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for you and me as well.
Where to dine
We will definitely stay here again on our next trip.
The roses are still blooming in front of the Harbor View Hotel. Pat Brooks photo.
Martha’s Vineyard Grande Dame Recognized by Travel & Leisure and other media
Soon to be celebrating its 121st anniversary, Martha’s Vineyard’s Harbor View Hotel has received several early birthday presents from the travel industry’s most respected critics.
The hotel was named one of the “Top 50 U.S. Resorts” by Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Awards, underscoring its premier position among the country’s most elite hotels
Top regional publications have also heralded Harbor View
Soon celebrating its 123rd anniversary, Martha’s Vineyard’s Harbor
View Hotel has enjoyed a number of early birthday presents from the travel industry’s most respecxted critics.
The island’s Grande Dame was named one of 2013’s “Top U.S. Hotels” by Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards, underscoring its premier position among the country’s most elite hotels.
Top regional publications have also heralded Harbor View. They include Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, which named it “Best Overall Place to Stay” in its Best of the Vineyard issue.
Guests, too, have weighed in on Cape Cod Life’s Readers' Choice Best of 2013, voting Harbor View the gold standard for “Best Resort/Hotel” and “Best Place for a Wedding.” The hotel’s restaurant, Water Street, was also recognized as the “Best Waterview Restaurant” and received
the silver award for “Best Wine List.”.
And if you are really lucky enough to love someone, you can marry them at the lighthouse in front of Harbor View as this couple below did recently.
Photo by Pat Brooks.