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Off season at Martha's Vineyard

View of Martha's Vineyard from the Mansion House, Vineyard Haven
View of Martha's Vineyard from the Mansion House, Vineyard Haven
Virginia Sue Murphy

A great early vacation spot is Martha's Vineyard for a few fun and restful days in the spring. A renowned summer destination for many,  the island has much to offer even in the cooler months preceding traditional work holidays, and you can save a boatload of money!

Woods Hole, Massachusetts is the starting point where the ferry to the island departs. There are many departure times and travelers should arrive at the port 30 to 45 minutes in advance. The ferry can board your vehicle, but due to the unique transportation system on island, a car is truly not a necessity. further info is available at Another option is to bring a bicycle on board for a minimal fee, and have transportation at your convenience.

Once on the island, you can hail one of the many cabs or hop onto the transit bus line that runs everywhere on Martha's Vineyard. The Vineyard Transit System, known there as the VTA, is easy, affordable and convenient to locations all around the island. Drivers are knowledgeable and quite friendly and will help you find your way. More info, rates and schedules are available at

Up the hill about three blocks from the ferry dock in Vineyard Haven is the Mansion House, a renovation of the original inn built in 1794, featuring 32 rooms, health club, pool, spa, restaurant and rooftop balcony that offers a nearly aerial view of the area and waterfront. The rooms are equipped with thoughtful amenities and the front desk staff are warm and friendly. A buffet breakfast is included each morning of your stay. Visit for additional information.

A favorite restaurant of many is the Black Dog Tavern which offers excellent fare from surf to turf. It's located on the waterfront and has a sister shop, the Black Dog Bakery where sandwiches are made with fresh baked bread. They also feature a select line of clothing of the same name.

There are many interesting places to visit on the island, or you can just walk around the streets and avenues enjoying ocean views and New England architecture. There are retail shops and restaurants in the main areas on the island, and also museums, movie theaters, art galleries, churches and marinas. Some of the businesses are not yet open, but the vast majority are. Some good deals are to be found off-season. It's a great way to beat the summer crowds and enjoy the island.

 Martha's Vineyard is a relaxing way to spend a weekend or a week. Why not check it out this spring? You'll want to get away again and again!


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