Martha's Vineyard
Home Up Bar Harbor Acadia

New England Home Who Went? 1 Salem Village 2 Martha's Vineyard 3 Bar Harbor Acadia 4 Halifax Nova Scotia
5 St John New Brunswick 6 Portland Maine 7 Day at Sea Curse of the Jewel The Artwork of Jane Wooster Scott




Our first day at sea brought us to the lovely island known as Martha's Vineyard.   What a pretty place!   Cute, charming, lovely, peaceful, natural, unspoiled, rustic, quaint, all the above...

Martha's Vineyard probably looks today much as it did in 1900.  Every resident seems to take great pride in preserving the natural beauty of the countryside as well as joy in maintaining the homes in their original state.

If you want a place to retire or find a home for the weekend that is close to civilization (Boston), but has the feel of 'country', then Martha's Vineyard has much to recommend. 

The homes are all built in the cottage style for which New England is famous.  They tasteful and well-kept.   The porches have views to kill for complete with rocking chairs and the omnipresent American flag.

The countryside is heavily forested, but there are open areas as well.  There are many lakes and inlets as well as marshy areas full of birds. 

And of course no description of Martha's Vineyard is complete without mention of the incredible beauty of the vast Atlantic Ocean.  In addition to the post-card pretty sandy beaches, wherever you look, you can see a veritable armada of sailboats, small rocky islands supporting lighthouses, and ocean birds flying in every direction. 

Such amazing beauty!

Martha's Vineyard is comprised of six little hamlets and lots of countryside.

Our cruise ship landed close to Oak Bluffs in the northeast corner of the island.

Our ship was far too large for the harbor, so they had to 'tender' us to shore.  A Tender is a covered boat that is used to ferry passengers to and from the ship. It holds about 100-120 passengers and can double up as a lifeboat in an emergency.  Our ship had four different tenders.  There were many problems with this process, but I will save that story for later.

We had a pretty exciting ride to shore.  Pictured at right are Marla plus Larry and Roz (Larry is Marla's brother and Roz is Larry's wife).  All the indoor seats were taken, so the four of us sat up top. 

The weather was pretty rough.  It was dark and windy and the waves were definitely rough. .  As you can see from the wind-blown hair, the wind was screaming and this boat was rocking and rolling!   After a ten-minute searide that had 'Astroworld' written all over it, we landed in the lovely village of Oak Bluffs.

As we were getting off the tender, I immediately looked around to rent some bikes. 

One of the biggest problems for me on cruises is getting enough exercise, so every chance I get, I look for some bicycles. 

By chance, Marla and I ran into Dan and Judy Bates. They had the same idea we did.  To our glee, there was a bike shop about 20 yards away.  What more could you ask for?

At my suggestion, we decided to rent tandem bikes.  It seemed romantic and cute at the time, but, sad to say, we probably won't do that again.  It turns out the person in back is virtually helpless.  For example, every time I had to hit the brakes, if I did without warning, poor Marla would come flying out of her seat. 

I tried to be considerate, but there were all kinds of headaches. You think I would learn after a little practice, but I found out that a lifetime of 'bike instincts' don't disappear that quickly.  When a situation called for brakes, I reacted first, then remembered too late to be more gentle. 

Not only was Marla miserable from my mistakes, she couldn't see a thing in front of her because my back blocked her vision.   Pictured at right is an exciting snapshot that demonstrates Marla's excellent forward view.  Marla said this picture of my butt was not a deliberate picture, but I have my doubts.

It wasn't just me.  Judy said Dan made the same mistakes. Judy said she was just as miserable as Marla was.

Oh well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.  My conclusion is we will likely rent two bikes from now on.   Let me add all those smiles below were in pictures taken at the start of the trip during the downhill part of the ride.   We were really worn out by the end!!

We learned that the biggest town on the island, Edgartown, was about 12 miles down the road.  That sounded like a good destination. Our route took us right along the Nantucket Sound complete with lighthouses in the distance. 

You can see our route in the map... just follow the red line.  Once we left Oak Bluffs, we were thrilled to discover a bike lane.   Most of our ride was countryside.  Not only did we have sailboats and the roar of the ocean on one side, we also had beautiful homes, lakes and marshes on the other side of our road. 

Combining the incredible view with overcast skies and a strong ocean breeze, you can imagine our bike ride was total joy (until our legs got tired, that is).    Below are 6 pictures from the trip

Below is a picture of Oak Bluffs that I took during our tender ride to shore.  As you can see, it was a very gray day.

I found it interesting that signs of wealth on Martha's Vineyard stayed hidden. 

On our tender trip ashore, from the distance I saw what seemed to be very expensive homes on the raised area that gives Oak Bluffs its name (see picture above).  However these homes were too far in the distance to get a good look at. 

I had expected to see all kinds of opulence, but at least in the areas I visited, there were no estates to be seen out of the ordinary.

If there were any huge estates, they were either on the other side of the island or invisible.  I did see some hints however.  When we reached the forested area during our bike ride, I noticed several little dirt roads off the main road with signs indicating 'private drive'.  My imagination was that the special homes were back in the woods.

Marla and I didn't have the guts to explore the dirt roads, but we did bike down one paved road to take a picture of this beautiful home on the right.  

Below is a picture of the village of Oak Bluffs. Many New England towns feature beautiful huge open spaces known as "Commons". 

These homes pictured below not only had a lovely view of the common area, you could also see the Atlantic Ocean just another 100 yards away.  Talk about a room with a view!   Oak Bluffs was definitely picture pretty.


My only regret during our trip to Martha's Vineyard was that there was absolutely no Fall foliage.  The picture on the right was taken in a park at Edgartown.  As you can see, it is devoid of any signs of Fall color other than the lush green. 

I was pretty worried we were in big trouble if we wanted to achieve our goal to see the amazing fall foliage we had hoped for.

Disappointed not to find any color, I went ahead and bought a calendar complete with images of Martha's Vineyard and posted the pictures below. I hope you enjoy them!


Tomorrow:  Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park

New England Home Who Went? 1 Salem Village 2 Martha's Vineyard 3 Bar Harbor Acadia 4 Halifax Nova Scotia
5 St John New Brunswick 6 Portland Maine 7 Day at Sea Curse of the Jewel The Artwork of Jane Wooster Scott
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