Many folks we’ve talked to over the years have raved about island towns they think are THE best in America. South Padre (TX), Key West (FL), Mackinac (MI), Nantucket (MA), Mount Desert (ME), and Catalina (CA) are several. We’ve been to a few of these special places and they’re absolutely beautiful. The Discover Small Town America Tour recently went to another fabulous island that, for our money, on that day, was definitely a Top 10 of the best islands towns in the U.S. The place? Martha’s Vineyard, MA (pop. 16,600), which is located off the southern coast of Cape Cod. The Weather? Postcard perfect, with azure blue skies, not a cloud to be seen and a gentle breeze.
“The Vinyahd” (as locals call it) is accessible by boat or small airplane. Although neither of these options are Rorie’s favorite modes of transportation, she put on a brave front and hopped on the Island Queen passenger ferry. Leaving from Falmouth and sailing into the Town of Oak Bluffs, it was a spectacular day for a brief ocean voyage. We sat on the outside top deck of the boat, thoroughly enjoying the views of the Atlantic ocean and the Cape. The, thankfully, calm waters made for a really relaxing 45 minute trip. Ahhh…
Above is a shot of the flag and pennants blowing gently at the dock. This is the Island Queen arriving in Falmouth.
Bart made sure there was protection onboard for Rorie.
Martha’s Vineyard consists of 6 small towns, all beautiful and all with a unique look and feel. On this trip, we explored Edgartown (pop. 3,779) and Oak Bluffs (pop. 3,713). When we arrived at the dock in Oak Bluffs we saw this colorful tour bus waiting to help newcomers around the island. Did you notice the image in the 3rd window from the left? Can you say “Jaws”? For those who may not know, the famous – and scary – shark scene at the beach in this Steven Spielberg classic was filmed on the Vineyard (called Amity Island in the movie).
Rorie and Bart took a public bus (MV Transit) to Edgartown. We bought tickets on the main road adjacent to Ocean Park from this wonderfully friendly woman with the big smile.
This is a view from upper Main Street heading down to the dock in Edgartown. It was reported years ago that Edgartown’s architecture and streets were used to design a classic small town set for movies made in Hollywood. As you wander with us throughout the town you’ll see why. Continue reading