Demographers have taken to calling the near-continuous stretch of urban sprawl between Washington, DC and Boston the Northeast Megalopolis. With a name like that, you’d be correct in assuming that escaping the cityscape within that region can me mighty difficult. (Not that we always condone doing so; the NE Megalopolis contains most of our favorite cities!) But should the mood strike you, a more pastoral retreat is possible. You just have to know where to look!
Less than 100 miles from Boston, and even closer to Providence, there’s an island that seems almost frozen in time, and that looks and feels like an old fishing colony. From Cape Cod, it’s just a short ferry ride across Vineyard Sound to reach Martha’s Vineyard, one of New England’s most cherished summer destinations. Take a note from the pages of countless Bostonians, needing a short respite from the hustle and bustle of city life, and pay it a visit!
The name of the game for a Martha’s Vineyard day trip, is relaxation. And even getting to the island affords a splendid opportunity to unwind. The 40-minute ride from Woods Hole, Cape Cod, to Martha’s Vineyard is gorgeous, and the ferry itself offers refreshments! So grab something tasty, then grab a seat, and take it all in.
Once you’ve arrived, there’s no shortage of picturesque sights to marvel at, but we’ve narrowed it down to just a handful; you don’t want to rush around, and you’ll be better served (and more relaxed) by taking your time. The Aquinnah Cliffs are spectacular beachfront palisades made of bright red clay, that were carved out glacially thousands of years ago. They are a part of the Wampanoag Reservation, so be considerate and stay on the marked paths. But there aren’t many places in the worlds as idyllic as these beautiful cliffs. For a bonus attraction, take the short walk up the bluff to the Gay Head lighthouse, one of several on the island.
For a quick bite before continuing your tour of the island, The Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven is a tried-and-true option. Looking out on the harbor, the Vineyard’s first year-round restaurant now offers a full menu of seafood, drinks, and desserts, and is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.
All fueled up, you can keep your leisurely trip around the island going, with a short drive to Edgartown, located on the island’s eastern side. It’s a classic-looking New England oceanfront village, and features the gorgeous Edgartown Lighthouse. It’s best to arrive in the town without a clear itinerary. Just walk around, following the sights, sounds, and smells of town life. Just make sure you allow enough time to get to the opposite side of the island for sunset.
Menemsha Beach is considered to be the best place to watch the sun set over the Vineyard Sound. Grab a towel or blanket, find a spot on the sand, and watch as the sun diminishes over the horizon in a blaze of reds, oranges, pinks, and yellows. It’s the perfect nightcap for a perfect day spent unwinding in the quiet confines of one of the Northeast’s most reinvigorating places.
And of course, if none of this tickles your fancy, crafting your own perfect day on the Vineyard is as easy as visiting any of its town centers, and asking a local for some advice on what to check out!