Is Marthas Vineyard worth a visit

Old Apr 10th, 2007, 07:29 AM
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Is Marthas Vineyard worth a visit

English couple looking for a nice place to visit on vacation end May early June. Probably fly into Boston and hire a car. Heard Marthas Vineyard is supposed to be very nice. Can anyone give advice. Also what other area would you visit. We don't mind driving long distances.
Many thanks.
surich is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2007, 08:37 AM
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Yes, Martha's Vinyard is very nice indeed. Of course early June won't be beach season, but this also means less crowds. Martha's Vinyard in a nutshell: Vinyard Haven is the commercial center, Oak Bluffs is lively and interesting, Edgartown is very quaint and upscale. The southern half of the island is fairly rural and quiet.Realize that bringing a car onto the island is very expensive and may require a reservation. You can however leave the car in Falmouth or Wood's Hole and just rent bicycles on the island.
Being in the Boston area gives you lots of possibilities. The Maine coast is very scenic, with towns like Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Boothbay, Camden and the spectacular Acadia National Park. If you like mountains and small villages, New Hampshire's White Mountains and Vermont's Green mountains are great fun exploring. Just realize that early June is the beginning of blackfly (similar to midges) season in the woods of New England.
Of course you also have Newport Rhode Island, a busy and scenic yachting town with some nice beaches close by. And then there's Cape Cod Mass with it's countless beaches and interesting towns. You have lots of choices!
zootsi is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2007, 05:35 PM
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Do your research, my wife and I found it quite boring and too much driving to see the scenery. The Mayflower tour was the highlight then we hightailed it back to Boston and spent the rest of our time there.

Lots of scenic places along the coast, just that there is lots of driving in between.

just our experience, but since you are coming so far, you want to be sure. One tour we always enjoyed was upstate NY, in the Adirondacks - Lake Placid area. Hard not to fall in love with the scenery and cute towns.
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 06:29 PM
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If you are staying 4/5/6 days I would go to Nantucket. You can change planes in Boston and fly to Nantucket as well as MV. Nantucket is much less developed than MV and quiet, great restaurants and fine resorts. Check out Wauwinet. Good luck.
Ike is offline  
Old Apr 10th, 2007, 10:50 PM
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A few years ago my friend flew in from London and we spent a week in Newport, RI. We thought it was a great base for exploring the area. We drove to Mystic Seaport one day, spent another day driving to the tip of Cape Cod and back. We love lighthouses so that was a good trip for us. We both flew into/out of Boston and stopped at Plymouth for an overnight before leaving. We thought about trying to work Martha's Vineyard into the trip but it didn't work out.

Traffic out of Boston after we landed on Friday afternoon was the worst!!!! I think we traveled in April before the crowds on the Cape.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 12:08 AM
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Will you take your rental car to Martha's Vineyard? It's better to have one since the local transportation is "seasonal" and may not start until later. Check the ferry websites for rates for taking the car. It may be too late to make reservations for your dates.

On Nantucket, you wouldn't need a car. Even for distances farther than walking, taxis are plentiful and more reasonable than the ferry fares for the car.

If you're flying into Boston, nice places to visit that time of year include Marblehead, Newburyport, Rockport in Massachusetts, Portsmouth, Rye Harbor in New Hampshire, and York Harbor, Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, etc., in Southern Maine - all an easy drive from Logan.

And, if you don't need an oceanside destination, consider the White Mountains in NH, the Green Mountains in VT, the Berkshires in MA.

Newport, RI, and lots of places in Connecticut are also nice that time of year.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 05:37 AM
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IMO you would be better off driving to the outer cape (Eastham -Provincetown) where you will have the opportunity to visit several quant villages, fabulous ocean and bay beaches, shopping, fine dining and entertainment all within 5-25 minutes of Eastham. I like Eastham as a home base because it is quiet, begins the National Seashore ( ) and it is mid-way between Chatham and Provincetown, both nice day trips within 20-30 minutes of Eastham). Take a look at Fort Hill Bed and Breakfast ( in the National Seashore Park for top-notch lodging. If you really want to visit Nantucket or MV for a day trip you can take a fast ferry to either one from Hyannis (25-30 minute drive from Eastham). ( and I love both the islands but there's not much to do and you might be better off just doing day trips.
If you are set on going to MV or Nantucket consider flying there from Boston. (, and renting a car once you are there. If you are staying any length of time you will need a car or you will be dependant on local public transportation.
yellowbyrd is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2007, 06:31 AM
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Its hard to tell you about what is "worth" a visit. It depends on what you want. The Vineyard, Nantucket, Newport, the coastline of Maine, the Cape, etc are all pretty, are less crazy than they will be come late June, aren't inexpensive, do require alot of driving, and do require some planning if you feel you must bring a car over to the Vineyard. If you love coastlines, good New England seafood, pretty views of the fishing boats on the water, you would like any of these locations. You can't count on great weather and some places will still be closed till mid June or so but that's true with many coastal communities that cater to tourists. If you are hikers or walkers, bicycle-ers, you will like all these locations also. Try to get transportation from Logan to a car rental place away from the city as driving around and through Boston is awful for those who aren't used to the horrific signage (thanks to our Big Dig project)- the frustration of getting lost trying to leave Boston would be a crummy way to start your vacation.
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Old Apr 11th, 2007, 08:28 AM
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We have flown into Boston and driven directly to the cape often without incident. The signs to Route 93 south and then the split to Rt. 3 south and Cape Cod are very prominent and not difficult. I agree that you should avoid driving in the city of Boston if at all possible. Everything on Cape Cod is open from the beginning of May so if you go in early June to Cape Cod you will find things freshly painted and awaiting your arrival. The islands may be another matter, as the tourist season there is more seasonal. We have gone to MV several times in April with a car and enjoyed the solitude, but the previous poster was correct in saying that it is difficult and expensive to bring a car on the ferry and things open later in the spring on both MV and Nantucket. I would think, however, that almost everything should be swinging along by June. I think the key to experiencing the Cape is to try to stay in a location where you can explore the natural surroundings without too much commercial development. That's why I suggested the outer cape in a previous post. Otherwise, you may as well be get to the ocean and cape cod beaches to really experience the magic of Cape Cod.

The Maine coast is lovely but tends to be a bit cooler than the Cape.

yellowbyrd is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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It depends on what type of vacation you are looking for. On either MV or Nantucket, your choices to truly explore both islands would be : to take the local buses, which are inexpensive- to take bus tours - to rent a car once you get on island for a day or two to drive yourselves around - or to do bicycles if you are capable and enjoy that (or mopeds)

Last weekend of May is a holiday and likely the car ferry could be full, but you can check on the website given above.

To see if MV would appeal to you, I would suggest reading some past threads here - when you are in the US Forum, type "Marthas Vineyard" and "Trip Report: Martha's vineyard", "Nantucket" and "Martha's vineyard or nantucket" things like that into the search this forum bar and read some peoples reports and ideas.

here is one such thread, and even though it mentions hiking, has a lot of info and web links in it

If you enjoy walking beaches, light walking/hiking, nature, taking tours in jeeps over the sand out to lighthouses, arboretum, with some shopping/art galleries/antique spots, great restaurants, - read about MV online and see if what it has interests you -

same with Nantucket - lighthouses, beaches, nature spots, great restaurants, some shopping,

to enjoy either of them fully - or to appreciate either of them fully - you need dto get out to the more remote and beautiful parts of the islands, in my opinion.

If you want to see more of New England, and more historical things and have more options for museums, galleries, towns and cities to visit, then I would stay on the mainland -

either doing the Newport, RI (and perhapsp a drive to the Cape and/or day trip to Nantucket, MV or Block to see an island) - or head north of Boston to the Marblehead/Salem/ lower NH and Maine.

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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 02:08 AM
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Many thanks for all your suggestions. We will re think our itinary to visit the locations we would otherwise have missed.
surich is offline  
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