There’s something serene, quiet, and zen-like about visiting Martha’s Vineyard off-season. Gone are the crowds of vacationers filling up the beaches. Missing are the traffic-filled intersections. Sure, some businesses have closed for the season, but there are still several places that stay open all year round.
And you know what?
It’s still just as beautiful.
Autumn seems to be the perfect time to get away to Martha’s Vineyard. It’s so restorative just to rest, meditate, and take in the breathtaking scenery. In mid-October, the weather is still comfortable. The leaves are just starting to change color, resulting in gorgeous stretches of foliage.
Bryan and I took the ferry from Woods Hole for a short, weekend trip to Martha’s Vineyard the weekend after Columbus Day. Columbus Day weekend is usually considered the last weekend of the season. After that weekend, many businesses begin closing for the winter and the crowds diminish significantly.
We came mainly to attend the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival, though we also took full advantage of the opportunity to explore the island. I’ll be covering the trip in a short two-part series: today’s part focuses on the beauty of the island itself while tomorrow’s part focuses on all the fantastic food and wine we enjoyed that weekend.
One of my favorite things to do around the Cape and the islands is to bike. There are so many breathtaking and beautiful bike trails that run along the coast and between the various towns. The bike path we took between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs takes you along a route that has fantastic views of water on both sides.
It is stunning.
And peaceful at the same time.
The town of Oak Bluffs is also fun to explore, with its unique architectural style of “gingerbread houses.” Bike racks are easy to find, so it’s a great place to stop for a snack, such as an ice cream cone!
Edgartown is the largest town on the island, filled with numerous restaurants and shops. We loved walking around the Edgartown Harbor Light and surrounding paths right in front of the Harbor View Hotel.
On the western edge of the island is the stunning Aquinnah Cliffs and the historic lighthouse called Gay Head Light. It’s one of the few places on the east coast where you can actually watch the sunset while looking at the ocean.
The lighthouse itself is in danger because it is currently sitting too close (46 feet) from the eroding cliff. A committee has been set up to raise money to move it, which will cost close to three million dollars.
At Edgartown, we witnessed one of the most striking moonrises I have ever seen.
In Vineyard Haven, we marveled at the fiery sunset while waiting for our ferry to arrive.
Night falling over Edgartown Harbor Light.
And finally, one last look at the island as our ferry began heading back towards the “mainland.”
Good-by Martha’s Vineyard. We hope to be back soon.
Disclaimer: we traveled to Martha’s Vineyard to attend the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival. Our lodging and event tickets were provided by the organizers of the event. We paid for our own transportation and any additional food costs. All opinions are my own.
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