the wandering chick
...Martha's Vineyard
Vineyard Haven harbor
A boathouse in Vineyard Haven, on Beach Street Extension.
A small-boat harbor at Owen Park, Vineyard Haven.
lighthouse on shore
East Chop light, as seen from the ferry arriving to Martha's Vineyard
The Oak Bluffs harbor. Oak Bluffs is one of two entry ports for ferries arriving to and departing from Martha's Vineyard.
row of cottages
These cottages along with a church comprise Trinity Park in Oak Bluffs. Their history dates back to 1835 when a group of Methodist pilgrims came to this location for a religious revival. Originally, they lived in tents, but gradually the tents were replaced with cottages. More pictures of the cottages are below.
beach roses and house
West Chop Lighthouse, as seen from the ferry arriving on Martha's Vineyard.
Oak Bluffs beach
The beach in Oak Bluffs, along Sea View Avenue
Edgartown Lighthouse
The Edgartown lighthouse and harbor. Edgartown is one of six towns that make up Martha's Vineyard.
car ferry
The ferry that traverses Edgartown Harbor to Chappaquiddick. The trip over takes a mere two to three minutes.
Edgartown Harbor
sailboat on water, Nantucket Sound
Nobska lighthouse, Woods Hole
The Nobska Lighthouse at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, as seen from the ferry returning to the mainland from Martha's Vineyard.
Sailing Nantucket Sound
Edgartown Harbor

Most historians agree that Martha was the daughter of an English explorer, Bartholomew Gosnold, who arrived on the island in 1602. Whaling was once the major industry on the island, but today its major income stems from tourism. The year-round population is around 15,000 by current statistics, but in the summer the island swells to more than 100,000 people. The island's roughly 96 square miles comprise six towns: Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, West Tisbury (also called Vineyard Haven), Edgartown, Aquinnah, Chilmark, which includes the fishing village of Menemsha. Each has its own character and charm.

I've been fortunate enough to make two trips to Martha's Vineyard. My first, several years back, was only a day trip. On my more recent visit, I was able to stay longer and see sights outside of the harbor towns of Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven.

red brick lighthouse
souvenir shop
The Edgartown Lighthouse sits proudly on a tiny spit of land in Edgartown Harbor. It's a nice short stroll out to the lighthouse on a rock and sand walkway partially lined with beach roses.
Edgartown lighthouse
A typical B&B on Martha's Vineyard, this one in Edgartown
Edgartown harbor
The Gay Head Lighthouse in Aquinnah has a rich history that started in the late 1790s. Its purpose was to protect passage for ships heading through the treacherous waters between Gay Head and Elizabeth Islands where a submerged "Devil's Bridge" is located. After numerous changes to the structure, numerous light keepers and a few relocations due to land erosion, the lighthouse sits today on a hill above a section of the clay cliffs from which the name Gay Head originated. In 1998 the town name was changed to the Indian word "Aquinnah." Two different meanings of the word are given online: "land under the hill" and "end of the island."
clay cliffs
The most colorful and the most accessible cliffs are not the ones under which the lighthouse sits, but rather, the ones on the beach. A clear path to the beach starts at the parking lot and is shown in the picture to the left.
Arrival at Oak Bluffs harbor via ferry
One of the Vineyard's six towns is Aquinnah which is located in the most southwest corner of the island. It was my favorite town for two reasons: the prominent lighthouse (as if I'd not seen enough of them on this trip) and the beautifully-colored clay cliffs that slide right down to the ocean shore.
clay cliffs
colored cliffs
B&B in Edgartown
oak bluffs harbor
path to beach
Just north of Aquinnah is the small fishing village called Menemsha, which is actually a part of the town of Chilmark. The town has a quaint scenic port and a breakwater from which people fish...and it has the Menemsha Fish Market where one can get some pretty darn good chowder. This and the next few pictures were taken in Menemsha.
Once inhabited by the Wampanoag tribe, legend says that a mythical giant of the tribe, known for its whaling, would catch whales from the sea and slam them against the cliffs to kill them for food. The red in the cliffs is the blood of the whale, and the black is the smoke from the fire used to cook them. Today, the cliffs are state protected as they play a prominent role in the spiritual and mythical aspects of the Wampanoag tribe.
fishing village
harpoon statue
The sculpture by Jay Lagemann commemorates the once-thriving harpoon swordfishery of Menemsha.
gingerbread cottage
The Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association began in the 1800s as a summer religious camp. Large "society tents" were built to accommodate the attendees, constructed in a semi-circle around The Tabernacle, a large iron structure that still stands today. As the attendees grew, so did the cramped living arrangements in the tent, so families began erecting their own personal tents. By the 1860s and 1870s the tents were gradually turned into cottages that have become a main tourist attraction on Martha's Vineyard. The area in Oak Bluffs, known as Wesleyan Grove, covers some 34 acres and consists of around 300 cottages, all built in the gingerbread style. The area is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.
bakery front
The Back Door Bakery is a hot spot in Oak Bluffs in the evenings for anyone wanting fresh warm donuts. After 7 pm, the custom is to enter through the back door to get fresh donuts that are being prepared for the next morning. It doesn't close until 1 am.
Oak Bluffs harbor businesses
gingerbread cottage
Oak Bluffs harbor and marina stay
busy with people arriving and leaving the Vineyard and with others who are there to either eat, drink or people watch.
gingerbread cottage
Oak Bluffs harbor businesses
gingerbread cottage
fishing village
fishing village
fishing village
bakery back door
fishing village
beach scene
A section of the Oak Bluffs beach

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