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Martha's Vineyard Facts

Below are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about Martha's Vineyard (from the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce site).

How large is Martha's Vineyard?

Martha's Vineyard BeachesMartha's Vineyard is 100 square miles, roughly triangular in shape, 25 miles east to west, and 9 miles north to south.

Is Martha's Vineyard one big town?

No, in fact, there are 6 distinctive towns on the Vineyard, each with its own character, flare, attractions, dining, lodging and more. Vineyard Haven (also known as Tisbury), Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown are vibrant communities, unique from one another, representing the artists, the music and historical aspects of the Vineyard. The up-Island towns of West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah offer a more pastoral landscape, dotted with small farms, cozy shopping, and galleries in a rural environment.

How many people live on Martha's Vineyard?

Martha's Vineyard FarmsThe Vineyard is home to 15,000 year-round residents. During the summer months, the population increases to 125,000. How do I get to Martha's Vineyard? The Island of Martha's Vineyard can be reached by sea or by air; there are no land routes, bridges or tunnels connecting it to the mainland. Most travelers arrive via our harbors on the ferry, with a growing number using the airport as a point of entry.

Where can I shop?

Martha's Vineyard is a shopper's paradise! Although you won't find a mall or chain store on the Island, the Vineyard is home to exclusive shops and boutiques offering antiques, handcrafts, whimsical gifts and designer label clothing.

For art collectors, the Island has more than 50 art galleries showing the best in traditional and contemporary art. Hand-blown glass, metalwork sculpture, one-of-a-kind jewelry and just about every other medium you can think of. You'll find work by locally and nationally recognized artists represented. Look for more information on the Vineyard Artisan Festivals on the Calendar of Events Members of the Wampanoag Tribe operate shops at the Gay Head Cliffs in Aquinnah, specializing in Native American crafts and souvenirs. You'll find plenty of Martha's Vineyard gear in the shops on the main thoroughfares in Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown.

Antique stores are plentiful on the Vineyard. While some specialize in maritime pieces and scrimshaw, every period and taste are on hand.

Whether you're shopping for a particular item in mind, or just looking for something out-of-the-ordinary, shoppers will leave the Vineyard loaded with treasures.

Is there anything to do in the off-season?

Aquinnah Clay Cliffs in Martha's VineyardThe best-kept secret is Martha's Vineyard in the off-season!

Late spring, autumn, and early winter are wonderful months to experience this brilliant paradise. A temperate climate keeps us warm through the fall, and most Vineyarders enjoy the natural beauty of the Island year-round. Birders, cyclers, golfers, kayakers, hikers and fisherman will love the brilliant weather that allows some much outdoor activity.

Festivals abound in the off-season, including the Lighthouse Challenge, Restaurant Week, Harbor Festival and Summer Solstice in June, the International Film Festival, Tivoli Day and the Fishing Derby in September, the Food and Wine Festival in October, the Artisan Festival in November, the Last Night/First Day celebration in December and the Annual Chili Festival in January are just a sampling of off-season reasons to visit the Vineyard. Bounty from local farms and the sea make dining in the off-season a true delight for palates hungry for locally grown fare slow cooked to perfection.