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This small island seven miles off the off the Cape Cod coast has been the vacation destination of choice for nine US presidents and countless celebrities. Barack Obama has referred to it as “one of those magical places.” The president was referring to the diverse and relatively egalitarian nature of the Vineyard community. What else makes Martha’s Vineyard a “magical place?” Consider the following:

The Seclusion

Roughly triangular and only 26 miles long, Martha’s Vineyard offers a level of seclusion and privacy that is difficult to find on the mainland. The ability to hide out is one of the reasons that the island is so popular with the rich and famous.

The Variety of Activities

marthas_vineyard_moshup_beachMartha’s Vineyard is small enough for you to be able to see it all over the course of a vacation, but big enough to still provide a lot of variety when it comes to beaches, nightlife and festivals. While many of the beaches up-island are private or only for use by residents, many down-island beaches are open to the public and dotted with beautiful vacation rentals. Public beaches include Oak Bluffs Town Beach, Aquinnah Beach and Lobsterville Beach.

Its Communities

It has only about 15,500 year-round residents and six towns, each with its own unique characteristics. While vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard (or “the Rock” as residents call it) has come to be associated with the wealthy elite, the range of accommodations include the modest and affordable as well as the luxurious. The island is viewed as one of those places where regular working people can vacation alongside the very wealthy. The diverse communities combined with a sophisticated and vibrant arts scene makes Martha’s Vineyard a perfect destination for a large number of people from different backgrounds and with varied interests.

The Unique History

The storied history of Martha’s Vineyard ranges from the Native American camps that existed in 2270 BC to the landing of Norsemen in 1000 AD along with much more recent events such as the filming of Jaws in the mid 1970s and the first visit of the Obama family in 2009. The fact that the island has been settled for much of human history makes it an ideal destination for history buffs as well as for those who want to revel in the beauty that has attracted people for millennia.

Unlike other East Coast playgrounds, Martha’s Vineyard has managed to retain its popularity with people from all segments of society. At its core, it remains a laidback fishing community with lots of nice beaches and inexpensive places to stay.

Categories: Travel Tales

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