One of the foremost decisions is deciding where to stay on Martha’s Vineyard when you are planning a trip there. With so many options it can be difficult to figure out with so many options on the island. The Vineyard has it all, everything from a traditional hotel experience, AirBnBs, inn and apartment rentals to campsites, cottages, and hostels,
Martha’s Vineyard has just about every accommodation style you could want for your island getaway. One of the biggest deciding factors of where you want to spend your trip is where on the island you’ll be, and how that will affect your experience. You’re in the right place to learn more about the island, places to stay, and how it will change your Vineyard experience!
Up-Island vs. Down-Island
Though the island is fairly small, there are several separate towns and communities on Martha’s Vineyard, and each has a different feeling. If you’re seeking a more isolated and remote experience on the Vineyard, staying up-island is likely the best choice. You have a much better chance of an island escape that’s not crowded, and the experience is much more rural. Up-island towns include West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah. There are plenty of beautiful sights to see in the up-island area, including beautiful beaches, the multi- colored Aquinnah Cliffs, and Gay Head Light. One thing to note, Chilmark is a dry town, meaning no alcohol is sold there. You can bring booze in from other areas of the island, but if you’re thinking about relaxing with a served cocktail you may want to stay somewhere else for easier access.
Down-island is made up of Vineyard Haven (Also known as Tisbury and VH), Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown. Vineyard Haven is most notably the truest “year-round” town, and it features beautiful views of the arcing, aesthetic harbor. Vineyard Haven has some of the best restaurants and beaches on the island, as well as the freshest seafood market.
Edgartown is considered to be the archetypal Massachusetts harbor town, and the quaint and pretty homes and decoration are probably what come to mind when you think of Martha’s Vineyard. Limited space makes things like parking a notable task, but Edgartown has plenty of restaurants and shops for those seeking a tourist experience of the island. With everything from yoga, boat rides and galleries, there’s something to enjoy for everyone.
Edgartown also has a good number of bars and pubs to visit as well, though Oak Bluffs features the highest concentration of pubs on Martha’s Vineyard. It is considered by some to be the party destination of the island. Most of the shops and bars close up for winter here, so it’s definitely more of a summer party destination for those who want to check out things like breweries on the island.
While there are somewhat defined experiences in each location, traveling the island is still fairly easy. Car rentals, shuttles, mopeds, and more are available for those who want to mix up their view of the island. If you don’t know where to stay on Martha’s Vineyard, you shouldn’t worry. The rest of the island won’t be far away or hard to reach.
Accommodation Options – Where to Stay On Martha’s Vineyard
Finding out where to stay on Martha’s Vineyard isn’t an extraordinary challenge, as there’s generally no shortage of rentals, hotels, inns, and so on. The question to ask yourself is “What kind of experience do I want on the island?”. If you’re looking for a traditional, full-service hotel, then the most fitting option is Mansion House. There are also other hotel options, like Summercamp Hotel or The Christopher, and they provide great service and easy access to nearby attractions and art galleries. The Hob Knob Luxury Boutique and Spa offers a standout choice for those who want a historically rooted and luxurious accommodation choice. The Harbor View Hotel is a great option for anyone looking for close-by food and entertainment options, traditional atmosphere, and, as the name implies, a harbor view.
If you’re looking for an AirBnB, rental house, cottage or inn, then there’s almost limitless options. While these places are often rented out, you can generally find a place that will suit your needs. The Dockside Inn is a great example of a smaller, boutique option that provides easy access to the water for those who want to take advantage of the island’s accessible water sports. A quick search of AIrBnB will reveal a wide array of choices that offer affordable access to the most beautiful parts of the island. Everything from cottages, apartments, rustic residential homes, to lofts and beach houses.
The biggest consideration when choosing where to stay on Martha’s Vineyard is realistically what sort of vibe and experience you are searching for. With so many unique options, you can cater your experience to fit your budget, geographic, access and personal needs. I recommend through research the wide variety of places to stay, because the island’s often seasonal nature of tourism means that there are a wide array of options.
It may at first seem daunting to decide where to stay on Martha’s Vineyard. The fact that it’s a tourist island means that there’s so many options, you may not know what’s the best fit for you! As long as you make sure that your accommodations check the general boxes you need, you’ll have a good time. With so many wonderful shops, restaurants, attractions, beaches and land to explore, experiences to have, and relaxing to do, you probably won’t spend too much time in your room or rental anyway. Martha’s Vineyard is one of the most beautiful and unique places in the world, and it has the hotels and rentals to match. Enjoy your time on the island, and be open to researching the plentiful places to stay!