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Martha’s Vineyard, Bild: Joaquin Ossorio Castillo / shutterstock

Martha’s Vineyard – American Charm at its Best

The United States of America is vast and infinite in its diversity. A total of fifty different states comprise the U.S . and they couldn’t be more different. Whether Texas with its oil wells and cattle herds in the south, California as Surfers’ Paradise in the west or the small New England states in the northeast – the spectrum is enormous and the diversity of the states is really worth seeing. A very unique pearl can be found off the east coast of the USA. Martha’s Vineyard is an island in the U.S. state of Massachusetts. The islands off the east coast in the Atlantic have their own special charm and every year countless holidaymakers and tourists come. Anyone who has ever visited Martha’s Vineyard will be drawn back here again and again, because the charm of this island is truly unique.

The history of the island

Martha’s Vineyard is part of the Outer Islands archipelago and is located south of Cape Cod. The island covers just over 230 square kilometres and is divided into six individual municipalities. The seventh municipality also includes the island of Nomans Land, which lies south of Martha’s Vineyard. However, this is uninhabited – as the name suggests. A total of 15,000 inhabitants populate Martha’s Vineyard. The island bears its unusual name from its viticulture. It was originally settled by the Indians of the Wampanoag tribe, who still live in the western part of the island today and fascinate with their long-standing traditions. You can explore their history at the Aquinnah Cultural Center and follow in the footsteps of the Wampanoag Indians. The development of Martha’s Vineyard as a center for the deaf is also unprecedented. These were in the 18. and in the 19th century and developed a very special dialect of sign language. This was mainly due to the isolated location on the island and the dialect is still called Martha’s Vineyard sign language today.

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Tourist magnet Martha’s Vineyard

Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard
Oak Bluffs Harbor, Image: CJ Larsen / shutterstock

Every year, countless tourists make a pilgrimage to the island. The very pleasant climate, especially in the summer months, coupled with the beach and sea, is a real attraction for visitors. The island has its own airport and thus allows for a relaxed journey. From the Cape Cod peninsula, there are also daily ferries to Martha’s Vineyard. In the north of the island is the port of Oak Bluffs and is the arrival and departure point of the ferries. The neighboring island of Nantucket is also served by boats from here.

About 100,000 visitors come to Martha’s Vineyard annually, but despite the tourism, the island is relatively untouched and shows hardly any traces of mass tourism like other vacation spots in the USA. Visitors appreciate the island above all because of its natural state and its wonderful tranquility. The specialties of the seas find their way into the restaurants every day and especially lobster and oysters are eaten a lot. The coasts are adorned with beautiful lighthouses and the sandy beaches are clean and invite you to swim and sunbathe. Cute little marinas, noble houses and pretty inns line the coasts. The island is considered to be rather rich and attracts mainly well-heeled holidaymakers and celebrities. Martha’s Vineyard is often referred to as a posh resort. Former President Barack Obama spent the summer holidays on the island with his family during his time in office.

Sightseeing on Martha’s Vineyard

Aquinnah Cliffs, Martha's Vineyard
Aquinnah Cliffs, Image: marthasvineyardimages / shutterstock

But it is not only because of its unique landscape and its tranquility that the island is appreciated by holidaymakers. Martha’s Vineyard offers its visitors many different options for various activities and there is something for every taste. The Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge is a two-square-mile wildlife refuge located on the small island of Chappaquiddick, part of the town of Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard. Originally, there was a narrow connection between the two islands, but it was separated by a storm in 2007. Today you can take boats over to the nature reserve and explore the untouched nature of the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge on extended hikes with an experienced ranger.

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The Gingerbread Cottages are also worth a visit, as the “gingerbread houses” reflect the history of the island and invite you to look at – and take pictures! –one. The special construction is really unique and is more reminiscent of a film set. The Flying Horses Carousel is special fun for young and old. The historic carousel with its brightly painted horses is located in Oak Bluffs and is an absolute must for every visitor. Or how about a visit to the Island Alpaca Company? Here visitors can observe, feed and also pet the cute animals. The alpacas, which actually come from the South American Andes, live here on a farm and are a real attraction for tourists.

Exciting plot: For film lovers, the island is also the backdrop for one of the most famous films of all time – after all, “Jaws” was filmed here in 1975.