On the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, Edgartown is full of history and heritage as a former whaling destination. Today, visitors can see reminders of its glorious past by visiting lighthouses and landmarks, and explore even more of the genteel destination and its natural beauty, beaches, fascinating attractions, and fine restaurants year-round.
1.Martha’s Vineyard Museum
© Martha’s Vineyard Museum
Founded in 1922 as the Dukes County Historical Society, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum has a mission of “inspiring people to discover, explore and strengthen their connections to the island.” Permanent and changing exhibitions provide great perspective into the area and include One Island, Many Stories and The Challenge of the Sea, among others. Also on view is a comprehensive collection of objects, photos, paintings, and archival documents.
151 Lagoon Pond Road, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, Phone: 508-627-4441
2.Morning Glory Farm
© Morning Glory Farm
Spanning 65 acres, Morning Glory Farm is a family-owned and operated working farm with a farm stand that is open to the public. Visitors can pick up fresh produce including common crops such as sweet corn, lettuce and beets, and fruits from strawberries to peaches and plums. Inside the rustic farmstand, customers will also encounter herbs, flowers, dairy products, and freshly baked pies and bread.
290 West Tisbury Road, Edgartown, MA 02539, Phone: 508-627-9003
3.Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse
One of five lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse is situated near Katama Bay. Although the original wooden Cape Cod-style lighthouse no longer remains, a cast-iron tower replaced it back in 1939. Surrounded by beaches, the historic structure managed by the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society still stands as a testament to ships that passed through the area during whaling times in the 18th and 19th centuries and makes for the perfect backdrop for pictures.
Off North Water Street, Edgartown, MA
On the eastern end of Martha’s Vineyard, Chappaquiddick, sometimes locally referred to as “Chappy,” is a small peninsula and occasional island featuring tranquil beaches and ample options for outdoor activity whether bicycling, hiking or birding. Visitors are able to access trails and shorelines via the two main roads of Chappaquiddick Road and Pocha Road. The area is also known for being the site of an accident involving U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy. The Chappy Ferry shuttles passengers between Edgartown and Chappaquiddick.
53 Dock Street, Edgartown, MA 02539, Phone: 508-627-9427
An authentic Japanese-style garden, Mytoi Gardens is a beautiful destination on Chappaquiddick Island on Martha’s Vineyard. Strolling through the serene environment reveals gorgeous exotic and native plantings, a tranquil pond, footpaths, and picnic tables. Featuring a bridge that leads to a small pond and island, this point of interest has a shelter where visitors can take in the scenery. The garden is open sunrise to sunset daily, year-round.
41 Dike Road, Edgartown, MA 02539, Phone: 508-627-7689
6.Bad Martha’s Brewery & Tasting Room
© Bad Martha’s Brewery & Tasting Room
When searching for a place to unwind with good conversation and craft beer, Bad Martha’ Family Brewery should fit the bill. On the outside, the brewery is surrounded by pretty flowers and trees, while indoors visitors will find a seven-barrel brewing system. The casual and welcoming environment is great for enjoying cheese plates, charcuterie, and other food, which goes well with anything on tap. Along with the food and drink, the brewery also hosts events such as live music on the weekends and outdoor games. The brewery is open May through October and during Christmas.
270 Upper Main Street, Edgartown, MA, Phone: 508-939-4415
7.Old Whaling Church
© Brian Scantlebury/stock.adobe.com
Managed and maintained by Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, Old Whaling Church is a landmark built in 1843. Originally built for Methodist whaling captains and other seafarers, the place of worship was designed by Frederick Baylies, Jr. in the Greek Revival style with a Gothic Revival clock tower. Inside, visitors will notice the curved ceiling and massive timbers and accented with original whale oil lamps in the main hall. The architectural walking tour in Edgartown includes the church as part of its walking tour.
89 Main Street, Edgartown, MA 02539, Phone: 508-627-4442
8.Norton Point Beach
Spanning two-and-a-half miles with sand and dunes, Norton Point Beach is located at the end of the left fork in Katama. The barrier beach offers a fantastic place to see sunrises and sunsets, take a stroll, or even go fishing for small striped bass as well as bluefish, whether it’s by bottom fishing using bait or plugging. Other activities to pursue include shellfishing and birdwatching.
North Point Beach, Edgartown, MA 02539, Phone: 508-627-8390
9.The FARM Institute
© The FARM Institute
Boasting a mission to connect children to agriculture, The FARM Institute is the first working farm of The Trustees, an organization that preserves properties throughout New England. On the 162 acres, there are beef cattle, turkey, hens and more, as well as two walking trails through the southern pastures and a farm stand that operates year-round. Other places carry the farm’s products including the West Tisbury Farmers Market and Cronig’s Market. For those who want to explore a little more, tours and wagon rides are offered during the summer.
14 Aero Avenue, Edgartown MA 02539, Phone: 508-627-7007
10.Edgartown Public Library
Just off Main Street, over 40,000 materials are available at the Edgartown Public Library, a popular destination for the local community. Travelers looking to unwind and read a little can spend some time here during their stay. From books to magazines, audiobooks and more, there is plenty of interesting material to stimulate the mind.
26 West Tisbury Road, Edgartown, MA 02539, Phone: 508-627-4221
11.Vincent House Museum
© Vineyard Trust
Owned and maintained by the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, the Vincent House Museum has the distinction of being the oldest surviving residence on the island. Built in 1672, the home of William and Susanna Vincent is reminiscent of structures of medieval England and the first buildings in the northern English colonies with its post and beam construction and batten board doors. Today, it gives visitors a glimpse at what life was like on the island over the last four centuries. The house is one of the stops on the Architectural Walking Tour.
99 Main Street, Edgartown, MA 02539, Phone: 508-627-8017
12.Dr. Daniel Fisher House
© Vineyard Trust
A landmark Federal style residence built in 1840, the Dr. Daniel Fisher House is an elegant home formerly occupied by one of the wealthiest men in the country at the turn of the century as well as a U.S. Senator. The property also has a gorgeous formal garden with roses, hydrangeas, and pear trees as well as sunken water garden and meticulously manicured grounds. For those who wish to view the house up close, the landmark building is part of the Vineyard Trust’s 90-minute walking tour.
99 Main Street, Edgartown, MA 02539, Phone: 508-627-4440
13.Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary
© Vineyard Trust
True to its name, the land of Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary used to be owned by a sheriff. Today, the sanctuary has a range of plants and animals, which can be admired from the Ruth and Ed Brooks Trail. Other highlights include magnificent views of Eel Pond and Nantucket Sound and John Butler’s Mudhole. Visitors are welcome from dawn to dusk.
57 David Avenue, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568, Phone: 508-693-5207
An ode to the state of unwinding is what makes Détente so appealing. Locals and visitors head to this romantic Martha’s Vineyard restaurant nestled in Nevin Square for memorable meals featuring inventive American fare with European influences. Seasonal and fresh ingredients are featured in the modern cuisine with such dishes as Chatham Cod and the Vineyard Monkfish and Roasted Octopus. An extensive wine list ensures perfect pairings.
15 Winter Street, Edgartown, MA 02539, Phone: 508-627-8810
15.19 Raw Oyster Bar
© 19 Raw Oyster Bar
Restaurateur and Chef Joe Monteiro saw something was missing on Martha’s Vineyard, and opened 19 Raw Oyster Bar to the delight of locals on the island. The casual eatery has a relaxed feel, perfect for indulging in New England oysters and a cold beer or cocktail. Oysters aren’t the only thing on the menu as diners soon find out when they order Butter Poached Lobster Tails and the Scallop Bowl, among other savory selections.
19 Church Street, Edgartown, MA 02539, Phone: 774-224-0550
© Edgartown Seafood
Visitors who want to enjoy the fresh catch of the day while visiting Martha’s Vineyard should stop by Edgartown Seafood. Known for having the largest selection of fresh and local seafood, this family-owned and operated market and takeout establishment tempts the appetite with fresh fish and prepared dishes such as the Lobster Roll, Clam Pizza, Steamed Mussels and more.
138 Cooke Street, Edgartown, MA 02539, Phone: 508-627-3791
16 Best Things to Do in Edgartown, MA
- Martha’s Vineyard Museum, Photo: Martha’s Vineyard Museum
- Morning Glory Farm, Photo: Morning Glory Farm
- Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse, Photo: jiawangkun/stock.adobe.com
- Chappaquiddick Island, Photo: Crin/stock.adobe.com
- Mytoi Gardens, Photo: devinmaree/stock.adobe.com
- Bad Martha’s Brewery & Tasting Room, Photo: Bad Martha’s Brewery & Tasting Room
- Old Whaling Church, Photo: Brian Scantlebury/stock.adobe.com
- Norton Point Beach, Photo: kaisorn/stock.adobe.com
- The FARM Institute, Photo: The FARM Institute
- Edgartown Public Library, Photo: Kenishirotie/stock.adobe.com
- Vincent House Museum, Photo: Vineyard Trust
- Dr. Daniel Fisher House, Photo: Vineyard Trust
- Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary, Photo: Vineyard Trust
- Detente, Photo: Détente
- 19 Raw Oyster Bar, Photo: 19 Raw Oyster Bar
- Edgartown Seafood, Photo: Edgartown Seafood
- Cover Photo: MelissaMN/stock.adobe.com