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The First Timers’ Guide to Martha’s Vineyard

by Harbor View Hotel

The First Timers’ Guide to Visiting Martha’s Vineyard

January is a time of hope for the new year ahead, and there is one date in January that makes us think of summer… the day summer car ferry tickets go on sale! Yes, the Steamship Authority opens bookings for summer car ferry travel in the middle of January. We get excited because it means that it is officially time to start planning summer vacations! Thinking about making your first trip to the Vineyard this year? We put together this guide just for you. Keep reading for our first timers guide to visiting Martha’s Vineyard.

Getting to Martha’s Vineyard

If you are planning on making your first trip to Martha’s Vineyard this summer, do not worry! There are so many options for getting here in addition to the car ferry, so do not stress! (…but if you are wondering, tickets went on sale on January 19th)

The Harbor View Hotel is located in Edgartown, on the East side of Martha’s Vineyard. There are lots of ferry and flight options to get here year-round. Visit our Getting Here page for up-to-date information on flight and ferry options. During the summer you can expect to find direct flights from Boston, Hyannis, Nantucket, New Bedford, New York City, Westchester, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Charlotte. The ferries leave from Falmouth, Woods Hole, Hyannis, New Bedford, Nantucket, New York City, North Kingston, RI and Highlands, NJ.

Once you are on the island, ride sharing apps and taxis are available at both the airport and the ferry terminals to bring you to the hotel. We can also help you arrange a car service.

If you need help finding the best travel option to get to the island, feel free to contact the concierge team at the hotel and we will be happy to help you navigate all the options.

Getting to the Harbor View Hotel from the Ferry or the Airport

If you do wish to have your car on the island, you will need to book a car ferry ticket with the Steamship Authority from Woods Hole. Note that all other ferry options are walk-on passenger ferries only. Most ferries land on Martha’s Vineyard in either Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs, with only the Falmouth-Edgartown Ferry landing in Edgartown Harbor. From the Harbor View Hotel, the Vineyard Haven Ferry Terminal is about 20 minutes away and the Oak Bluffs Terminal is about 15 minutes away. Martha’s Vineyard Airport (MVY) is less than 15 minutes away! So no matter where you ‘land’, your vacation will start in no time as you’re never that far from where you want to be on Martha’s Vineyard!

Do I Need a Car on the Island?

Because we are located in the heart of Edgartown, we actually recommend you skip bringing your car. Restaurants, shopping, and beaches are within walking distance from the Harbor View Hotel. In addition, we also offer golf cart shuttles around historic Edgartown and to the Fuller Street Beach, complimentary bikes, and a unique complimentary Mercedes-Benz Drive program. Our partnership with Mercedes-Benz offers Harbor View guests access to several vehicles to explore the island at their leisure. As parking around the island is limited (especially during peak times of the season), we recommend utilizing the hotel’s amenities, providing more flexibility without worrying about your car. Therefore, our top recommendations are to either fly in on one of the may direct flights (including lots of extra daily seasonal flight routes) or to park your car at the ferry departure terminal and sit back and enjoy the ride!

What to Do on Martha’s Vineyard

As you begin to plan summer vacations, start thinking about all the amazing things you can do right here at the Harbor View Hotel. We have an outdoor, heated, saltwater pool, bikes, beach chairs, and the Mercedes-Benz Drive Program available to all of our guests to use during their stay. During your stay should also make time to enjoy an afternoon on our famous veranda and for a meal at our award-winning restaurant, Bettini.

We are also within walking distance of downtown Edgartown, the Edgartown lighthouse, and the Chappy Ferry. This summer we will also be offering curated excursions for our guests. We have so many amazing experiences planned, but here is a sneak peak of what you can expect: oyster tours from Edgartown to Oak Bluffs, lighthouse tours around the island and bike tours for those who want to stay active. Be sure to keep an eye out for more details when you book your stay!

The hotel is typically closed in January and February in order for us to prepare for the upcoming season. Please note that we will be reopening on March 3rd as you plan your 2021 stays with us. Whether this is your first or annual trip to Martha’s Vineyard, we are excited and look forward to your visit! Be sure to subscribe for updates below, so you don’t miss any of our exciting plans for this summer. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for lots of summer travel inspiration and tips!