Vineyard Haven vs Edgartown vs Oak Bluffs: where to stay?

Are you planning a trip to Martha’s Vineyard but not sure where to stay? Maybe you’re wondering about Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, or Oak Bluffs. Each place offers a unique vibe for your vacation. Let’s look into what they have to see which is best for you.

Choosing between Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs can feel overwhelming. They each have something special to offer. But we’ve got you covered with this detailed guide. We will compare everything from where to stay, what to do, where to eat, and even how to get around. This way, you can plan the best Martha’s Vineyard trip.

Whether you want peace in Vineyard Haven, history in Edgartown, or fun at the beach in Oak Bluffs, we’re here to guide you. We’ll help you pick the right place for your Martha’s Vineyard adventure.

Vineyard Haven: A Tranquil Retreat

Vineyard Haven is a peaceful town on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s known for its calm and laid-back feel. This town, on the island’s northern shore, is perfect for those wanting time away from busy life.

The town’s quiet vibe and untouched nature make it special. You’ll see beautiful beaches and lots of green. The perfect place to unwind, it has a scenic harbor and paths by the coast.

lodging in Vineyard Haven

Vineyard Haven offers many stay options. You can pick from small inns to fancy places by the water. It’s also good for vacation homes, making you feel at home in its peaceful setting.

Immerse yourself in the tranquility of Vineyard Haven and discover a hidden gem on Martha’s Vineyard where you can truly unwind.

Besides its calm, Vineyard Haven has cute shops and local places to buy things. You can get special items or enjoy shopping. For a meal, try one of its lovely restaurants for fresh seafood and local dishes.

It’s a great place for a romantic trip or time alone. Enjoy the stunning views and the local way of life. Let the quiet and calm atmosphere relax you.

Edgartown: Historic Elegance

Get ready to travel back in time in Edgartown. This town on Martha’s Vineyard is filled with 19th-century buildings, cozy streets, and pretty views of the water. It’s a great place to visit if you love old-world charm and beauty.

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Edgartown has many places to stay. You can choose from grand Victorian mansions or smaller, cozy inns. There’s something for everyone’s taste.

Experience Elegance at The Harbor View Hotel

Martha's Vineyard hotels and inns

The Harbor View Hotel is perfect for a fancy visit. It sits by Edgartown Harbor and has been hosting guests since 1891. You’ll love the beautiful rooms, amazing views, and great service.

“The Harbor View Hotel blends old-world charm with new comforts. The moment you walk in, you’ll see its elegance and attention to detail.”

Intimate Luxury at The Charlotte Inn

The Charlotte Inn is a special place in Edgartown. It’s part of the Relais & Châteaux group. You can stay in luxury suites, enjoy lovely gardens, and eat at The Terrace. It’s perfect for a special, luxurious trip.

Enduring Comfort at The Hob Knob

The Hob Knob mixes comfort with charm well. This boutique hotel is in a historic building. It’s near Main Street, so you can easily explore Edgartown’s shops and restaurants.

No matter where you stay, Edgartown will show you its long history and charm. Enjoy the elegant vibe, walk the cobblestone streets, and take in the sophisticated feel of Edgartown.

Oak Bluffs: Lively Beachfront Bliss

Oak Bluffs is a lively town on the northeastern coast of Martha’s Vineyard. It’s famous for its beaches and active vibe. If you love sunny days, sand, and a happening scene, this is your spot.

There are many places to stay in Oak Bluffs. You might choose a cozy bed and breakfast, a quaint inn, or a small rental. Being so close to the beach means easy beach access, perfect for those who love the water.

Martha's Vineyard Travel Tips

Oak Bluffs is perfect for those wanting excitement. It’s always lively with its colorful houses and busy waterfront. At Oak Bluffs Harbor, enjoy a walk by the boats, eat at waterfront restaurants, or pick up unique gifts.

Travel Tips for Oak Bluffs

Here are some tips to make your visit to Oak Bluffs even better:

  1. Summer is a great time to go. You’ll find fun events like the Harbor Festival and Illumination Night then.
  2. Don’t miss the Flying Horses Carousel in the center of town. It’s the oldest platform carousel in the USA.
  3. The Tabernacle is a must-see. It hosts outdoor concerts and events.
  4. Take a stroll or bike ride on the Martha’s Vineyard Bike Path. You’ll see lovely views.
  5. Try the delicious seafood at places like Ocean View Restaurant and Nancy’s.

Oak Bluffs is a wonderful place with its lively beach and fun activities. It’s a perfect spot for a memorable Martha’s Vineyard vacation. Whether you seek beach relaxation, town exploration, or a taste of local life, Oak Bluffs has it all.

Comparing Ambiance and Atmosphere

We’ve looked at Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs one by one. Now, let’s see how their vibes compare. Each place has a unique feel, making the island a rich experience for all. We’ll dive into the architecture, culture, and overall vibe of each.

Vineyard Haven

Vineyard Haven is all about peace and calm. It’s filled with cozy streets and old homes. This makes it perfect for anyone looking to slow down and relax. Its serene harbor and natural beauty draw those seeking a quiet escape.


Edgartown is elegant and full of history. Its old buildings tell stories of the past. The town is known for its graceful mansions and historic sites. It’s the place for those who love sophistication and culture.

Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs is lively and fun. Its famous gingerbread houses add a burst of color. Here, you can find lots of activities by the beach. Its energetic vibe is perfect for a vibrant vacation.

“The ambiance of Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs is wonderfully diverse. Each town has its own character and atmosphere, appealing to different preferences and interests.”

Think about what you love most in a vacation. Choose from the calm of Vineyard Haven, the history of Edgartown, or the fun of Oak Bluffs. You’re sure to find the ideal spot on Martha’s Vineyard.


Amenities and Accommodations

Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs all have their special amenities and accommodations. They make your Martha’s Vineyard visit better in different ways. Each town is charming in its unique way, appealing to various tastes and hobbies.

Vineyard Haven

Vineyard Haven is perfect for peace and quiet. It has cozy bed and breakfasts, charming inns, and vacation rentals. You’ll find beautiful views everywhere. Many places here offer free breakfast, parking, and peaceful gardens.

Vineyard Haven


Edgartown is full of history and elegance. It has hotels and inns with a classic New England feel. You can stay in waterfront luxury or in quaint places in historic buildings. There are also services like a concierge, great dining, and private beach access.

Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs is lively and by the beach. It has beachfront hotels, cottages, and more. You can choose to stay close to the beach or by the town’s activities. Many places in Oak Bluffs have outdoor pools and picnic spots. They’re also near fun entertainment and dining areas.

Here is a comparison table summarizing the amenities and accommodation options in Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs:

Town Amenities Accommodation Options
Vineyard Haven Cozy bed and breakfasts, charming inns, and vacation rentals • Bed and breakfasts
• Inns
• Vacation rentals
Edgartown Luxurious waterfront hotels, boutique inns • Waterfront hotels
• Boutique inns
Oak Bluffs Beachfront hotels, vacation rentals, charming cottages • Beachfront hotels
• Vacation rentals
• Cottages

Each town has its own features. Whether you like quiet, elegance, or the beach, there’s a perfect spot for you. Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, or Oak Bluffs all promise a memorable visit to Martha’s Vineyard.

Activities and Attractions

Martha’s Vineyard has a lot to do and see. You can choose from many things to enjoy in towns like Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs. These places offer outdoor fun, culture, and shopping, making each town special in its own way. Let’s look at what each spot offers to help you pick based on what you like.

Vineyard Haven

Vineyard Haven is perfect if you love nature and the outdoors. You can walk the beautiful trails of Manuel F. Correllus State Forest. There, you’ll see lots of animals and plants. If you prefer water activities, consider renting a kayak or paddleboard to see the lovely coastline. And don’t forget to find the West Chop Lighthouse for great views of Vineyard Sound.

Looking for cultural sights? The Vineyard Haven Public Library is a must-visit. It has a large book collection, shows art, and offers community events. Art lovers should check out the Featherstone Center for the Arts. They display work from local artists and have art classes.

“Vineyard Haven offers a serene retreat amidst nature’s allure, with opportunities for outdoor adventures and cultural exploration.”


Historic Edgartown has a lot of charm with its old buildings. Take a walk down Main Street and see the beautiful houses from the 1700s and 1800s. If you want to know more about the island’s past and sea traditions, visit the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in a historic school building.

South Beach in Edgartown is perfect for a relaxing day by the sea. It’s a great place to sunbathe, swim, or look for treasures. If fishing is more your thing, join a charter and try to catch striped bass or bluefish.

“Edgartown exudes historic elegance and offers a blend of architectural beauty and coastal charm.”

Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs is known for its lively atmosphere and a fun beach. The Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association has colorful Gingerbread Cottages you can explore. Don’t miss the Cottage Museum to learn about their unique history and design.

For a vintage experience, visit the Flying Horses Carousel, America’s oldest platform carousel. It’s a fun outing for the whole family.

“Oak Bluffs offers a vibrant atmosphere, with its lively beachfront and unique architectural charm.”

Activities and Attractions Comparison

Category Vineyard Haven Edgartown Oak Bluffs
Outdoor Adventures Hiking, Kayaking, Paddleboarding Fishing, Beaches Gingerbread Cottages, Flying Horses Carousel
Cultural Attractions Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, Vineyard Haven Public Library, Featherstone Center for the Arts Main Street, Martha’s Vineyard Museum Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, Cottage Museum

Martha’s Vineyard’s three main towns cater to different interests. No matter if you love the outdoors, culture, or the beach, there’s something for everyone. Vineyard Haven, Edstadtown, and Oak Bluffs each have their own charm awaiting you.

activities in Martha's Vineyard

Transportation and Accessibility

Exploring Martha’s Vineyard means finding the right way to move easily around the island. If you’re living in Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, or Oak Bluffs, you’ll see there are many ways to see the beautiful views and quaint towns.

Vineyard Haven

In Vineyard Haven, the main place to start is the Steamship Authority terminal by the harbor. It’s your entry point to the island, with ferries from Woods Hole in Massachusetts. The ferry ride is lovely, taking about 45 minutes to reach Vineyard Haven.

Once you’re there, you can walk to the center or use the local shuttles and taxis.


Edgartown, to the southeast, also has great ways to get around. You can arrive via ferry to Vineyard Haven and then use a shuttle or taxi to Edgartown. Or, you might prefer private services or renting a car for more freedom.

Oak Bluffs

If Oak Bluffs is your base, take a ferry from Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven or directly to Oak Bluffs. From the terminal, it’s easy to get to Oak Bluffs using shuttles, taxis, or by car. Oak Bluffs even has its own ferry terminal for added convenience.

Public Transportation

The island has a great public bus system that connects the main towns and sites. The Vineyard Transit Authority runs the buses, which are affordable and regular. This makes exploring without a car very doable.

Car Rentals and Bicycles

Renting a car is a good choice for independent travel. Many rental places on the island offer different types of cars. With your own car, you can choose where to go and find those special spots off the main paths.

Moving by bike is also amazing on Martha’s Vineyard due to the many cycling trails. You can rent bikes from several shops. This way, you can enjoy rides along the coast or through the pretty towns.


Martha’s Vineyard makes sure visitors with disabilities have good options for getting around. The Steamship Authority and VTA have services for these guests. They have ramps and special areas to sit.

If you need help or special arrangements, it’s best to contact the transport services ahead of time. This helps make your trip smooth.

“Transportation plays a crucial role in exploring Martha’s Vineyard. From the picturesque ferry rides to the convenience of the local shuttles and buses, getting around the island is a breeze. Whether you choose to stay in Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, or Oak Bluffs, the transportation options cater to both convenience and accessibility, allowing you to immerse yourself in the charm and beauty of this New England paradise.”

Dining and Culinary Delights

Martha’s Vineyard is known for its great food. You can find everything here, from seafood to fresh veggies. Each town has its own special places to eat that will make you want more.

Vineyard Haven

Vineyard Haven has something for every taste. ArtCliff Diner is a must for breakfast, with tasty pancakes and burritos. Lunch at The Net Result offers fresh seafood in a chill, waterside setting. At night, Le Grenier serves up fine French dishes for a fancy meal.


In Edgartown, you’ll enjoy food that matches its old-time charm and elegance. At Espresso Love, start your day with coffee and sweets that locals love. For lunch, head to Offshore Ale Company for New England favorites and brews. In the evening, Chesca’s shines with Mediterranean-inspired fare.

Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs is lively and full of beach fun, and the food is great too. The Red Cat Kitchen is your spot for a scrumptious brunch. Coop de Ville is perfect for a seafood lunch, offering lobster rolls and oysters. Then, head to The Sweet Life Café for a cozy, Mediterranean dinner.

Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, or Oak Bluffs, every place has amazing food to offer. Getting a taste of the island’s flavors is a must on your visit. Be ready for a culinary journey that is all about Martha’s Vineyard’s best.

Martha's Vineyard Dining

Town Recommended Dining Establishments
Vineyard Haven
  • ArtCliff Diner
  • The Net Result
  • Le Grenier
  • Espresso Love
  • Offshore Ale Company
  • Chesca’s
Oak Bluffs
  • The Red Cat Kitchen
  • Coop de Ville
  • The Sweet Life Café

Shopping and Souvenirs

Martha’s Vineyard has great shops in Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs. Each town has its own special shops and galleries. You can find unique items to remember your trip.

Vineyard Haven: Local Flavor and Artistry

Vineyard Haven is full of local art and flavor. On Main Street, you’ll see shops selling local art and goods. The Granary Gallery is a must-visit for art lovers.

Edgartown: Nautical Elegance and Upscale Boutiques

Edgartown is known for its nautical style and fancy shops. You’ll love walking the streets and checking out the designer stores. There are plenty of unique gifts and clothes to choose from.

Oak Bluffs: Whimsical Treasures and Artisan Craftsmanship

Oak Bluffs is fun and quirky. The shops offer unique items and handmade crafts. Circuit Avenue is a great place to find special souvenirs.

Exploring the shops lets you experience local life and help local sellers. You can find special items or new clothes at Martha’s Vineyard. The shops have something for everyone.

Martha's Vineyard Shopping

Town Shopping Highlights
Vineyard Haven
  • Quaint and contemporary boutiques
  • Locally crafted clothing, jewelry, and home decor
  • Granary Gallery – showcase of Vineyard artists
  • Upscale boutiques and designer clothing stores
  • Unique gift shops and art galleries
  • Exclusive Vineyard-inspired jewelry
Oak Bluffs
  • Whimsical treasures and handmade crafts
  • Artisan boutiques and eclectic galleries
  • Vintage finds and locally crafted souvenirs

Beaches and Natural Beauty

Martha’s Vineyard stands out with its natural charm. It boasts a gorgeous coastline and beautiful scenery. This makes it perfect for those who love the beach and the outdoors. You can find great spots to relax, swim, and take in the island’s beauty in Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, or Oak Bluffs.

1. Vineyard Haven

Vineyard Haven is a great place for peaceful beach days. Eastville Beach is a favorite due to its tranquil waters and soft sand. Swimmers, sunbathers, and walkers all enjoy the calm atmosphere. If you prefer a quieter time, head to Lagoon Pond Beach for its lovely lagoon views.

2. Edgartown

Edgartown is known for its stunning beaches. South Beach, or Katama Beach, is a large area of sandy paradise. It’s popular for surfing, sunbathing, and enjoying nature. Joseph Sylvia State Beach offers beautiful dunes and calm waters, perfect for various beach activities.

3. Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs is lively, with beaches perfect for fun under the sun. Inkwell Beach has unique dark sands and is a bustling spot for swimming. Jetty Beach, close to Oak Bluffs Harbor, is quiet and ideal for relaxing or watching boats.

Don’t just stick to the beaches, though. Martha’s Vineyard has lots of nature to explore. There are trails, preserves, and lookouts that show off the island’s varied scenery. You can enjoy captivating views from the cliffs of Aquinnah or peaceful walks in State Forest.

Town Recommended Beaches
Vineyard Haven Eastville Beach, Lagoon Pond Beach
Edgartown South Beach (Katama Beach), Joseph Sylvia State Beach
Oak Bluffs Inkwell Beach, Jetty Beach

No matter which town you stay in, you can’t go wrong. Martha’s Vineyard is waiting with its beautiful beaches and nature spots. Get ready to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Martha's Vineyard Beaches


After looking at Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs, it’s decision time. Think about what you like and read what we shared. This will help you pick which town is right for your visit to Martha’s Vineyard.

Vineyard Haven is perfect if you love peace and quiet. It has a calm vibe and many places to stay, like vacation rentals.

Edgartown is great for those who love history and style. It has elegant hotels and inns that are very refined.

Oak Bluffs is the spot for fun on the beach and a lively feel. It’s known for its energy and friendly community.

No matter what you choose, a great vacation is waiting for you on this beautiful island. Start planning your Martha’s Vineyard trip now. Enjoy the stunning landscape and the charming atmosphere of this remarkable place!

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