Incorporated in 1671. It was one of the first ports for the lucrative whaling industry in the 1800’s. During the whaling era, many of the ship’s captains built built stately Greek Revival or Federal-style mansions, for their families with widow walks overlooking the harbor. After the whaling industry waned by the beginning of the 20th century, tourism took over.
Edgartown is known for its beautiful beaches, Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse as well as Cape Pogue Light on Chappy, white clapboard mansions, fabulous restaurants and stores.
Beaches abound in Edgartown. Whether you’re a surfer, fisher or a swimmer, there is a beach for you. With a 4-wheeler, you can drive out onto Norton Point beach with your rods and reels. If your board is also on your car, you can ‘hang 10’ at South Beach.
No trip to Martha’s Vineyard is complete without a jump off of the Jaws bridge. Aptly named, the Jaws bridge, was one of the areas that was an integral location in the filming of the 1975 movie Jaws. This, however, is not for the faint of heart! So, if you sarcastically say to someone, ‘go jump off a bridge,’ they can! The bridge is actually on the town line dividing Oak Bluffs and Edgartown.
Not just a pretty beach face, Edgartown has several historic sights that deserve a visit. The Daniel Fisher House, Vincent House Museum and the Old Whaling Church just to name a few of the things to do in Edgartown.
The dining in Edgartown is top shelf. You can go all out at a fine dining restaurant or have fried clams to go and sit at Memorial Wharf feeding one for the seagulls and one for you! After a meal, stop at an ice cream shop and stroll the town.
Many tourist and Islanders alike, have gotten their PhD in shopping in Edgartown. The shops are crazy good. Regardless of your style, you’ll find that perfect piece to complete an outfit or be the outfit. Now you just need the perfect shoe and statement jewelry accessories to tie everything together. Check out the Thrift Shop too. Now, you’re all dressed up with no place to go. Wrong! You’re in Edgartown, there is always something to do. The annual Taste of the Vineyard, the Pink and Green Weekend, Wine and Cheese Festival, Possible Dreams Auction, concerts at the Whaling Church, the list is endless of things to do in Edgartown.
Don’t forget to tour the Edgartown Light. It is one of the five historic lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard. Charter a catamaran for a tour of the Island or a fishing excursion, catch a water taxi to South Beach from the Edgartown Harbor. You can just sit at the harbor with an ice cream and watch the gorgeous yachts that frequent the harbor.
As you can imagine, the lodging in Edgartown is magical. The hotels, BnBs and inns exceed your imagination. Most are in restored Captain’s houses. Some are waterfront or on quaint side streets and Main Street.You will be transformed back it time with all of the modern amenities you could ever want or need.
Chappaquiddick Island is a part of Edgartown. Connected to Edgartown by a barrier beach. Known by locals and visitors alike as Chappy. It is probably best known by an incident in 1969 involving Ted Kennedy. Access to Chappy is by a small privately owned barge that hold three cars at a time as well as people and bikes to cross the channel.
The Trustees of Reservations owns and manages about 1,000 acres of land including the Cape Poge Light, Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge and beach. Great walking trails, fishing, and birding, etc. Less than 200 people live on Chappaquiddick. Home to the Chappaquiddick Beach Club. A private beach club.