West Tisbury was incorporated in 1892. Known as the agricultural heartland of Martha’s Vineyard. It is the first of the three up-Island towns, also the largest.
The other two are Chilmark and Aquinnah. In order to build a house in the three up-Island towns, you need at least three acres. Driving through up-Island, you will notice the difference from down-Island in the density. In West Tisbury, you will find a small, step back in time, quaint town, historic churches, several farms, refuges, reservations and an arboretum.
The highlight of the summer, is the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society Fair held the third week of August each year, from Thursday-Sunday. It's held at the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society Hall off of State Road in West Tisbury. If you are here that week, you are in for a treat. Locals and tourist alike enter baked goods, vegetables, flowers, paintings, crafts, etc., in hopes of winning a ribbon. There are carnival rides for the kids. For females, here for the Sunday of the fair, can sign up for the Skillet Throw contest, anytime before 1 p.m. It is a hoot! You are judged, in age groups, by the distance you throw an iron skillet on the course. It is one of the most popular events of the weekend. Who knows, you might take home a ribbon. You must be at least 18 to enter, there is no ending age. There are age groups for everyone.
Polly Hill Arboretum, located on State Road, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is approximately 60 Acres of native woodlands. The public gardens are open to visitors from sunrise to sunset daily. Tours are also available at 10 a.m. each day. Admission is $5.
Long Point Wildlife Refuge with beautiful vistas, walking trails and a beach. Long Point is definitely the destination, not the journey. Located off the Edgartown/West Tisbury Rd, just past the airport on the left, down a long dirt road, park and walk about 10 more minutes. Worth the trip. Spend the day. Bring everything that you think you are going to need. Arrive early to find a parking space. You’ll love it. Owned and managed by the Trustees of the Reservation.
Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary is 400 acres of conservation land. There are several walking trails through trees, brooks, streams and as an added bonus, you walk through a thicket of trees to a beautiful beach! There is no swimming at this beach, but you can sit and listen to the symphony that the water makes flowing over the rocks on its way back out to sea. It is truly amazing to hear.
Again, it is worth the effort to get there. Be sure to drop crumbs to get back to the road! DIRECTIONS - From the intersection with State Road, West Tisbury, follow Indian Hill Road for 1.3 miles. Turn right onto the Obed Daggett Road (near the hilltop). Following the “Sanctuary” signs, take Obed Daggett Road one mile to its terminus at the Cedar Tree Neck trailhead and parking area.
Christiantown, Indian Hill is a native American burial ground. Called Manitouwattootan, by the Native Algonquins is a "place of spirits. Set aside as a praying town for converts to Christianity. A small chapel from 1828, is still standing.
The Grange Hall restored in 1997 by the Preservation Trust is now used as a venue and meeting house. It is also home to the Artisans Festival, Farmer’s Market, and antique sales. Located right in the center of town.
Alley’s General Store, in the heart of Town, is another Preservation Trust property. They restored Alley’s in 1993. The oldest, circa 1858, operating retail business on Martha’s Vineyard. Everything that you want and need can be found at Alley’s. It is truly the epitome of an old-fashioned general store that carries everything and is the Town meeting place. You never know who you will run into on their front porch. Visit and step back in time!
Beaches: Long Point and Lambert’s Cove.
Be sure to check out the lodging and restaurants. For more information about West Tisbury, check out the Town’s website - https://www.westtisbury-ma.gov/.