Martha’s Vineyard is a great place for a family vacation.
Unlike big crowded theme parks, a trip to the Vineyard is a more laid back kind of vacation.
Being an Island the main attraction is the beach. The best kid friendly one is State Beach on the eastern side of MV between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. The water is mostly shallow and very calm. The beach is great for finding shells and stones and sometimes an elusive piece of sea glass.
Here at Aquinnah (Gay Head) on the western side of MV lying beneath the colorful clay cliffs, the beach is rougher and dotted with large and interesting rocks.
Bicycling is a terrific way to explore the Island. One of the prettiest bicycle paths is right along State Beach between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown… the Atlantic Ocean is on one side and Sengekontacket Pond on the other.
Along the way look for an Osprey’s nest.
Try miniature golf at Island Cove Mini Golf on State Rd just outside of Vineyard Haven, and also try their rock climbing wall.
Some other things to do on MV are. Nature walks and children’s programs at Felix Neck. Watch glass being blown at the Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks. Go ice skating at the MV Arena. Try horseback riding. Tour the lobster hatchery in Oak Bluffs. Spend a few hours at Beadniks in Vineyard Haven creating a one of a kind piece of jewelry.
No matter what your age you’ll want to ride on the Flying Horses.
The Flying Horses in Oak Bluffs are America’s oldest platform carousel dating back to 1884. They are listed on the National Register of Historical Places and belong to the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust. Take a ride on one of these beautifully restored horses rain or shine.
And rain does happen, so what do you do with kids to keep them happy.
Besides the Flying Horses and bookstores there’s always the movies. There are several theatres on MV.. the one pictured here is in Vineyard Haven… Oak Bluffs has two theatres and Edgartown does also.
If you take a jaunt over to the smaller island of Chappaquiddick, which is a three minute ferry ride from Edgartown, take time to stroll through Mytoi, the beautiful and peaceful Japanese garden. Also take a guided tour out to Cape Poge lighthouse.
If you’re on MV in the middle of August you can visit the Agricultural Fair It’s amazing to see what the Vineyarders have created… from quilts and homemade jams and jellies to raising livestock. There’s something for everyone, lots of good food, rides to go on, sheep shearing and interesting contests like skillet tossing… something I’ve been tempted to do in my kitchen at times.
So run, play, shop, go swimming and biking, ride on a flying horse or a real one, visit a farm or spend a week as a deck hand on a kids cruise on the Shenandoah or Alabama tall ships. Enjoy all that Martha’s Vineyard has to offer.
As for where to stay… my personal recommendations are. The Island Inn which is about a half mile outside Oak Bluffs on the road to Edgartown. Each unit, no matter the size has a kitchenette which is always great when traveling with kids. They have a playground and large lawns for romping and a nice pool.