Island Information


Martha's Vineyard lies 7 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, USA.

In 1602, Bartholomew Gosnold, a British fisherman, discovered the Island and named it after his firstborn daughter and the thick vegetation.  

The Island is roughly triangular-shaped with its base the straight south shore, and northern points facing Cape Cod. It is 9 miles (12.8k) wide and 26 miles (40k) long at its furthest points; the total land area is approximately 96 square miles. Martha's Vineyard has a total of 124.6 miles of tidal shoreline spread over six small towns, and approximately one-third of the Island’s land mass is protected – meaning it will never be developed.  MAP 

The population changes dramatically from one season to the next. Martha’s Vineyard has a year-round population of about 15,500 swelling to 115,000 in the summer. Approximately 63% of the Island’s housing stock is second homes for seasonal residents, and an additional 10,000 visitors are coming and going on ferries, in private boats and via air travel every day mid-June through Labor Day. The Martha’s Vineyard Commission provides terrific statistic data on a variety of topics.

The shoulder seasons of Spring and Autumn are perfect times to enjoy our temperate climate, diverse festivals, natural beauty and lower price points for lodging. Winter holds the magic of Vineyard holidays, cozy inns and B&Bs and the romance and tranquility of seemingly having the Vineyard all to yourself.

What makes Martha's Vineyard such a special place? 

Authenticity: No chain stores, restaurants or hotels here; rather, a perfect place for entrepreneurs, and to find one-of-a-kind shopping, dining and lodging.

  • Lifestyle: A vibrant arts and culture scene means that year round you can enjoy sophisticated experiences such as galleries, live music, theatre, dance and exciting speakers series in a wonderfully casual environment.
  • Romance: If your idea of romance is being out all day, enjoying the robust natural beauty in any number of ways, and then enjoying a fabulous meal or delightful entertainment or a cozy blanket on the beach for sunset, then you can’t help but fall in love. 
  • Ahh, the FOOD! Local farms, plentiful oceans and local commitment to sustainable agriculture means whether you’re at a picnic table or the finest restaurant, you will enjoy wonderful locally grown, made or caught food prepared with you in mind.
  • Casualness: Nearly every native has a great story to tell about being an extra in JAWS or meeting President Clinton or President Obama; Dressing up means exchanging your flip-flops for sandals; You swear you just passed a celebrity on the bike path; Island time reminds you of college time (anything within 15 minutes is “on time”); What's a tie?


Source:  Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce