Exploring Edgartown

If you took all the highlights of New England’s best coastal destinations and wrapped them up into one amazing place, it would look a lot like Edgartown, Massachusetts.

Home to one of the Northeast’s most exciting fishing scenes, beaches of exceptional beauty, and a diverse selection of high-quality restaurants and interesting shops, Edgartown is a beloved destination among the region’s boaters.

Located on the southeastern side of Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown welcomes boaters with a well-marked channel into Edgartown Harbor, which is divided into an outer and inner harbor, formed by an arm extending into Katama Bay. Boaters will easily spot Edgartown Harbor Light on the west side of the outer harbor. Boaters can find good anchorage in the inner harbor. For information, contact the harbormaster on VHF channel 16 or at 508-627-4746.

Boaters can choose from several marinas in Edgartown. The Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard (508-693-0400) is a full-service marina that dates back to 1856. Hourly dockage is available at Mad Max Marina (508-627-7400). The Harborside Inn (508-627-4321, ext. 117) also offers dockage.

Visitors should allow plenty of time for walking along Edgartown’s scenic streets. The area has impressive captains’ houses dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, along with plenty of other historic buildings, meticulously-landscaped gardens and interesting shops. The Martha’s Vineyard Museum (508-627–4441) has a collection of historic buildings and provides insight into the island’s past. The area also has spectacular nature preserves. Mytoi (508-627–7689), on nearby Chappaquiddick Island, is a 14-acre preserve that has a serene, beautifully tended, Japanese-inspired garden. Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge (508-627–3599), also on Chappaquiddick Island, features dunes, woods, cedar thickets, moors, salt marshes, ponds, tidal flats, and a barrier beach, and it’s an important migration stop for many birds.

Edgartown has a large collection of high-quality restaurants. Détente (508-627–8810) is a wine bar and restaurant with an innovative menu. Alchemy Bistro and Bar (508-627–9999) is an elegant, high-class French-style bistro. The Dunes at Winnetu Oceanside Resort (508-627–3663) features locally-caught seafood.