Marthas Vineyard : Massachusetts

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What it's Like to Retire in Marthas Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard is a large and affluent island about 7 miles off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.  The year round population is about 16,000 but during the summer months it swells over 100,000. Several U.S. Presidents have spent their summer vacations here, notably Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.  According to this quote from Wikipedia, Martha's Vineyard is made up of 7 towns:

  • Tisbury, which includes the main village of Vineyard Haven, and the West Chop peninsula. It is the island's primary port of entry for people and cargo, supplemented by the seasonal port in Oak Bluffs.
  • Edgartown, which includes Chappaquiddick island and Katama. Edgartown is noted for its rich whaling tradition, and is the island's largest town by population and area. It is one of the island's "wet" towns.
  • Oak Bluffs is most well known for its gingerbread cottages, open harbor, and its vibrant town along busy Circuit Avenue. Oak Bluffs enjoys a reputation as one of the more active night-life towns on the island for both residents and tourists, and is also a "wet" town. It was known as "Cottage City" from its separation from Edgartown in 1880 until its reincorporation as Oak Bluffs in 1907. Oak Bluffs includes several communities that have been popular destinations for affluent African Americans since the early 20th century.[39] It also includes the East Chop peninsula, Lagoon Heights and Harthaven.
  • West Tisbury is the island's agricultural center, and hosts the beloved well known Martha's Vinyard Agricultural Fair in late August each year.
  • Chilmark, including the fishing village of Menemsha. Chilmark is also rural and features the island's hilliest terrain.
  • Aquinnah, Aquinnah is home to the Wampanoag Indian tribe and the famous Clay cliffs.

Photo of Gay Head courtesy of Wikipedia and JP06035.


Where to Retire in Marthas Vineyard and Home Prices

There are many great places to live on Martha's Vineyard, if you can afford it. In Vineyard Haven the median home sold for about $500,000 in 2012-13. Some homes near the water go for much more.


What is special about Marthas Vineyard

Martha's Vineyard is one of the most charming, beautiful places on earth.  It has great beaches and restaurants.  A wonderful place to relax.


What is not special about Marthas Vineyard

It is hard to get to and get off. Everything here is much more expensive than on the mainland. The winters are quite quiet, while August is a madhouse.


Who will like retirement in Marthas Vineyard

The median age is close to the Mass. median.  People who want to enjoy the summer, spring, and fall in more of a relaxed setting will love it here.  Winter is not for everyone  - while not especially cold because it is surrounded by ocean, it can get lonely and not much is open. Better for retirement as a 2nd home.


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