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Vineyard Haven

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Few places can seamlessly blend the history and beauty of a quaint New England seaport with the excitement and life of a bustling tourist community quite like Vineyard Haven


This Martha’s Vineyard town is the kind of place where you’re likely to see an old wooden schooner anchored next to a state-of-the-art luxury mega-yacht. The streets of Vineyard Haven have the look and feel of a 19th Century seaport while also featuring the kind of fine restaurants and great shops you’d expect at a popular, upscale tourist destination.

When traveling to Vineyard Haven, pay close attention in Vineyard Haven Harbor, as the waterfront can be an especially busy place during summer. Note that the currents can be strong off both West and East Chop, and be sure to stay well north of West Chop and buoy GC “25,” which marks a large rock.

Visiting boaters should find a number of dockage and mooring options available. Contact the harbormaster’s office (VHF Channel 9; 508-693-4249) for information on local moorings and dock space. The Black Dog Wharf (VHF Channel 72; 508-693-3854) offers transient moorings and hourly dockage. Vineyard Haven Marine (VHF Channel 9; 508-693-0720) has slips and moorings, as well as fuel. Maciel Marine (508-693-4174) inside Lagoon Pond is a full-service marina with a ship’s store and fuel. Also, anchoring is permitted outside the harbor’s western breakwater, and along the eastern side of the harbor. You can also find good holding ground inside Lagoon Pond. If you need a pumpout, two municipal boats offer free pumpout service (VHF Channel 9).

Vineyard Haven Chart

Vineyard Haven Chart.
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Once on land, you’ll find it’s easy to get around. Bike and moped rentals are plentiful, there are several taxi services, and buses of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional Transit Authority ( scheduled service throughout the island for just $1 per town each way.

No trip to Vineyard Haven is complete without a stop at the famed Black Dog Tavern (800-826-1991) with its great food and views of the harbor. Another fantastic restaurant is Zephrus at the Mansion House (800-332-4112), which serves seafood and grilled fare in a Victorian building.

When you’re done shopping and sightseeing, check out the sunset tours of East Chop Lighthouse (508-627-4441). You can also enjoy a sail aboard an old schooner with Black Dog Tall Ships (508-693-1699).


Gallery below by Michael Blanchard Photography

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