Visiting Edgartown, MA

Once a prosperous whaling center, today Edgartown, Massachusetts is a popular, yet classy, tourist destination with plenty to offer visiting boaters. The waters around Edgartown provide anglers access to world-class fishing, while the town itself is home to strikingly beautiful old captains’ houses, interesting shops, several nature preserves, superb restaurants and gorgeous beaches.

Edgartown is located on the southeastern side of Martha’s Vineyard. Cruising boaters will find a well-marked channel in Edgartown Harbor, which is divided into an outer and inner harbor, formed by an arm extending into Katama Bay. Edgartown Harbor Light is on the west side of Edgartown 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 one of several marinas in Edgartown. The Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard (www.mvshipyard.com; 508-693-0400) is a full-service marina that was established in Edgartown back in 1856. Boaters can find hourly dockage at Mad Max Marina (www.madmaxmarina.com; 508-627-7400). The Harborside Inn (www.theharborsideinn.com; 508-627-4321, ext. 117) also offers dockage.

When visiting the area, you’ll want to allow plenty of time for walking along Edgartown’s scenic streets. The area is home to majestic captains’ houses dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, along with plenty of other historic buildings, meticulously-landscaped gardens and interesting shops. Stop into the Martha’s Vineyard Museum (www.marthasvineyardhistory.org; 508-627–4441), which has a collection of historic buildings and provides insight into the island’s past. It’s also a good idea to explore some of the area’s spectacular nature preserves. Mytoi (http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/cape-cod-islands/mytoi.html; 508-627–7689), on nearby Chappaquiddick Island, is a 14-acre preserve that has a serene, beautifully tended, Japanese-inspired garden with a creek-fed pool spanned by a bridge and rimmed with Japanese maples, azaleas, bamboo, and irises. Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge (http://www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/cape-cod-islands/cape-pogue.html; 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 also offers visitors a large collection of high-quality restaurants. Alchemy Bistro and Bar (www.alchemyedgartown.com; 508-627–9999) is an elegant, high-class French-style bistro. The Dunes at Winnetu Oceanside Resort (www.winnetu.com; 508-627–3663) is renowned for its locally-caught seafood. Détente (www.detentemv.com; 508-627–8810) is an intimate wine bar and restaurant offering an innovative menu with food provide by local farms and fishermen.