One of New England’s most elegant communities, Edgartown was Martha’s Vineyard’s first colonial settlement and it has been the county seat since 1642. The stately white Greek Revival houses built by the whaling captains have been carefully maintained. They make the town a museum-piece community, a seaport village preserved from the early 19th century.
Main Street is a picture book setting with its harbor and waterfront. The tall square-rigged ships that sailed all the world’s oceans have passed from the Edgartown scene, but the heritage of those vessels and their captains has continued. For the past hundred years, Edgartown has been one of the world’s great yachting centers.
To view and appreciate this town fully, you must walk its streets. North Water Street has a row of captains’ houses not equaled anywhere. Study the fanlights and widow’s walks by day and stroll down the streets after the lamps are lit. There are many narrow side “streets”, “lanes” and “ways” that venture either through historic architecture of quiet neighborhoods, wind down and around to the harbor, or stretch out away from town to the lighthouse & beach.
Martha’s Vineyard is a unique culinary destination and Edgartown has a menu of restaurants, cafes, wine bars and pubs that for all tastes.
There are excellent public beaches in the township of Edgartown. Norton’s Point, known as South Beach or Katama, is a barrier beach providing surf bathing and the opportunity to explore Katama Bay on the other side of the dunes. Wasque and Cape Poge on Chappaquiddick are both unspoiled areas owned and maintained by The Trustees of Reservations. They are favorite spots for bluefish and bass fishermen. Lighthouse Beach, located off North Water Street near the town center, offers calm water and views of harbor activities. Bend-in-the-Road Beach, part of Joseph Sylvia Beach, has ample parking and is accessible by bicycle trail.
Felix Neck is about three miles outside the center of town on Vineyard Haven Road. The 200 acres, owned by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, provide marked trails and a program of wildlife management and conservation education throughout the year.