Our latest painting on jeanneoneil.com is a lovely porch framing an ocean view in the distance. If you have been to Martha’s Vineyard, the image may be reminiscent of the stately Captain’s Houses that adorn the village of Edgartown on the southeast corner of the Island.
There is plenty to say about Edgartown, but we would like to share a particular (perhaps secret) pleasure that we feel is a must for any visit to Martha’s Vineyard.
You can get to Edgartown by taking a taxi from the ferries in Oaks Bluff or Vineyard Haven, or jump on one of the bus lines that connect the various Island towns. We recommend renting a jeep even for a day trip, giving you the flexibility to explore the entire island freely and at your own pace.
Once you are in downtown Edgartown, make your way east down Water Street. You will pass shops and restaurants at first but then the street becomes more private. The previously mentioned Captain’s Houses line both sides of the street. The architecture, combined with gardens and picket fences makes for quintessential New England scenery.
The Edgartown Harbor Light comes into view. Keep walking, your destination awaits.
Towards the end of the road, directly across from the lighthouse sits the Harbor View Hotel. The wrap around porch beckons you. The comfortable rocking chairs await your relaxation. Feel free to try them out.
Make your way into the grand nautical lobby. If it is early in the day, pop into the dining room for a remarkably luxurious breakfast with a fantastic view.
If it’s later in the day, head down the hall and visit the hotel bar to order an iced tea, lemonade or cocktail. Take your beverage onto the porch. Relax in one of the rocking chairs or unwind on the wicker sofa under the gazebo.
Take in the view. Enjoy the sea air and marvel at the boats in the distance. You may even see a luxury yacht or two anchored in the distant harbor. We wonder who it belongs to.
The Harborview Hotel boasts a remarkable vista overlooking the lighthouse - and is a great place to snap a few photos to memorialize your trip. But mostly - relax. Let the weight of everyday life disappear. Slow down, breathe deep and just enjoy the view.
Once you feel refreshed, head across the street and walk down the sandy path to the Harbor Light. Explore the beach and water’s edge. If you are inclined (and if it is open) head into the lighthouse, climb the winding staircase and enjoy the unmatched, elevated view of the harbor.
This is why you are here. We come to the Vineyard to experience the unique history and unmatched beauty of this place. This out of the way, quiet corner of paradise has served as a recharging inspiration for us on many occasions and we hope you find your way to enjoy it as well.