Edgartown (Martha's Vineyard), Massachusetts
Edgartown was the second stop on our whirlwind tour of Martha's Vineyard. Edgartown is the largest town in area on the island and is also the county seat of Dukes County, Massachusetts, which is mostly made up of Martha's Vineyard. To get to Edgartown you can take the ferry from Woods Hole or Hyannis, which will then take you over to either Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard. Edgartown is about six miles from Oak Bluffs and eight miles from Vineyard Haven.
Edgartown has long been known for its whaling history. But it's also famous for another large sea creature. Jaws was partly filmed in Edgartown, which served as the fictional town of Amity. Today the industry is mostly tourism, but if you look around you can still see some signs of that famous shark. Edgartown's Main Street is, in fact, Main Street, but businesses can also be found on Dock Street, Water Street, Winter Street and several other sidestreets in the area. Two other notable Main Street communities on Martha's Vineyard include the aforementioned Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven.
We continue our tour around the island of Martha's Vineyard. Our next stop is Edgartown on the far eastern corner of the island. We parked at a public parking lot near the docks. Here's a view of the intersection of Main Street and Dock Street just across from those docks. As you can see, you can hop right off your boat and rent a bike.
Speaking of which, here are some bikers now, heading southeast on Main Street towards the docks. Edgartown's history is closely associated with the water. Its major industry for years was whaling, but as that began to wane, tourism caught on and many people built summer houses in the area.
For the most part on this tour we'll be heading northwest along Main Street away from the docks. This is a view of the zero hundred block of Main Street.
Here's a view looking back down Main Street in a southeast direction. In the distance, you can see the parking lot where we parked.
There are plenty of shops and restaurants along this stretch of Main Street. Notice the well-maintained landscaping along with the attractive street lights. Also, this portion of Main Street has no on-street parking.
Jack Wills is a boutique that occupies the southern corner of the intersection of Main Street and Water Street. It's interesting to see how the boutiques fill the spaces of the New England-style buildings.
Here's another view of the same intersection. This time we're looking south down Water Street. A lot of the houses in the area were built in the Colonial Revival-style but you'll find many other styles as well.
Just one more shot from this intersection. Dating back to 1855 the Edgartown National Bank building is the oldest brick building on the island. During the filming of Jaws, the building played the part of Amity National Bank. That's right. Jaws was filmed in Edgartown.
If we head north on Water Street, we come across several other stores and businesses, including these occupying this large Colonial complete with cedar-siding.
Here are several other shops and galleries along North Water Street.
Many of Edgartown's side streets contain plenty of shade-providing trees and brick-paved sidewalks. This is a view of Winter Street a side street off of Water Street.
Here is a view of some more shops and galleries along Winter Street in Edgartown.
Tucked away along Winter Street is Nevin Square. A quiet oasis featuring several boutiques.
Inside Nevin Square is a cozy, park-like atmosphere with several elevated walkways connecting the buildings.
We cut through Nevin Square and end up back on Water Street. And here is a view of the Vineyard Square Hotel and Suites. Also home to several shops and galleries. And notice the cool statue in the front taking a nap?
Across the street is the side street Kelley Street and facing Kelley Street on the corner of Kelley and Water is the Kelley House, another hotel in Edgartown.
Next door to the large Kelley House is this small Cape Cod-style cottage that's home to a small boutique. On the left of the picture, you can see the collection of bikes at the disposal of the Kelley House guests.
As we continue heading southeast on Kelley Street we make it back down to Dock Street. If you remember, Dock Street is close to where we started our tour. So, yup, we are in the process of making a big circle.
Here's a row of shops, cafes, and even an ice cream parlor along Dock Street facing out to the parking lot near where we started our tour.
We continue heading west on Dock Street. We are almost right where we started this tour, so we did, in fact, just make a complete circle.
Let's get back on track and jump over to where we left off previously on Main Street. Here's another collection of boutiques. Notice the brick sidewalks, benches, lightposts, and beautiful landscaping. It all makes for a pleasant atmosphere for pedestrians.
This is a view looking southeast at the intersection of Main Street and Water Street (yes, that intersection again). Notice the water off in the distance? That's where the dock is and also where we had parked (just to provide a point of reference).
More shops and even a tavern along Main Street in Edgartown. And remember the oldest brick building in Martha's Vineyard we saw earlier? Well, you can bet they didn't have an ATM when they first opened that building all those years ago.
We continue heading northwest along Main Street, but this is another shot looking southeast. That house on the right is now a bookstore. You can even enjoy coffee and pastries out on the front porch.
In fact, as the sign clearly states, the coffee bar is behind the bookstore.
Across the street along Main Street are more shops. This is a view looking northwest in the direction we're heading in.
This park was once the site of the Elm Theatre, which burned down in 1961. The land remained vacant for many years before eventually being developed into a park.
We continue to work our way up Main Street until we reach the intersection of Main street and Summer Street. Remember Winter Street earlier? Well, now we have Summer Street.
If you head down South Summer Street, you'll find some a few more boutiques, including this small lululemon store, which is open seasonally.
Now if you cross back over Main Street and head down North Summer Street, you'll find additional boutiques and galleries.
Continuing down North Summer Street we find more businesses, including art galleries.
Although North Summer Street becomes more residential as you head in this direction there are still a few more businesses, such as these real estate offices. But even if you aren't window shopping it's still nice to take stroll down some of these quiet residential streets.
We head back to Main Street and continue heading northwest. But that doesn't mean we can't turn around and get another picture looking southeast in the direction we came from.
If we zoom in a little on this stretch of Main Street, we find some more businesses, including a movie theater and a diner.
And here's Edgartown's Town Hall also on Main Street. Edgartown is the largest town in area on Martha's Vineyard.
Also on Main Street is the Dukes County Court House. Edgartown is the County Seat for Dukes County, which is mostly comprised of Martha's Vineyard.
In the same area of Main Street is St. Elizabeth's Church. As you can tell the critical mass of shops and restaurants begins to thin out along this stretch of Main Street.
But if we turn down Church Street, we find a few more businesses, including these located in the Post Office Sqaure.
Also along Church Street is the Visitor Center complete with a gift shop and public restrooms. It's also a bus stop for the Martha's Vineyard Regional Transit Authority, which runs regular bus routes around the island and includes stops in some of the islands other Main Street communities such as Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven.
In fact, here's a bus getting ready to head out to Oak Bluffs. Since Martha's Vineyard is an island, many tourists take advantage of the bus to get around. In fact, this bus stop makes a great location to start your visit due to its proximity to a bathroom, visitor center, and gift shop. We drove in, so we'll head back to the docks to pick up our car and head out to Vineyard Haven. See you next time!
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