Vineyard Haven (Martha's Vineyard), Massachusetts
Vineyard Haven was the third and final stop on our whirlwind tour of Martha's Vineyard after visiting Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, two other Main Street communities on the island. Vineyard Haven is actually a village within the larger town of Tisbury. Although legally considered Tisbury, the two names are used interchangeably with more people referring to the area as Vineyard Haven. Tisbury is one of the towns that make up Dukes County, which is mostly comprised of Martha's Vineyard.
The area plays an important role in Martha's Vineyard's economy. Vineyard Haven is the location where most people arrive on the island by ferry. Although Oak Bluffs also has ferry traffic, Vineyard Haven has the most routes, and it runs year round. Most ferries arrive in Vineyard Haven from Woods Hole, which is in the town of Falmouth on Cape Cod. You can walk right from the ferries into the heart of Vineyard Haven. The town's Main Street is, in fact, Main Street, just a few blocks away from the waterfront. But businesses can also be found on Water Street, near the docks and on Beach Street, which connects Water Street to Main Street. Vineyard Haven is about three miles from Oak Bluffs and eight miles from Edgartown.
Vineyard Haven was our last stop on our tour of Martha's Vineyard. After visiting Oak Bluffs and then Edgartown, we circled around the island clockwise and eventually landed here. We parked at a public parking lot near Water Street and Cromwell Lane. This Visitor Information Center was not far.
Also nearby were the docks where the ferries came in along with a large bus stop. Vineyard Haven is the primary location for ferry arrivals and departures on Martha's Vineyard, so this area is a busy transportation hub.
Along Water Street, you'll find some shops and restaurants, including The Black Dog. A popular chain with locations throughout New England and in other waterfront towns, the first location opened here in 1971. This location includes a restaurant and gift shop.
Heading a little farther down Water Street, we find a bike rental place. Not a bad way to get around town, and if you're up to it, a good way to get around the island too. This is a five-way intersection made up of Water Street, Beach Street, Beach Street Extension, Beach Road, and Lagoon Pond Road. Beach Road will take you towards Oak Bluffs, another town on Martha's Vineyard.
If you turn left, you'll see this large restaurant, which is on Beach Street Extension, on the left side of the picture. The big public space in the front is probably a result of the triangluar corner made by the five-way intersection.
Continuing east on Beach Street Extension, we eventually hit the water where we see a large number of boats docked in the beautiful water.
Speaking of boats, if we look to our left back up in the direction we came, we can see where the ferry comes in to Vineyard Haven. At the bottom of the picture you can see some of beach that gives Beach Street Extension its name.
We now head west on Beach Street back across Water Street. We'll find some shops and restaurants along this stretch.
Here's a shop at the intersection of Beach Street and Main Street. As a point of reference, the shop is on Beach Street and Main Street is behind us.
The Mansion House Inn at the intersection of Beach Street and Main Street can trace its history back to 1791.
This is a view of the Mansion House Inn from a different angle. Notice the shops and restaurant with outdoor seating along Main Street.
Across the street from the Mansion House Inn on the other side of Main Street are more shops. It's safe to say that Main Street is the main business center in the town of Vineyard Haven. This view is looking south towards South Street.
We'll continue our tour heading north on Main Street. Here's a view of the west side of the zero hundred block of Main Street. You can park on the west side but not the east side. Also, traffic on Main Street is one-way heading northbound.
Other visitors are out taking pictures of the architecture as well. Notice the sign on the bottom right-hand corner of the picture telling drivers to yield to pedestrians.
You'll find a lot of structures in Vineyard Haven sporting that New England look with the cedar siding.
A husband waits for his wife to catch up to him while shopping along Main Street. Notice the sign calls the area the Vineyard Haven Harbor Cultural District.
More boutiques and gift shops along Main Street where it meets Cromwell Lane.
Here's a view of the southeast corner of the intersection of Main Street and Cromwell Lane.
On Main Street, across the street from Cromwell Lane is a small, brick-paved, pedestrian alley. As you can see there are even vendors there, selling items from kiosks.
This is a view of Main Street, looking north. It was late in the evening when these pictures were taken, so the sun was setting in the west, casting shadows across the street. Taking pictures in Vineyard Haven was a bit of a challenge.
A large book store along Main Street. The clock says "Time to Read." But don't park in that space in front of the store. It's a tow away zone.
There have been many efforts recently to restore the historic Capawock Theatre, but at the time we were there, it looked shuttered.
An interesting note about Vineyard Haven is that it's not actually legally a town but rather a village within the town of Tisbury. So the name of the town is officially Tisbury. However, many residents use the names interchangably and tend to favor using Vineyard Haven as the name of the area.
Here's another view looking north along Main Street. You can see in this shot how parking is only allowed on the west side of the street.
And if we turn around we can look south down Main Street. That cupola is on the roof of the Mansion House Inn that we saw earlier.
A large tree occupies the corner of Main Street and Union Street. It's interesting to see how the roots are pushing up the brick pavers on that corner.
Here's another view from that corner, this time looking across Union Street. You can really see how warped the brick pavers are from this angle.
Union Street Mall is a collection of salons and other businesses located along, well, Union Street.
Across from Union Street Mall are more cafes and boutiques.
We head back up to Main Street where we find more shops and galleries. Plenty of opportunities for window shoppers.
Here's a view looking southbound on Main Street.
And this is a view of the corner of Main Street and Union Street. Both the cut stone and the cedar siding are interesting architectural touches.
We're looking northbound on Main Street while standing underneath the awning of the building we were looking at in the previous picture. Someone decided to decorate the Library sign.
This structure on the northwest corner of Main Street and Church Street has that feel of a large beach house, but on a really large scale. The bottom floor contains shops and restaurants.
Here's another view looking south down Main Street. Again we can see the cupola of the Mansion House Inn, probably one of the largest structures around the historic district.
We've almost concluded our trip down Main Street. As you head further north the structures become more residential in their purpose.
But there's still room for a few more shops, such as this one which is occupying a former house complete with a front yard.
Just one more picture before we go. Would you believe this one is a bank? The architecture is definitely different for this part of the country. It has a mission-style look to it with its red-tile roof. The cut stone on the front is an interesting feature as well.
Featured Sites & Businesses
Would you like to be listed in our Featured Sites & Businesses section? Contact us to find out how. Hint! It's free. Check out our list of Partners.
Check out these other nearby Main Streets!
If you would like your business listed, please send us an email by going to the Contact Us page.
Also, use the Contact Us page to send us any corrections, questions, or other correspondence. Thank you.