How to Get Around on Martha’s Vineyard
At one point over the Fun 107 weekend on the Vineyard, I looked at the Waze app on my phone and marveled at the fact that we were only 22 miles away from the radio station, while it felt like we were hundreds of miles away from our real lives and problems. I think one of the most charming parts about traveling to Martha's Vineyard is the transportation issue.
Just to get to the Vineyard is a process. It's not just a simple ride over a bridge. For most who live on the SouthCoast, unless you or a friend owns a boat, you are looking at a Cape Air plane ride or a Seastreak Fast Ferry.
They say that life is about the journey, not the destination. When it comes to the Vineyard, it's about both. For me, as soon as I board the free bus at the New Bedford Whale's Tooth parking lot, I already start to feel like I'm on vacation. When the horn of the Seastreak blows, and you hear the captain roar the engine into high gear, you can already start to feel that psychological separation building.
Once you arrive on the Vineyard, you are faced with a number of choices. How will you get around?
The Martha's Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) offers bus day passes at a reasonable rate of just $10 a day during peak season. This has been an option I've used many times in the past. For me, using the public transportation system can be a way to minimalize. After all, what's the rush when you're on vacation? Sometimes the best conversations can be had while waiting for a bus or riding to your next destination.
In all the years I've been going to the Vineyard, I did something different this time: we got a Jeep from Sun n' Fun Rentals. The privately owned rental company offers Jeeps, Mini Coopers, bikes and mopeds. I have to admit, after experiencing a Vineyard weekend with a Jeep, I realize that I may have missing out all of these years. Having access to the Jeep on the island allows for you to pack so many more activities into each day. This is particularly important if you aren't planning on spending an entire week on the island.
Not only does a Jeep rental allow you to access the island shore to shore without hassle, but you also have a much better idea of how long it will take to get from one place to another. For example, on one particular night, we enjoyed dinner at Giordano's Restaurant in Oak Bluffs, then headed out to catch the breathtaking sunset in Aquinnah. This would have been nearly impossible to do trying to catch buses, then we would have had to worry about when the last bus leaves Aquinnah to get back to our rooms at the Nobnocket Boutique Inn.
One other thing to consider is that during the pandemic, we were able to eliminate the use of public transportation, something that unavoidably creates a risk of transmitting COVID-19. While the VTA has put measures in place to help stem the risk, there is a risk, nonetheless, and renting a personal vehicle greatly reduces that risk.
For those that are looking at cheaper methods of personal transportation, Sun n' Fun also offers bicycles.
No matter how you choose to get there, or how you get around once you arrive, there really is nothing like the relaxation and fun of a Vineyard getaway. Michael and Maddie's Vineyard Escape was brought to you by the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce and Tourism.