Martha’s Vineyard is a small island off the coast of Massachusetts with a population of about 15,000 permanent residents. In summers that number swells to about 75,000. It prohibits very large chain companies like McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, and Starbucks from operating outlets there, in order to preserve its unique culture and history.
An Australian source says it is a place where Americans go to get away from themselves. Apparently there is only one chain food outlet, and that is a Dairy Queen. There are also no shopping malls. Plenty of shops, hotels, inns and restaurants owned privately, often by families, do operate on the island. One sheep farm has been owned by the same family since 1762. Art galleries are also numerous, due to the large artist community on the island.
Forty to sixty miles of bike trails or lanes are available, along with beautiful beaches. Nature parks are also open to the public for hiking, “The nature reserve offers 185 acres of open fields, wooded trails and marshes. A modest, mile long hike takes you to Waskosim’s Rock, the boulder that divided the island between the English and Native American Wampanoag tribe 350 years ago.” (Source: NYTimes.com) The highest speed limit for vehicles is 45 mph.
Autumn might be a better time to visit because the summer crowds will be gone. If you want to read about how to visit on a budget, which is probably a good idea unless you are wealthy, read this article from the New York Times.
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