Martha's Vineyard, MA, Interactive Map and Guide
Martha’s Vineyard, The Vineyard, The Island, MV … what’s in a name? Well, it’s one of the oldest English place names in America and it’s variations that are common today. It’s named after the mother-in-law, wife or daughter (or perhaps all three but most likely just the daughter) of Bartholomew Gosnold, the English explorer that led the first recorded expedition to the area in 1602. The origin of the name indicates that this is a place steeped in centuries-old history. And it has never forgotten its roots! Just to confuse you a bit more, Martha’s Vineyard was also referred to as Martin’s Vineyard for a number of years. As for the Vineyard part, wild grape vines did once grow throughout the island when it was first settled.
Now that you have your bearings in that department, plant yourself – figuratively or for real – on this idyllic island about seven miles off the coast of Cape Cod. Despite its popularity as a beloved tourism destination, there are indisputably many parts of the Vineyard today that surely look very much like it did when it was inhabited by the native Wampanoag people. That was before it became an English settlement during the Colonial Era. From its beaches to its wildlife refuges, the Vineyard is a nature lover’s paradise.
The Towns of Martha's Vineyard
The Vineyard boasts half a dozen small towns of significance. In addition to the overall view of Martha’s Vineyard, your Discovery Map features the three most significant towns: Oak Bluffs, Edgartown and Vineyard Haven.
The “down island” towns of Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown are three distinctly different towns. The “up island” villages of West Tisbury, Chilmark, Aquinnah and Menemsha each lend unique personalities to an island of beauty, history, arts and culture, a seemingly endless array of outdoor activities and more.