Officially known as the Town of Tisbury, Vineyard Haven is one of six towns on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard and one of the three “down island” towns (the other two being Oak Bluffs and Edgartown). Vineyard Haven is the main village and downtown center of the town but the two names are used interchangeably. First settled in 1660, the Town was incorporated in 1671.
The town has a beautiful protected harbor that is home to the only year-round Steamship Authority terminal, the other terminal in Oak Bluffs being seasonal. As such, many visitors to Martha’s Vineyard first view the Vineyard Haven Harbor and downtown Vineyard Haven upon their arrival.
Vineyard Haven is home to many excellent restaurants, several of which are open year-round. It is also home to the Island’s only mini-golf course – Island Cove Miniature Golf on State Road, and one of the Island’s two -year-round movie theaters – the Capawock Theater. Other major attractions in Vineyard Haven include:
- The Black Dog Tall Ships Alabama and Shenandoah
- Three public beaches, the Owen Park Beach which is easily accessible from downtown, Tisbury Town Beach which is also known as Owen Little Way Beach, and the town beach at Lake Tashmoo which has both an ocean and lake side.
- Golf at the Mink Meadows Golf Club, one of four golf courses on the Island.
- Many road races including Murdicks Run the Chop 5 mile road race held around the 4th of July, and the Race for the Library 5K held at the end of the summer.
- The Tisbury Street Fair which is held every July 8 to celebrate the Town’s birthday.
- The Vineyard Haven Band which plays concerts in Owen Park on every other Sunday during the Summer.
- The Vineyard Playhouse which is the Island’s only year-round professional theater.
- The West Chop Lighthouse, one of five lighthouses on the Island.
Of course, on an Island that is only 26 miles long, Vineyard Haven also provides easy access to all of the Island’s other wonderful attractions and events.
Vineyard Haven Weather
The weather in Vineyard Haven, and on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard as a whole, tends to be more temperate than the mainland. Summers are pleasant and warm to hot and can be humid. Hurricanes and tropical storms are an occasional threat during the summer and fall months.
Winters are cold but somewhat mitigated by the ocean. It can and does snow on the Island but the snow rarely lasts for long.
Major storms (hurricanes, tropical storms, nor’easters – any storm with high winds) typically halt ferry service to the Island.