Martha's Vineyard gained national attention as the setting for the movie Jaws in the 1970s, but notable figures were spending their summer soaking up the sun on this picturesque island long before the movie. The third largest island on the East Coast, Martha’s Vineyard is situated off the coast of Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
The area’s history is rich. Originally inhabited by the Wampanoag people, today a small population still resides on the island. It was also once a whaling center and now subsists almost entirely off of tourism, as the vast majority of inhabitants are summer vacationers. The island is well known as a celebrity summer vacation spot, and aside from the numerous beaches, vacationers also enjoy horseback riding, charter boat fishing, golfing, bicycling and hiking, among other activities.
Martha's Vineyard can only be reached by air or sea. A number of ferry operators transport visitors from Rhode Island and Oak Bluffs. A select few airlines—including Cape Air, US Airways Express and JetBlue—do fly into Martha's Vineyard Airport. Most visitors get around the island by bus, bicycle or moped, although there are rental cars available. The island is made up of six towns and includes Chappaquiddick Island. The cost of living on the island is much higher than on the U.S. mainland.