Aug 22nd, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Martha’s Vineyard Draws the Wealthy

Martha’s Vineyard has been the playground of the wealthy for years, including the Kennedys, Norman Rockwell, Bill Clinton, President Obama and a host of others. The Vineyard as it is called by the locals is an island (including the smaller Chappaquiddick Island) 8 miles off the south of Cape Cod in New England, known for being an affluent summer colony. The islands  form a part of the Outer Lands region. It has the nick-name of “Hollywood East.”

Often called just “The Vineyard,” the island has a land area of 87.48 square miles, is the 58th largest island in the United States, and the third largest on the East Coast of the United States. It is also the largest island not connected to the mainland by a bridge or tunnel on the East Coast of the United States. Lots of folks make this island home.  Getting there is usually by ferry but there is also a well-used airport. The estimated year-round population is 15,000 residents, however the summer population can swell to over 75,000 people. About 56% of the Vineyard’s 14,621 homes are seasonally occupied.

An Elite Senior Destination

The island is primarily known as a summer colony, and is accessible only by boat and by air. Nevertheless, its year-round population has grown considerably since the 1960s. A study by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission found that the cost of living on the island is 60 percent higher than the national average and housing prices are 96 percent higher. The summer jump in population brings with it crowded ferries, heavy traffic, booked hotels, packed restaurants and higher-than-the-rest-of-the-year “summer prices.”

Of course, there’s a reason for all that: a New England island in the summer is filled with sunshine, spectacular sunsets, seafood and sand (of course). But if you’re not into the beach scene, or you’re especially not into crowds, visit the island in spring, fall or even winter.  It’s famed as well for its sunrises that keep seniors coming back again and again. TripAdvisor has some great shots of the Vineyard plus top rated B&Bs, hotels and restaurants as well as top rated things to do while you are on the island.

Nantucket is a smaller island just thirty miles off the Massachusetts coast.  This crescent-shaped island is in a world by itself. Cobblestone streets and an array of stately Georgian, Federal, and Greek Revival homes reflect Nantucket Town’s history as a prosperous whaling port. Many seniors prefer Nantucket to the Vineyard as it is less populated and known for its slower pace, its unspoiled beaches, solitary light houses and acres of conservation land. The famed Whaling Museum is a big draw here.
Do enjoy the Vineyard.  jeb

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