Martha’s Vineyard is the 58th largest island in the United States, just off Falmouth’s coast in Massachusetts. This island has a unique culture and longstanding history influenced by the native Wampanoag people who originally inhabited it in the 1600s. While no longer present on the island, the native settlers certainly impacted everything from the cultural scene to the architecture and local cuisine.
In recent years, searches for Martha’s Vineyard homes for sale have increased due to the ever-growing popularity of this small island. It’s known for its idyllic scenery and picturesque surroundings, presenting a unique way of life. There’s certainly a sense of community here, with local residents constantly talking to one another and helping the local economy thrive.
As a hot tourist hotspot, Martha’s Vineyard sees a boom during the summer months. It has become one of the go-to places for staycations in the United States, largely thanks to the array of beaches. This, combined with the quality of life, opens the door to many real estate opportunities.
Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate Quick Facts
The Martha’s Vineyard real estate market is one of the most opulent in the country. Offering relaxing island living, properties are regularly sold for premium prices well above the national average.
- The median sale price for homes on the island is just over $1 million.
- Property prices are high as there is limited land available for development.
- Edgartown, Chilmark, and West Tisbury are the areas that command the most expensive homes for sale.
- Most properties on the island are historic buildings constructed in the 18th Century.
- Seasonal rentals are extremely popular here during the tourism season.
- On average, homes spend around 63 days on the market before selling.
- The island’s unique nature means it attracts buyers from all over the world.
Despite being one of the country’s most expensive real estate markets, Martha’s Vineyard consistently sees homes sold for over the asking price. This is partially down to the sheer number of tourists flooding the shores yearly. Most people buying homes for sale here are investors or individuals looking for vacation homes.
It is also popular amongst retirees or people who want a quieter life away from the hustle and bustle of busy modern cities.
Things To Do in Martha’s Vineyard, MA
As a top tourist location, it’s no surprise to learn there are many things to do in Martha’s Vineyard.
The island is surrounded by beaches, but it’s also well known for its many shops. Every town on the island has its own shopping district. The fun thing about this is that each is unique to the town. You’ll find quirky shops selling things you’ve never seen before. At the same time, some big brands are still here, such as fashion giants Jack Wills and Lululemon. If you enjoy retail therapy, then Martha’s Vineyard is your place.
Unsurprisingly, the local cuisine here revolves around seafood. As an island destination, Martha’s Vineyard has easy access to local fish and sea life, meaning many dishes are fresh in the local restaurants.
Speaking of which, there are dozens of exceptional eateries to whet your appetite while on the island. The locals will always go to independent restaurants to support their fellow islanders, and you’ll be blown away by the quality of the food on display.
Alongside this, you will find plenty of quaint cafes and juice bars to stop and relax while wandering the area. It’s very common for locals to sit outside cafes and chat with one another during the glorious summer months.
There’s a reason the Martha’s Vineyard real estate market is so expensive: there are so many fun activities to do here. Living on this island is nothing short of amazing; people of all ages and interests will struggle to get bored.
Explore the various farmer’s markets dotted around the island, showcasing the very best in local produce and allowing you to support local farmers. Or, if you’d like to experience the culture and history behind Martha’s Vineyard, there are plenty of spots to explore. Go on a stroll to the Gay Head Lighthouse, an iconic piece of architecture on the island that’s been there since the 1700s. Likewise, head to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum to tour the island’s most iconic historical spots. It has many ongoing exhibitions and collections that help you learn more about this unique place.
Nature lovers will adore the wide-open areas throughout Martha’s Vineyard, offering many bike rides and hikes opportunities. The Manuel F. Correllus State Forest is a must-visit place full of foliage and beautiful local wildlife. The stunning Long Point Wildlife Refuge is also home to gorgeous beaches and plentiful hiking trails. And who can forget the Polly Hill Arboretum, a stunning botanical landmark boasting 60 acres of wonderful woodlands and rare flowers?
While traveling around the island, you’ll come across many public parks perfect for playing with your kids or relaxing after a long day. Most of these parks are also dog-friendly, which is really pleasing for residents with pets.
Many people will be pleased to know there are four main golf clubs in Martha’s Vineyard accepting new members all the time:
- Vineyard Golf Club
- Edgartown Golf Club
- Farm Neck Golf Club
- Mink Meadows Golf Club
Film buffs will also be happy to know there are multiple cinemas across the island. Edgartown Cinema is the main one that shows the latest movie releases. Or you can visit the MV Film Center for more independent and niche projects.
Everything mentioned can be done at any time, whenever you like. But there is also a vibrant events calendar on the island. Martha’s Vineyard plays host to a multitude of local events at different points in the year. This includes bike rides, Alpaca shearing, celebrations, festivals, etc. A full look at the Events Calendar can be seen here.
Overall, there are so many things to occupy your time – and that’s before you consider the beaches.
Beaches in Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Many people choose to live here and buy Martha’s Vineyard homes for sale because of the sublime summer season. The weather gets nice and hot, and there are ample beaches to spend the day enjoying the sun.
In total, there are over ten beautiful beaches dotted around the island’s coastline. Each one presents wonderful opportunities, but the most highly rated beaches in Martha’s Vineyard are:
- South Beach
- Aquinnah Public Beach
- Menemsha Beach
- Squibnocket Beach
- Lamberts Cove Beach
While at the beach, a full range of activities can be enjoyed. Many residents and tourists enjoy sunbathing, but you can also swim, sail, and explore many other watersports. Fishing is also a hugely popular activity throughout the island, with saltwater fishing available all around the coast.
Life in Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Living on Martha’s Vineyard is a unique experience you’ll struggle to find anywhere else. As an island, it’s only accessible by boat or plane. Once there, you’re in this fantastic bubble full of unique cultural offerings and gorgeous scenery.
Throughout the year, Martha’s Vineyard tends to be quiet and relaxed. It heats up in summer and attracts lots of tourists, which helps fuel the economy. Crime rates are exceptionally low, and the local community is very closely knit. Everyone seems to know everyone within the little towns, meaning you never really feel alone.
If you enjoy peaceful surroundings with wonderful wildlife and beach views from your home, Martha’s Vineyard is the place for you.
Education in Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Despite being a relatively small island, there are still plenty of schools and educational institutions in Martha’s Vineyard. In fact, the schools here are highly rated by parents and students, largely thanks to the small classes. It means children enjoy a more personal approach to teaching.
There are currently over 10 Elementary Schools in the area, with a handful of public and private secondary schools. With the low crime rate and ample things to do, Martha’s Vineyard is a popular place for wealthy families to settle down.
Martha’s Vineyard is a unique place to live, offering opportunities and activities you won’t find in many other places. It brings the quaint and peaceful feeling of island life with a few modern comforts.
If you are searching for Martha’s Vineyard homes for sale, be aware that the real estate market is expensive. Homes regularly sell for over $1 million, yet there are many great opportunities here. Investing in vacation properties, second homes, or rentals is a wonderful market.