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“The quietest place on the Vineyard”
Review of Chappaquiddick

Ranked #4 of 40 things to do in Edgartown
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The infamous name marks a small, scenic island perfect for bike-riding.
New England
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“The quietest place on the Vineyard”
Reviewed February 27, 2009

Anyone considering a visit to Martha's Vineyard needs to first acknowledge the realities of travel to this well-discovered island. First, costs are high; this will not be news to anyone. Second, numbers are high; the throngs of tourists walking around Edgartown in high season, the traffic jams at the island's major intersections, and the ridiculous and inefficient process of getting auto ferry tickets, are testimony to that. Is the Vineyard overrated and overdeveloped? Perhaps. But if you are still committed to visiting MV, and are looking for natural beauty and peace and quiet [most tourists think they are, but are not], then read on.

Chappaquiddick is an island within an island. It can only be reached by the "On Time" ferry, and it is a big place. The island has only one store, and the rest is almost entirely woods, fields, and marshes- scattered houses, many with incredible views, others hidden away in the woods. At the east and south ends of the islands are wonderful beaches. Be warned that they are polluted by the dozens of SUVs who pay very high prices to park on the beach. Money talks in the Vineyard. But if you're willing to walk you can get far, far away from them.

I rented a tiny house near Wasque. The mosquitoes were fierce, particularly in the evening, but the silence was overwhelming, the wind and the forest were beautiful, and I was reminded that there really was something to this obsession with Martha's Vineyard. I just couldn't see how the tourists sitting in traffic jams were experiencing it. But that was their problem. In the evenings I walked to the Wasque reservation or strolled along the roads.

The Vineyard is an intensely private place, and it has become more so because of the high visitor numbers. Islanders or long-time summer residents keep to themselves, and you might resent the endless driveways leading to beaches that you can't access (for the shoreline of Chappy is mostly private). But for all that, people are moderately friendly and you can always head into town to socialize.

Two Chappy bonuses (really three): the island is covered with a series of trails (the X-Chappy trail) that allow you to walk end to end. I did it, and *never* saw another person on the trail. The trail lets you see lots of landscapes (including other beaches) that you can't access from the car. It is also very easy to drive to the Chappy ferry, park for free, and head into Edgartown, or catch the MV bus on the other side to explore the rest of the island. In other words, the Vineyard is still more or less at your disposal, but the Chappy ferry is mostly keeping the tourist hordes OUT. That's the third bonus, of course.

19 Thank dinornis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
rhode island
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Over sand experience”
Reviewed May 27, 2008

Has some of the prettiest beaches and nicest views on the island. You can bike over on the mini ferry, and kayaking around the little island is really popular. If you have a four wheel drive car Chappaquidick can be an amazing cook out or fishing spot and with a pass from the Trustees of the Reservation (you can pay for an over sand vehicle pass at the entrance to the drive on beaches).

4 Thank islander8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennington, NJ
Level 5 Contributor
40 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Trustees of Reservations Tour of Cape Pogue Lighthouse”
Reviewed August 27, 2007

We were in MV without a car and wanted to see Chappy. A nice fellow told us that the Trustees of Reservations offered several tours, including one of the Cape Pogue lighthouse and that they would PICK YOU UP at the Chappy ferry!! Too good to be true!

They did just that....picked us up on the Chappy side of the ferry in a van, brought us to the area by the japanese gardens, where we moved to a 4WD Pickup with bench seats in the back. We headed out across the infamous bridge to Cape Pogue, and the Trustees guy stopped all along the way to point out plants, shellfish, info about the formation of the island, etc. Finally a nice walk up to the top of the lighthouse!

This was a great trip for kids!! They got a bit of "air" in while driving on the beach and enjoyed the tour guides info and humor!!

18 Thank marybcole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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