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Which is Better, Martha’s Vineyard or Cape Cod?

View from Edgartown Channel on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

When you’re planning a trip to the lovely Massachusetts coast, you may find yourself torn between two of the area’s iconic destinations: Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod. Each one has a unique charm, so it can be hard to decide. The choice you make will be dependent upon your preferences and exactly what you’re hoping to get out of your trip. Below, we’ll take a look at both Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod, so you can figure out which option might be the best fit for you and your family.

The Draw of Martha’s Vineyard

  • Scenic Beauty and Relaxation

    Martha’s Vineyard, often just called ‘The Vineyard’ by locals, is renowned for its beautiful landscapes and a serene atmosphere. The island’s rolling hills, historic lighthouses, and beautiful beaches are a draw to many, and it can be the perfect spot for a calm and relaxing getaway. Whether you want to bike, hike, or relax on the beach, it’s a great place to unwind.

  • Fun Towns and Rich History

    Martha’s Vineyard is home to several towns, each very unique. Edgartown is famous for its well-preserved historic homes, many of which belonged to 19th-century whaling captains. It also has lovely tree-lined streets with the perfect mix of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. Oak Bluffs has their colorful ‘gingerbread’ style houses within a more playful atmosphere.

  • Welcoming

    Martha’s Vineyard has a reputation for being high-brow and exclusive, known for its high-profile visitors and luxurious accommodations. However, it is still accessible and welcoming to all. The island is host to a range of lodging options, from upscale hotels to charming bed and breakfasts.

The Charms of Cape Cod

  • A Variety of Activities and Attractions

    Cape Cod, also referred to as the Cape, has plenty of things to do for the whole family, no matter what your interests are. The extensive coastline has some of the best beaches in New England, so you can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding. There are also whale watching tours and boat tours for those interested in marine life or just getting out on the water.

  • Cultural and Historical Interests

    Cape Cod has several museums, historic sites, and cultural institutions. The Cape Cod National Seashore preserves a wide swath of natural beauty, including miles of hiking and biking trails. There’s also historic areas like Provincetown, where the Pilgrims landed, and Hyannis, which has connections to the Kennedy family.

  • Family Friendly

    Compared to Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod is often seen as the more family friendly destination. There’s plenty to do, lots of accommodation options, and it’s attached to the mainland with two major bridges, making it easy to access. It is also easy to explore by car, making it great for families driving in.

Comparing Martha’s Vineyard vs. Cape Cod

Still not sure? Let’s take a look at some specific comparisons.

  • Atmosphere and vibe:

    Martha’s Vineyard is pretty laid-back, making it a great option for a peaceful retreat. This air of exclusivity makes it appeal to couples and retirees looking for a place to relax. Cape Cod has a more varied atmosphere around the island, so you can find busy tourist areas, calm beaches, and plenty of options in between for you and your family to enjoy.

  • Activities:

    For relaxing in nature, Martha’s Vineyard is likely the better choice. However, if you want more activities and attractions, check out Cape Cod.

  • Transportation:

    Martha’s Vineyard is only accessible by ferry or plane, which can make it feel more exclusive but also requires more planning. On the other hand, Cape Cod is connected to the mainland by bridge, making it far more convenient to most travelers.

Adventure Awaits

Whether you decide Martha’s Vineyard or Cape Cod is better for you, when you’re ready to get out on the water, Plan Sea Adventures is here to help. We offer a wide range of cruises, from day cruises to sunset cruises, as well as special event cruises to meet your every need.

With tours ranging from 2 to 8 hours on beautiful boats you won’t want to leave behind, we have something for everyone. Join us to make memories that will last a lifetime on your New England vacation. Call or book online today!