Sunday, July 15, 2007
Vineyard Haven (Tisbury)
There are six main towns on the island. Vineyard Haven (a.k.a. Tisbury), Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown are "down island" and have most of the touristy shops, restaurants, bars, and activities. Aquinnah, Chilmark, and West Tisbury are located "up island," along with the tiny little popular sunset gazing spot, Menemsha. Classes for the writing institute are held at the Nathan Mayhew Seminars building, pictured to the left, in the town of Vineyard Haven.
Tisbury is a dry town, meaning its restaurants do not serve alcohol, which often surprises tourists because some of the restaurants have the words "tavern" or "lounge" in them! However, this makes the town a bit less of a party spot than Oak Bluffs, which is nice for our own peace of mind while working on my writing. I did go down there to Lola's last night for some dancing and boozing (apparently it's a pretty happening spot--they had a neat little live band and a good dance floor and everything), but it's more relaxing (as you can see from my new blog self-portrait) to be away from the madness. Our house (Downing House) has a hammock where I spent a lovely afternoon reading books for my children's lit class, until one of the ropes snapped (I didn't do anything to it... I guess it was just worn out), so now I can't use the hammock until our landlord repairs it. Darn!
The town itself has a few nice restaurants (including the famous Black Dog Tavern, a fresh seafood place called The Net Result, and the overpriced but well-beloved Mad Martha's handmade ice cream), a book store called "A Bunch of Grapes," some beautiful art galleries and quirky clothing/gift shops, and a fine library, conveniently located across the street from the seminar building. Downing House is about a 15 minute walk from the center of town.
As for beaches, Vineyard Haven does not offer the best of the island. The ferry terminal has some public beaches nearby, but they are filled with boats and ferry exhaust and usually overcrowded. However, for the adventurous sort, there is a kind of "secret" beach about 2 miles outside of town on a dusty, unmarked, unpaved road. Tashmoo Lake meets up with Vineyard Sound at a very narrow, very deep channel. There are many private homes around the lake that are probably quite pricey, even by Vineyard standards. I walked there yesterday (the hills just about killed my calves), but went back today via car to take some pictures and to read some more. I've included the album of Tashmoo Beach below.