Chappaquiddick: Things to Do on the Island Next Door

Looking out over Edgartown Harbor from the fourth-floor porch at Vineyard Square, our eyes always come back to the two ferries making 500-foot runs between Chappaquiddick and Edgartown. The island next door almost looks connected from here, and the occasional guest has been known to ask why they don’t just build a bridge. The answer, as any islander will tell you, is that Chappy is a different place altogether from Martha’s Vineyard. It’s smaller, quieter, and mostly undeveloped. If you haven’t visited, consider spending a half-day or longer exploring any combination of these four things to do on Chappaquiddick.

 

Chappaquiddick as seen from Edgartown

 

Golf at the Royal & Ancient Chappaquiddick Links

Chappy’s only golf course is a drive, a chip, and a putt back to simpler times. The scenery is gorgeous, with each hole making great use of natural geography. Just like when it was founded in 1887, the course doesn’t have carts, so you’ll have plenty of time to stroll and enjoy the water views. The atmosphere is laid-back and playful from the moment the bright blue VW Crow Bus picks up golfers from the ferry, and the Links have even been known to host rounds of full-moon night golf. Guests at Vineyard Square can add an all-inclusive round (with ferry tickets, pick up and drop off on the Crow Bus, and club rentals and balls) for $50.

 

Oversand Excursion to Cape Poge Lighthouse

On the far north end of Chappaquiddick lies the most isolated of the five Martha’s Vineyard lighthouses. Cape Poge is separated from the rest of the mainland by a great deal of marshland that makes for a slow and bumpy but absolutely beautiful oversand drive. Expert tour guides from the Trustees of Reservations take visitors on this adventure and welcome them inside the lighthouse. This Chappaquiddick experience is so essential that we’re offering it on the house to our midweek guests staying two nights or more in July and August 2015 — get the details here.

 

Bikes at Vineyard SquareChappaquiddick Bike Rides

Chappaquiddick is the perfect size to navigate by bike. If you’re staying at Vineyard Square, simply borrow one of our Schwinn cruisers and hop aboard the ferry. Bring a picnic lunch and head down the only main road on Chappaquiddick, which turns to dirt after four miles. When you reach the end a mile later, you’ll be at Wasque Point, where currents and tides are constantly changing the sandy shore landscape. The sand bars at Norton Point actually connect Chappaquiddick to Martha’s Vineyard sometimes, which is the case as of summer 2015.

Mytoi Japanese Garden

Spoiler alert: Mytoi isn’t actually a Japanese name at all. Though the creator of the gardens modeled them after the Japanese style, he also took to calling them “my toy,” and the name stuck. These 14 peaceful acres include walking trails, a rustic shelter, and multiple stone and flower gardens. The highlight is Poucha Pond, where visitors can meditate on a small island reached via footbridge. It’s a great spot to see turtles and frogs along with osprey fishing from the air.

 

Chappaquiddick, with its one general store, doesn’t have a downtown area — in fact, it’s actually governed as part of Edgartown. After a day exploring the beaches and trails that make up this neighboring island, you can relax knowing your return ferry will drop you off in the heart of the village, just steps away from fantastic dining and convenient Edgartown lodging options.

 

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