Diversity is a buzzword people like to throw around, referring mostly to people who look or behave differently from one another. Rarely does it refer to anything much beyond the surface. The fact is that true diversity occurs deep within. It can rarely be seen from the outside but must be experienced personally. I contend that Martha’s Vineyard offers a variety unlike other places. There are so many different things to do for so many different kinds of people in so many different types of places.
A diversity of places…
The terrain, dwellings, and sights on the island are so varied that you might be tempted to think you are in more than one place at the same time. Hills, farms, beaches, forests, busy streets, and quiet parks are among the habitats available to enjoy. If you have a change of mood, a change of environment is only a short drive, walk, bike ride, or bus trip away. In fact, you could become disoriented just by turning around in some locales.
There is even variety in similar ecosystems: State Beach can be as calm as a lake while South Beach can be so tempestuous that it can toss you like so much dirty laundry..
…with a diversity of activities…
From the serenity of kayaking in a placid lagoon to the insanity of parasailing on the turbulent air currents above State Beach, there is truly something for everyone here. I like to sit on South Beach and read, but if I decide to soar silently over that beach, gliders await at nearby Katama airfield offering that option. I can bike on the flat paths around the airport or challenge the hills of Aquinnah.
What youngster can resist the lure of the brass ring on the Flying Horses? (What parent can resist helping said child?) If that’s too tame for the older kids, they can take real horse rides through the fields and trails of West Tisbury. The Aggie is a blast while neighboring Polly Hill Arboretum is a tranquil refuge.
Dining offers the same variety. The Quarterdeck, a classic walk-up clam shack, is mere steps away from the upscale L’Etoile, but don’t try wearing the same apparel to both.
…for a diversity of people.
Families, singles, infants, and elders will all find appropriate diversions. The crazies and the lazies will similarly find their niches. Rich retirees from New Jersey coexist with newlyweds from Chicago. The acclaimed and the obscure can rub elbows in shops and bars. During the summer, you might be served ice cream by a college senior from Bulgaria or buy a drink from a senior citizen native islander.
I love many things about the Vineyard, but high on the list is that I feel as if I can visit many different places with a single visit to the Island.