Gay Head Island features picturesque cliffs and the Gay Head Lighthouse. Peleg Coffin, a Massachusetts state senator, requested the lighthouse in 1796 to aid the heavy marine traffic throughout Vineyard Sound. President Barack Obama and his family vacationed on the island, but they weren't the first first family to visit the Vineyard: Bill Clinton famously spent time on the island during his presidency.
Alley's General Store sits in Chilmark, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Alley's has been operating since 1858, making it the oldest operating retailer on Martha's Vineyard. Living up to his vow of bipartisanship, Obama rented the private estate of a prominent Republican in the rural Chilmark area of the island during his visit.
A ferry travels between Edgartown and Chappaquiddick on the island of Martha's Vineyard. The channel separating the two pieces of land is narrow, so ferries can transport motorists and bicyclists across the waterway in a matter of minutes.
Signs are displayed outside the Island Home Furnishings furniture store in Vineyard Haven. Robert Francis and Karen Ward, home decorators on Martha's Vineyard for nearly three decades, started the furniture store together, and aim to "provide the highest quality furniture, bedding and accessories at the very lowest prices," according to the store's Web site.
Adirondack chairs are displayed outside of Island Home Furnishings on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Robert Francis and Karen Ward opened a second store location after one year in business.
Items featuring President Barack Obama's name are displayed at the Soft As A Grape store in Edgartown, Mass., ahead of the arrival of the vacationing Obama family.
Patrons visit the Black Dog Tavern, a popular destination in Vineyard Haven, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard. A sea captain started the business in 1969. In the 40 years since, the tavern has spawned a bakery and clothing stores.
One of the "gingerbread cottages" of the Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association is shown in Oak Bluffs, Mass. More than 300 of the cottages make up the colony, and are a major draw among tourists.
Victorian-style homes ring Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs, Mass. Oak Bluffs has been a magnet for some of the country’s elite black families for decades. Martin Luther King Jr. swam and wrote there during the 1960s. And in modern times, director Spike Lee, attorney and Clinton confidant Vernon Jordan and scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. are just a few of the prominent blacks who call the Vineyard home for part of the summer.
Shoes are left at the entrance to Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark, Mass. Privately owned, the beach may only be used by Chilmark residents between June 1 and Sept. 30. If you plan a family visit, be aware of the clothing optional section of the eastern side of the beach.
Beachgoers walk alongside the cliff at Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark, Mass. During the summer, pedestrians must present photo identification issued by the town and vehicles must have a parking permit.
People eat behind Larson's Fish Market before walking to the beach to watch the sun set in Menemsha, Mass. Reviews found on tripadvisor.com paint the restaurant as a casual spot to get fresh seafood at a reasonable price.
A small boat floats in a creek in Menemsha, Mass. Visitors to Menemsha can spend their time perusing unique shops, testing restaurants, taking a chartered fishing trip and enjoying other recreational and historic activities.
Visitors gather outside the Black Dog Store, a popular tourist destination, in Oak Bluffs, Mass. Started as a tavern, Black Dog has broadened into other businesses, and the Black Dog logo is well-known across New England.
The sun rises over the town of Vineyard Haven, Mass. Vineyard Haven is also known as Tisbury, and is the only town on Martha's Vineyard with two common names used interchangeably.