Across the swift moving channel leading into the Edgartown Harbor lies the precious jewel of an island called Chappaquiddick (CHAP-ah-QUID-dick). On your way to Chappaquiddick you pass through the most historic and thickly settled town on Martha’s Vineyard and on to its least developed area. "Chappy," as it's lovingly called. This tiny island offers several beautiful beaches, nature reserves and a tranquil Japanese garden called Mytoi.
Since the recent break in the barrier beach on the southern end of Katama Bay the Chappy Ferry is the only way to reach the island by car or bicycle. The wait for a place for your car on the Chappy ferry can be lengthy in the summer, especially in the mornings heading to Chappy and in the late afternoon when all the beach goers are heading back to town. This is especially true on weekends.
In the summer, I'd suggest that you get your car (at least) on the ferry as early as possible in the morning and park it on the other side in the lot—passengers can cross later if necessary—and don't wait until late in the day to return to Edgartown, or you may have to wait an hour or more. If you are staying on Chappy, you will not usually be heading the same direction during the heaviest traffic times!
There is only one commercial business on the island. The Chappy Store has recently been upgraded and offers many staples, cold drinks, condiments, ice cream, newspapers and even fresh veggies from the famed Morning Glory Farm. For day trippers, it is always best to bring what you need for the day.
About three miles (5 km) across, with only one paved road, and currently no bike path, Chappaquiddick is can be difficult to travel by bicycle. The rest of the roads are single-lane sandy, dirt roads that really require mountain bike to plow through the sometimes deep sand.
People who live on Chappaquiddick place a high value on the isolation. Many people do not understand how valuable that is until they spend some time there. I have urged many a newcomer to stay on Chappy. Once you have experienced its grace, you will never turn back.
Three of Sandcastle Vacation Homes’ agents have a long family history on Chappy dating back to the early 1700’s. If you are looking for the perfect, quiet vacation with your family far from the hustle and bustle of the rest island during the busy summer months, ask us how to locate a rental home on Chappaquiddick!
It is never too early to start planning your next visit or first visit to Martha’s Vineyard. The best vacation homes book early!