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Off the Beaten Path: Chappaquiddick

Next time you’re on Google Maps, type in Chappaquiddick.

Maps on travel websites usually provide icons of restaurants, hotels, shopping and nightlife so you can see what’s nearby.  This island completely void of them. Now that’s a good place!

A tiny island off of Martha’s Vineyard’s eastern side, “Chappy” is actually connected to Martha’s Vineyard by a slim strip of a barrier beach from the main Island’s south side. But that’s just a pesky detail that gets in the way of the island status it so richly deserves.

The main way to get there is a tiny ferry that allows only 3 cars at a time but plenty of room for cyclists (my favorite way of getting around). It’s a short 5-10 minute jaunt and soon you’re cycling towards some of the world’s most pristine sand (7 miles of it!). You’ll fly past tidal flats, salt marshes and sand dunes, as well as trees shaped by a 100 years of strong sea winds and salt spray. There’s only one paved road, aptly named Chappaquiddick Road, and one store. A few year-round residents like the isolation and refer to Martha’s Vineyard as the mainland and a trip to Boston as “going to America.”

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Sam’s Tips:[checklist]

  • Accommodations are back on the mainland on Martha’s Vineyard
  • Bring your bike
  • Don’t forget your camera
  • Pack your lunch and snacks

Chappaquiddick      Chappaquiddick

Have you vacationed in Chappaquiddick?

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