I love the Vineyard, but the schlep to get there for just a long weekend, not so much. So we decided to catch a flight through Cape Air from Westchester County Airport instead. I’ll admit, I was a tad nervous. Well, I need not have been: The flight on the nine-passenger Cessna 402 was positively glorious, and with such breathtaking views, I was almost sorry to land. This, dear readers, is indeed the way to travel.
If you don’t have your own summer home on the island—or access to a friend’s palatial spread—staying at the Harbor View Hotel, a Victorian hotel dating back to 1891, is a wonderfully authentic way to experience it. A member of Historic Hotels of America (with accolades too numerous to list), it’s perched above the harbor in a residential enclave of stately historic homes and cobblestone lanes, and it offers 114 accommodations ranging from single guest-rooms to cottages.
Explore: There’s an outdoor pool in season, but this island is all about the beach. We took a short stroll to the beach with chairs and umbrellas delivered to our room and enjoyed afternoons of sunshine and dips in the surf. The hotel is also a short walk from charming, historic Edgartown with its art galleries, boutiques, shops, and eateries. Farther afield, there is golf, hiking, and bird-watching. Biking is a very Vineyard way of getting around; head to Oak Bluffs to explore the fairy-tale-like gingerbread cottage community (www.mvcma.org) that dates back to the 1700s, and then refuel with some ice cream in town. But do leave time to lounge around on the inn’s iconic veranda and soak in those
water views. During the day, they’re like a kind of visual Prozac. Come sunset? Positively dazzling.
Dine: The sophisticated but not at all stuffy in-house Water Street, with its gleaming dark hardwood floors and graceful white columns, presents an “island-to-table” menu of classic New England cuisine with a twist, like sweet lobster with black rice polenta.
The more casual Henry’s Hotel Bar is a gastropub serving lighter fare and libations—but both settings offer the same knockout views of the Edgartown Lighthouse, harbor, and beach.
Insider’s tip: Harbor View welcomes furry, four-legged family members.
Distance from White Plains: 1 hour, 15 minutes on a non-stop flight via Cape Air (www.capeair.com)—prices start at $279 one-way—followed by a 20-minute cab ride. Rates: In-season rates from $435/night
131 N Water, St, Edgartown, MA
(800) 225-6005 or (508) 627-7000