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Martha’s Vineyard: A Great Place to Visit?

You may have heard of Martha’s Vineyard on the news and in movies, after all the Vineyard is where Jaws was filmed…but you might not know much beyond the fact that it’s the summer home to many of the rich and famous. Named by the English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold, after his mother-in-law, Martha’s Vineyard’s reputation as a resort for the wealthy became prominent during the 19th century and continued to grow even through the great depression. The well-known island off the southern coast of Cape Cod is the summer spot to Bill Murray, David Letterman, Meg Ryan and many other politicians, actors and artists. Its beautiful beaches, ideal climate, and private getaway locations offer the perfect vacation to it’s visitors. However, Martha’s Vineyard’s cost of living, housing and employment rate makes year-round life on the island not a day at the beach!

During the summer months, “The Vineyard” becomes the playground for nearly 75,000 people. Many of these summer-time residents come from all over the United States and around the world and can afford to have a “home-away-from-home” on the island. They occupy over half the number of houses on the island.

However, around September, life on the island returns to normal for the 15,000 year-round residents. Some of these year-rounders are retired and still enjoy a life of relaxation. But the working population on the island has to work extra hard to make ends meet. The cost of living is nearly 60% higher than the national average…housing prices nearly 96% higher…while wages fall far short of that. Vineyard’s regulars make 30% less on average than those who make the island their summer escape. 

You’ve heard the expression…”it’s a nice place to visti but you wouldn’t want to live there…here’s a case of “you can’t afford to live there”…but you can visit IF you’re the President of the United States.



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