Obama, Martha’s Vineyard and me

love-opera-victoria-bakerMartha’s Vineyard is a simple island with a star-studded allure. From President Clinton to President Obama and beyond the Vineyard has been a presidential favorite for years.

So just what is it about this little island that has such a big impact? I decided to head over there and explore for myself.

The easiest way to get there from Connecticut is to drive to New Bedford, Mass. before getting on the Seastreak Ferry, which takes an hour. If you’re traveling on a weekend they have ferries that leave from New York City too.

The ferry is clean, efficient and affordable. Seastreak is quicker and easier to get to than other ferries. I did a lot of research and this is by far the best way to get to the Vineyard and more information is on Seastreak.com

I stayed at the Harbor View Hotel — the vineyard’s most beloved place to stay. Located in Edgartown, a picture perfect town, it’s the perfect base for your vineyard adventures. I was delighted with my Captain’s Cottage, perfect for a family stay. Spacious, clean, renovated and equipped with a little kitchenette it’s uber convenient for extended stays with extended family.

During the height of the whaling industry in the 1830s and 1840s, Edgartown became the Vineyard’s wealthiest town. Whaling came to a virtual halt within seven years of the Civil War, and Edgartown was suddenly poised to become an important summer resort.

The Harbor View hotel was built among the whaling captain’s homes. www.harbor-view.com. I’ve taken a look at the early black and white pictures of the resort on their website. There I read that the grand opening was by invitation only, with a mingling of 400 islanders and hotel guests.

That night the verandas were hung with Chinese lanterns, the parlors fancily decorated and the entire hotel was brightly illuminated.

Of special note at Harbor View was the food. The chef believes in all local ingredients and what a difference it makes. The fish is caught hours before it’s on your plate, the eggs are farm fresh, the fruits and vegetables taste sweet unlike the supermarket variety.

When the ingredients are this fresh and pure it’s much easier to eat right. So often eating healthy means taking the path of suffering, eating tasteless granola, hard apples and unripened fruits but farm fresh ingredients are a joy to eat.

During my stay on the Vineyard, I felt a connection to the earth I’ve rarely felt. The flowers are more vibrant. The sea air makes you feel healthy and you enjoy the simple pleasures of life. A walk along the beach, a good book, a nice lunch, are these not the little moments that make for a happier life?

No wonder it’s an Obama family favorite.


Victoria Baker, of Greenwich, is an opera singer. Winner of many prestigious competitions, she has performed and worked with distinguished artists all over the world (notably at Lincoln Center). Should you have any questions that deserve answers and may be in print please call 203-531-7499 or e-mail [email protected]


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