The Winnetu

Martha's Vineyard, MA

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978-443-1733
www.winnetu.com
A one-bedroom suite with kitchenette is $1,425 for the three-night minimum stay in summer.

With miles of untrodden island coastline and a web of bike trails, Martha's Vineyard is the optimal family getaway, but until recently, with area zoning laws limiting commercial construction, there wasn't a decent family resort. That changed last summer when Mark and Gwenn Snider opened The Winnetu Inn and Resort at the south end of Edgartown. They demolished the shell of a run-down hotel-cum-condo-building and made a grand shingled New England-style hotel in which every spacious suite affords ocean or dune views.
My family first met Mark as he pulled up in his 1945 fire truck, ringing the bell. This father of three will do almost anything to entertain children. He's organized pee-wee tennis clinics that start in summer at 8 a.m. and activities like scavenger hunts, arts and crafts, sand-castle contests, and bodysurfing on adjacent three-mile-long South Beach. In the evening, kids can go to the clubhouse for food and games while parents opt for fine dining at the resort's seaside restaurant, Opus, or head into Edgartown, the island's oldest settlement.
We favored getting on our rented bikes and hitting the trails. One day we pedaled to Edgartown and took the two-minute ferry across to Chappaquiddick, and then rode to the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, a stretch of coast that's home to threatened piping plovers and ospreys. On our final day, we ventured ten miles to Oak Bluffs, stopping at the windswept dunes of Joseph Sylvia State Beach to swim, and ending at the Flying Horses Carousel, the country's oldest operating carousel, built in 1876. Not surprisingly, Snider picked us up by boat to escort us back to the resort.

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