HOLIDAY Though diminutive on the U.S. map, Martha's Vineyard is big on fun!

W hen I landed in Martha's Vineyard, I realised why celebrities flock the place.

A holiday home to many, including John Kennedy Jr., I discover that these islands have something to offer everyone.

On the map of the U.S., it may look diminutive, but the 100-sq.mile place offers a terrific geographical and architectural diversity.

The first thing that attracts you are the numerous lighthouses — in different shapes, colours and sizes, and a big slice of historical heritage. Interestingly, the lighthouses are available for wedding receptions, family reunions, banquets and birthday parties!

Martha's Vineyard can be reached only by air or sea; there are no land routes, bridges or tunnels. From Hyannis,

The Steamship Authority offers luxurious passenger, state-of-the-art catamarans that ferry us across.

Most of the islands' historical buildings are still in use — as homes or stores.

There's not a single five-star hotel around, though the place is frequented by celebrities.

The film “Jaws” was shot here, and the film's director Steven Spielberg owns a cottage here!

Activity lovers can check out the walking trail at Cranberry Acres, the canoe and kayak expedition to cape Pagelight House, and the Museum Ross Fresnel Lens building with 100 prisms. The Flying Horse Carousal that has chocolates popping out of the horses' eyes is sure to be a children's delight!

But, what's most exciting is the Oak Bluffs' ‘Gingerbread Houses'. Sights and sounds

Shops, museums have both antique and modern attractions. No description of this idyllic retreat will be complete without a mention of the Great Island Bakery — with pecan sticky buns, cheese Danish, elephant ear croissants, almond amaretto and Irish soda bread.

SUMITHRA SHANMUGHAM

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