Without a doubt, Massachusetts residents from the beautiful Berkshires to Boston and the surrounding areas flock to a small island located off the coast of Cape Cod. We are talking about Martha's Vineyard as its popularity has increased due to some famous faces vacationing on the island. Plus, it's an ideal location to explore the island with an array of towns and villages that will keep your days active in more ways than one.

Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Did you know that Martha’s Vineyard is also known as the home of "JAWS" the 1975 movie about a great white shark terrorizing a New York vacation town. Over 40 years later, locations of the most pivotal scenes of this film are still present, thanks to efforts of preserving the classic look and feel of this resort island. This is where the famous phrase "Don't go near the water" was created.


We are ready to give you a sneak peek featuring the six main filming locations where "Jaws' took place. Don't count on seeing Bruce (that was the mechanical shark's given name) but here is your claim to fame in being present in an area that director Steven Spielberg made famous on the silver screen:

attachment-Amity National Bank Marquee

(Photo image courtesy of www.wildkidswander.com/jaws)

The Amity Bank marquee was featured in the movie (and still is on display to this day) as Edgartown is the famous whaling town which stood in as the town of Amity, New York. Many of the buildings seen in the movie still stand to this day. If you like to see an actual prop from the film, stop by the South Water Street location of Rockland Trust (formerly the Edgartown National Bank). After you explore the streets that Chief Martin Brody walked along, you can enjoy some shopping at the various souvenir shops in town where you can also support local businesses in the vicinity. They not only sell Martha’s Vineyard merchandise, but you can purchase T-shirts and sweatshirts with “Amity” and other Jaws references emblazoned on them that will make your trip memorable.

Cruise Ship


The ferry scene where Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) tries to convince Brody (Roy Scheider) there is no danger in the water takes place on the Chappy Ferry which  connects Edgartown to the island of Chappaquiddick. Not much has changed about the look of the boats since they filmed the movie as visitors can take an excursion over to Chappy to reenact that awesome moment in the film. If you prefer to stay on dry land, you can get a perfect view of the ferries from the top of Memorial Wharf.

Aquinnah is home to the beautiful, multi-colored Gay Head Cliffs. The scene where Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and Brody try to convince Mayor Vaughn of the great white shark in the waters (but to no avail) was filmed there. While in Aquinnah, don't forget to visit the historic 150 year old Gay Head Lighthouse which was recently relocated 129 feet away from its original location due to excessive erosion. The historical location makes an appearance in the scene when Mayor Vaughn gives the classic line, “For Christ’s sake, tomorrow is the Fourth of July! And we will be open for business” Check out the video clip for a fresh reminder.

attachment-Jaws - CANVA Edit

One of the scarier scenes in this epic film, the bridge scene takes place on Joseph Sylvia State Beach and the American Legion Memorial Bridge. Locals call this The “Big Bridge.” Many visitors refer to it as the "Jaws Bridge”. In the scene, the shark swims through the water under the bridge and attacks a man boating in the pond. The span connects Oak Bluffs and Edgartown and remains as a favorite spot for those adventurous types as  people of all ages ascend the railing to jump into the water below. WARNING: Watch out for Bruce! Although there are signs posted against tis activity, it is a summer tradition on the Vineyard.

On the other side of the bridge, where the shark attacked the boater (Teddy Grossman aka "the estuary victim") took place at Sengekontacket Pond. In reality, this location is a peaceful place for swimming, kayaking, clamming. The youngsters will enjoy exploring the waters for various sea creatures is a fun summertime activity. Grossman comments on a particular scene that was deleted from the film.

Quint (The Late GREAT Robert Shaw) is best known as the man Brody hires to catch the shark, lives in a shack on the water. The crusty captain's house once stood in Menemsha, a small fishing village in the town of Chilmark. Regretably, the structure was demolished after filming, but visitors can see many of the other small buildings and large fishing boats that line and fill the harbor. Here is a clip where Brody & Hooper pay him a visit at his memorable abode:

Let's not forget Quint's memorable offer to put the shark out of his misery at a turbulent Town Hall meeting. This scene is best described in one word: AWESOME!

A reminder; Menemsha is a great place for some fresh seafood whether it is a sit-down dinner at Homeport, or you can sink your teeth on a lobster roll and order clam chowder to go courtesy of Larsen’s Fish Market. While you are in town, enjoy the sunset while sitting on the jetty or the beach. It is a popular location on the island to spend the evening!

BOTTOM LINE: "Jaws" remains as one of my top 5 favorite films of ALL TIME! A must trip for yours truly (in my so-called bucket list) and it is highly recommended if you are a die hard fan of this epic movie. Plus, you can't beat the beauty of this hidden treasure which is located at the Atlantic ocean's back door.

(Some information obtained in this article courtesy of www.wildkidswander.com/jaws)

(Video clips courtesy of You Tube)

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