Vineyard Haven is the most active year-round community, partly because it is the only year-round ferry port on Martha's Vineyard. Most Vineyard Haven shops and restaurants remain open in the winter, unlike those in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown which rely more heavily on summer tourist trade.
The vibrant business community supplies the island's extensive building trade, and the time-honored boatbuilding industry thrives.
Tisbury was incorporated as a town in 1671. It was named for the parish in England where Thomas Mayhew Sr. was born. Originally it was much larger, but in 1892 part of Tisbury became the separate Town of West Tisbury.