May 112014
Alpacas are awesome!

Alpacas are awesome! (But would baby be convinced?)

The most hilarious and fun activity we did during our Martha’s Vineyard vacation had nothing to do with a beach, or a seafood stall, nor anything you would even remotely associate with a New England island. No… the best activity of all was visiting an ALPACA FARM!

Hey humans, what's up?

Hey humans, what’s up?

When a friend told me to track down “Island Alpaca” on the Vineyard, I thought she was pulling my leg. One associates alpacas with South America, not a random island in Massachusetts! But I typed “Alpaca” into my smartphone map search, and sure enough, directions popped right up. We were guided to the center of Martha’s Vineyard, just minutes from our Edgartown hotel (click for info) and the Oak Bluffs Gingerbread houses.

The alpacas were so fluffy, and you could pet them!

The alpacas were so fluffy, and you could pet them!

In the first of many lovely surprises in alpaca land, entrance was just a suggested donation of $5 in an honor system box. What enjoyment I got for that measly $5! Upon entering the farm, we observed two outdoor yards for the alpacas, and one giant indoor barn. A farm worker greeted us and said we could feel free to caress the alpacas. The majestic beasts would have their summer shearing that Saturday, so we lucked out in encountering them in their maximal fluffiness. They were heaven to touch!

The alpaca fur was unbelievably soft.

The alpaca fur was unbelievably soft and deep.

But what did our baby think of the alpacas? Well, he just stared. No cries, no smiles, just hypnotized staring. The alpacas stared back, chewing their hay reflectively. Would love grow between these adorable mammals by the end of our visit? Only time would tell.

Baby plus alpaca equals hilarity.

Baby plus alpaca equals hilarity.

The hairstyles of the alpacas varied widely, from afro puffs to spiked punk attitude. I wanted to climb on the back of every alpaca and bury my face deep in their fur! (I suppose buying out the gift shop’s alpaca wool clothing would have been the next best thing.)

This dude was an intense alpaca, and his hair was hip.

This dude was an intense alpaca, and his hair was hip.

Once I calmed down from giggling at the alpacas themselves, I began to read the alpaca sales signs around the farm, and commenced laughing again. Allow me to excerpt some of these informational signs for you.

Which alpaca would you pick?

Which alpaca would you pick?

One sign entitled, “The Alpaca Advantage: Pet Quality” declared the following: “Companionship, great entertainers, and a wonderful lifestyle… and the most quiet and environmentally friendly lawnmowers! Alpacas give you terrific fleece that you can process into beautiful yarn for friends and family. They will leave “behind” the most fabulous fertilizer for you! They will also provide specific tax advantages as a fiber producer.” Oooo! Alluring reasons! And quality poop pun.

Um, where did you take me, dad?

Um, where did you take me, dad?

I began to yearn to own an alpaca. However, my husband and baby, ever thrifty, were not convinced. It was then that I saw a second sign with the heading, “Is it OK to own just one alpaca?” Breathlessly, I read the answer, and my heart sank. “Generally, no. Alpacas have very strong herd instincts and need the companionship of at least one other alpaca to thrive.”

Rodrigo the alpaca was extremely charming.

Rodrigo the alpaca was extremely charming.

Oh my! I wanted my alpaca (if I owned one) to thrive! But at over $2,000 a pop, a two-alpaca-purchase would be pushing it. Just then, the farm worker hollered, “Rodrigo! Come here and meet the visitors!” A snowball-fluffy alpaca bounded out of the shed to get a loving rubdown. “They respond when called by name?!” I gasped, awed. “Just a few of them,” replied the lady. Sigh… I will probably never have the big bucks to own an alpaca (or rather, two), but my love for the beasts expanded yet again.

Can I eat some of that hay?

Can I eat some of that hay?

As we headed back to our car, I smiled at the “Alpaca-Lover Parking” sign marking our spot. “That’s me!” I sang as we piled into the seats. Our baby raised his eyebrows, paused, then gave us a grin. Another alpaca lover was born!

By the end of the visit, we were indeed alpaca lovers.

By the end of the visit, we truly were alpaca lovers.

If you enjoyed this article and are still planning your trip, click here for an easy link to Martha’s Vineyard hotel deals, and here to see vacation rentals on Martha’s Vineyard, as it will give a small commission to help support this site at no extra cost to you. Happy travels!

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  22 Responses to “The Most Fun Thing on Martha’s Vineyard: Alpaca Farm!”

  1. Alpacas are amazing animals! I am lucky enough to work on a farm in Maine with alpacas! As cute as they are their fiber is even more amazing! Its soft like cashmere and keeps you so warm.

  2. Love this. I’m a sucker for any kind of farm…with cute animals, and Alpacas?! The cutest!

  3. […] – The Most Fun Thing on Martha’s Vinyard: Alpaca Farm by Around the World […]

  4. It has never crossed my mind to visit Marthas Vineyard… until you told me there are alpacas!

  5. Alpacas are awesome. Your son was probably envisioning how all those stuffed animals would look in his room. 😉

    Love them when they have their shaggy coats the most and they don’t seem to spit like llamas do. That being said, how was the smell?

  6. What amazing-looking creatures — like real-life stuffed toy animals. I can see why you were tempted!

  7. That alpacas fur are soooo fluffy! I think I can sleep lying with the alpacas. How I wish I could also touch it!

  8. I lived in Woods Hole for 4 years and never knew about this?! I love alpacas!

  9. Alpacas are amazing! I live in Spain, and have alpacas on my farm near Cordoba!

  10. I love it! Alpacas are just too adorable. We recently saw some on this eccentric family farm in Finland, and those, along with the Highland Cattle, were almost too cute to handle 🙂

  11. What a neat find! I bet that was a fun experience for all involved. It’s nice to do something different. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I love the photo with your young child. They make great memories and you are right I never knew MV had Alpaca’s I will have to look next time I go

  13. Alpacas are amazing, and you got some cute pictures!!

  14. I remember seeing some alpacas while biking on my way to the beach one day on MV. I’m not sure if that was the alpaca farm you visited, there were only three of them outside and they were all firmly sitting underneath trees in the shade (it was very hot!). They’re basically little mini sheep giraffes. Sheep with a long neck. My college roommate’s family bred alpacas and sold the fibers (wool?) to make money. She had so many pictures of them on her computer, they are so awkward looking but very sweet.

  15. Huh. First Jaws and now alpacas? What’s next? That’s something I haven’t heard of before on the island. I’ll have to check it out. Great shots. Especially the one of that punk! Lol

  16. The world’s cutest animals! 🙂

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