'The View' Cohost Sunny Hostin on How She Fell in Love With the Island of Martha's Vineyard—Her 'Happy Place'

The Cliffs at Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard
The Cliffs at Gay Head, Martha's Vineyard

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I grew up in the Bronx, so my beach was always Orchard Beach, which was a train ride away. When I was around 13, I was invited togo to Martha's Vineyard for the first time with a friend. My dad wanted me to experience the world of the Vineyard, because he knew that many of the beaches there—like Oak Bluffs and Inkwell Beach—have strong ties to the African American community.

I remember thinking, "What is this magical island you take a ferry to and then go to a beach where everyone looks like you?" You really do become obsessed with the place. It calls to me—I'll stay for a week and never want to leave.

One of our rituals is pulling up our beach chairs on the sand and watching people jump off the Jaws Bridge. That's not the bridge's real name, but everyone calls it that because Jaws was filmed on the Vineyard, and the shark terrifyingly swam under it. There are big No Jumping signs, but it's a rite of passage to jump off it. I did it when I was younger, and my kids have followed suit. Since they were babies, we've gone to the Jaws Bridge to watch people jump. We sit in our chairs in the sun and I sip rosé. It really is an amazing setup. On an amazing island. In my happy place.

Sunny Hostin is a cohost of The View. Her novel Summer on the Bluffs, the first in a series of three, is available now.