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ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MARTHA'S VINEYARD



My husband and I have a cherished tradition of visiting Martha's Vineyard for our end-of-summer vacation since 2017. Each year, we time our trip to coincide with my husband's birthday in the third or last week of August, when the weather is consistently delightful and sunny. Martha's Vineyard is like something out of a storybook, with its charming people and captivating architecture. Here are a few of our favorite spots on the island.

 



The Harbor View Hotel is a top-notch accommodation choice, known for its luxury and frequented by many celebrities. On the culinary front, one of our go-to restaurants is Atria, where the Whole Fried Lobster is simply outstanding.



Take advantage of Vineyard Caribbean Cuisine, a surprising gem for mouthwatering jerk chicken, ideal for late-night snacking after a bar visit.



For breakfast, we love heading to Behind the Book Store for their delectable Avocado Toast and Breakfast Potatoes.




Letoile is another standout dish with irresistible surf and turf.



As for desserts, the Back Door Donut shop is a must-visit for its delectable Boston Cream and Buttercrunch donuts.



And when it comes to ice cream, Mad Martha is our favorite spot on the island, particularly for their luscious strawberry and butter pecan flavors.



Summer Vacation in Martha Vineyard


Martha's Vineyard is a serene and picturesque island south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. With many charming inns, delightful cafes, and waterfront restaurants, this island is a paradise for those seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating summer getaway. Martha's Vineyard has been a beloved summer destination for centuries, attracting visitors with its idyllic beaches, lush greenery, and quaint towns. Whether you want to unwind in nature, explore the local culture, or indulge in some delicious seafood, Martha's Vineyard has something to offer everyone.




Martha's Vineyard is a beautiful destination, especially in the summer. Here are some things you might enjoy doing during the summer on Martha's Vineyard:

 

How to Get to Martha's Vineyard


Knowing the ferry schedule and rates is essential if you plan a trip to Martha's Vineyard from Woods Hole. The Steamship Authority Ferry is the most popular option, and it takes around 40-45 minutes to reach the island. However, remember that their ferry schedule varies depending on the time of year, and advanced bookings are required to secure your spot. The one-way passenger rate is $19.50 per adult and $10 per child. If you're planning to bring your vehicle, the rates vary depending on the season, with peak season (May 15th to September 14th) being the most expensive. You can click on this link for a more detailed schedule and a comprehensive list of rates. Additionally, there are other ferry options available, such as the Island Queen Ferry, Martha's Vineyard Fast Ferry, and Hy Line Cruises and Ferry. You can learn more about these options by visiting their respective websites. If you want to travel by plane, the nearest about is Martha's Vineyard Airport (MVY)


Things to Do in Martha Vineyard:



Beach Time: Martha's Vineyard has several stunning beaches, such as South Beach, Joseph Sylvia State Beach, and Aquinnah Public Beach. You can sunbathe, swim, play beach games, relax with a book, and enjoy the ocean views.


Biking: The island's scenic bike paths are great for biking. You can rent bikes and explore the island at your own pace, stopping at various points of interest.



Fishing and Boating: Martha's Vineyard offers plenty of opportunities for water-based activities, whether you're into deep-sea fishing, fly fishing, or just cruising around the island's waters.

 

Visit Vineyards and Breweries: Martha's Vineyard has a growing wine and craft beer scene. You can take tours of vineyards and breweries, sample local wines and beers, and learn about the island's beverage production.




Explore Oak Bluffs and Edgartown: These two towns are known for charming streets, historic architecture, boutiques, art galleries, and waterfront dining options.


In Oak Bluffs, visit the colorful gingerbread cottages.



Attend Events and Festivals: Summer on Martha's Vineyard is filled with events and festivals ranging from live music concerts to art shows to food festivals. Check the local calendar for what's happening during your visit.



Hiking and Nature Trails: The island offers beautiful hiking trails and nature preserves where visitors can enjoy scenic walks, birdwatches, and spot local flora and fauna.



Farmers' Markets and Local Cuisine: Explore the island's farmers' markets to sample fresh produce, artisanal products, and local delicacies. You can also dine at restaurants offering farm-to-table cuisine featuring ingredients sourced from Martha's Vineyard.



Historical Sites: Step back in time by visiting historical sites such as the Martha's Vineyard Museum, Gay Head Lighthouse, and the African American Heritage Trail, which showcases the island's rich history.

 

Where To Eat & Drink:


Edgartown Dinner: Nestled in Edgartown, there is a charming diner called Edgartown Dinner that takes you back to the 1950s with its retro decor and classic American menu. The restaurant offers a nostalgic ambiance with oldies playing in the background and vintage memorabilia adorning the walls. To reach this hidden gem, guests need to walk through the cinema to the back, creating a unique and exciting entrance. The restaurant exclusively serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and features a special menu for kids. With its distinctive 50s or 60s vibe, the ambiance is both quirky and inviting. Operating hours are from 8 am to 2 pm, making it a great spot for a quick and delicious breakfast or lunch. The friendly and accommodating staff completes the experience, making it the perfect place for a delightful summer morning or any time of the year. I highly recommend visiting this establishment for a memorable dining experience.



 The Seafood Shanty: The Seafood Shanty offers a delectable menu focused on fresh seafood, served in a relaxed dining area or on a spacious outdoor deck. Some nights, there is entertainment provided by DJs. Located in the heart of Edgartown, it's an ideal spot for large gatherings to savor delicious food while taking in the scenic outdoor views.


Renowned for its delectable lobster roll and the opportunity to dine al fresco on Martha's Vineyard! 



Linda Jeans Restaurant: Nestled in the vibrant heart of Oak Bluffs on Circuit Ave., Linda Jean’s is a cherished dining destination that has been an integral part of the Vineyard community for nearly half a century. Renowned for its warm hospitality and delectable cuisine, this family-owned establishment is passionately overseen by Lisa and Winston Christie. They lovingly took the reins in 2023 following 47 years of dedicated stewardship by the previous owner.


Linda Jean’s is a beloved spot for both locals and visitors, offering a tempting range of culinary delights to savor throughout the day. Whether it's a satisfying breakfast, a delightful lunch, or a comforting dinner, their menu is thoughtfully curated to include a diverse array of options. The establishment also boasts a full bar, serving an assortment of beverages and expertly crafted cocktails alongside bottomless cups of freshly brewed coffee.

 



Garde East: Nestled in the heart of charming Vineyard Haven, Garde East at Vineyard Haven Marina is a remarkable beachfront restaurant that has captured the hearts of visitors and locals alike. Embracing the rich culinary offerings of Martha’s Vineyard, the restaurant presents a delightful fusion of fresh seafood and locally sourced produce, expertly prepared with a touch of refined, time-honored French culinary techniques. The atmosphere at Garde East is truly unparalleled, allowing guests to savor their dining experience in a nautical-themed dining room, on outdoor decks and a courtyard, or even on the restaurant's secluded private beach with stunning views of Vineyard Haven Marina. Whether it's a leisurely lunch, sunset cocktails, or an elegant dinner, Garde East welcomes guests seven days a week, promising a memorable experience for every visit. Moreover, the venue also caters to private events and offers chartered ferry services for those seeking a unique and personalized touch to their special occasions.



 Behind The View: Located within the iconic Harbor View Hotel, Behind the View is a vibrant cocktail lounge that offers an extensive array of high-end comfort cuisine, expertly crafted cocktails, and a wide selection of spirits. Guests can also enjoy the outdoor veranda and take in the stunning vistas. The establishment pays homage to the rich history of the Harbor View Hotel, which has been catering to visitors for more than 130 years. While visitors from around the globe have been drawn to the hotel's breathtaking views, it's the captivating tales from "behind the view" that have truly become legendary.

 



Farm Neck Café: Nestled in the beautiful Farm Neck Golf Club, the Farm Neck Cafe is a picturesque dining spot offering breathtaking views of the lush greenery from every table. Open to the public, this hidden gem provides an escape from the hustle and bustle of the downtown area. Ample parking makes it convenient to get there. During the season, visitors can enjoy a delectable breakfast, lunch, or dinner while taking in the serene surroundings. The cafe also boasts an extensive selection of spirits, beers, and wines to complement the dining experience.




Alchemy Bistro & Bar: Nestled in Edgartown since 1999, Alchemy Bistro & Bar is a beloved dining destination known for its creative New American cuisine and inviting atmosphere.



Whether you choose to dine on the charming outdoor porch or in the light-filled dining room, you'll be treated to seasonal menus crafted by Executive Chef Christopher Stam, drawing inspiration from his island heritage and diverse culinary experiences.



Upstairs, the lively bar serves up an array of carefully curated cocktails, earning the establishment the title of "Best Cocktails on the Island" by MV Magazine from 2015 to 2023. Complementing the delectable dishes is an impressive wine selection, recognized with a prestigious Wine Spectator Award.



Atria: Martha’s Vineyard is home to Atria, a cherished culinary establishment known for its contemporary New England cuisine highlighting locally sourced seafood. Housed in a charming 19th-century sea captain’s residence, Atria offers diverse dining experiences, from the lively Brick Cellar serving delectable burgers and cocktails to the refined main dining room.




During the vibrant summer season, guests can enjoy unforgettable Vineyard evenings in the enchanting ambiance of Atria's tented patio.



Mad Martha’s: but if you are looking for the perfect place to satisfy your sweet cravings, Mad Martha's is the place to be! This iconic ice cream shop has been serving delicious frozen treats to the locals and tourists for the last 50 years, making it a favorite destination for ice cream lovers since 1971.


The story of Mad Martha dates back to a winter night when a young girl named Martha forgot to take her family's bottles of cream out of the barn, resulting in the cream freezing over. However, Martha, a creative soul, saw an opportunity and turned the frozen cream into a delectable ice cream treat. She experimented with local ingredients and flavors for months until she perfected her craft and shared her delicious creations with the locals, leading to the birth of Mad Martha's ice cream.



If you are planning a visit, you must try their world-famous flavors, including Chocolate, Sinful Chocolate, Vanilla, Cookie Dough, M&M, Chocolate Chip, Pistachio, Coconut, Orange Pineapple, Black Raspberry, Oreo, Mint Oreo, Peppermint, Mint Chocolate Chip, Mud Pie, Butter Crunch, Snickers, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, Mocha, Coffee, Maple Walnut, Strawberry, and Blueberry. From classics to unique flavors, Mad Martha's has something for everyone.

 

Hotels:


Harbor View Hotel

Hotel with restaurant, near Edgartown Lighthouse

131 N Water St, Edgartown, MA 02539• (877) 624-7992

 


Faraway Martha's Vineyard

Bayfront hotel with 2 restaurants,

Near Edgartown Lighthouse Raway Martha's Vineyard

23 Kelly Street, Martha's Vineyard, Edgartown, MA, 02539

 

The Richard, The Edgartown Collection

Edgartown hotel by ocean

104 Main St, Edgartown, MA, 02539

 

Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites

Upscale hotel in Edgartown with restaurant and bar/lounge

38 North Water Street, Edgartown, MA, 02539

 

Edgar Hotel Martha's Vineyard, Ascend Hotel Collection

Edgartown hotel with restaurant and bar/lounge

227 Upper Main St, Edgartown, MA, 02539

 

SummerCamp:

Art Deco hotel, steps from Cottage Museum

70 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA, 02557

 



Relax and Unwind: Lastly, remember to take some time to relax and soak in the island's laid-back atmosphere.


Whether lounging on a porch, watching the sunset, or enjoying a beach bonfire, Martha's Vineyard is a great place to unwind.


Remember that summer is a popular time to visit Martha's Vineyard, so it's a good idea to plan your accommodation and activities, especially if you're visiting during peak tourist season.