Traveling to Martha’s Vineyard can sometimes seem daunting due to the extra steps you need to take to arrive at the popular summer destination. But we’re here to tell you that it can be as easy as 1,2,3 if you know what to expect!
Although we have a full blog on how to get to the island, whether it’s by plane or boat, we wanted to give you 10 tips for planning the ideal Martha’s Vineyard family vacation. These travel tips are tried and tested from recommendations of hundreds of travelers that have visited the island over the years, along with insider travel tips from local islanders themselves.
Travel Tip #1: Decide what season you’ll be visiting.
Martha’s Vineyard is a popular summer destination - typically visited by the hundreds of thousands between June and September, but every season provides a special set of environments that are thoroughly enjoyable on island. For young couples with babies, a great time to visit is in the spring and fall, while the crowds aren't as thick. It’s easier to get around island sidewalks with strollers when the crowds are minimal. For families with kids older than 4, the height of summer is prime, with farm camps, beach outings, and so much more! For adult travelers, nothing is better than a fall getaway to Martha’s Vineyard.
Travel Tip #2: Plan how you’ll arrive.
You can easily fly into Boston Logan Airport and catch a Cape Air flight onto the island, but do keep in mind these flights are on smaller aircrafts, so if your family is large, just remember that you might be on separate flights. Other families prefer landing in Boston and either driving or taking a Peter Pan Bus to Woods Hole, where they catch the Steamship Authority Ferry to the island. Either way, look at schedules, timings, and book any tickets you can in advance. Peter Pan Bus has a great app to purchase tickets via mobile!
Travel Tip #3: Lighten your load, rent baby equipment on island.
Instead of trying to bring every possible piece of baby equipment you might need, larger items like strollers, high chairs, cribs, and more can be rented on island for easy of travel.
Travel Tip #4: Book accommodations with separate sleeping areas.
Especially if you’re traveling with younger children, having a separate area like a small living room in your suite, will make it so much easier to put them to bed at their usual times. Better yet, suggest adjoining rooms where you can check on them easily.
Travel Tip #5: Before arriving, call hotel to confirm your reservation and request anything you might need (baby cribs, cots, extra towels).
A quick, two-minute confirmation call saves a lot of headaches before your arrival. Let them know if you’re planning to check in late night or double check they’ve put you in a room with the correct amount of beds. That quick call helps everything go smoothly the moment you arrive.
Travel Tip #6: Decide whether you’ll be using public transportation or renting a car.
The island is incredibly easy to get around if you choose not to rent a car. You can take a local cab company, ride a bike down the streamlined bicycle paths between the towns or even walk in the downtown areas. In all reality, if you’re arriving on island with children over the age of 10, not renting a car is ideal and helps you avoid having to find parking spots during peak season. If you’re traveling with young babies that need strollers, car seats, and a few diaper bags, a car makes more sense and you can rent one from any of these agencies.
Travel Tip #7: If visiting from October - May, call ahead.
Due to our seasonality, some island businesses change schedules once the fall begins, so just make sure to call ahead to make sure your top picks are open. Some restaurants tend to be closed Monday-Tuesday during the off-season, so plan your trip knowing this. But remember that the island is open year-round. With 17,000 people living here 12 months a year, there are always open businesses.
Travel Tip #8: Pack light.
This is a travel tip for any location you’re visiting. Traveling with just a carry-on is infinitely easier than traveling with checked luggage. Plus, the less you pack, the more space you’ll have for beach plum jelly, MV Sea Salt, Mudrick’s Fudge, and any other locally made product we know you’ll fall in love with! But if you do have a lot of luggage and want to store it, you've got options.
Travel Tip #9: Research tours and exhibits you’d like to visit.
Martha’s Vineyard is home to a variety of tours and local exhibits all year long - make sure to include some during your trip. Whether you’re looking to walk the haunted streets of Edgartown with a ghost expert or a foodie in search of the next delicious bite, the island has it all!
Travel Tip #10: Slow down.
“You’re on island time” might be a cliche, but it’s an honest one. Once the ferry docks or the plane lands, relax - you’ve just arrived at one of the most relaxing New England communities. Make sure to book yourself a massage, take daily walks on the beach, and read a good book!
Martha’s Vineyard isn’t just a little paradise for adults – it’s also a big paradise for little people! And one of the most fun things for children to do during the summer is take advantage of the super fun day camps here, like the “Fern & Feather Day Camp” at the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
This camp, run by MassAudubon, allows kids to explore the 350-acre wildlife sanctuary, which includes forests, fields, marshes, ponds, and seashore habitats. Fern & Feather encourages curiosity and care for the natural world, all while campers have fun and make friends!
Outdoor games, hands-on nature activities, wildlife observations, hikes, stories, crafts, and camp songs help make Fern & Feather a one-of-a-kind summer experience for young people.
The knowledgeable camp staff is enthusiastic, experienced, and loves working with children in the outdoors. And with camps available for ages 4-16, there truly is a camp for everyone! Fun options include Bird Bonanza, Water Worlds, Tracktastic, Baby Animals, Backwoods Explorers, Creepy Crawlies, Furry Friends, Feathered Fun, Mighty Mammals, Wet & Wild, Marine Muckers, Ocean in Motion, Micro to Macro, and literally so much more!
You can register for Fern & Feather by clicking here. And to plan the perfect Vineyard vacation, be sure to visit MVY.com.
This is a guest blog post for the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce and Visit Martha's Vineyard, written by Hilary Dreyer, Managing Director of the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival. All photos by Joshua Robinson-White. Content and photos cannot be republished in any format without express permission.
For me, winter seems to pass by in a quick blur--how is it already March?! (Which I know is not what most people on the Island are thinking right now.) This is mainly because winter is our busiest time. We are scouring the depths of the web to find films you’ve never heard of, combing through hundreds of submissions to bring you the best of the best, and creating this unforgettable weekend which is the 18th annual Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival.
But it’s not just about bringing the best films to our little island. It’s about designing the whole experience, and making sure that at every possible corner, you have the opportunity to have your heart or mind opened wide to new ideas, perspectives, and people. The most rewarding part for me is connecting our audience with the guests that we bring for discussions after films. Usually, the name of the guest isn’t one you recognize, but by the end of the film, you are just absolutely floored that they’re standing at the front of the house before you.
I don’t often get to honor people my age up on stage, but this year we’ll be putting 27-year-old Maria Toorpakai from Pakistan in the spotlight after the screening of Unveiled. She is fighting fearlessly for positive change not only for women in Pakistan, but around the world. I promise you this is not one you want to miss. Honestly, if I were to list every single not-to-miss guest it would be all of them, so if you have to make some hard decisions on which films to skip, you’ll still find time to chat with our guests at the festival throughout the weekend. There’s plenty of time in between films to grab a fancy hot (or iced, ‘cause it’s almost spring) coffee from Chilmark Coffee Company, a full meal from Robert Lionette to ease your Morning Glory cravings, and don’t get me started on the apricot-ginger scones from Pie Chicks!
So I hope you’ll join me in a few weekends’ time. Come hang out! Grab your parents, your loved ones, old friends or new friends, and catch a flick, a meal, a beach walk, a workshop, or live music! Come laugh with me, cry with me, feel with me, learn, problem-solve, and celebrate our community with me!
Get your tickets ahead of time, and explore our full schedule, at tmvff.org.
And don’t forget that you can volunteer for a free ticket!
Be sure to visit MVY.com for everything you need to plan your trip to Martha's Vineyard!
This is a guest blog post by Marnely Murray, co-founder of the Martha's Vineyard Wine Festival. You can check out all the great things she's up to on her website, Cooking With Books.
The MV Wine Fest returns to the island of Martha’s Vineyard on May 11-14, 2017, on its fifth consecutive year as the kick-off event of the season on the island. A four day celebration that takes place in the historical yet contemporary town of Edgartown will focus extensively on featuring wines from the United States as well as wine-producing regions such as Bordeaux, Burgundy, Tuscany, Piedmont, Rioja, and more.
Featuring the talent of local chefs is a main staple of the MV Wine Fest, as wine is created for food and food is created for wine, the organizers John Clift and Marnely Murray are focused on pairing the incredible local talent to some of the best wineries. “As a festival, we want to make the intimate wine dinners the core of our events. Bringing wine makers from around the world to work with our chefs in creating an unforgettable menu that pairs exceptionally well with the wines is our goal”, states Ms. Murray. Being able to sit down at a table, to enjoy wine with the person that actually made said wine is an experience the MV Wine Fest wants to bring to their guests.
In 2017, the wineries that will be presenting at the festival include a distinguished variety, but not limited to: Merriam Vineyards, Rombauer Vineyards, Silver Oak Winery, Duckhorn Vineyards, Trifecta Wines, Flanagan Wines, Chateau d'Esclans, Knightsbridge Winery, Caymus Vineyards, and Landmark Vineyards. Small, intimate dinners will be hosted throughout the weekend where guests will be able to connect with wine makers and winery owners.
Other featured events will include:
• “Art of the Cocktail: Locally Crafted,” featuring top Martha’s Vineyard bartenders showcasing New Amsterdam gin and vodka in a friendly competition creating geo-specific island cocktails
• “Eco-Awareness: Oyster Safari,” (weather permitting) where guests will have a chance to meet and go on an adventure with local oystermen Cottage City Oysters, while learning about sustainability in the New England waters
• "Luminary Farm Dinner," at an exclusive location in Edgartown showcasing the work of Chef Matt O’Neill of The Blue Ox (http://www.theblueoxlynn.com) pairing a dinner to Rombaeur Vineyards, Silver Oak Wines, and Duckhorn Vineyards
• “Burgers & Bubbles,” a fun outdoor (weather permitting) event at the historical Martha’s Vineyard Museum lawn where guests will sip champagne and taste burgers from three chefs in order to vote for their favorite burgers
• “Oysters & Bubbles,” the event that culminates the weekend where attendees can relax while slurping back freshly shucked oysters from Cottage City Oysters while sipping on Chateau d’Esclans wines
The MV Wine Fest is an annual event that also has a philanthropic vision, donating 100% of the proceeds of their Silent Auction to the Martha’s Vineyard High School’s Culinary Arts Department. This silent auction takes place during the Grand Tasting on Saturday, May 13th and attendees will have a chance to engage in conversation with some of the culinary arts students present at the auction.
Be sure to follow MV Wine Fest on
Martha’s Vineyard is well known for its summer landscape of busy streets and packed beaches, but a little less known is the Island’s incredible arts and culture scene that culminates in the autumn. Fall for the Arts, now in its 5th year, highlights the incredible and one-of-a-kind events that only happen on Martha’s Vineyard in the fields of dance, film, performing arts, literature, theater, poetry, visual arts, culinary arts, and festivals.
Here’s just a little taste of what visitors can expect with an autumn getaway to Fall for the Arts on Martha’s Vineyard. For a complete schedule of events, be sure to visit the calendar of events.
Columbus Day Weekend, Oct 7 – 10
13th Annual Art of Chocolate Festival: Indulge your sweet tooth and artistic flare at this culinary and visual arts festival, held at Featherstone Center for the Arts.
Vineyard Artisans Festival: The Island’s longest running art festival that celebrates the crafts, arts, wares, and talents of only Island artists, for a genuine “made on the Vineyard” experience.
Local Wild Food Challenge: A culinary event for the true foodie, this event hosts professional and amateur chefs as they compete using local, wild ingredients found only on Martha’s Vineyard.
Oct 13 – 16
Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival: One of the most anticipated events not only of the fall but of the year! Created in such a way that allows you to build your own itinerary, this foodie festival brings together farmers, fisherman, oyster farmers, artisans, chefs, and vintners to create a truly unique Island experience.
Thanksgiving Weekend, November 25 – 26
Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society’s Annual Thanksgiving Concert: This stunning musical event features world-class musicians.
Small Business Saturday: Celebrate the unique, independent shops of Martha’s Vineyard on Small Business Saturday and receive holiday deals and specials on one-of-a-kind Vineyard items
Christmas in Edgartown, December 9 – 11
The 35th annual Christmas in Edgartown is a weekend-long festival you won’t want to miss! Come see what holiday magic is like on Martha’s Vineyard with the Lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse, the Jewelry Jingle, holiday parade, holiday shopping like no other, and Breakfast with Santa.
To learn more about visiting Martha’s Vineyard in any season or to plan your trip, visit MVY.com.
SEE YOU ON THE VINEYARD!
People often mistakenly think that “the season” on Martha’s Vineyard ends Labor Day, but boy is that wrong! Sure, most of the families with kids head off-Island and back to school, but the folks who come during the month of September are some of the luckiest visitors to Martha’s Vineyard.
Here are just a few reasons why:
1. Incredible Weather
September boasts some of the best weather of the year on Martha’s Vineyard. With a general decline in high heat and humidity, the Island enjoys warm, dry days. And since the waters have had all summer to heat up, they’re at their warmest temperatures of the year, which makes swimming simply magical. Plus, being located within the Gulf Stream allows for a lovely and gentle breeze.
2. Less Crowded Beaches
Speaking of amazing weather, September is the perfect time to hit up the beaches of Martha’s Vineyard! And with the majority of kids back to school, the beaches tend to have fewer crowds, which means more sand for you. What’s more, many of the private beaches that are “resident only” become open to the public during the month of September.
3. Great Deals
Peak season might be from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but that also means it’s peak prices on Martha’s Vineyard. Whether it be hotels, B&Bs, or countless unique and independent shops and galleries, prices generally begin to fall in September — making visiting the Island more affordable.
4. Easier to Get Dining Reservations
Visitors can often wait hours in August to get into the many award-winning restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard, but September guests don’t face this problem. Making a reservation at a delicious farm- and sea-to-table restaurant that sources outstanding local ingredients right from the Island is much easier to do in September.
5. Tons of Festivals
September is the month of festivals on Martha’s Vineyard! The first weekend kicks off with the Martha’s Vineyard Jazz and Blues Festival, then the month continues on with the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, the Martha’s Vineyard Wine Festival, the Wampanoag Powwow, the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby, and the Martha’s Vineyard Craft Beer Festival. Plus, the month includes Fall for the Arts, an arts & culture campaign that kicks off in September and includes events hosted by the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, Featherstone Center for the Arts — including the incredible Iron on the Island event — Tivoli Day in Oak Bluffs, the Soul Summit at Lola’s, Pioneering Pizza by Farm.Field.Sea, and so much more.
So what are you waiting for? Head over to MVY.com to plan your September getaway to Martha’s Vineyard, and see for yourself why September is a favorite month here!
Written by Annabelle Hackney for Farm.Field.Sea.
Summertime on Martha’s Vineyard is a foodie wonderland for kids and parents alike. From that first taste of juicy strawberry in June to the last bite of sweet August corn, there is a plethora of natural wonder to be explored. For kids, summertime is meant to be a break from times tables and grammar lessons, but that doesn't mean the learning has to stop! Martha’s Vineyard has a rich history of agriculture and with over 42 working farms on the island, there is an exciting amount of food produced locally. We get giddy thinking how lucky we are to live within a quick ride to local produce, cheese, milk, fish, oysters and other yummy shellfish.
BUT we think the most exciting part of the plethora of fresh food producers on our island is getting to meet the folks who are working to bring the food to our plates. It’s their stories that make the journey so – well - inspiring. Did you know that the moist farming environment on Martha's Vineyard allows us to grow fruits and veggies you may not expect such as mushrooms and asparagus? Or that oysters have been performing miracles for our waters by cleaning and removing toxins to help maintain tip-top water quality for over 600 million years (disturbed only by the periodic ice age).
Have you tasted a strawberry directly from the field? Then you must check out the annual adventure with Morning Glory Farm, one of the islands most vibrant family farms. We will venture through their fields and taste 7+ varieties of the Athearn family’s strawberry summer bounty. Farm inspired crafts and activities will be curated for the kids, and there will be tons of strawberries for all to taste! After enjoying the field and its bounty, sit down for a family-style farm lunch alongside the farmers as they give us a fuller picture of what’s on our plate.
Around on Labor Day weekend? Spend the day Saturday on Chappy with us making your own wood fired oven pizza at Slip Away Farm. Slip Away Farm opens their fields to show you what being a young farmer is all about. Tour the farm and pick your ingredients straight from the field - think juicy tomatoes, carrots straight from the earth, and crispy kale. Kids will enjoy the hands-on experience so much they might not even mind they're eating vegetables. After rolling out homemade dough and firing up the wood-fire oven - take a seat for a 3-course lunch overlooking the rolling farm.
If you are looking for an unforgettable local experience that is both fun and informative take your kids on a knowledge driven foodie adventure with Farm. Field. Sea. This one-of-a-kind adventure invites both kids and adults behind the scenes with local farmers, fisherman, oyster folks, chefs and educators of Martha's Vineyard to taste and experience the food of the island like you have never experienced before.
Can’t make it to these two events? Farm. Field. Sea. hosts many more adventures from May to October, visit their website for more adventures and pop-up dinners that will set your summer plans on fire! More at farmfieldsea.com.
Spring on Martha’s Vineyard brings a burst of events in theater, music, galleries, agriculture, and culinary delights in what is known as SPRING FOR THE ARTS. Martha's Vineyard is the perfect place to witness a vibrant reawakening from a calm winter slumber, and enjoy a perfect Spring fling. Plus, the nice weather and reduced rates for lodging make visiting in the Spring even more appealing.
Here’s a highlight of some of the amazing events happening this season. Be sure to check the calendar for a full list of all events. And while you're here visiting, tune into the Island's newest radio station — one of only three reggae stations in the country! 105.5 FM WYOB hit the airwaves earlier this year, and is the soul of Martha’s Vineyard, the rhythm of the rock. Give it a listen!
Film, Food, and Friends on Friday, All April
This is truly a Vineyard experience, where someone opens their home to strangers for a night of entertaining. Author John Caedan is on Martha’s Vineyard while preparing the launch of his latest novel. Guests are invited to join him every Friday night as he makes a pot of outrageous soup, opens the door of his writer’s studio in Katama to five friends, and enjoy dinner and a movie. It’s an “all ages, all kinds, couples and singles” thing, with a focus on laughter, intelligent interaction, and new friends. Contact 303-325-3947
Night Heron Gallery Spring Opening
The Night Heron Gallery is Martha’s Vineyard’s only artist owned and operated cooperative gallery, featuring the work of 10 island artists, with the added and unique feature that one or more of the artists are always present. Come in and celebrate the joy of Vineyard art at as the gallery opens again for the season this April. More information at NightHeronGallery.com
Wicked Good Musical Revue, April 8 & 9, at Martha's Vineyard Playhouse
Led by Molly Conole and Peter Boak, and with the company of four other singers, the evening shows will highlight incredible talent and great singing. This extra special event's theme will be BY REQUEST, and is sure to be a wonderfully good time for all. More information at mvplayhouse.org
Vertical Influences: Ice-skating Performance, April 9, sponsored by The Yard
Head on over to the Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena to enjoy a wonderful show by Le Patin Libre, a contemporary ice-skating performance company. Get up close and view this thrilling and serene performance. More info at DanceTheYard.org
Dinner & Comedy, April 15
Head over to the grand Harbor View Hotel and laugh, laugh, laugh your way into Spring with comedians Ryan Lehamn, Chris Zito, Stacy Kendro and Justin Hoff, but first enjoy a delicious culinary experience and views of the Edgartown Lighthouse. Or just come to the show! More info at Harbor-View.com
Exhibit Opening: “In the Giant’s Shadow - Vineyard Life During the Whaling Age” at Martha's Vineyard Museum, April 15
There was a time when nearly everyone on the Island was involved in whaling. It was one of the most important and lucrative businesses in the country, and it required the efforts of shipwrights, shopkeepers, candle makers, coopers, farmers, and many others to support the captains and seamen who took to the seas for the hunt. This exhibit will explore when whaling was the center of Martha’s Vineyard life. More info at MVMuseum.org
Sheepapalooza, April 16
A real Spring hoedown at The FARM Institute in Katama allows you to join others in a celebration of sheep and shepherds, local food, farming, and fiber. This annual events features sheep shearing, meeting newly born lambs, a sheep dog demos, wagon rides, and fiber arts such as spinning, weaving, dyeing, felting, and knitting. The day also includes local food by the Artcliff Diner Food Truck. More info at FarmInstitute.org
Daffodil Show and Spring Celebration, April 16
Wow yourself at the Polly Hill Arboretum with their vibrant daffodil show. Held at their Far Barn, the day showcases dozens of varieties. There will also be children’s arts and crafts and a guided tour will also be offered. More info at PollyHillArboretum.org
Red, Yellow and Blue: Color Mixing for Watercolor with Lynn Hoeft, April 16
Painting with watercolors can be frustrating if you end up with muddied colors, or just plain mud! In this one day workshop, you'll look at why transparent watercolor is so different from oils and acrylics and how to choose the brands, grades and pigments that give artists the best chance for success. More info at FeatherstoneArt.org
Yiddish Literature, April 17
Join the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center for readings and discussions on Yiddish Literature. Pre-registration is required. More info at Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center.
9th Annual Shearing Day at Island Alpaca, April 23
Over 60 alpacas are scheduled for shearing and public viewing at this wonderfully fun and unique Island event, where you will meet alpacas and enjoy a day with Island friends. More info at IslandAlpaca.com
PechaKucha Night, April 29
Devised in Japan in 2003 as an event for young designers to network, PechaKucha Night has since turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world — including Martha’s Vineyard. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for “chit chat,” it rests on a simple presentation format: show 20 images for 20 seconds each, making presentations rapid and concise. The event is sponsored by the Martha’s Vineyard Museum and held at the Harbor View Hotel. More info at MVMuseum.org
SEE YOU ON THE VINEYARD!
Sure, the busiest season on Martha’s Vineyard is the summer, but that’s certainly not the only time to join us on our magical Island. The winter is one of the most beautiful times on the Vineyard. A quick and easy ferry ride of only 45 minutes sets the escapist tone of a wonderful winter getaway. And here are 10 reasons to make the trip! As always, be sure to visit our calendar to see all the events happening; more are added everyday.
1. Holiday Happenings
There is arguably no place more festive for the holidays than the Island of Martha’s Vineyard. With our quaint towns, all decorated in their own unique ways, and our incredible one-of-a-kind merchants, holiday shopping is simply the best on the Vineyard. And weekend-long events, like those that happen in Oak Bluffs, and Tiz the Season in Tisbury and Christmas in Edgartown, put even the scroogiest of scrooges into the holiday spirit. Santa's Oak Bluffs Open Market offer shoppers an opportunity to purchase unique gifts directly from the makers, enjoy live music and yummy food, and have pictures with Santa — for kids and pets alike! Plus, there’s free horse-drawn hayrides, a puppet parade, and an Old Fashioned Christmas at the Island’s oldest brewery. Enjoy horse-drawn hayrides, live music on Main Street, a free community viewing of The Polar Express at one of the Island’s oldest movie theaters, a Chanukah Celebration at the Hebrew Center, and so much more during Tiz the Season in the quaint town of Tisbury. Watch the lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse, enjoy the annual Chowder Contest, visit the delightful holiday Teddy Bear Suite, have breakfast with Santa, and so much more during Christmas in Edgartown.
Photo: Max Bossman
2. New Year’s Celebrations
Martha’s Vineyard is the perfect place to bring in the New Year! Whether you prefer a quiet evening in, a year-end fabulous dinner out, or a fabulously lavish party that goes into the wee hours, the Island is where to be. With countless, romantic boutique inns and B&Bs, quietly saying hello to the new year with your significant other is magical on Martha’s Vineyard. Plus, with award-winning restaurants dotted throughout the Island, you’re sure to enjoy a fabulous “last meal” of the year. And if you like an all-out party on New Year’s, the Harbor View Hotel has got you covered with nosh, two dance floors, fireworks, and a midnight champagne toast.
3. Discounted Prices
It’s no secret that Martha’s Vineyard has a reputation as an expensive destination. And while there are budget-friendly options in every season, the prices never get better than in winter. Often, you can enjoy the same, high-end accommodations for a fraction of the price. So if you’ve ever wanted to see what the Island is like, but have had concerns about the cost, come on over in the winter! Sure, you can’t sunbathe, but winter walks on the beach are lovely. Trust us.
4. Winter Walks
Speaking of winter walks, the Island truly is a gem to discover by foot. With countless miles of walking trails throughout, Martha’s Vineyard practically begs you to go further, walk more, discover her less seen, inner beauty away from the towns and roads. Take a hike on your own, join Polly Hill Arboretum during the winter months to meander their 70-acre public garden to look for seasonal plants of interest, or go bird watching. The majestic snowy owl is often spotted on the Island, and is truly a sight to be seen!
5. Snowman on the Beach
Have you ever? If not, you should. There are few things quite as fun as building a snowman where you usually catch a sunburn.
Those miles of trails just mentioned? They’re also simply perfect for snowshoeing! This favorite outdoor winter activity is made even more fun if you choose a trail that leads to the beach. There’s something to be said for standing at the shoreline in snowshoes.
7. Island Art Classes
Martha’s Vineyard has a robust art scene, and winter is a wonderful time to dive right into the heart of it. The Island is lucky to have an incredibly active and vibrant art center, Featherstone Center for the Arts, which offers hands-on classes in all modalities throughout the winter. This is the perfect season to check into your inner artist and let your creativity flow — no experience needed!
8. Big Chili Contest
What would winter be without food? The Island heats up in January with the annual Big Chili Contest. The daylong event has been attracting crowds from off-Island for years, and there’s a reason for that: It’s a super fun party with live music, drinks, and (of course) chili — all done with an Island twist.
9. Annual 20 Miler & Amity Island Relay
The Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler is a “must” race for die-hard runners of various levels. From highly competitive athletes looking for to test their readiness for Boston and other spring marathons, to dedicated recreational runners, this race offers the chance to combine a visit to one of the East Coast’s most beautiful shore communities with a race on a fast, USATF sanctioned course. But this event is fun for the less serious runners, too, as there’s also a partner “Amity Island Relay.” The Island becomes abuzz with visitors and it’s fun to cheer for the racers along the way.
10. Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
Come for dinner, and stay for the show — all of them. The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival runs from March 17-20, at the Chilmark Community Center. Enjoy the incredible lineup of movies, with the opportunity to speak with directors, editors, and members of the community. Moviegoers will also enjoy eclectic food, live music, and guided meditation.
SEE YOU ON THE VINEYARD!
It's my job to love this place, and it's no work at all.