Martha’s Vineyard is known for a lot of reasons: picturesque beaches, stunning sunrises and sunsets, incredible water sports and outdoor activities, boating, fishing, biking, shopping, arts, culture, and not least of all, FOOD. With nearly 35 working farms, 10 oyster farms, 8 fresh fish markets, and dozens of farm-to-table restaurants, Martha’s Vineyard is a perfect place for today’s foodie. With such abundance, it’s hard to go wrong — but if you really want to get down and eat like a local, here’s how to do it.
1. Hit Up the West Tisbury Farmers Market
Twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays, you can discover the bounty of Martha’s Vineyard all in one simple location at the West Tisbury Farmers Market. Peruse the richest greens, veggies, and fruits you’re likely to see anywhere. Taste samples of sauces, salsas, oils, cheeses, baked goods — and shake the hand that feeds you at this iconic Vineyard market where farmers and foodies come together. You seriously can’t go wrong with anything you decide to bring home.
2. Grab Island-Made Yogurt from Mermaid Farm
Drive on up to the cutest self-serve farm stand in Chilmark for the best locally made yogurt you’ll ever have the pleasure of tasting. Mermaid Farm’s yogurt is the only yogurt made right here on the Island, and you can taste the magic of Martha’s Vineyard with every spoonful.
3. Indulge in Raw Milk and Craft Cheese from Grey Barn Farm Mosey on down the road a bit, and find your way to Grey Barn Farm. Not only is this barn’s design architecturally award-winning, but it’s also home to the Island’s most incredible craft cheeses and raw milk. Prufrock, oh Prufrock. Get to Grey Barn and you’ll be singing the same.
4. Grill up some Grass-Fed Beef from The FARM Institute
Acres and acres of beautiful farmland on the Island’s south shore makes for one incredible pasture at The FARM Institute, and a perfect place for cows to graze. Be sure to stop by this working farm, take a tour, and leave with some delicious grass-fed beef. It’s what’s for dinner.
5. Season It All With Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt Photo: Martha's Vineyard Sea Salt
That’s right. Martha’s Vineyard’s Down Island Farm is home to the incredible production of Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt. You’ll never have a tastier and fresher salt than theirs. Choose from flavors like Local Smoked Oak, Blueberry Honey, Lemon Dill, and of course, traditional sea salt. No matter what you use this outrageous salt of the sea on, your food will thank you for it.
6. Fresh-Caught Lobster Boil from NetResult
Why not let someone else prepare the lobster for you? For over 30 years, NetResult has been bringing Islanders super fresh lobsters and seafood. Plus, they’ll cook (and crack!) the lobster — done right with mussels and clams — right there at the market for you. Sit down at their outside picnic tables and dig in to this Vineyard tradition.
7. Raw Oysters from Larsen’s Fish Market
Head to the Island’s quaint fishing village of Menemsha and have the good folks at Larsen’s Fish Market shuck you a dozen local oysters. But warning: You’ll never be able to eat oysters anywhere but Martha’s Vineyard again, because these local treats are the best you will ever have.
8. Local Beef Burger at Scottish Bakehouse Photo: Scottish Bakehouse
Quite possibly the best burger on Martha’s Vineyard, this deliciousness hails from the unassuming Scottish Bakehouse in West Tisbury. Made fresh with local beef, Island greens, tomato, and mayo on a house-made English muffin, it’s beyond delicious in its simplicity. Pairing a burger with an English muffin may seem odd at first, but this is no regular English muffin — and it’s certainly no regular burger.
9. Enjoy a Locally Made Baked Treat from Morning Glory Farm
Don’t forget about the sweet treats of Martha’s Vineyard, so many of which are superbly done by Morning Glory Farm. From pies baked with in-season fruit, iconic banana bread, and fresh cookies, you could almost make dessert a meal in itself here! Insider’s tip: Swing by one of the local ice cream shops and pick some up to have with your pie. Heaven in the mouth.
10. Dinner Out at Any Number of Farm-and-Sea-to-Table Restaurants
One of the great things about Martha’s Vineyard is that you can be a local food lover and still treat yourself to a delicious meal out, because so many of the Island’s restaurants source local meats, fish, greens, and dairy from different farms around the Island. So sit back, enjoy a glass of wine or a signature cocktail, and let a chef prepare a perfect Island meal for you.
Interested in the ultimate foodie experience on Martha’s Vineyard? Check out the supreme culinary adventures offered by Farm.Field.Sea!
For more information on local eating and all things Martha’s Vineyard, be sure to visit our website, MVY.com.
Year-round, the rhythm of the arts keeps pace with the seasons, which means Spring brings explosions of color as well as theater, music, gallery exhibitions, and culinary delights for the wine lover, the micro-brew connoisseur, and even a cheese making experience. Martha's Vineyard has everything you want for a perfect Spring fling. Plus, you get to take advantage of nice weather and reduced rates for lodging.
1. Martha's Vineyard Wine Festival
This 4-day festival is like no other wine experience. Taking place Island-wide at various private homes and businesses, visitors enjoy perfect pairings of wine and food in one of the most beautiful settings in the world, Martha's Vineyard. Some of the events of the wine festival include an Opening Reception at the iconic Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown, various themed wine dinners at local restaurants and private homes, specialty events like "Real Men Drink Pink," the Great Beer Challenge, a creative Cocktail Competition, a Bloody Mary Brunch, a VIP Grand Tasting, Oysters & Champagne, and so much more!
2. Pink & Green Weekend
Now in its 4th year, Pink & Green Weekend celebrates Spring and Mother's Day with numerous fun-filled events, including a Pink & Green Adult Prom, a local pub crawl, Mother's Day brunches, a pink & green dog show, themed sales at independent merchants, a Cirque Du Pink & Green plant show that transforms an Island nursery into a circus, plus so much more!
3. Shellfish Extravaganza
Also in its 4th year, the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Extravaganza and Chowder Contest celebrates the bounty of Vineyard seas. This fundraiser, for the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group, helps maintain the quality and sustainability of shellfish on the Island, which is one of the Vineyard's most prominent industries. Slurp deliciously sweet local oysters, enjoy chowders made by some of the premier chefs on the Island, and dance the night away to Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, one of the best local bands. The Shellfish Extravaganza is a true Vineyard experience. More info here.
4. Oak Bluffs Open Market
Part farmers market, part flea market, part street food festival, the Oak Bluffs Open Market brings together some of the best vendors the Island has to offer. Guests can purchase incredible local products made, grown, and crafted right here on Martha's Vineyard. From vegetables, to local sea salt and Island-made chocolate, plus clothing, face painting, live music, and even tarot card readings, the Oak Bluffs Open Market creates its own unique vibe and is a great place to sample much of what Martha's Vineyard has to offer. Plus, it's held in Washington Park, which overlooks the Oak Bluffs Harbor - so you get all this and a great view.
5. Farm.Field.Sea's Cheese-Making Workshop
The workshop kicks off with a tour of the working farm at The FARM Institute to see their vibrant gardens, meet their loved animals, and learn the history of the farming on Martha’s Vineyard. From there, guests head to the kitchen with Grey Barn Farm’s head cheesemaker, Jacqueline Foster, to dive right in to making their own fresh ricotta and mozzarella from the milk just outside the door. The day will culminate with an alfresco lunch on the farm and a tour of six New American cheeses, discussing the styles and flavors of Farmstead varieties. This event is a culinary traveler's delight! More info here.
6. Fiber Folks: Come see what Fiber Folks is all about! Taking place at the iconic Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury, Fiber Folks is a chance to get together and meet other hand-crafters. Whether you're an ol' pro or just beginning, join others for knitting, spinning, rug hooking, quilting, and more. Fiber arts are alive and well on Martha's Vineyard!
7. Nature as Inspiration, Environmental Film Festival: Does life imitate art, or does art imitate life? At the 1st annual Environmental Film Festival, the Martha's Vineyard Film Society and the Vineyard Conservation Society bring viewers films inspired by nature, created by renowned environmental filmmaker, Jacques Perrin. The 4-day event will feature over six viewings, an opening reception, Q&A with the filmmaker, and a champagne reception. Nature and the arts; it doesn't get more Vineyard than that!
8. Chamber Music Society's Spring Concert: The Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society kicks off the season with one of their most popular and well attended events of the year - the Spring Concert! Come listen to the melodic sounds of distinguished musicians with an ensemble of clarinet, viola, and piano. The event takes place at the beautiful and historic Whaling Church in Edgartown.
SEE YOU ON THE VINEYARD!
It’s true that Martha’s Vineyard moves at a much faster pace in the warmer months, but many people don’t realize there’s still a lot to do during the quieter season. With many reasons to visit during the winter months, the Island’s fabulous year-round restaurants are at the top of the list! Come enjoy the delicious food and drinks offered at these great sit-down restaurants, listed here by town, in no particular order.
Copper Wok: Asian-fusion at its finest! The noodle soup will warm you right up on a chilly winter’s day. And in a town that was “dry” for years, their creative sake drinks are a welcomed cocktail options!
Photo: Little House Cafe
Little House Café: A favorite among Islanders, this little eatery is big on flavor. Plus, they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their Red Thai Chicken Kabobs are like nothing you’ve ever had. Not into meat? No problem! There are lots of delicious vegetarian options.
Black Dog Tavern: An Island classic. Warm up by the fire and enjoy harbor views at one of the Vineyard’s oldest restaurants. Their clam chowder, served in a mug, is a delicious favorite!
Offshore Ale Co.: Good food and good beer — what more do you need? How about a toasty atmosphere with a fireplace and an open kitchen! Try their truffle oil pizza for a flavor experience your mouth won’t soon forget.
Sharky’s Cantina: Nothing says hot, hot, hot like some tasty tex-mex in the middle of the winter. Plus, you’ll forget the chilly weather after one of their perfect margaritas. Come hungry — their portions are large!
MV Chowder Company: Voted best chowder for multiple years, the winter is the perfect time to enjoy a hearty bowl! But don’t stop there: All the food is great — especially their risotto balls, and their hummus and falafel plate.
Bangkok Thai Cuisine: Looking for some exotic flavors? Bangkok Thai Cuisine has got you covered! From pad thai to coconut curry dishes, you’ll want to order everything.
Deon’s Restaurant: Chef Deon cooks up delicious meals at what’s been deemed Oak Bluffs “best kept secret.” Sure, the atmosphere is modest, but the food is anything but boring. Try out this hidden gem for some seriously good food.
Slice of Life: Cute and quaint, Slice of Life offers deliciously tasty and high-quality food at prices within reason. Their fried green tomato BLT will knock your socks off! And be sure to save room for dessert. Yumm!
Park Corner Bistro: Really yummy food with a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Plus, there’s often live acoustic music, adding to the ambiance. Don’t miss their Sunday brunch, where you can enjoy one of the best Bloody Marys on-Island!
Henry’s: Located in the historic Harbor View Hotel, Henry’s never disappoints. Their delicious and creative cuisine includes a wide variety of unique small plates (hello, Cornmeal Fried Oysters and Bison Tartare!). Plus, the cozy atmosphere comes with a beautiful view of the Edgartown Lighthouse.
Atria: A classy restaurant upstairs, but a “down home” eatery in their brick-walled basement. Join them on Sunday for their amazing burger night downstairs. Meat-lovers and vegetarians unite with selections for everyone: Mary’s Little Lamb is one of the best lamb burgers on the planet, and The PETA burger is a delicious animal-friendly choice.
The Wharf Pub & Restaurant: This Edgartown classic serves up large portions at fair prices, with no pretense. It’s perfect for that casual night out. Try their chowder fries (yes, fries topped with chowder!), any of their salads are large enough for dinner, and their linguine and clams is one of the best on-Island!
The Grill on Main: With 2-for-1 entrees offered every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, it’s hard to find a better deal on-Island! Don’t forget to order the stuffed mushrooms — they’re amazing!
Lucky Hank's: This cozy eatery offers comfort food inspired by the Island and made with fresh, local ingredients. Lobster deviled eggs, anyone? Their Chicken Pot Pie and Meatloaf are perfect on a chilly winter’s day choices. An eclectic wine and beer list compliments the menu nicely!
Sharky’s Cantina: Yep, there are two locations! And the one in Edgartown now has a pool table, so that always adds a little extra fun to any night.
Rockfish: Edgartown’s newest restaurant is already a huge hit! From incredible tapas-style foods — Harissa Grilled Chicken Thighs & Couscous; Fried Artichokes with Lemon-Aioli; Potato Bravas (the list goes on and on!); to wood-fired flatbread pizzas like Baby Clam, Chorizo, and Garlic; to fabulous larger plates (including the best paella I’ve ever had); to the generous pours of wine, you’ll leave Rockfish with a very happy belly. But before you do, end the night with wood-fired S’mores!
The Newes: Located in the Kelley House, The Newes is about as cozy as taverns can be! And the dishes are all a tasty and healthy size. No matter what you order, be sure to get the onion rings — you’ll have dreams of them for years to come.
Square Rigger: This well-established restaurant “at the triangle” in Edgartown serves up New England classics, like clam chowder, boiled lobster, and baked stuffed shrimp. It’s a favorite among locals, and there’s a simple reason for that: It’s good.
See you on the Vineyard!
This time of year is a spectacular time for hiking on Martha’s Vineyard. With dozens of trails that wind through the woods, along ocean fronts, and over bluffs, hiking on-Island is not your average hiking. And with foliage peeking later on the season than on the mainland, now is the perfect time to enjoy the trails.
1. Great Rock Bight: A popular trail off of North Road in Chilmark, this hike takes you a few moderately easy miles through the woods and to an incredible bluff overlooking Vineyard Sound. Its beach is only accessible by the foot path, so even during the summer, it’s never crowded. Trails are dog-friendly, so bring your pooch along!
2. Long Point Wildlife Refuge: One of the most magical places on Martha’s Vineyard, Long Point Wildlife Refuge has miles of hiking trails with some of the most pristine vistas and vegetation. The winds off the south shore of the Island keeps trees and shrubs mostly squat, and the main trail takes hikers right to the beach. If you’re lucky enough to hike the refuge during winter, you might just spot a Snowy Owl! Sorry, dogs not allowed.
3. Caroline Tuthill Preserve: This fun trail is a favorite among Islanders. It’s easy to get to, just off of Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, and the winding trails take you over small hills, through the woods, and to beautiful water views of Sengekontacket Pond — just a few easy miles will get you there! And if you bring your doggy, she’ll likely enjoy a playdate while there since this trail is a favorite among dog owners. Be sure to also check out the many other trails across the Island that are part of the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation.
4. Menemsha Hills: This 211-acre preserve allows hikers to climb to the top of the second-highest point on Martha’s Vineyard, and offers spectacular ocean views. Three miles of trails cover wetlands, woodland groves, open coastal plain, and a rocky ocean edge. Approaching the shore, dune grass and pitch pine predominate. Hikers will also see goldenrod and beach plum helping anchor the dune cliffs above the beach, where rocks of every size dot the sand and line tide pools. And just beyond the northeast edge stands the remnants of a brick chimney, all that remains of a 19th-century brickworks. Please leave dogs home. Visit Trustees of Reservations for more info about all their hiking trails.
5. John Presbury Norton Farm to Womesket Preserve: A magical place to hike in any season — and a fabulous place to snowshoe or cross-country ski during the winter — John Presbury Norton Farm’s trails bring hikers to the lovely Wompesket Preserve. This combo is home to easy hiking trails that meander through the woods, across open fields, and eventually to Blackwater Pond (where, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can pick up more trails and continue on). And dogs are always welcome! Be sure to check out Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank for all of their trails.
This is just a sample of the incredible hiking trails on Martha’s Vineyard. Be sure to visit our website for more information.
See you on the Vineyard!
This is a guest blog post by Nevette Previd, full bio below. All photos from Farm.Field.Sea.
Martha’s Vineyard inspires "I could do that" fantasies. My “ I could do that” tipping point was at a dinner party. I have to admit I LOVE dinner parties; it’s where I am my most social self. Surrounded by people from all walks of life with stories to tell, fueled by good food and wine, I haven’t met a meal with a crowd that I haven’t loved yet. I am so jazzed after the events that my husband jokes that I have a new business or lifestyle idea for us after every invite.
This very party was an oh-so-local potluck at a friend’s house. The crowd happened to be chock full of farmers from both the soil and sea and local chefs who made the all-you-can eat offering especially exciting. As the conversation flowed, I gleaned a common thread: good stories. Tales of old and knowledge of new generously shared about their craft woven from generations of experience and newbie trial and error. The enthusiasm, and very real talent, craved a bigger audience than the simple sitting around the table.
Even though I have fantasized about being a farmer (I was very proud of my 8x8 garden this year), a fisherman (ok not really, I get too cold) and a chef (I would rock one of those cooking competition shows), my true passion lies in connecting people through food. So, enter Farm.Field.Sea., the conduit for me to experience a bit of these folks fascinating lives and the process it takes to bring great food to our plates. And, why not share it? With culinary adventures and agritourism all the rage, I know there have to be people who share a passion for really "getting to know" their food.
When people step off the boat onto Martha’s Vineyard for the first time, I want them to be able to get to know the Vineyard. Indulging in fried clams, getting a Vineyard t-shirt, and enjoying a delicious ice-cream cone — while all wonderful — is sort of the equivalent of only visiting Time Square when in NYC. Peel away the top layer of our magical Island and you too can get to know old Vineyard culture and traditions while having a 'food exploration of a lifetime’ (description courtesy of one of Farm.Field.Sea.’s recent guests!).
So the “I can do that,” I am happy to report, becomes an ‘”I did that!” With one season logged for Farm.Field.Sea., I am ready to go where no other adventurer on the Vineyard (and beyond) has gone before. Are you?
Sign up for the fall Farm.Field.Sea. October 25th and 26th featuring cooking with Chef/Farmer Chris Fischer, farm immersion at North Tabor Farm and Grey Barn, wines from Thirst Wine Merchants and cheese making with Jacqueline Foster. Limited spaces available, please find more information at ffsmv.com.
Nevette Previd is a marketing consultant specializing in connecting communities though grassroots, film, social action and events. She lives on the Vineyard with her family, working with clients all over the world. You can find her at nevetteprevid.com and ffsmv.com.
Martha’s Vineyard is part of Massachusetts — the first state in the country to legalize marriage equality — which helps lend itself to the fact that the Island has a long history of acceptance and inclusion of LGBT people, as well members of diverse communities in general.
From the original days of the Wampanoag Tribe, whose rich culture, legacy, and presence are still celebrated today on-Island with many current Tribe Members, to the first settlements of African American families in Oak Bluffs, to the generations of sailors’ families from around the world living on Martha’s Vineyard, to the countless international tourists and workers who visit each year, to the many LGBT couples and families who live here and visit, Martha’s Vineyard is a welcoming, safe, and fun place for members of the LGBT community — plus, the Island has lots to offer LGBT travelers!
For the Experiential Traveler: More and more, Martha’s Vineyard is becoming a hot-spot for experiential travelers, for those looking for a vacation that connects Traveler to Destination. Whether it be a unique food event, recreational activities that aren’t run-of-the-mill, or interactive opportunities in arts and culture, the experiences Martha’s Vineyard offers bring you closer to the Island itself, and to yourself. Join others with similar interests at food and wine festivals, local cooking challenges, art classes, and community dances on the Island. Visit our Play Here page and our Calendar page for more information.
For Couples: It’s no wonder so many LGBT couples get married here — the Island of Martha’s Vineyard is one of the most romantic places in the world. The roughly 100-square-mile Island boasts a plethora of phenomenal hotels, B&Bs, boutique-style inns, and vacation rental homes. And with more than 80 lodging options, there’s no shortage of choices. Since there are no chain hotels, each accommodation welcomes you in their own unique way to give you an authentic Island experience. With so many fabulous options, it’s no surprise that some are owned and operated by gay couples and families — as are many other Island businesses.
There’s also no shortage of fabulously romantic places to eat. Each of the six towns (Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah) offers dining options that will wow you. Many offer sea-to-table or farm-to-table cuisine made with ingredients so fresh you’ll want to come back each year just to eat your way around the Island. Enjoy your meal with water views, next to a cozy fireplace, or at a hip and modern bar or lounge. And since Chilmark and the fishing village of Menemsha are BYOB, you won’t have to worry if they have your favorite wine — bring it yourself! One-of-a-kind boutiques, spas, and a richly diverse culture scene, including art galleries and quality theaters, provide endless hours of relaxation and entertainment. So much so, you’ll never want to leave — my wife and I didn't! We now call the Island home after numerous vacations here!
For Families: Each of the six towns offers their own brand of hospitality, and all are enchanting and engaging. Family-friendly activities include street fairs, fireworks, farmers markets, the Agriculture Fair, day camps, and festivals of art and music — and all offer the promise of lifelong memories. Families enjoy the pristine beaches and overall kid-friendly atmosphere of the Island. The numerous public beaches along the north shores allow younger kids to swim in wave-free waters, while the ocean beaches on the south shore are a favorite among teenage kids. The five historic lighthouses are unique in personality, and the Edgartown, East Chop and Gay Head lighthouses are open to visitors, and an adventure out to the Cape Poge Lighthouse is truly a one-of-a-kind experience for kids of all ages. Be sure to treat the family to a ride on the Flying Horses Carousel in the heart of Oak Bluffs. It’s the nation's oldest operating carousel and a National Historic Landmark. Plus, this treasured carousel has been enjoyed by Vineyarders and visitors for more than a century. While in Oak Bluffs, visit the colorful gingerbread cottages at the Tabernacle, or enjoy a family picnic in the park! There are also pet-friendly options for families with furry members!
For the Adventure Seeker: Martha’s Vineyard can be a relaxing and romantic getaway — or it can be a super fun vacation jam-packed with activities! Moonlight kayak tours, LED standup paddle boarding with disco-style lights, wind surfing and boarding, classic aviator plane rides in the Red Plane, daytime fishing trips, sunset sails, multiple road races throughout the year, bicycling through forest trails (or paved paths!), horseback riding, golfing, tennis — the list of exciting activities is endless. Visit our Play Here page and our Calendar for more details.
For Everyone: Whether you’re an experiential traveler wanting a hands-on journey involving food, art, or outdoor activities; or if you’re looking for a relaxing and romantic getaway; or if you want to take the family on a vacation they’ll never forget, the Vineyard is for you. In fact, Martha’s Vineyard is for everyone.
See you on the Vineyard!
We do a lot of things well on this 100-square-foot Island of ours — including bike paths. Bike riding on Martha’s Vineyard is simply spectacular. Whether it be along the shoreline or through the forest, biking on the Vineyard is fun, easy, and very bike-rider friendly. Our bike paths cover 44 miles of the Island, making cycling a must-do (and safe!) family-friendly activity on Martha’s Vineyard. Here are our three favorite trails for biking.
Beach Road between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown: This stunning six-mile, paved trail travels along the Nantucket Sound on one side and the 7-acre Sengekontacket Pond on the other, and is entirely flat. It’s definitely one of the most popular trails on the Island because of its stunning views. Bikers can even take a pit stop and go for a swim at State Beach. There are plenty of bike racks along the way!
Katama Loop to South Beach: Just outside of Edgartown, there is a fabulous bike path that loops down Katama Road, along Atlantic Drive, and over to Herring Creek Road. Riders pass open fields, farms, South Beach, and the Katama Airfield (you might just see the vintage red biplane taking off and doing some aviation tricks in the air!). It’s a lovely 5-mile, flat, paved loop with some incredible wildflowers along the way.
Manuel F. Correllus State Forest: Smack dab in the middle of Martha’s Vineyard is the Manuel F. Corellus State Forest, which has miles and miles of flat, paved bike trails. And since it is so conveniently located, you can get there easily by way of additional bike paths that connect from any of the three major towns (Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, and Edgartown).
Not bringing your bike over? No problem! You can easily rent bikes when you get here. Just visit our Bike Rentals page to find the one perfect for you.
See you on the Vineyard!
A common question we get from potential visitors is, “How do I get there?” Being an Island and all, people sometimes think it’s like travelling to a different Universe. But, in reality, getting to Martha’s Vineyard is pretty darn easy — and there are more ways than one!
1. By Sea: Ferries make regular daily runs between Martha’s Vineyard and the mainland (or what locals more commonly refer to as “America”). The Steamship Authority is a year-round provider out of Woods Hole on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and is the only ferry service that accommodates vehicles. Three seasonal passenger ferries depart from points on the Cape, and all allow bicycles for an additional fee: the Island Queen connects Falmouth on the Cape to Oak Bluffs on the Island; Hy-Line Cruises connects Hyannis to Oak Bluffs; and the Falmouth-Edgartown Ferry connects — you guessed it! — Falmouth and Edgartown. The Vineyard Fast Ferry leaves North Kingston, Rhode Island, and is a popular choice for travelers from Connecticut. Coming from New York or New Jersey? The SeaStreak departs from Highlands, NJ, and E. 35th Street in New York City, allowing you to leave your car behind entirely. Either way, getting to the ferries is easy! Here are directions to reach the ferries by car and by bus.
2. By Air: Martha’s Vineyard is easily accessible by plane. Cape Air offers year-round service from Boston, and additional seasonal service from New Bedford, MA, Hyannis, MA, Nantucket, MA; Westchester, NY; and Providence, RI. JetBlue and Delta airlines provide seasonal service direct from New York’s JFK airport to Martha’s Vineyard between Memorial Day and Labor Day. US Airways provides seasonal direct service from Washington, D.C.’s Reagan National Airport. Coming from another country? No problem! Fly into Boston and either take Cape Air to the Vineyard, or hop on the Peter Pan Bus to the Steamship Authority in Woods Hole and take a ferry over.
3. By Bus: Since we’re an Island, you won’t be able to take the bus directly to us, but you can take the bus from numerous cities to a ferry! Peter Pan/Bonanza Bus Line offers daily, year-round service to Woods Hole from Boston and from New York (stopping in Providence). Plymouth Brockton Bus provides service year-round from Boston to Hyannis, but remember the ferry from Hyannis to the Island only runs from May-October. Seasonal bus service to Vineyard Fast Ferry in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, New Bedford, MA, and Woods Hole, MA from the upper east side or upper west side of Manhattan is available from Adventure Northeast Transportation Service.
4. By Train: Again, you won’t be taking a train directly to Martha’s Vineyard, since there are no land routes, bridges, or tunnels connecting us to the mainland. But train travel is certainly a great option to make your trip to the Island easier. There are two Amtrak options when coming by train from New York City and locations south. The train from New York to Boston’s South Station is the only year-round train option. Once at South Station, you can take a car service or the Peter Ban Bus to Woods Hole, and hop on a ferry from there. There’s also an Amtrak train from New York to Kingston, Rhode Island that runs seasonally. From there, the Martha’s Vineyard Fast Ferry provides direct shuttle service to and from the train station, which makes getting from the train to the ferry a cinch. The Steamship Authority and Hy-line Cruises are both accessible by the CapeFLYER seasonal rail service (operated by Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority) to provide seamless and car-free transportation to our Island, with connections to Woods Hole and Hyannis for ferry transportation. It might seem like a lot, especially for a first-timer, but — trust us! — it’s easier than you realize. And once you get here, you’ll see for yourself how the few extra travel steps are totally worth it.
See you on the Vineyard!
The last remaining wooden whaleship in the world is on its way to Martha’s Vineyard, and – WOW – it is a sight to be seen! Among motor boats and modern ships, the Charles W. Morgan is currently embarked on its 38th voyage, and will land in Vineyard Haven harbor the week of June 16th. It’s a time on Martha’s Vineyard that you won’t want to miss. You will literally be able to witness a part of history. And it very well could be the last chance to do so.
The vessel dates back to 1841, and hasn’t set sail in nearly a century — making this voyage quite possibly her last one.
The role of whaling in American history, and on Martha’s Vineyard specifically, is a fascinating one. While we'd never glamorize modern day whaling, the arrival of the Morgan reminds us that, before kerosene, whale oil powered the world and fueled the Industrial Revolution. The Morgan holds a glorious place in our history, and what better way to take a step back to the whaling days of our Island than by stepping aboard the Charles W. Morgan while she’s in our own waters?
Amazingly, the ship is the only vessel left to tell the story. The Charles W. Morgan once belonged to a fleet of 2,700 whaleships, and was well-revered for her “luck.” While other vessels of the time and over the years were destroyed by confederate raiders, storms, and dangers of the sea, the Charles W. Morgan sailed safely and profitably, bringing home more than 54,000 barrels of oil as part of an American industry that lasted more than 250 years.
Charles W. Morgan at Round Hill, c. September 1938, Courtesy of Martha's Vineyard Museum
Chances like this don’t come around often, and might never again. The opportunity to witness and be part of (actually step onto) a piece of history, is thrilling beyond measure. Consider this an open invitation to all to come and experience history in the making.
Visitors are invited to a land exhibition at Tisbury Wharf and are welcome to walk onto the ship from June 21 – 24.
To book your hotel accommodations, visit our “Stay Here” page, and for all your travel needs, visit MVY.com.
See you on the Vineyard!
It's my job to love this place, and it's no work at all.