Temperatures are getting colder by the minute, as the days are getting longer. It’s what living in New England feels like - a variety of weathers all in one week. But since we know it’s mostly cold, we wanted to showcase some of our favorite culinary delights this season: soups, stews, and chowders!
First let’s get technical: What's the difference between soup and stew? Our friends over at Taste of Home say: In theory, a soup is a combination of vegetables, meat or fish cooked in liquid. A stew is any dish that's prepared by stewing – that is, the food is barely covered with liquid and simmered for a long time in a covered pot. Now how about chowders and bisques? Simple! Bisques and chowders are simply two types of thick soup; bisque is generally smooth while chowder is chunky.
It’s essential to know the difference when cooking them, but since we’re going to be sharing all the spots where you can eat them without dirtying dishes - let’s move on!
Edgartown Clam Chowder by Bettini Restaurant in Edgartown
Nothing better than a hot bowl of creamy chowder and when you’re at Bettini Restaurant at the Harbor View Hotel, you get just that. Chef Patrice Martineau even creates a house-made oyster cracker to accompany the chowder and it’s one for the books.
“Bettini’s fresh take on Vineyard style sets the stage for chef-inspired menus that showcase the season’s freshest offerings from local farms, fishing boats, foragers and markets. Expansive windows reveal a magnificent coastal view that reinforces the kitchen’s relationship with the local landscape, creating a seamless Island-to-table dining experience.”
Quahog Chowder by The Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven
Known for being topped with buttery croutons, this Quahog Chowder at The Black Dog Tavern is a local favorite. Want to recreate it at home? We found the recipe over on Recipe Girl.
Lobster Stew by The Cardboard Box in Oak Bluffs
Indulge in this Lobster Stew at the Cardboard Box and rejoice at all the goodness that is good food. Made with sweet potato, roasted onion, smoky bacon, basil, and a lobster cream that’s to die for, this Oak Bluffs spot deserves a place on your list when looking for creative food that you will love.
French Onion Soup by The Newes Pub in Edgartown
French Onion Soup is such a classic and one you can always find at this historic pub in Edgartown. This soup is broth-y and full of delicious, caramelized onions, topped with bread and broiled cheese for that perfect spoonful every time.
Named by Travel & Leisure as one of the best places to eat on Martha’s Vineyard, the Newes serves American and British pub food that pays respects to the variety of fresh, local ingredients the Island has to offer.
Soup to Go by Waterside Market in Vineyard Haven
We love this option at Waterside Market! Packaged in glass mason jars, the culinary team at the Market has ready to go soups - they vary from daily specials to the chef’s classic chili, but you can almost always find a delicious option to bring home and reheat to your liking. We commend and applaud Waterside Market’s initiative of using less plastic in their day to day productions!
Fresh ingredients, organic and local when possible, innovative recipes made from scratch daily including soups, salads, and killer sandwiches. Tuck into the house-roasted, hormone-free meats, breakfast (served until 4 pm!) and Stumptown Coffee. Make sure to check Waterside out when in Vineyard Haven - it’s a great spot to wait for your ferry or grab a quick meal before heading back home.
Black Bean Soup by The Wharf Pub in Edgartown
If you’re heading to Edgartown for lunch, a stop at the Wharf Pub at the bottom of Main Street is a must. The menu is focused on tasty New England food with creative twists and this Black Bean Soup is one of them. Pair it with some Chowder Fries (New England clam chowder, bacon, green onion, jack & cheddar cheese) and you’ve got a delicious winter meal!
Looking for inspiration to create soups at home this winter? Below are links to some of our local favorites from Island writers:
Udon Noodle Soup with Miso-Glazed Vegetables and Chicken via Martha’s Vineyard Magazine
Butternut Squash Soup by Food Minded Fellow
Winter Soups from The Martha’s Vineyard Times
The arts scene on Martha’s Vineyard thrives throughout the seasons. From fine art galleries to cultural centers to working studios, there are dozens of places to explore the rich history and incredible talent of Island makers and creators. Arts and culture lovers on Martha’s Vineyard never have to go far to find world class art, unique artifacts and friendly faces willing to share the story of their offerings. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the most eclectic places to be inspired and delighted by our local talent.
MVAA: Old Sculpin Gallery, 58 Dock Street, Edgartown
Formerly a sail loft, a whale oil factory, an old grain store, and a boat builder’s shed, the distinctive building now known as the Old Sculpin Gallery, home of the Martha’s Vineyard Art Association, is over 240 years old. Over the years its unique shingled tower has welcomed visitors to the waterfront along Edgartown’s harbor and today its wide floorboards and hand hewn beams welcome art lovers into its gallery and studio spaces. Incorporated in 1954, the MVAA opened for the benefit of the Island community: “to increase facilities of art education, create interest in the arts, make an art center for the whole Island, establish a permanent collection, and preserve an old landmark.” Today the gallery represents dozens of Island artists and hosts weekly receptions throughout the summer season.
Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks, 683 State Road, West Tisbury
Martha's Vineyard Glassworks was founded in 1992 and built on a piece of quintessential Island farmland. The studio was intended to be a facility for glassblowers to work every day, develop technical skills, create glasswork, and build a life around glassblowing. The glassblowing studio can be observed from the gallery, which allows customers to watch a work of art come to life, from the raw materials and an artist’s vision, to the final piece. Each piece is individually handblown without the use of finishing molds to achieve shape; rather, the consistency seen in the work is the result of repetition and a strict attention to detail. Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks has become a popular destination for glassworkers, tourists, artists, interior decorators, collectors, and trade workers alike.
Althea Designs Gallery, 34 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven
Althea Freeman-Miller of Althea Designs is known for her linoleum block printing technique examples of which are displayed all over the Island. Her bright and bold images often feature one graphic object, like a bird, or a bicycle, which she hand-carves onto pieces of wood. The designs are printed on hand carved linoleum blocks, making for unique shirts, cards, and other items. Visit Althea in her Vineyard Haven gallery for a chance to meet the artist and browse her iconic designs. Her workshop also features the work of other local artists including Conrado designs, Roy Bikini suits, Leslie Freeman pottery and Elysha Joy jewelry.
Chilmark Pottery, 145 Field View Lane, West Tisbury
Potter Geoffrey Borr moved to the Island of Martha's Vineyard in 1982 when he was inspired to establish a pottery studio in a peaceful and beautiful environment. The result of his efforts is Chilmark Pottery, located in a weathered, shingled barn tucked in among the trees of West Tisbury. Most days visitors will find the potters hard at work and willing to answer questions about their craft. Geoffrey's thoughtfully designed, hand-crafted pottery, in its distinctive seascape or copper-red hues, fill the shelves and line the porch rails. Throughout the year, Chilmark Pottery also offers classes. You’ll find Chilmark Pottery conveniently located right off State Road in West Tisbury.
Field Gallery, 1050 State Road, West Tisbury
The Field Gallery and Sculpture Garden is a unique artistic environment located in downtown West Tisbury, and one of the most Instagrammable spots on this list. Inside, three galleries present rotating exhibits of contemporary paintings, sculpture and photography. Outside, the large field is home to the whimsical sculptures of Field Gallery founder Thomas Maley, the modern stone sculptures of Lew French and many others. The gallery hosts an impressive group of more than 25 talented artists, all with an Island connection and endless Vineyard charm. Look out for weekly events and receptions in season, and, if time allows be sure to visit the Gallery’s nearby sister gallery, The Granary, the oldest and largest art gallery on Martha's Vineyard located in an iconic red barn.
Michael Blanchard Gallery, 93 Dukes County Avenue, Oak Bluffs
Formerly located in the Crossroads Gallery on Circuit Avenue, photographer Michael Blanchard has opened a new gallery at 93 Dukes County Avenue in Oak Bluffs in 2019. Michael is a well- known Island based photographer who discovered his passion for photography while in recovery for alcohol addiction. Michael expertly captures the beauty of Martha’s Vineyard and shares his inspirational photographs far and wide. According to Michael his photography serves as an expression of the happiness and serenity he feels in the absence of alcohol, and he actively supports others in their fight against addiction. View his work by visiting his Gallery, which also serves as a meeting place for Michael’s fans who find it a safe space to talk about healing from addiction and other life challenges.
If you’re planning a trip to Martha’s Vineyard and you have yet to explore the new Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven you must add it to your itinerary now. This beloved facility sits in a storied building, perched above the Lagoon in Vineyard Haven, having recently completed a massive $31 million restoration project. The Museum offers sweeping water views, an impressive collection of Island history, a cafe featuring local treats and a world class schedule of arts and culture programs. Whether you go for the views, the exhibits, the building itself or the food, just make sure you go!
Location, Location, Location
The Museum is situated overlooking Lagoon Pond and Vineyard Sound in Tisbury, or Vineyard Haven. The campus is a ten minute walk from the Steamship Authority’s Vineyard Haven terminal and an eight minute walk from Five Corners.
The building itself is of historical significance and is a striking property that can’t be missed. A lighthouse once existed on the front terrace and, in 1895, the Coast Guard ordered the construction of a 29-room Marine Hospital on the property later adding onto it in 1938. Before the Museum purchased the property in 2011, the site was owned by the St. Pierre family who operated the St. Pierre School of Sport, a camp that many Island kids visited every summer. Today the Museum features a permanent exhibit “On This Site” which details the life of the building before it became the Museum, where you can listen to oral histories from some of the patients and nurses who spent time there as well as some of the memories of the campers who called this campus home during their childhood summers.
In addition to “On This Site” the Museum offers several other permanent exhibits that highlight fascinating Island history and the impressive collections the Museum has acquired. The Martha’s Vineyard Museum preserves and exhibits fine art, furniture, photographs, textiles, manuscripts, and everyday objects that Vineyarders have made and used.
The museum also offers a regular rotation of current exhibits as well as online exhibits including oral histories from Martha’s Vineyard veterans and fishermen over the years and the remarkable journal of a young girl’s life on a whaling ship in the 1800s among other things.
Programs and Events
In addition to visiting the Museum to tour it’s space and galleries you also have the opportunity to attend special events, classes, exhibit openings and more. Be sure to get on the Museum’s email list to receive updates on what’s happening. Upcoming winter events include:
The Museum Cafe
The cafe is as diverse as the Museum itself, offering a variety of delicious food brought from eateries across the Island. Visitors can access the cafe without paying for entry to the museum, and can enjoy a snack or lunch, while gazing out across Vineyard Haven Harbor and Lagoon. Once inside, visitors to the cafe can’t miss the incredible Fresnel lens hanging above, which was once part of the Gay Head Lighthouse. This spectacular artifact features over 1000 individual glass panes, and is one of only 39 first-order Fresnels remaining in the U.S.
Things to Know When Visiting
Group rates are applicable for parties of 10 or more, and private tours can be arranged with advance notice.
Photos: Courtesy MV Museum
Ah, is there anything more lovely than being swept away to a romantic island for Valentine’s Day? We think not. Martha’s Vineyard oozes with charm and beauty, plus it’s an island after all, so it’s inherently romantic. No bridges or tunnels to get here, so the added treat of a boat or plane is alluring to couples of all kinds. Mid-February on Martha’s Vineyard is calm and quiet, the perfect setting to actually relax, reflect and appreciate your Valentine. The slower pace and welcome peacefulness adds another layer of romance. If you’re considering a jaunt to Martha’s Vineyard this Valentine’s Day here are some tips on making it even more magical.
Where to Stay?
For a truly romantic experience take advantage of the Island’s quaint inns and luxurious hotels.
Nobnocket Boutique Inn is located a short distance from the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal, so it’s convenient, while also being elegant and modern. It prides itself on offering “luxury with a twist” and does not disappoint. For the most romantic room in the house, ask them about the Luxury Grand Room (with fireplace) or a Deluxe Room and add some Champagne and strawberries for an extra special touch.
In Edgartown, The Harbor View Hotel is as spectacular as ever this time of year. With sweeping views of the ocean and Chappaquiddick and only steps from the iconic Edgartown Lighthouse, this newly renovated historic hotel is where glamour meets comfort. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Island while cozied up in one of their impressive suites. Book their Valentine’s Day package and cruise in a luxurious Mercedes-Benz while exploring the Island then end the day with a delicious dinner at their on-site restaurant, Bettini. The package includes chilled Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries delivered to your room upon arrival.
Just up Main Street in Edgartown you’ll find the Edgar Hotel, a newly updated boutique hotel that operates as a member of Choice Hotels International in the Ascend collection. The Edgar Hotel Martha’s Vineyard delivers Island elegance, comfort, and impeccable accommodations to travelers. It boasts on on-site bar and restaurant, Town MV, with live entertainment and nightly specials. You won’t even have to leave the property! For the most walkable option, stay at the Mansion House Hotel and Spa, located just steps from the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal and walking distance to several year round restaurants. This historic property offers a whole host of amenities including a jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and full service spa.
Where to Eat?
This year the Martha’s Vineyard Museum is the place to be for Valentine’s Dinner. Enjoy water views while dining atop the Linnemann Pavilion at the Museum, where you can admire the beautiful 1854 Fresnel Lens. The Lens, which was first installed in the Gay Head Lighthouse, now occupies the Museum like a suspended jewel adorned with 1,008 glass prisms. Enjoy a four-course Valentine's Dinner prepared by Island chefs Kyle Anderson (Kitchen Porch), Kevin Crowell (Detente), Regina Stanley (Art Cliff Diner), and Sean Yancey (West Chop Club) while listening to the enchanting music of Jeremy Berlin and Rose Guerin. Limited tickets available. Reservations required. Members $80, Non-Members $90. Reserve here.
Whether you choose the stay at the Harbor View Hotel or not, the Hotel's own Bettini Restaurant is a must visit during your stay. Their four-course Valentine’s Day dinner includes such scrumptious selections as Cured Hamachi Sashimi, Duck Tournedos, Pumpkin Ravioli, Bitter Cacao Crusted Beef Filet, Yuzu-Kosho Crusted Tasmanian Salmon and more. Dinner is served from 5:30PM-9PM and is offered at $95 per person. Reservations are recommended, call 508-627-3761 or book online here.
What to Do?
Share a relaxing day de-stressing and detoxifying. Join your partner for an invigorating massage or body treatment at one of Martha’s Vineyards finest spas this Valentine’s Day. The Mansion House Spa offers couples massages, as well as hot stone and aromatherapy massages. Sea Spa Salon in Edgartown offers treatments specifically tailored to him and her, including customized facials. Try one of their signature body scrubs and leave feeling softer and more rejuvenated than ever.
Enjoy some of the Island’s most talented musicians for live entertainment that will get you on your feet. Beloved performer Mike Benjamin will be playing acoustic covers of classic hits at the Newes for America Pub in Edgartown from 7 to 9PM. Be sure to grab a seat at the bar and score one of their iconic wooden nickels. The lively duo, Brothers McMahon will steal your heart at the Ritz, where they’ll be performing a mix of rock, pop and classics at the Island’s most storied dive bar.
The real treat this Valentine’s Day (and every day on Martha’s Vineyard!) is the natural beauty of the Island which makes it the most picturesque location for romantic walks along the beach. February may not make for a hot day under the sun, but a bundled up stroll along the sand with your partner is one of the most romantic ways to spend some time together. Plus now’s the time that you can access some of the Island’s most beloved beaches like Lucy Vincent Beach and Lambert’s Cove Beach, which are restricted to town residents in the summer.
How fast time flies, especially when you’re on Martha’s Vineyard! We’re coming to the end of the first month of 2020 and we couldn’t be more excited to be entering into February. Sure, some might say, it’s one of the coldest months on Island but it’s also one of the calmest, most restorative months. Locals and visitors alike take it upon themselves to work on winter projects, catch up on all their reading, connect with friends, and nourish their bodies while preparing for another spring season to awake on Island.
As we mention all these items being checked off, we can see a constant - the subject of self-care, of nourishing, of reflecting on the past and looking towards the future. Martha’s Vineyard Island has become synonymous with summer fun and gorgeous beaches, but the winter is just as fun, albeit a different way. We might not have the ripe, juicy tomatoes from Morning Glory Farm but we appreciate how local Martha’s Vineyard restaurants have stepped up to the plate to bring us fresh, tasty salads that nourish us from within. Below, we’re sharing a few Martha’s Vineyard restaurants that are open at this time of year and serving up salads as fresh as a hot summer day in Katama.
The Barn, Bowl & Bistro
A classic never fails and we go to The Barn, Bowl, & Bistro for a Classic Caesar salad for when you’re craving that traditional combination of creamy dressing and crisp romaine lettuce with crunchy croutons in every bite.
Build on the base of crisp romaine or baby kale with Caesar dressing, croutons and Parmesan cheese, to which you can add chicken, blackened shrimp, steak, and/or anchovies to make it a fully loaded meal! We love that you can switch out the classic romaine for baby kale for an even more nourishing meal.
The Cardboard Box
Aptly named “Today’s Awesome Salad”, this salad at The Cardboard Box changes daily depending on what’s seasonal, local, and available. Did you know that their produce is sourced from Loon Farm, Chilmark, the sole farm providing for their restaurant? We love seeing this hand in hand relationship, where true farm to table is delivered to your plate.
Life at Humphreys
A gorgeous made to order “Slice Salad”. Imagine all this goodness: oven roasted pesto chicken, tomatoes, spiced roasted walnuts, cranberries & Gorgonzola with their house made balsamic dressing. It’s a filling salad that will satisfy your hunger in every bite.
Not only is the salad delicious, but we love the history of its source: Life at Humphreys wasn’t always “Life at Humphreys”. It was the result of a love story between two Vineyard restaurants that needed each other to lift themselves and the Island community up; Humphreys Bakery and Slice of Life Cafe!
The Scottish Bakehouse
This is the latest and greatest salad coming out of The Scottish Bakehouse kitchens and we are here for it. Smashed sweet potato with black lentils, feta cheese, juicy pomegranate seeds, flavorful sautéed kale and a creamy tahini dressing - it all comes together to make the perfect bite. Sweet, savory, salty goodness - what more could you ask for?!
“For Islanders and visitors, this is your one-stop option for any meal or snack on the daily. Many quick to-go choices are available in the fridge along with beverages. Coffees and teas are self-serve and there are newspapers and magazines for purchase to enjoy while sipping your chosen bliss.”
Town Bar & Grill
Don’t you just love when you see a Beet Salad on the menu? Town has one that you’re going to love love love! Made with roasted beets, creamy goat cheese, crunchy candied walnuts, fresh mixed greens, all dressed in a honey balsamic dressing, it’s a classic combination we all love. Beets and goat cheese - whoever discovered that deserves a beach house on Martha’s Vineyard! Another beet salad we love is at...
The Wharf Pub
This beet salad also combines the goat cheese we love with earthy beets, but also includes a sprinkling of dried Cape Cod cranberries, which adds to the sweetness of the salad overall. Two great options for beet salads, right in Edgartown!
Did you or someone you know get engaged over the holidays? It’s a popular time of year to pop the question and Martha’s Vineyard is a popular place to tie the knot. After all, can you imagine a more charming, romantic and unique place to say “I do?” From our beautiful beaches to rolling hills, rustic locations and chic abodes, there’s no better place to celebrate your forever. If you’re dreaming of an Island wedding and ready to start tackling what’s next, we’ve rounded up our tips on initial steps for planning the perfect affair on Martha’s Vineyard, big or small.
Pick a Date or Time of Year
Martha’s Vineyard is a dynamic place that can change significantly from season to season. Generally speaking “wedding season” takes place in the fall and in the spring, when the weather is a bit cooler, vendors are more accessible, and great deals can be had on venues and lodging. If a summer wedding is what you've always dreamed of, you’ll want to plan far in advance as many vendors will book up early and possibly charge a premium for peak season rentals and accommodations. Winter can make for a beautiful event but keep in mind that many businesses and vendors operate seasonally, so be patient when reaching out if you are not receiving automatic responses.
Additionally, weather is a consideration in any location and a Martha’s Vineyard destination wedding can be even more weather sensitive, as windy days can bring ferry cancellations and other obstacles. No matter the time of year you choose for your Martha’s Vineyard wedding, the natural landscape of the Island will provide a fabulous backdrop for your nuptials, rain or shine.
Select a Location
Location, location, location. If you’ve selected Martha’s Vineyard as your wedding location you’ve already selected one of the most beautiful places in the world, congratulations! Now you need to think about the type of environment you envision yourself getting married. Are you looking for a casual, beachy vibe or a more elegant affair?
If the former is what you envision, consider the oceanside Allen Farm in Chilmark, the Sailing Camp in Oak Bluffs, or the Grange Hall or Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. For more formal events the Dr. Daniel Fisher House, Old Whaling Church, Harbor View Hotel and Winnetu Oceanside Resort offer beautiful properties with pristine landscaping and graceful and stylish digs. Other popular locations include the Vineyard’s historic lighthouses, many of which, including the Edgartown Lighthouse, East Chop Lighthouse, and Aquinnah Lighthouse, are available for private events.
Talk to a Wedding Planner
If we can offer one piece of advice, especially to those brides and grooms who do not call Martha’s Vineyard home, it’s to consider a wedding planner. Whether your budget allows you a full-service wedding planner or a more affordable day-of coordinator, the value of wedding planners on Martha’s Vineyard cannot be overstated. These trained professionals are well connected to vendors, know how to navigate the challenges of unpredictable circumstances that may arise, and work incredibly well under pressure. Whether you’re planning a large wedding of 200+ guests or a Martha’s Vineyard elopement there’s a pro ready to help set you up for success. Browse our directory of local wedding pros here.
Consider How You’ll Get Here...
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, Martha’s Vineyard is a true Island, and is accessible by boat or plane only! This means your guests will need to accommodate these factors in their planning and it’s on you to guide them appropriately. When it comes to water travel, the Steamship Authority is the Island’s year-round ferry service and the only fleet that accommodates cars.. Reservations are needed if you or your guests would like to bring a car to the Island. Available space can book-up months in advance, especially in the summer, so plan accordingly. Direct flights to Martha’s Vineyard are available year-round from Boston, New York, NY and Nantucket, and the summer months welcomes direct flights from Washington D.C. and, new in 2020, from Charlotte, NC and Philadelphia, PA.
...and Where You’ll Stay
While getting here is half the fun, once you’re on-Island you’ll need a place to stay. For large groups and wedding blocks consider one of our local hotels including the Summercamp hotel on Oak Bluffs harbor, or the Hob Knob, Harbor View Hotel, Edgar Hotel and Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Edgartown. Some of our historic inns function as wedding venues as well, allowing you to stay and celebrate on property, such as the Beach Plum Inn, Outermost Inn and Captain Flanders House. Many large groups prefer to rent private homes to accommodate guests and our local rental agencies can help recommend the perfect location for your guests. Many homeowners also rent their homes through WeNeedaVacation.com, VRBO, HomeAway and AirBnb as well, allowing you all of the comforts of home at various places across the Island.
Communicate to Your Guests
Once you’ve determined your date, location and lodging we recommend creating a wedding website with all pertinent information as soon as possible for you to share with your guests. Given the additional logistics involved in getting here and the advanced reservations that are often required, you’ll want to make sure your guests can start planning their stays right away. Feel free to share any and all of the helpful content from our website to help inform both yourself and your guests. Good luck and remember to keep calm and plan on!
Though it’s hard to believe we’re ushering in a new decade, Martha’s Vineyard is ready and waiting for you to celebrate with us! From New Year’s Eve themed parties to New Year’s Day brunches there’s no shortage of happenings to ring in 2020.
Here’s a round-up of just some of the things in store for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Eve Day on Martha’s Vineyard.
New Year’s Eve, Tuesday December 31
New Year’s Day, Wednesday January 1
All details subject to change, contact the restaurant for additional details and reservations.
One of the things that makes Martha’s Vineyard such a special place is its people. The sense of community on Martha’s Vineyard is palpable and omnipresent, friends and neighbors come together in good times and bad and every day there is tireless work being done on all fronts to preserve and protect our Island home and its inhabitants. Whether you’re a local, a part-time resident or an occasional visitor if you’ve been moved or inspired by the efforts of one of our local organizations and you’re in the giving spirit we know they’d love your support. We’ve rounded up some of our local organizations that are doing great things and that are accepting donations to support their efforts. If you have the gift of time please inquire about volunteer opportunities too!
The Red Stocking Fund of Martha’s Vineyard
The Red Stocking Fund is a completely volunteer run, non-profit organization that provides food and clothing for families in need for the holidays. Additionally, the Red Stocking Fund provides food when possible through the winters on Martha's Vineyard. The organization depends totally upon donations of toys for kids, newborn to 14 years old. This time of year you can find toy collection boxes at various locations around Martha’s Vineyard and the organization accepts monetary donations as well. Throughout the year various local events also support the Red Stocking Fund, including the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Festival and the Martha’s Vineyard Chili Festival. Contact 508-776-6050 for more information about how to help.
Island Food Pantry
The Island Food Pantry strives to cultivate a healthy, hunger-free community on Martha’s Vineyard. While many people think of Martha’s Vineyard as an affluent community, there are still many families that struggle to meet their basic needs. Anyone who is not financially able to obtain the food they need may use the Island Food Pantry. Together with their many volunteers, partners, and supporters, the Island Food Pantry helps sustain Martha’s Vineyard residents in times of need by providing a dependable source of wholesome food, with the mission that no one should go hungry on Martha’s Vineyard. The Island Food Pantry believes that businesses, nonprofit organizations, churches, schools, residents, seasonal residents, and visitors all have a role to play in reducing food insecurity on Martha’s Vineyard.
Sandy Paws Rescue
Sandy Paws Rescue Inc. is a 501(c)3 non profit organization dedicated to the well-being of family pets in need. Sandy Paws provides pet adoption as well as assistance to families in financial distress and helps to connect pet owners with spay and neuter services. Sandy Paws is a 100% volunteer-only operation, committed to seeing its dogs placed in wonderful forever homes. The organization exists solely on donations as the adoption fees alone do not cover the amount spent on vetting and transporting rescues away from high-kill shelters. In addition to monetary donations, Sandy Paws is often looking for volunteer to help transport animals, write grants, conduct home visits, provide reference checks, foster animals and provide administrative services.
From the end of June to the end of August, volunteer-led Camp Jabberwocky offers children and adults with a wide range of disabilities the chance to enjoy summer in a small family-like community – living together and enjoying jam-packed days filled with adventurous activities and experiences that are safe, empowering, exciting and fun. Campers stay between one and four weeks during which time they enjoy activities and classes on campus and out-and-about in the community of Martha’s Vineyard. According to Camp Jabberwocky no one has ever been turned away for an inability to pay – and it costs the camp in excess of $1,450 per week to provide programming for one camper. Because Jabberwocky is committed to asking campers to pay only what they can afford, it is always seeking donations to offset the cost of programming for its campers.
Island Housing Trust
The Island Housing Trust is a non-profit organization that supports a diverse and vital community on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard by creating and sustaining permanently affordable housing solutions, both rental and ownership. Over the past decade, the Island Housing Trust has provided hope and opportunity to hundreds of low- and moderate- income Island families seeking a dignified solution to their affordable housing needs. Together with its supporters, they work towards a stronger, more resilient and sustainable future for our Island community. Over the past ten years Island Housing Trust has sold and rented 102 homes and apartments to low- and moderate- income families throughout Martha’s Vineyard. The goal is to create 100 new safe, stable, permanently affordable year-round homes by the end of 2020, which could solve nearly half of our Island-wide housing needs within the next five years.
For a full list of organizations you can help support this holiday and throughout the year visit https://firststopmv.org/ an Island-wide guide for local social service resources, programs, activities and opportunities.
We are just a little over a week away from Christmas Day and you might be one of two people:
Once just a holiday item Enchanted Chocolates' special peppermint chocolate treat has returned – but the good news is, it’s now here to stay year-round! The perennially popular 70% cacao chocolate is blended with food grade peppermint essential oil, then sprinkled with crushed candy canes. It’s no wonder it’s one of Emmy’s favorites and now available all year!
Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt
Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt is produced by husband and wife team Heidi Feldman and Curtis Friedman, a tech consultant-turned entrepreneur, farmer and carpenter who share a commitment to local, sustainable food production and a deep love of Martha’s Vineyard. Order online here.
Stefanie Wolf Designs
This is Stefanie Wolf Designs’ Stack Bracelet in Ocean with magnetic closure. This brand-new bracelet design is what happens when Stephanie takes her colorful glass beads and turns them on their side. These boldly colored bracelets are such fun! Closing with a click of a magnet, you'll never fumble to put on yours. Bending gently to fit your wrist, these bracelets fit somewhere between a supple beaded strand and a fixed-shape bangle. The clasp is an unusually strong magnet encased in a wrapping of sterling silver. People can find Stephanie at her store, upstairs at 12 N Water St., open daily 10 am-5 pm as well as online at https://stefaniewolf.com
For the artsy one in your life, get a gift designed by Althea, where all the original designs are created with hand-carved linoleum blocks. Prints, sweatshirts, shirts, and so much more in-store and online.
Blue Wave Body Co.
Bluewave Cosmetics was created out of this spirit: Gwyneth makes every product herself, uses fresh, natural ingredients and oversees every aspect of the product, from concept to shelf. All products satisfy a specific need or desire - whether for something comforting, or innovative, or for something that just smells delicious. And everything she makes works – every ingredient is extensively researched; recipes are tested and retested and new items are constantly added to the collection. Order online by 12/19!
Chappy Wood Company
The trees from which these beautiful gifts are made have been selected from all corners of the Island. Each item is then milled and produced entirely on Chappaquiddick Island, just off Edgartown. The milling, drying and finishing process is intentionally slow, starting with a whole tree as the raw material. Over the course of a few months, that tree is milled, cored, dried, sanded and finished to produce a truly local wood product. All products are finished with food/allergy safe walnut oil and are intended to be used and shared daily. Order online here.
Rachael Cassiani Art
Want a piece of art that reminds you of the Island? Look no further than Rachael Cassiani’s work! The title of this piece is, "Chilmark Sunset" (12"x12") and is available through The Field Gallery. It’s the perfect reminder of those gorgeous Chilmark sunsets. Contact The Field Gallery to purchase her work.
Winter means cozying up over hearty meals and here on Martha’s Vineyard there are still dozens of restaurant ready and waiting to cook you your next best meal. This time of year brings beloved seasonal dishes, popular and affordable dining deals, and unique foodie opportunities you won’t find during the summer months. Whether you’re a local looking for a new haunt this winter or a visitor making the rounds, we’ve compiled some of this season’s most delicious happenings.
Lunch at the Outermost Inn in Aquinnah
Quite possibly the most exciting news in the dining world on Martha’s Vineyard is the addition of lunch at the Outermost Inn in Aquinnah. Known for its spectacular sunsets and world class cuisine, this coveted up-Island restaurant is offering lunch through January 6. If you make it anywhere on this list make sure it’s here. Typically this seasonal restaurant serves dinner and shutters in the fall, but this year they’ve extended their season to offer lunch - and people are raving about it. Served Thursday through Saturday from 11 am to 3 pm and switched out to brunch on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, we have our fingers crossed that they'll keep it going even longer. Get there as soon as you can to savor things like short ribs and fried chicken.
Decadent Dinner Deals at the Harbor View Hotel
If you haven’t visited the new Harbor View Hotel you’re missing out. The recently renovated historic hotel is home to Bettini Restaurant where you'll find acclaimed chef Patrice Martineau (formerly of Daniel Boulud’s “Daniel” restaurant among other notable eateries) serving up some true culinary art. On Tuesdays satisfy your sushi craving with Bettini’s Bento Box Dinner Special. The Bento Box contents varies weekly and includes Miso Soup and a Japanese Fluffy Cheesecake with Green Tea, Yuzu Ice Cream all for $25 per person. For a taste of France, visit Bettini on Thursdays for Raclette Night. Raclette, (a word derived from the French verb racler, meaning, "to scrape") is a traditional meal comprising of Alpine cheeses melted on the wheel and then scraped onto accompaniments, such as potato, vegetables, and meats. The Raclette dinner includes Creme Brûlée for dessert at $25 per person. To say that is a great deal is a serious understatement!
Chef Amy’s Food Truck is Open for Business
Martha’s Vineyard boasts only a handful of food trucks and Chef Amy’s is the new kid on the block. The best part? Chef Amy stays put at her location on Beach Road in Vineyard Haven for all to enjoy this season. Her island inspired menu features favorites like jerk chicken, “bad ass” ribs, butter chicken, chicken gyro, plus fried plantains and other “side kicks.” She also offers fresh, cold pressed juices and a dedicated kids menu.
Oak Bluffs Cardboard Box Now Open Year Round
One of Oak Bluffs’ beloved spots, the Cardboard Box, (from executive chef/owner Ben DeForest of the Red Cat Kitchen and most recently the Oyster Bar 02557) announced it will now be open year round. That means we get a full 12 months of fun, food and revelry on Circuit Avenue!
Happy Hours make for happy times
Now’s the time of year to score cheap (and even free!) food on Martha’s Vineyard. Town Bar & Grill in Edgartown serves free passed apps, like their signature Captain’s Pigs in a Blanket, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-6pm and from 8-10pm for Town Social Hour. If Italian is more your thing, swing by La Soffitta in Vineyard Haven and enjoy half-priced appetizers from 4-6pm on Mondays and Thursdays. Then there’s the beloved waterfront watering hole Lookout Tavern in Oak Bluffs where you can take advantage of their ½ price raw bar and appetizer specials Monday through Friday, until they close for the season on December 31. Shellfish lovers can rejoice knowing they can score local oysters for only $1- and that’s cheaper than we usually pay at the fish markets! Enjoy local oysters at Beach Road in Vineyard Haven for $1 Wednesday to Saturdays at the bar only from 5-6pm. The Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company will also offering $1 local oysters from 4-6pm daily starting in January.
Weekly Dining Specials
Fear not, you can find something delicious and affordable every night of the week no matter your preference or budget. Our local restaurants keep things interesting and accessible for locals and visitors alike. One thing is for certain, you won’t leave hungry when savoring these great deals and discounts!
During the holiday season, more and more friends and family have started gifting the gift of an experience. As you’ll discover, people love to be on the receiving end of these experience gifts! Make this type of gift giving even more welcome by giving an experience that takes place on Martha’s Vineyard – after all, who doesn’t want a gift that brings them closer to the Island? These Vineyard experiences are varied, so there’s something for everyone on your holiday list. From the foodie to the art lover and the adventure seeker, we hope you create new and fun experiences with friends and family this holiday season and in the new year to come!
Membership to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum
The gift of a membership to Martha’s Vineyard Museum is such a great gift for anyone - whether they live on Island or not. All membership levels include:
Grey Barn Bread Program Winter 2020
For the bread lover in your life who lives on Martha’s Vineyard the Grey Barn & Farm offers the perfect gift. The twelve weeks of wonderful, certified organic bread made for you right at the farm brings the following: “Each week you [or the person you gift this to] will receive two breads. Enjoy one of our core sourdough loaves in rotation (Whole Wheat Boule, White Batard, Japanese Milk Bread or our Herb and Polenta Bread); and take home and indulge yourself in one additional artisanal loaf. May include Seasonal Brioche, Seasonal Levain, and other bakery creations that include our farm's local and certified organic products.”
A Grey Barn swag bag is included so that you [or the recipient] have something in which to take your lovingly made bread home, protected from the elements.
Membership to The Trustees
Share your love and support of land conservation and the outdoors: your friend or loved one will enjoy the many benefits of a gift of Membership to The Trustees. The family membership ($70, fully tax deductible) includes:
ResortMan Martha’s Vineyard Luxury Transportation Services’ All Island Tour
A four-hour Island tour with ResortMan is the perfect way to share the Island with your loved ones! This tour exclusively features the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, where visitors will be introduced to Martha’s Vineyard’s 100 square miles and 6 unique towns through its history and special points of interest. Enjoy the best of the Island in luxury and comfort. ResortMan has a variety of tours, including custom tours so make sure to contact them for specific details and to book!
Sponsor an Alpaca
For the alpaca lover in your life, one of the best gifts comes straight from Island Alpaca! Participation in the program will help keep the alpacas healthy, happy and well fed! Of course, Island Alpaca hopes you can meet the alpacas in person and select the one you’ll want to call your own and sponsor. Or, view their characteristics on the Island Alpaca website sales pages. Since each alpaca has its very own unique personality, why not choose the one that best suits the person you are gifting it to? Such a fun gift idea!
For the food lover in your life, an experience with Farm.Field.Sea. is a must. Whether you choose tickets to an oyster farm tour & sunset sail or passes to the Martha’s Vineyard Oyster Festival, this organization is known for its brilliantly curated experiences that focus on the farm-to-table and sea-to-table movement.
Island Spirit Full Day Kayak Tour
For the friend or family member who loves being on the water, a Full Day Kayak Tour is the perfect gift idea. Lunch picnic, and snacks provided - a true sea kayaking experience to remote locations! Departure points based on wind and tides. Full Day locations include Aquinnah loop around the cliffs; Edgartown to the Chappaquiddick ‘Gut’; one-way Tashmoo to Menemsha drift or East and West Chop day in the rip! For the adventurous, this is the perfect gift for summer 2020!
Art Class at Featherstone Center for the Arts
For the creative spirit in your life, a class at Featherstone Center for the Arts is a great idea! Featherstone has all types of classes, not limited to jewelry, art therapy, literary arts, music, painting, mixed media, printmaking, stained glass, technology, as well as art nights.
View all available classes here.
Vineyard Trust Membership and/or Tickets for Taste of the Vineyard
If you’re gifting to someone over the age of 21, a membership to the Vineyard Trust AND tickets to Taste of the Vineyard would be a dream come true! As a bonus, your gift of a Friends Circle membership provides vital support for Vineyard Trust’s ongoing preservation work across the Island. For more than 40 years, the Trust has acquired, preserved and managed 20 endangered historical landmarks across Martha’s Vineyard, restoring living institutions to their rightful place in Island life.
In addition to the knowledge that you are helping to keep Martha’s Vineyard authentic, you will receive the following tangible benefits:
Happy Holidays and Happy Gifting to You All!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Thursday, December 12th through Sunday, December 15th, the town of Edgartown, located “down Island” on Martha’s Vineyard, is hosting their 38th Annual Christmas in Edgartown.
Voted Best of the Vineyard for the fifth year in a row, Christmas in Edgartown is a 4-day festival you don’t want to miss! Every year through the various events, Christmas in Edgartown helps raise over $50,000 for Island-wide charities and nonprofits. It’s really a community-driven event that is filled with holiday cheer for all - and the money raised helps everyone in the community have a merrier holiday season.
Over 100 Edgartown and Island businesses participate in the weekend festivities, events are listed on the Christmas in Edgartown website - come be a part of the holiday magic! What’s great is that HyLine is running a High Speed Ferry direct to Edgartown from Hyannis for Christmas In Edgartown, so make sure to check out that schedule and enjoy the fun and merriment. The Steamship Authority will be running their regular service from Woods Hole, so that’s another option. Maybe you’ll see Santa and some reindeer on the ferry this year?
Don’t Miss These Signature Christmas in Edgartown Events!
Late Night Lights on Main Street: Let evening shop lights entice you in during Christmas in Edgartown Late Night Lights on Main. To kick-off Christmas in Edgartown, stores will be open until 8 pm on Thursday for you to focus on holiday shopping before the busy weekend of festivities begin. Come early, stay late, and hop between parties, sales, discounts with a drink or appetizer in between.
Kick off Christmas in Edgartown with Rockland Trust! A traditional kick off to Christmas in Edgartown, the Rockland Trust Party is not to be missed. Come join us for delicious bites, wine, cheese, music and giveaways. Please call 508-627-7038 with your questions.
Martha's Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite: Join Point B Realty in celebrating their ninth enchanting year. The Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser is a magical holiday tradition where family memories are made, and the money raised goes to help the Martha’s Vineyard Boys and Girls Club. Each year, our family of bears, dressed in holiday splendor, bring the magic of the season to all those who visit. Suggested donation of $5 benefits the Martha's Vineyard Boys & Girls Club. Please call 508-627-4567, ext 807 with questions.
Lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse: Don’t miss this time-honored tradition! Edgartown’s version of a tree lighting is full of seaside village charm. The magical event is brought to you by the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Viewing festivities will be hosted by the Harbor View Hotel.
Donaroma’s Joy to the World! After the summer sun and brilliant shades of autumn have passed, we celebrate the holidays with our Evening of Enchantment, a stroll through our magically decorated Donaroma’s Nursery and Garden Store. This year we have the pleasure to celebrate “Joy to the World” with our beautiful community. Come join us for a few wondrous hours for the whole family to enjoy and capture the spirit of the season. Donations benefit the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club.
Holiday Cocktail Party at the Dr. Daniel Fisher House: Enjoy fine libations and passed hors d’oeuvres at the historic Dr. Daniel Fisher House. Ticket price $75 per person (21+) Tickets purchased after December 1st may be picked up at the Dr. Daniel Fisher House. Please contact the Vineyard Trust for details: 508-627-4440.
27th Annual Christmas in Edgartown Art and Crafts Festival: This year's annual Holiday Art and Crafts Festival will again be showcasing the work of over 40 Island artists and craftspeople. Free parking on site. Come take care of all your holiday shopping. Food is available and parking is free. Benefiting Edgartown School 8th grade class trip to Washington DC. For questions about the event or how to be a vendor, please call Fran at 508-560-6721.
Plum Hill School Annual Elves Faire: Crafts, Decorate a Gingerbread House, Silent Auction, Holiday Gifts, Delicious Hot Food and Drink. Proceeds benefit the Plum Hill School. Please email email@example.com with questions.
Christmas in Edgartown Parade: Not quite the 4th of July, but it is a strong runner-up! Join the fun to see floats, animals, music, dancers, kids, fire engines, and of course Santa. The parade will take place on Main Street between Peases’ Point Way and Water Street.
The 35th Annual Great Chowder Contest: The Great Chowder Contest crowns the best clam chowder and the best seafood chowder made on Martha's Vineyard. Under the tent on Winter Street in Edgartown, more than a dozen professionals, restaurants and individuals vie for the title of best clam or best seafood chowder. Admission is $10 per person which entitles you to a sample of each of these delicious chowders. All benefits from ticket sales go to The Red Stocking Fund. Online ticket sales here.
MVRHS Minnesingers Concerts at the Old Whaling Church: $15 per adult, $10 seniors & students. Children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult but must have a physical Free Ticket for admittance. Tickets available for purchase after Thanksgiving at The Carnegie (Edgartown), Alley's General Store (West Tisbury), Leslie’s Pharmacy (Vineyard Haven), Our Market (Oak Bluffs) or at the door. Please call 508-627-4440 with your questions.
Teddy Bear Trot Holiday 5K Run & Walk: The Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club, in conjunction with Point B Realty, is happy to be sponsoring the 5th Annual Teddy Bear Trot 5K and Fun Run, part of the Martha's Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite, as well as the Christmas in Edgartown festivities. Awards will be given for age groups, as well as festive dress. Participants of all ages and levels are encouraged to participate and dress as festively as possible. Dogs and strollers are welcome! To register today, click here. Entrance fee is $25 for pre-registration, and $30 race day. Kids' fun run registration is $10. All proceeds go to the Club’s Happy Healthy Kids program, an after-school program which provides free food to hundreds of Island children each week and is the focus of the Martha's Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite fundraiser. This year, the Teddy Bear Suite has a fundraising goal of $45,000, which will underwrite the Health Happy Kids program. Join us for this cornerstone event of Christmas in Edgartown weekend! For information, visit https://mvteddybearsuite.com/.
Photos: Joshua Robinson-White, Vineyard Lights
The Martha's Vineyard Oyster Fest celebrates all things seafood, with something for everyone. Meet local oyster growers, gatherers, chefs, sommeliers, brewers, and mixologists as they share what they love to do. Eat local seafood, drink fine wine and local brews, groove to live music, learn about the superpowers of oysters. Let it all go, with fellow merrymakers, for some real good, salty fun. Tickets on sale here.
The festival will take place on May 8th and 9th, 2020, at the new Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven. We caught up with one of the founders of the Oyster Festival, Nevette Previd, and asked her a few questions about her oyster loving life!
What is it about oysters and the shellfish industry that excites you the most?
Oysters/Shellfish have superpowers! And, a trifecta of positive impact. They are a delicious, healthy, versatile protein source, they work to mitigate the effects of humans and climate change on our local waters and have played a positive role in improving the local economy of the Island via the boom of oyster farming. Amazing!
It's an oyster and wine festival - so tell us, what would be your ideal wine for Island oysters?
My obvious, ideal wine for oysters is Veuve Clicquot (anytime really). I also love Naissance Sauvignon Blanc from Jackson Family Wines or any Rosé. According to my co-producer John Clift, sommelier, and owner of MV Vintage Wines - Muscadet makes for a 'heavenly pairing' that makes oysters 'dance.' For fried or cooked oysters, my go-to is Brewer Clifton Chardonnay.
Did you grow up eating oysters? Can you recount an early oyster experience you had?
No! But my son has downed raw oysters and clams like a champ since he was two years old. My first experience with oysters was when I lived in London. On one fateful day, under a little friendly prodding from friends, I tried raw oysters, escargot, steamers, and sushi - and I never looked back.
Fun That Fuels the Future
The Martha’s Vineyard Oyster Fest (MVOF) is a mission-based festival that aims to drive long-term local, regional, and national awareness of Martha's Vineyard and Massachusetts-farmed oyster and native fish profiles.
Founded by Nevette Previd of Farm.Field.Sea., the Martha's Vineyard Shellfish Group (MVSG), and John Clift of the MV Wine Festival and purveyor of Vintage MV Wine & Spirits and 19 Raw, the festival gathers oyster farmers, the who’s who in the beverage industry, the area’s best chefs, and a fantastic cadre of special guests, to celebrate the bounty from the sea.
They aim to quench the ever-growing appetite for a cultural event that marries food, wine, education, and music. They hope guests take away a deeper understanding of this incredible class of mollusks, Bivalvia—their culinary versatility, health benefits, and real, positive environmental and ecosystem impact.
A portion of the MVOF proceeds will go to the Martha’s Vineyard Shell Recovery Partnership. This MVSG program reduces and recycles shell waste on the Island, provides a local source of shell for shellfish restoration, and improves shellfish production, which in turn improves local water quality. All shells from the MVOF will be recycled through this program.
Make sure to check out ticket sales online here and start planning your bivalve adventure to Martha’s Vineyard next May 2020!
It’s fall on Martha’s Vineyard and with the seasons changing, so do restaurant menus. Today, we’re getting really hungry by sharing “The Most Delicious Fall Restaurant Dishes on Martha’s Vineyard!"
When you think of the Fall season on Martha’s Vineyard and most of New England, you think of warm, grounding foods that take the chill off because, as we all know, the warmer temperatures aren’t around anymore and we’re trying to stay as cozy as possible.
The Squash Soup with Pumpkin Seed, Aleppo Pepper, and Brioche Croutons is one that will warm you up from head to toe. It’s the ideal way to start a meal at this Edgartown restaurant, as it is light enough to indulge in.
The Barn, Bowl, and Bistro
For those that want something healthy and fresh, but at the same time full of Fall flavors, this salad from the Barn is delightful: Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad combine with red cabbage, candied pecans, dried cranberries and blue cheese crumbles tossed in a lemon vinaigrette.
Treat yourself to dinner at this gorgeous Edgartown restaurant and check out their new Fall menu. The coziest dish? The Braised Short Ribs, which are slowly coaxed to tenderness in red wine jus and served with the creamiest mashed potatoes and confit carrots.
The Cardboard Box
Nothing says cozy and comfort like these crispy servings of buttermilk-ed, 1/2 fryer chickens with sweet cornbread cast iron skillet, luscious braised collards and a honey-chili butter that will have you licking your fingers!
You might not think eggplant as a fall ingredient, but it’s actually in season until late October so we love that we can include it in this roundup. Head to Vineyard Haven and get the Garlic Eggplant from Copper Wok and you won’t be disappointed. Plus, garlic is a great ingredient to keep your immune system strong and healthy this time of year!
The Fish House MV
With a tempting selection of grab and go items for dinner you can choose from local lamb or veggie shepherd’s pie, veggie or chicken pot pie, mac and cheese and lobster mac and cheese. All homemade, they are the perfect quick meal when you don’t have time to cook before the early winter darkness settles in right around 4 pm.
Life at Humphrey’s
Hungry for lunch? Try their Garden Harvest veggie sandwich! Roasted carrot purée, roasted butternut squash, red peppers, red onions, lettuce, cucumbers spread with an amazing cranberry goat cheese and topped with walnuts, this sandwich is healthy, filling, and bursting with textures.
On Upper Main Street in Edgartown is Lucky Hank’s, which you might think about for breakfast but, you’ll happily discover, serves up some amazing lunches and dinners as well. Check out its Morning Glory Farm Candy Roaster Squash and Roasted Garlic Soup with shredded Morning Glory Farm kale, Gala apple, toasted almonds, and a goat cheese crouton. What’s not to love?!
The Newes From America Pub
For those craving pasta, another great option is the Roasted Butternut Squash ravioli with sage cream, toasted pecans, and cider syrup from this historic Edgartown pub.
Town Bar & Grill
These Squash Ravioli are served with a luscious sage brown butter sauce and sprinkled with maple-bourbon soaked cranberries, Parmesan cheese, and candied walnut crumbs for some texture. The squash filling inside the ravioli is so creamy and delicious, you’ll want to order this one every time you visit!
Now, if you’re not looking to stay cozy but are still hungry, make sure to check out our other foodie blog posts linked below:
WHERE TO FIND THE BEST FRIED SEAFOOD ON MARTHA’S VINEYARD
FINDING THE BEST BURGER ON MARTHA’S VINEYARD
WHERE TO EAT THE BEST PIZZA ON MARTHA’S VINEYARD
Spending Thanksgiving on Martha’s Vineyard is a fun way for family and friends to reconnect on this quintessential American holiday. If you’re coming from the mainland, it’s a great holiday during which to spend some time on Island when it’s a bit more relaxed and calm, hotel rates are a tad lower and the overall energy of the Island is tranquil and serene.
So for this year, forget about cooking at home and plan a family getaway to Martha’s Vineyard for Thanksgiving 2019. We’ve put together a delicious list of options, whether you want to dine out that day or order catered food to bring home to your vacation home or rental, we have it all! At the end of this blog post, we are also sharing a hotel package designed especially for enjoying a leisurely holiday, so make sure to check it out!
Where Dine Out on Thanksgiving Day on Martha’s Vineyard
Bettini Restaurant at The Harbor View Hotel
Indulge in a Grand Buffet - $79 Adult │ $35 Children 12 and under--excluding tax and gratuity. Among the multiple offerings are:
Herb and Citrus Roasted Turkey, Classic Gravy, Cranberry Chutney;
Slow Baked New York Sirloin, Green Peppercorn, Sautéed Mushrooms;
Crispy Pork Belly, Dried Fruit Compote, Quince Glaze;
Roasted Salmon, Fall Root Vegetables, Hollandaise;
and a Rigatoni Bolognese Gratin, Pesto, Parmesan
View full menu online here.
Call to make reservations: 508-627-3761
The Black Dog Tavern
Offering a Thanksgiving buffet ($46 for adults, $20 for kids) Enjoy all the fixin's of a homemade Thanksgiving dinner while taking in the extraordinary view of Vineyard Haven Harbor from the cozy Tavern. The traditional Thanksgiving buffet dinner includes: Fresh Herb-Roasted Turkey, Roasted Prime Rib, House-made Bread Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Candied Yams, Green Beans, Sweet Corn, Turkey Gravy, Cranberry Relish, Fresh Dinner Rolls, Bakery-made Pies & Desserts. Dinner seatings at Noon, 2pm & 4pm
Call to make reservations: 508-693-9223
Three seatings staggered from 1pm-7pm. Three courses; choice of two soups, four apps, three entrees (Turkey, Lobster or Venison) price based on entree.
Three course meal, including turkey and the fixings.
Call to make reservations: 508-939-4082
The Terrace at the Charlotte Inn
Offering a $99 pre fixe menu, treat yourself and the family to a luxurious dinner at the Island’s only Relais & Chateau property.
Call to make reservations: 508-627-68227
Woods at Lambert’s Cove Inn
Woods will be doing a buffet style dinner 12pm-6pm, with the last seating at 6pm. Adults are $65 per person and kids are $20 per child. They will also start taking orders for catered dinners now through Wednesday, November 20th. Catered dinners can also be a la carte; these will be priced per-person as well and can accommodate all-sized parties. For your sweet tooth, they will be selling pumpkin and apple pies for $30, beginning on Friday, November 15th.
Call to make reservations: 800-535-0272
Where to Get a Thanksgiving Meal - To Go - on Martha’s Vineyard
Call to order: 508-693-4786
Menus and ordering at: www.theblackdog.com
Black Sheep Mercantile
The menu at the Black Sheep looks delicious and offers the perfect variety of tasty items that you just to warm up and serve! Items like roasted leek dip, butternut gruyere scones, Boursin Yukon Gold mashed potatoes, and so much more to delight those at your table this year!
Call to Order: 508-338-7770
Golden Bull Brazilian Steak House
Order ahead to take out or dine in at the restaurant, open on Thanksgiving Day 11am-10pm with turkey added to the buffet.
Call to order: 508-338-7836
Call to order: 508-645-5000
Menus and ordering at: kitchenporch.com
Life at Humphrey's
This Thanksgiving indulge in all those favorite 'sides that make Thanksgiving everyone's favorite holiday! From refreshing salad starters, classic stuffing recipes, veggies that are all dressed up for the festivities and on to turkey and desserts that will push the limits of your appetite, Life at Humphrey's offers a feast to remember without the fuss. Be sure to ask about special pricing if you're celebrating with a crowd. Orders in by November 24th please!
Order your catered meal from Scottish Bakehouse and dine on Kale & Brussels Salad; Mashed Island Root Veggies, The Good Farm island Raised Turkey and so much more!
Call to order: 508-693-6633
Menus and ordering at: scottishbakehousemv.com
Stay for the Long Holiday!
Book a luxurious 2019 Thanksgiving getaway with the Nobnocket Inn in Vineyard Haven and enjoy a three-night stay in a Luxury Grand guest room with king bed, gourmet breakfast every morning, a welcome glass of champagne, and a Thanksgiving celebration meal at Bettini in Edgartown. Spend the days strolling the towns and discovering new shops and restaurants along the way, while being thankful to be on this gorgeous Island. To book, click here
Business women on Martha’s Vineyard come from all different industries and today, we’re showcasing just a few of the women that make this Island the inclusive, creative, and successful place it is.
Knowing that 33 percent of businesses in Massachusetts are owned by women, it’s safe to say that overall, women-owned businesses everywhere are developing more and more daily. Whether it’s a full-time job or a “side hustle,” we’re seeing more of it and we’re here to support it.
“Part-time entrepreneurship is often called “sidepreneurship.” The rate of growth in the number of sidepreneurs is far greater than for all ventures. This reflects the proliferation of ways in which adults can earn money on the side and increasing ease in finding these opportunities.” - A Changing World: The Shifting Gig Economy In 2019,” Ben Walker, Forbes, May 10, 2019
Realizing the economic potential of women-owned businesses (because it is an industry that nationwide generates a revenue of $1.9 trillion), policies, practices, and attitudes need to shift for us to succeed. The women we’re recognizing below are all movers and shakers on Island, working on their goals and dreams, individually but at the same time collectively, collaborating for a better Martha’s Vineyard.
Guinevere Cramer, social media manager for Point B Realty
“This Island is incredible but it's the people that truly make it special. Through thick and thin, so many of us work together and support each other - whether it's to help a non-profit, a fellow business or even one of our schools’ PTOs, our sense of community seems limitless. I am so lucky to be a part of the magic.”
Althea Freeman, local artist who creates designs on hand carved linoleum blocks and owner of Althea Designs
“I love that the community and the natural beauty of the Island nurtures and inspires creative minds.”
Annabelle Hunton, owner of the Nobnocket Boutique Inn
“I love that Martha’s Vineyard has this rich heritage of embracing creativity, diversity and local ownership, all of which makes it incredibly rewarding to develop an Island business. Connections and personal relationships are so key to succeeding here, and that in turn opens up so many opportunities to make an impact by getting directly involved in the community."
Susie Nedley, founder Bee Well MV and clinical herbalist
“Bee Well’s relationship with the Island is so beautiful in the way that I get to connect people back to nature as their healer. A lot of wild medicinal herbs grow in sidewalks here, never mind the fields and forests that are lush with native traditionally used herbs. The plants are our allies and are very much part of our thriving Island community and I am grateful to be a connector.”
Teri Pirozzi, co-founder of Experience MV and Resortman
“What makes doing business on the Island so unique is that the business community is so supportive – everyone looks to network and help each other grow their businesses – everyone seems to champion everyone else’s success – truly a “rising tide lifts all boats” business community!”
Nevette Previd, founder of Farm Field Sea and the Martha’s Vineyard Oyster Festival
“Martha’s Vineyard is a magical campus for out-of-the-box experiences. At each turn there is a new story to tell - sea+soil farmers excited to share generations of hands-on knowledge, and chefs seeking new ways to prepare local ingredients, and hungry guests craving to expand their food adventures beyond their local farmers market. We are living the dream here on the Vineyard, I really love sharing it with others.”
Erin Ready, executive director of the Edgartown Board of Trade; and co-owner of Edgartown Meat and Fish Market
“I really enjoy working in a small community, where 'Island life' is something you immediately have in common with others. That being said, I'm often surprised and intrigued to learn of individual serendipitous journeys to the Island and Interesting experiences from past lives. It is always incredible to me what Islanders and Wash-A-Shores alike bring to the table when you sit down in a group. While this is not unique to our Island, it is amplified because we are in a smaller community that happens to be an off-the-beaten-path destination.”
CJ Rivard, MV Camp Meeting Association and WILD – Women in Learning & Leadership Development
“One thing I enjoy about working on Martha’s Vineyard, all times of the year, is that people are genuinely happy and excited to be here. It makes it easy to love what I do!”
India Rose, owner of We Hustle & Thrive Consulting, specializes in creating 12 month revenue streams in seasonal economies, strategic event activations, individual goal setting and time management workshops and diversity and inclusion business planning and human resource efforts.
“What I love most about working with the small business community on the Island, is finding creative ways to create 12-month revenue streams. As a seasonal economy, we can all relate to the seasonal struggles; but those struggles also bring us together in a lot of productive ways and I absolutely love it.”
Next time you visit the Island, make sure to scout out some of these and other women- owned businesses and support them!
Small Business Saturday is an American shopping holiday held on the Saturday following US Thanksgiving and Black Friday - one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. This Saturday is always the last one in November, falling between November 24 and November 30. This year (2019), it happens on Saturday, November 30th and shoppers on Martha’s Vineyard couldn’t be more excited!
As an Island community, we depend on both local and visitor spending to help sustain our economy and the best way to accomplish this is by shopping at locally owned, Island businesses. Owned and run by people that live on the Island, these Martha’s Vineyard business owners earn their livings on the Island and live with their families on the Island. They comprise the fabric of the Island’s community. What makes Martha’s Vineyard such a special place aren’t just the beaches and lobster rolls, but the kind people you meet in stores and on the sidewalks. It’s the people that take a moment out of their day to point visitors in the right direction, the ones that recommend their favorite restaurants and shops.
Shopping locally something everyone can do to keep a community thriving. The list below is divided up into main towns and areas on Martha’s Vineyard. We’ve not just listed retail shops, but coffee shops, bed & breakfasts, and more! Check out this sampling of local small businesses, and please pay a visit to our online directory for a list of all Island businesses who will be on hand to welcome you on the upcoming Small Business Saturday!
UP ISLAND (AQUINNAH, CHILMARK & WEST TISBURY)
Nothing says v-a-c-a-tion like a good book! Whether on the beach and in the sun, or beside a fireplace cuddled up, when we see visitors get off the boat with books in hand or see them browsing the shelves of bookstores looking for that one perfect vacation read, our book-loving hearts rejoice.
This post is for those not only looking for local bookshops to browse, we’ve also curated a list of Little Free Libraries on the Island, spots where you can read a book with not a soul to disturb you, and overall, just give a few tips and ideas on where to get books and read them. We’ve also reached out to local author, Crispin Haskin and asked him to share his favorite bookworm spots on the Island.
Little Free Libraries on Island
These little libraries can be found across the world and we are happy to have two of them on the Island. Pick up a book, trade in a book, leave a book after you’ve read it - all based on the honor system. Book lovers unite!
This Little Free Library is located at a newly renovated public boat dock and boat launching ramp at the Lake Street Landing on Tashmoo, Vineyard Haven, Martha's Vineyard. The addition of a bench alongside the Little Library gives kids and adults a place to rest or to select a book while waiting for their boat to come in. This Library is made of 95% recycled materials and decorated by some young friends.
Located in the heart of Oak Bluffs on the Island of Martha's Vineyard, you are welcome to ‘take a book, leave a book’ at this Little Free Library which is kept and curated by the Oak Bluffs Public Library, located about a 10-minute walk away, at 56R School Street.
All six towns on Martha’s Vineyard have their own libraries, and each is worth a visit from traveling bookworms!
Nothing says vacation like packing up your book and a snack and heading to the nearest or most favorite beach to read for a few hours under the sun.
“Books and beaches are a natural for me. I love to head up-island early in the morning and read on Moshup Beach. If I'm staying down-Island, I'll take the ’On Time’ ferry to Chappaquiddick and read on the beach across from the Edgartown Lighthouse. That's Vineyard paradise right there,” states Crispin Haskins, author of five books that are all about the VIneyard. His fifth book, Dead and Buried, just came out last week and it’s another stellar read - head to your favorite beach and read Crispin’s latest!
Reading by the Fire
What is it about reading by the fireplace on a cool night that makes us feel so cozy? Grab a book and head to your choice of the following Island spots which host great roaring fires-season and weather permitting. In Edgartown you’ll find a welcoming blaze at the Newes Pub, Harbor View Hotel and Town Bar & Grill; in Oak Bluffs, the fireplace at Offshore Ale awaits.
Support Our Local Bookstores
Bunches of Grapes has been serving booklovers on the Island of Martha's Vineyard for over 40 years. This independent, locally-owned bookstore is located in the heart of Vineyard Haven on Martha's Vineyard. Catering to a community of writers and readers, it features a carefully curated selection of the finest books and sidelines, and hosts author events year-round.
Edgartown Books is Martha's Vineyard's other independently owned bookstore. Browse two floors of books, relax in the secluded courtyard garden, indulge in great "people watching" from its front porch and enjoy its renowned customer service. If you like to do your reading in a café setting, you’re in luck - one of the Island's best coffee shops and restaurants, Behind the Bookstore, is located in the book shop’s own backyard!
Martha’s Vineyard is a happening place around the holidays and Halloween is no exception! From kids’ craft and costume workshops to spook-tacular late night parties for the big kids there are all sorts of fang-tastic events going on. Here’s a roundup of local happenings this Halloween on Martha’s Vineyard. Come one, come all and have a (bloody) ball!
Friday, October 18
A Spook-tacular Event, 2:40-4pm, West Tisbury School. Join the West Tisbury School PTO, Felix Neck Sanctuary and the Trustees of Reservations in celebrating the spookiest time of the year. Learn about bats and play harvest games, pumpkin painting, bake sale, costume swap, face painting, live music by the Pinkletinks and free apple cider if you bring your own mug!
Saturday, October 19
Morning Glory Pumpkin Festival: The largest farm on Martha’s Vineyard hosts this lively free festival each year, complete with pumpkin games, hay rides, live music, and all things pumpkin. It’s not so much about Halloween but it will get you in the mood for all things Fall!
Thursday, October 24
Halloween Craft: Spooky Ghosts: Join the Oak Bluffs Library in making Spooky Ghosts with cheesecloth, balloons and glue. Pre-registration required. 6-7:30pm.
Jazen Art Party: Paint a Halloween inspired picture of a “White Pumpkin Patch” alongside instructor Naomi. Bring friends, food and drink, listen to music and unwind while celebrating the season. 6pm.
Friday, October 25
An Interactive Screening of “Hocus Pocus”: Head on over to the West Tisbury Library for an interactive screening of one of the most beloved Halloween movies “Hocus Pocus.” Costumes are welcome and treats will be provided! 3:30 – 5 pm.
Saturday, October 26
Kids’ Halloween Party: The annual Oak Bluffs Library Halloween party returns! Venture into the spooky tunnel through the stacks, enjoy eerie games, and a craft. Kids are welcome to show up in costume. 10-11:30am.
Trick or Treat in the Stacks: Edgartown Library gets spooky and welcomes all to come the Library to give your Halloween costume a trial run. The Children's Room is decorated for the occasion and treats for all. There will be crafts, and prizes for everyone in a costume. 10:30am-12pm.
The Atlantic Fish and Chop House’s Annual Halloween Party: Join the Atlantic in celebrating Halloween during its last night of the season. Scary costumes encouraged. After all, as they say, it’s “where the pretty people go to get ugly.”
Annual Halloween Party at The LOFT: Come out for the Island’s largest Halloween costume party with prizes and all the hoopla at The LOFT in Oak Bluffs.
Sunday, October 27
Happy Haunting: This event encompasses Edgartown’s annual Halloween festivities, and things can get spooky. Visit downtown Edgartown for some Halloween fun, while little ghosts and goblins trick-or-treat from business to business. Sponsored by the Edgartown Board of Trade. 12–3pm.
Wednesday, October 30
Halloween Movie Screening: What movie you ask? Don't say his name three times or he'll appear and cause mayhem. Free. Popcorn and candy provided. Costumes encouraged. 5pm.
Thursday, October 31
Trick or treating on Martha’s Vineyard can be few and far between given the rural landscape of the Island and limited walkable neighborhoods. For those looking to go door to door Vineyard Ave. in Oak Bluffs is a popular destination as well as William Street and Franklin Street in Vineyard Haven, where streets are closed off to ensure safety. Downtown Vineyard Haven is also a popular trick or treat trail, as costumed kids are invited to visit local businesses in pursuit of something sweet.
Trick or Treat at the Vineyard Haven Library: The Library will be open late for Halloween so families can take a break from trick-or-treating and enjoy cider and candy provided by the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Library. 5–8pm.
Halloween Party with Dock Dance Band: Enjoy this annual costume party at the Port Hunter in Edgartown before they close for the season. Featuring the live music of the Dock Dance Band. 10pm.
DJ AP at The Ritz. Halloween is always a hoot at The Ritz. Dance to the tunes of DJ AP and get ghoulish! 10:30pm.
Annual Halloween Party at The LOFT: Come out (again!) for the Island’s largest Halloween costume party with prizes and all the hoopla at The LOFT in Oak Bluffs.
Friday, November 1
Dance Party for Habitat of Humanity, PA Club, Oak Bluffs. Prizes for best mask, makeup and costume. Costumes optional. Music by Gordon Healy. 7:30–10:30pm.
Dressing for Success
Need help getting your costume together? Want to go DIY instead of store bought? Local libraries are offering costume clinics to help you put finishing touches on your costume, and helping kids turn their imagination into handmade Halloween fun.
The West Tisbury Library is offering you the opportunity to brainstorm and troubleshoot your Halloween costume Saturday, October 19 from 10:30-12:30pm. Make a costume for yourself or help a friend make a costume. Bring your ideas and any special materials or use what they have. All ages are welcome, even grownups.
The Aquinnah Library is also offering a Costume Clinic to help guide you through the costume planning and making process Saturday, October 19 from 12–3pm.
The Vineyard Haven Library hosts its Costume Clinic and Bag Decorating event on Wednesday, October 30 from 3:30–5pm. Get ready for Halloween by making some finishing touches to your costume and/or get help with last-minute costumes. You can also make some bags for trick-or-treating or for every day.
Going out for drinks on vacation is a must - whether you’re drinking alcohol or not, so it should come as no surprise that Martha’s Vineyard has its fair share of cocktail and mocktail destinations and drink lists. Offering a wide array of places to drink - from an in-town outdoor patio, a rooftop deck overlooking the harbor, or a cozy table snugged up close to a blazing fireside, the Island has it all. For non-drinkers, the following list notes the spots that excel in crafting enticing non-alcoholic beverages. Enjoy!
Indulge in their “No Buzz” selection if you’re a non-drinker; among the offerings is the tempting Stone Fruit Spritz made with mango puree, citrus, sage syrup, and soda (yum!!!). For those of you that do drink, they have a “Tried and True” section along with “Seasonally Inspired” drinks that change, you guessed it, with the seasons. Their Espresso Martini is one locals rave about, along with their famous Mojito.
Explore the cocktail menu at Atria and be dazzled by the creative drinks offered by its team of bartenders. A must is the Sparkling Sangria that’s made with Myers Rum, St. Germain, Canton, Lambrusco, and oranges. You can get it by the glass or the liter! For the non-drinkers, the mocktail menu has six gorgeous beverages that you’ll love. Our favorite? The Midnight Renewal made with strawberry lemonade, basil, activated charcoal, lemon, and honey.
Pan-Asian flavors inspire the cocktail menu at Copper Wok in Vineyard Haven and if you’re looking for a fun time, this is where you need to be. Grab a Scorpion Bowl for you and a friend, or try their Tiananmen Square, which combines sake, lemon, and agave all served over a cucumber puree ice cube.
Tucked into Nevin Square in Edgartown is Detente, where you’ll find the loveliest little patio to sip cocktails and enjoy some food. Not only is the food great but the wine and cocktail lists are divine. Try their Paloma or any of the mocktails that head bartender Luci can make for you.
Head over to Katama to the Winnetu Resort, home to the Dunes Restaurant and its gorgeous bar. The ambiance is one that promotes just pure relaxation and offers a cocktail and mocktail list that is superb. Try their Raspberry Lemon Drop drink – in either its alcoholic or non-alcoholic version, each is an equally delicious experience.
The bar at l’etoile has been renovated to appear to have come straight out of a star-lit night. The copper bar itself shines from within and provides the perfect backdrop for a delicious cocktail. Known for their Classic Startini, made with citrus vodka, Cointreau, lime juice, pomegranate puree, and a Prosecco floater, l’etoile also offers a wide array of single malt scotches and bourbons for your delight.
Oyster Bar 02557
On Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs is Oyster Bar 02557, home to a lovely list of cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages for your drinking pleasure. Looking for a traditional Pisco Sour like in Peru? They’ve got it! A Lavender Caipirinha inspired by Brazil? Cheers to that! An Aperol Spirtz like you had in Rome? Coming right up!
Sand Bar & Grille
Dig your toes into the sand on Oak Bluffs Harbor and enjoy a drink at Sand Bar. They serve up four types of Margaritas as well as a great list of signature cocktails like their Blue Shark Attack made with rum, blue Curaçao, pineapple juice, and a “school of gummy sharks”!
The Seafood Shanty
Head to the Seafood Shanty if you’re craving summery cocktails and drinks that are beach-inspired and delicious! Their “Best Damn Bloody Mary Evah!” comes with two jumbo shrimp and is a favorite. Spice lovers alert: The Ghost Pepper Margarita, made with Ghost Tequila, triple sec and house-made sour mix is your drink! If it’s a hot day, cool down with one of the Shanty’s frozen drinks - Mudslides, Pina Coladas, Daiquiris, and even Frosé!
Town Bar & Grill
With a full menu of Tiki cocktails on the drinks menu, Town is the place to be! Some samples of their Tiki drinks include:
Tiki, Do You Love Me?: white rum, dark rum, orange, lemon, passion fruit, habanero sugar
Blackberry Mai Tai: aged rum, cassis, orange, orgeat, lime
Frozen Katama, white rum, blue Curaçao, pineapple, coconut
Town Scorpion Bowl for 2: vodka, gin, silver and dark rums, orange, pineapple, grenadine, 151.
Conveniently located next to the pool of the Kelley House, the Wave Bar offers relaxed outdoor seating in a bistro patio atmosphere. Listen to live music or grab a bite to eat while enjoying a frozen drink under the sun. Perfect for people watching, relaxing by the harbor, and enjoying the outdoor summer air. Grab a Coconut Frosé, Paloma, or even a Frozen Gin & Tonic and relax by the pool at the Wave Bar!
Sunsets are not all created equal, so once you’ve seen one you have most certainly not seen them all - especially on Martha’s Vineyard. And while it’s true that you’re likely to see the best sunset of your life on the Island, (we’re serious about this) there are some areas where the setting sun will be especially stunning.
Vineyard Sunsets, the Ultimate Light Show
One of the most magical things about Martha’s Vineyard is the light. Though not easily described, and best to be experienced, the way the light reflects off the ocean as the sun comes down, coating the clouds in a golden glow, is something out of a fairytale. The best Martha’s Vineyard sunsets are quite frankly unbelievable, so make sure to put some sun gazing at the top of your Island bucket list. Following are a few of our favorite places to soak up a sunset on Martha’s Vineyard.
Menemsha Public Beach
Menemsha is probably the most popular place to enjoy a sunset for good reason: As the sun sets off to the west, Menemsha Public Beach allows a completely unobstructed view of the sun meeting the water. Family-friendly Menemsha, a working fishing village with a tranquil harbor, provides extra allure to it’s renown as the foreground to some stunning sunsets. Many visitors will stop at nearby Larsen’s Fish Market or Menemsha Fish Market to pick up a seafood dinner and enjoy it on the sand (along with a bottle of wine–it’s BYOB in Chilmark). As the sun comes down and meets the horizon it’s not uncommon for the crowd to break out in applause, celebrating the natural beauty of the sky taking place right in front of their eyes. Be warned: sunset parking in Menemsha during the summer months can be very limited, but the local bus service offers a bus shuttle from nearby Chilmark Community Center. Pro tip: For those visiting during the summer enjoy dinner at the iconic Beach Plum Inn overlooking Menemsha Harbor and catch the sunset from their outdoor patio while dining.
Lambert’s Cove Beach
With a similar view as Menemsha’s, Lambert’s Cove Beach is positioned on the western portion of Martha’s Vineyard’s north shore in West Tisbury. In season Lambert’s Cove Beach is restricted to residents only by day but many people take advantage of the evenings to congregate on the sand to soak up some epic sunsets from the shore. It’s a bit of a walk from the parking lot, but the journey is worth it. The beach itself is one of the most beautiful on the Island, with fine sand and crystal blue water making it more tropical looking than most, and the sunsets a real treat.
The Aquinnah Cliffs are a spectacular sight in their own right but, as a bonus, they also provide the perfect perch from which to enjoy an unsurpassable view of the setting sun. Aquinnah marks Martha’s Vineyard’s furthest point west and approaching the Cliffs almost feels like reaching the end of the world. With an expanse of natural beauty in every direction, you’ll have a lot to take in as the sun goes down–the water, the multi-colored clay cliffs and the historic Gay Head Lighthouse. An Aquinnah sunset will completely overwhelm your senses in the best way possible, leaving you with a memory to replay again and again.
Some of our other favorite locations for enjoying a sunset include atop the East Chop Lighthouse, Vineyard Haven Harbor and Edgartown Harbor. As we said before, a glimpse at a sunset from anywhere on-Island is likely to impress and inspire!
Martha’s Vineyard truly is a cyclists paradise and most of the Island is extremely bicycle friendly. Whether you enjoy leisurely spins along the water or are looking for a physical challenge with changing terrain and inclines you’re in luck. With designated bicycle paths and bicycle tours that showcase the beauty and intrigue of the Island, two wheels may be all you need.
Biking is one of the best ways to enjoy the Vineyard, thanks to paved pathways and miles of off-road trails that crisscross the Island. From Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs to Edgartown, or any combination of down-Island towns, you’ll find over 44 miles of bike trails, that are mostly flat and easier for children, as well as adults. For the more experienced rider, a tour of the up-Island communities of West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah can prove quite the challenge with their hilly and curvy roadways in the more rural areas. Want to cycle the entire Island? You’ll easily log 60+ miles along the perimeter.
Getting Here and Getting Around
Bicycles are allowed on all of the incoming ferries (generally for an additional fee) and if you need a lift back to your point of origin, all of the Vineyard Transit Authority public buses allow a limited number of bicycles too.
If you don’t own a bicycle, but still want to experience Martha’s Vineyard on two wheels, several bicycle rental shops are available to serve you. There are also bicycle repair shops available on Island to meet all your two-wheeled needs should you need a tune up before hitting the road. Click here to visit our map of bike trails to help you determine what’s the right route for you.
Rules of the Road
Bicycles shall ride WITH traffic, to the right, and single file. DO NOT ride against traffic!
Step up your Game
Interested in biking for a good cause? Check out BikeMS: Ride the Vineyard, a fundraising event in the spring. Feeling ambitious? Try the Vineyard Triathlon in the fall! Many outfitters like Backroads also offer biking expeditions of the Vineyard, allowing you to soak up the sights on two wheels along with a group of other cycling enthusiasts, and an action packed itinerary.
However you choose to enjoy the Vineyard on two wheels you’ll be happy you did!
It’s finally September and kids are back to school, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! Today, we’re talking about the most family-friendly restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard and what makes them perfect for bringing the kiddos to eat a delicious meal, as well as the entire extended family.
It’s About More Than the Menu
When putting together this list, we reached out to the local community, the one that dines out with the grandparents and aunts and uncles, the families that take their kids out to dinner as a special treat on the weekends, the ones that are looking not only for the best value, but also fun additions like coloring pages, small toys, and the like for their kids. Being “family-friendly” doesn’t only involve having a kid’s menu - a restaurant can be devoid of one but still have that familiar vibe and energy, one that welcomes kids and families without specifically having a kid’s menu.
Making Kids Welcome
Overall, our advice is to give the restaurant a call and ask if they accommodate kids - whether it’s a food preference or an environmental preference. If you have a newborn, a restaurant with very loud music might not be the best idea. Take a look at the menu and see if the options are things your child would like to eat!
So let’s check out this list of top ten places on Martha’s Vineyard for family friendly dining:
1. Coop de Ville: a great spot to watch the boats on Oak Bluffs Harbor, they have a $5.95 kid’s meal menu and coloring pages for your little ones!
2. Offshore Ale: what kid doesn’t want to eat peanuts and throw the shells on the ground with no parents scolding them? Offshore Ale is just the spot, with a delicious menu for all.
3. The Barn Bowl & Bistro: for tweens and teens, the Barn is the perfect family restaurant - a children’s menu is provided but their regular menu has a variety of dishes that will have your kid’s eating every bite! Plus, a game of bowling after dinner is always a fun idea.
4. Nomans: if your kid needs to run around before and after a meal, to the beat of their own drum (or live music) Noman’s is the spot!
5. Giordano’s: if your family loves traditional Italian dining, Gio’s is the place to be. Large bowls of spaghetti and red sauce, garlic bread to your heart’s content - perfect family dining.
6. Sharky’s Cantina: you can view the kid’s menu online, which is a great deal at $8.99 for kids 10 years and younger. What kid wouldn’t love a mini quesadilla with rice and beans!
7. The Wharf Pub: for those needing a spot to host family dinners, the Wharf takes reservations for larger parties and has a menu with something for everyone.
8. Linda Jean’s: needing a spot for lunch or dinner for your vegetarian kid? This is the spot, right in Oak Bluffs.
While many scramble to visit Martha’s Vineyard in the summer, anxious to soak up all the action, there’s a quiet calm that comes over the Island in the fall - secretly making it our favorite time to be here. It’s a sentiment with which many locals agree. On Martha’s Vineyard fall brings a slower pace, cooler (but still beautiful!) weather, great deals and some of the year’s most highly anticipated events. The crowds have lessened making it easier to get around and easing the demand for accommodations. The double benefit for you: lower rates at local hotels and more of the Island to enjoy all to yourself! Following are some insider tips for making the most out of your time during this very special season on Martha’s Vineyard.
Explore Private Beaches Without Restriction!
During the summer many of the Island’s most coveted beaches are off-limits, being open to residents only. But come mid-September these restrictions are lifted making it possible to explore most Island beaches free of charge and without any special access pass. Dogs are also allowed back on many beaches, meaning you can bring Fido and for a romp on the sand (leashes are still encouraged). Be sure to check out Lambert’s Cove Beach in West Tisbury and Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark during the fall, two of the Island’s most beloved beaches where you’re free to roam this time of year. Visit our comprehensive beach map here and plan your stops along the shore.
Dine Around Town with Ease
During the summer getting reservations at some of Martha’s Vineyard’s most popular restaurants can be a challenge. Take advantage of the fall when many of the local restaurants are still open and where it’s easier than ever to get a table - maybe even sneak a hello to the chef. Try some of the Island’s newest restaurants like Bettini at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown and The Oyster Bar 02557 (from acclaimed chef Ben DeForest of Red Cat Kitchen and Cardboard Box) in Oak Bluffs. Whether it’s seafood, Mexican, Thai or Italian there’s a restaurant waiting for you to explore this fall. Check out our directory of dining options here, and be sure to call ahead as fall hours may be in effect.
Deals, Deals, Deals
Summer is the most popular time to visit, which also means it’s also the most expensive. Fall brings discounted stays at local hotels and even better deals if you’re willing to travel midweek. Check out our roundup of hot deals at local businesses as well as our last minute lodging specials. If you’re travelling across the water with the Steamship Authority and you’re hoping to bring your car across you’re in luck, fall means it’s easier to get a reservation and, come November, the fares are cheaper too!
There’s Still a Lot Going On - Get in on the Action!
Any day of the week you can find something new and exciting to do on Martha’s Vineyard, and enjoying Island activities in the fall means parking is easier and crowds have diminished - which means that hiking and biking our trails & paths is great fun, as is hitting the golf courses, whether that be 18-holes, 9-holes, or even a miniature golf course! Major highlights of the fall event calendar include the Martha’s Vineyard Fashion Week September 27 & 28, the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby through October 19, Featherstone’s Art of Chocolate Festival October 12 and13, and the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival October 23–27. Check out our roundup of fall happenings and browse the local calendar of events for daily things to do during your stay.
There’s something iconic about eating perfectly fried seafood while on vacation along the coast of New England and today we are bringing you our top picks of where to find the best fried seafood on Martha’s Vineyard. Known for its plentiful waters, New England is home to some of the most hardworking fishermen and women who dedicate their lives to bringing in the freshest catch to local restaurants. Most of our visitors are foodies - or end up becoming foodies after spending some time on the Island.
The top “where can I find” delicious eats questions about Martha’s Vineyard focus on where to get the best clam chowder and where to get the best lobster rolls, but today we went out into the wild and came back with the our recommendations for where to get the best fried seafood on the Vineyard. We polled and surveyed locals all over the Island and came back with this short list. Granted there are many more spots on Island with delicious fried seafood, but the ones below were mentioned over and over again until we were drooling and craving the crispy, salty goodness of it all.
The Barn, Bowl, & Bistro
What to Order: Fish & Chips
Head to the end of Circuit Avenue to Uncus Avenue in Oak Bluffs to find the Island’s only bowling alley and in-house restaurant serving up one of the tastiest fish & chips platters on Island! Hand-breaded and then fried, the cod is served with classic tartar sauce and coleslaw.
Coop de Ville
What to Order: Fried Lobster Tails
If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury, the fried lobster tail at Coop de Ville on Oak Bluffs Harbor is it! You don’t typically see lobster served as a fried dish but when you do, we recommend getting it because when fried to a crispy exterior and still juicy interior, it’s a favorite dish of everyone that tries it!
John’s Fish Market
What to Order: Clam Cakes
A very unique item to this market, Clam Cakes are most typically native to Rhode Island but the owners of John’s Fish Market have been making this delicious treat for years. These crispy balls of briny clams and spicy Portuguese sausage are the perfect snack to have while waiting for your entree.
Giordano’s Clam Bar
What to Order: Fried Whole Belly Clams
Gio’s has been serving food on the Vineyard since 1930 and continues to so with its consistently delicious fried seafood. The Fried Whole Belly Clams are so tender and crispy, you won’t want to ever get them anywhere else. Served with French fries and coleslaw, this is a plate of fried seafood you won’t forget.
What to Order: Crispy Fantail Shrimp
Fried shrimp is a favorite and at Copper Wok, where its served with a spicy Japanese mayonnaise that pairs oh-so-well with the crispy crustaceans. The batter is light and airy, never greasy or heavy. Start with these as your appetizer before dining on any of their pan-Asian specialty dishes.
What to Order: Fish & Chips
Another classic for crispy fish and chips is the Aquinnah Shop overlooking the Cliffs. Anything you eat here will be delicious while the breathtaking view adds just that extra sparkle of magic to your meal.
The Net Result
What to Order: Fried Fish Sandwich
Finding a delicious fried fish sandwich is not difficult on Martha’s Vineyard but that said, everyone raves about the Fried Fish sandwich at The Net Result. Served with the classic tartar sauce on a soft bun, this sandwich is best enjoyed under the sun on the benches outside of the Net Result as you people watch during your meal.
Town Bar & Grill
What to Order: Fish & Chips
Head into Edgartown and on Upper Main Street you’ll find the new restaurant Town Bar & Grill serving up the crispiest fish and chips with French fries and coleslaw. The restaurant has a great patio on which to enjoy your meal and is also open year ‘round with plenty of indoor and bar seating.
What to Order: Seafood Platter
Overlooking Oak Bluffs Harbor, Nancy’s is a staple of everyone’s OB vacation. Watch the sunset while dining on the crispiest seafood plate that includes a little bit of everything: fish, scallops, shrimp, and clams.
The Lookout Tavern
What to Order: Cajun Fried Oysters
Wrapping up our list is The Lookout Tavern, another great spot in Oak Bluffs, where you can score a plate of these Cajun Fried Oysters. They are so delicious you’ll wonder why you don’t eat them daily. What makes them extra special is the dusting of Cajun seasoning that makes you come back for more.
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