We know that many of you are appreciating Martha’s Vineyard from afar and are missing the Island more than ever. We’re hopeful we’ll get to welcome back more visitors this year and that you’ll be among them. We realize that Martha’s Vineyard is an especially meaningful place and we want you to know that the Island misses you as much as you miss it! In the meantime we've rounded up a list of virtual Martha’s Vineyard happenings that are open to anyone near and far, in efforts to help you stay connected to Martha’s Vineyard while you can’t be here.
Have you been expanding your culinary skills in quarantine? Chef and caterer Jan Buhrman of Kitchen Porch Catering offers weekly cooking classes in which you can participate from the comfort of your own home. February’s flavor packed menus include Iranian Soup with Lamb Meatballs, Indian Curry Dinner, and Baked Iranian Spinach Spiced Rice. Additionally private chef Food Minded Fellow offers private virtual cooking classes on request and the Vineyard Haven Library hosts weekly cook-alongs on Wednesdays. Island Rose Cooking and Slough Farm also present regular and delicious tutorials via Zoom.
Are you on Instagram? Be sure to follow some of our talented chefs for helpful recipes and tutorials like lunch lady extraordinaire @jenny.devio, food blogger @marnely_murray, cookbook author @sarah.waldman, and cooking newsletter @cookthevineyard.
Get moving with our motivated instructors
With so many people spending more time at home hovered over a computer it’s more important than ever to get up and move! Many of Martha’s Vineyard talented yoga, dance and movement instructors offer regular ongoing virtual classes. Options include yoga through the Yoga Barn, Yoga on the Vine, West Tisbury Library, Peaked Hill Studio, Slough Farm and more. For a full round-up of in-person and virtual yoga opportunities visit marthasvineyardyoga.com. For a more high energy experience check out Salsa Suelta Cubana with popular instructor Christina Montaya through the Oak Bluffs Library.
Enjoy the music, arts and culture of the Island from near or far
Now’s the time to explore new hobbies and there’s no shortage of talented musicians on Martha’s Vineyard eager to share their expertise. The Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs Libraries present Music as Meditation a 5-week course that covers the basics of playing the ukulele or guitar and explores how music can serve as a mindfulness practice.
If art is more your thing you’ll want to explore what Featherstone Center of the Arts is streaming, including watercolor instruction, hand building pottery tutorials and more.
For the theater buffs support Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse by joining their monthly trivia events and Poetry Cafes, as well as special events and performances via Zoom. For the kiddos The Yard offers family friendly virtual fun every Saturday in February with ScreenPlay!, a non-stop interactive event, where your whole family becomes part of the story over ZOOM. Screenplay! explores movement, puppetry, theater, and the “irresistible power of being ridiculous.”
Additionally the Martha’s Vineyard Museum hosts regular online events that explore the museum’s collections, as well as virtual talks, panel discussions, readings and more culturally significant offerings.
Enjoythe films of Martha’s Vineyard’s beloved theaters from wherever where you
The Martha’s Vineyard Film Center presents FILM CENTER AT HOME, an online viewing platform, which gives you the opportunity to experience world cinema from the comforts of your home, while also supporting the Film Society. As an added bonus the Film Center’s share of online tickets purchased goes directly to their employees and essential operational expenses while we wait for widespread vaccinations!
If you’ve been scrolling at home looking for something good to watch be sure to check out the film recommendations from The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, which provides a great list for viewing inspiration and where to stream titles!
Explore Martha's Vineyard this winter and enjoy the unique opportunity to truly appreciate the Island’s breathtaking natural beauty and distinctive towns. These days you can soak up the Vineyard vibe without the added stress and distraction of summer crowds. Given the considerations of social distancing it’s an ideal time to enjoy the Island and feel like you have the place all to yourself.
While some of our seasonal businesses do close, there are still more than enough shops, galleries, and restaurants open to satisfy the discerning traveler. Outdoor options abound any time of year, but the winter months open up even more options as private restrictions are lifted and access is even greater. Here’s a list of things to do on Martha’s Vineyard during the winter months that are fun, safe and COVID friendly.
Hike Our Trails. One of the best ways to tour the Island is by walking one of Martha’s Vineyard many hiking trails. From wooded paths, to open field trails, to stretches along seaside cliffs, there really is a landscape for everyone. The Island is mostly flat meaning most trails can accommodate an easy to moderate skill level. For a hike with a spectacular pay off check out Menemsha Hills reservation in Chilmark. On a clear winter day you’ll have sweeping views of the Elizabeth Islands, a chain of small islands to our north. There’s also beach access off the trail which brings you to a rocky stretch of the north shore of the Island known for its interesting rock formations and collection of abandoned lobster traps. You can easily explore Menemsha Hills and other Island conservation areas with the TrailsMV app which offers maps, directions, and detailed information about each of the Island’s public trails, and can be used without WiFi or cell service which can be spotty on-Island. If a hard copy is what you prefer you can pick up Walking Trails of Martha’s Vineyard, a pocket-sized comprehensive guide to Vineyard conservation lands includes trail maps, descriptions of the protected properties and other valuable information. The book is available at Edgartown Books and Bunch of Grapes, two Island bookstores that offer great browsing, staffed by folks who would love to see you.
Visit Island Alpaca - one of the most delightful places to visit any time of year and, as a bonus, it’s free in winter! Open daily from 10am-4pm on the border between Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven, just off the Edgartown Road, the Farm offers alpaca viewing that allows you to get up close and personal with these adorable, fuzzy, friendly animals while watching them graze and play. The Island Alpaca gift store is a must and their soft fleece products make for great souvenirs and gifts, especially their socks! Through February 2021 they are offering daily “Walk & Talks” from 11-11:30am when you can learn more about how gentle alpaca really are. $30 per person.
Support Local Restaurants. We all know the pandemic has hit restaurants particularly hard and Martha’s Vineyard restaurants could use your support more than ever. Whether you’re comfortable dining inside, outside or ordering take out there is a wide variety of options to choose from. For Tex Mex try Sharky’s in Oak Bluffs or Edgartown for take out and dine in. Beer lovers can appreciate Offshore Ale for comfort food and housemade brews. Sushi and Asian fusion selections are a-plenty at Mikado and Copperwok in Vineyard Haven. There's something delicious for every palate at both the Barn Bowl and Bistro in Oak Bluffs and Little House Cafe in Vineyard Haven. For fancier fare check out the eclectic menu of the Cardboard Box or dine alfresco underneath a heated tent at Sweet Life Cafe. For an updated list of restaurants open in real time visit whatsopenonmv.com.
Enjoy a Picnic. If you’re taking your food to go and are willing to bundle up and brave the chill to eat outside, consider having a picnic at one of the Island’s picturesque parks or beaches. Iconic Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs boasts a plethora of benches and open space for laying out a blanket. In Vineyard Haven Owen Park offers a harbor view. For additional public seats by the water, eat with a view of the Edgartown Lighthouse or nearby Edgartown harbor.
Tour Local Farms. Martha’s Vineyard is home to dozens of farms selling meat, dairy, produce and more, and many are still open in the winter months. Several local farms are situated on picturesque properties where you can sneak a peek at livestock and shop the freshest food around. A handful of our local farmstands still operate on the honor policy so be sure to bring cash for anything you might want to pick up. Take a drive up-Island and check out Grey Barn Farm, known for its award winning cheeses and farm fresh bread; Mermaid Farm known for their incredible yogurt and lassies and North Tabor Farm offers a selection of hearty winter greens.
Shop our Downtowns. While some doors are closed many remain open and the Island’s shopkeepers would be happy to see you. Main Street, Vineyard Haven is home to several year round merchants and retailers including Rainy Day for gifts, The Green Room for clothes and outerwear, CB Stark for iconic Vineyard jewelry, Louisa Gould Gallery for unique Island art, and many more. In Oak Bluffs Circuit Avenue is the main drag, and in Edgartown it’s Main Street - both noticeably quieter this time of year but still offering plenty to choose from for your next Vineyard souvenir.
Walking the Beach. This is a no-brainer. No matter the time of the year a walk along our shoreline is an absolute must. On nice winter days locals flock to some of the restricted summer beaches, including Lambert’s Cove Beach in West Tisbury and Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark. Be sure to enjoy a stroll on the sand while you can as these beaches and some others require resident passes in the summer and alone are worth the winter trip over.
Visit the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. 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, ongoing exhibits and virtual events. Be assured that you can visit safely, as Museum occupancy has been significantly reduced and advanced reservations are required by booking a timed ticket online. Open Tuesdays – Sundays from 10am to 4pm.
Be sure to read about the Island’s updated safety precautions before traveling.
This year more than ever, we all need a little extra love. With this is mind, we’ve put together a Valentine’s Day Gift Guide focused on featuring items sold locally both in stores on Martha’s Vineyard as well as online.
Supporting our local retailers during this time is essential for their survival, and retailers have also recognized the need to pivot, as you can see how most local Martha’s Vineyard retailers have developed their online shops and e-commerce sites. So, shop for that perfect Valentine’s Day Gift within the links below, or check out where to shop your favorite Martha’s Vineyard shops online here.
Shop: CB Stark
Item: Swarovski Crystal with Pink Enamel Martha's Vineyard Necklace
A beautifully faceted Swarovski crystal set in sterling silver is incised with a delicate silhouette of Martha’s Vineyard filled with brilliant pink enamel. The famed Swarovski family has been crafting crystals in Austria since 1895.
Shop: Coastal Supply MV
Item: Top Crate Clothing - Valentine Graphic Shirt- Bless Your Heart- Long Sleeve
This relaxed, unisex fit t-shirt and tank is super cute to pair with your favorite shorts jeans and be ready to go! What a perfect layering tee to go under any flannel, sweater, cardigan or even alone! Just pair these with your favorite skinny jeans, leggings, or shorts and you've got a perfect outfit!
Shop: Cut Paper Island
Each towel is wrapped in hand stamped, unique wrapping paper. Tucked inside is a Ghirardelli white chocolate heart and a card that will be happily customized or sent blank for you to fill out!
Shop: Enchanted Chocolates
Item: Chocolate Covered Cape Cod Cranberries
Cape Cod Cranberries are coated to perfection with Enchanted Chocolates 70% cacao premium dark chocolate. You get a burst of sweet, tart, and chocolate - all in one! The ideal gift for everyone who loves chocolate!
Item: 100 Fresh Stems of Red Roses
Who wouldn’t want to receive ONE HUNDRED fresh roses on Valentine’s Day?! Support this woman-owned flower shop in Edgartown and order your flowers and gifts. The shop also has a variety of made-on-MV items that would make perfect presents!
Shop: Revive Spa by Sarka
Item: Tuilleries Rose - Roll On Perfume
Voyage et Cie is the ultimate luxury blend of travel, design and scents. Each original fragrance is handmade and created with 100% natural vegetable blend and will transport you on a journey. This true rose is ever so perfect, just like its universally loved namesake flower.
Item: Sideline® Eagle Golf Jacket - Red
This Eagle Jacket is lightweight and ready for the links or the street. We also hear that it might help you think - and improves your game a little. Check out Sideline for more athletic wear, perfect for the sports fan in your life.
Shop: Stefanie Wolf Designs
Item: 5-Strand Necklace, Trilogy, Red
A gorgeous statement necklace of elegantly draping 'Picasso Window' glass tiles. Length of the shortest strand adjusts from 17" - 21". This is a gorgeous gift to give a loved one, and one that will stand the test of time.
Shop: Sylvie Bags
Item: Heart Pillow, Berry Cut Velvet, Vintage Mid Century
This heart pillow measures 11” high by 16” wide and is made from a luscious Vintage cut velvet, most likely manufactured in the 1960’s. The psychedelic design of the cut velvet makes this pillow appealing for a contemporary decor. These authentic mid century cut velvets have become almost extinct and this fabric is a beautiful example of mid century design. The perfect give for someone who has it all!
Item: Thanks For Being My Ride Or Die Motel Key Tag (RED)
Get your “ride or die” keychain and let them know how you really feel about them. Whether you are gifting your soulmate, business partner, or best friend, being someone’s “ride or die” is a lovely yet intense statement.
Shop: Tiny Baker Creations
Item: Bernie Valentine’s Day Card
The most timely Valentine’s Day card, hand designed on Island! Tiny Baker does it all: traces each design, uploads the art, edits it, adds text, prints, packages, and ships all from her little art studio!
Shop: Untameable Gallery
Item: Love Mask
Stay safe but still in love with these breathable Love face masks! The perfect gift for friends and family.
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