August is Nation Sandwich Month! And finding the best sandwich on island is a tough job, but we have narrowed it down to the local’s favorite sandwiches. Explore the island and go on a sandwich tour of MV with this list as your map! We hope you find your own favorite by the end of this blog.
Liz Lemon at 7a Foods
Hands down one of the most popular sandwiches on island, the Liz Lemon has a cult following and we understand why. Hot housemate pastrami, turkey, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, Russian dressing, and potato chips are all snuggled in between two slices of rye bread. That first bite is priceless. It's no surprise 7a Foods wins "Best of the Vineyard - Best Sandwich" year after year.
Meatball Parmesan Hero at #9 Sandwiches
This Edgartown sandwich spot is new to the neighborhood, with only. Year under its belt but they have been crafting some of the best sandwiches in town. Made with freshly made marinara sauce , Pecorino Romano, Fresh Basil
Curried Chicken Salad at Soigne
Surely the curried chicken salad at Soigne is divine, but it’s the bread that this establishment uses that makes their sandwiches so delicious!
CAB at Waterside Market
Head to Vineyard Haven for an all natural chicken, avocado, uncured bacon, melted cheddar and ranch sandwich on ciabatta. It’s the CAB (chicken, avocado, bacon) that’s claim to fame is that it’s as seen on diners drive-ins and dives!
Reuben at Ocean View Restaurant
Grilled Pastrami served on a roll with grilled onions and Swiss cheese, it’s a version of a classic Reuben you’ll sure enjoy in Oak Bluffs.
The Californian at Humphrey’s
The Californian is a combination of roasted turkey, tomato, avocado, provolone cheese and chipotle dressing, all coming together for a tasty sandwich. We suggest extra avocado if you really want to get that Cali feel!
The Vegan Wrap at Espresso Love
If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious choice, stop by this Edgartown coffee shop and get the Vegan Wrap, made up of their ever so popularquinoa, black bean & sweet potato burger, slathered with cilantro pesto, and served with mixed greens and tomato, all on your choice of bread.
Fried Chicken Sandwich at Rosewater Market
Sitting between two pieces of ciabatta bread, this fried chicken sandwich is smothered in an aioli and topped with fresh island greens and their classic and housemate quick pickles. The crispy battered chicken really is the star of this sandwich - which you can make healthier by having it served on a bowl of greens.
Fish Sandwich at John’s Fish Market
A classic fish sandwich - brioche bread that’s toasted, served with crispy fish and lettuce. Ask for Sam’s special citrus sauce to go with it, you won’t regret it!
Fried Green Tomato Sandwich at Slice of Life
Transport yourself to the South with this Fried Green Tomato BLT that has breaded and fried green tomatoes, arugula, applewood smoked bacon, and a basil mayonnaise all on a toasted rosemary bread. The combination of the herbaceous bread with the basil mayonnaise and fried tomatoes make this sandwich another favorite!
Martha’s Vineyard hosts an “endless summer” feel come September. Because right after Labor Day, the island surely quiets down but is still at its prime. The weather cools down and gone are the hot, sweltering days where you can’t find a parking spot in Oak Bluffs. Instead, cool breezy days are here to stay and businesses are booming with that September wind. Below, we are listing our favorite reasons to visit the island in September but remember the number one reason: to extend that summer feeling!
The weather is fantastic.
The weather is honestly perfect - warm days with cooler nights are what make New England incredible. It’s still warm enough to jump into the ocean but at the same time, cool enough during the night that you can pull out that favorite fall sweatshirt to cozy by a fire with some hot cocoa. Either way, you won’t go wrong with the weather on island in September.
The large crowds are gone.
The summer travelers have gone back home - school has started and everyone that was on island decides it’s time to head home. Leaving us with another type of traveler - the couples, the retirees, the single travelers that are embracing the smaller crowds and exploring the island from top to bottom. No more waiting in line for the ferry or buses, no more having to call for reservations every night.
Businesses are still open to serve you!
It’s a misconception that every business shuts down after Labor Day. Sure, some have some extra days off (hey, they deserve it after such a hardworking summer!) but most restaurants, hotels, shops, and other businesses are still open - and offering great sales - in September.
Hotels and restaurants start offering deals.
September is the best month to come and shop on island, when stores start reducing their inventory to get ready to close for the winter months. Shopping any of the town’s main streets and you’ll see signs of over 50% off sales, so if you love to shop, now is the time!
Explore the trails with Trails MV.
September is also the best time to explore Mother Nature and all she has to offer us on this wonderful New England island. And let’s be honest - the bugs have quieted down come September and you won’t have too pray yourself with tons of mosquito repellent this month! Download the TrailsMV application on iPhone and have your phone guide you through hiking and walking trails.
Meet the locals.
Connect with the people that live and work on MV by visiting this September. Everyone has put in a hardworking summer and with the relaxed hours, have more time to connect with travelers - meaning more time to give you tips and ideas on where to eat, drink, shop, and walk on island. Locals love sharing their love for the island - just ask!
Martha’s Vineyard is a beautiful place that happily accepts and accommodates visitors and residents from all walks of life. While it is known as a destination for the affluent and has a reputation as being a pricey place to visit, it is home to a diverse population and it can definitely be enjoyed on a tight budget. Like any popular destination there are endless choices to pick from so knowing the most affordable options is the best way to plan a budget friendly trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Here’s our top tips for enjoying your time on Martha’s Vineyard without having to break the bank.
Getting here and getting around
The cheapest way to travel on to the Island is to take the Steamship Authority (SSA) ferry which departs from Woods Hole in Falmouth multiple times a day. It’s the residents yearound lifeline to ‘America’ and it’s $17 for a roundtrip ticket which includes a free shuttle bus ride in Falmouth from the SSA’s designated parking lots. There is a cost for parking which ranges from $10-$15/day depending on the seasons, rates available here.
Once you arrive on the Island the most cost efficient way to get around is via the Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) bus line which travels through all six Martha’s Vineyard towns daily. A one day pass is only $8 and the bus makes frequent stops including in the busy downtowns of Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, and Oak Bluffs, as well as the popular fishing village Menemsha and the iconic, and majestic Aquinnah Cliffs. Plan to spend the day exploring Martha’s Vineyard’s most popular points of interest and attractions, most of which can be seen for free, including many of our beautiful beaches! Kids love to stop off at the ‘JAWS’ bridge in Edgartown to take a leap into the water, another popular stop along the VTA bus.
Another affordable way to get around the Island is to bring your bike over on the ferry (an extra $8 fee round trip) and take advantage of the more than 75 miles of paved bike paths on Martha’s Vineyard. You can also rent a bike once you arrive, as there are several bike rental locations within walking distance from the ferry terminals in both Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven.
The most cost efficient way to experience Martha’s Vineyard is to enjoy a day trip and avoid the cost of lodging, but it if you want to stay longer (which we always recommend!) there are some very reasonable options available. One of the most affordable is the Martha’s Vineyard Family Campground, located just one and a half miles from the Vineyard Haven Steamship Authority ferry terminal and easily accessible via a VTA bus. The Campground offers spacious wooded sites, complete with picnic tables, fireplaces, and hookups to accommodate tents or RVs. They also offer a number of new camping cabin rentals, as well as restrooms showers, laundromat, store, recreation hall and playground. The Campground is open seasonally May to October and rates begin at $62/night.
Another reasonably priced option is the HI Martha’s Vineyard Hostel located in West Tisbury and also easily accessible via the VTA bus. The hostel boasts free Wi-Fi; free continental breakfast; a fully equipped, shared guest kitchen; easy access to public transit and bike trails; and a large lawn with sand volleyball, grill, tables and chairs. The hostel is open seasonally from May to October with rates starting at just $37/night.
Martha’s Vineyard is also home to dozens of hotels, inns, and beds & breakfast, many of which offer discounted rates in the fall, winter and spring. You can browse our list of accommodations here, and find last minute lodging specials here. Many homeowners also rent their homes with local real estate companies and on online marketplaces that specialize in home rentals.
Where to eat
There’s no shortage of restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard but many of them can get pricey if you’re not careful. For starters we’d recommend packing your own reusable bottle of water and granola bars, fruit, or snacks to keep you fueled throughout the day so you don’t find yourself having to spending more in a pinch.
Morning coffee is a must for many of us and the cheapest coffee on the go you’ll get is at Cumberland Farms, 99 cents for the biggest size they have, hot or iced. It’s one of the few chain businesses on Martha’s Vineyard and is located within walking distance to the Vineyard Haven SSA ferry terminal, and directly across the street from the Chamber of Commerce offices – where you can stock up on free maps and info on getting around and making the most of your stay.
When your morning hunger strikes head to Black Dog Bakery in Vineyard Haven for a reasonably priced breakfast sandwich, or R & B Eatery or Dock Street Diner in Edgartown for some of the lowest cost breakfast plates around. Each of them offer a casual, local vibe, and are the type of ‘hidden gems’ we all long to discover on vacation wherever we may go.
Lunch can easily be skipped given the portions you’ll get at the spots above but if you get hungry midday from all of your exploring you can still dine on a dime, or close to it. The Barn, Bowl & Bistro in Oak Bluffs often offers a $9.99 lunch special most days of the week, plus if you’re up for a game of bowling they also offer affordable bowling packages too. If you’re hungry for a burger, Giordano's in Oak Bluffs offers a buy one, get one half off special. You can also score discounted deals on Asian inspired lunch specials, including Chinese and Japanese cuisine at Copper Wok in Vineyard Haven or Thai food at Bangkok Thailand in Oak Bluffs.
Alternatively, the cheapest option may be grabbing a salad or sandwich at a local market like Tony’s or Reliable Market in Oak Bluffs, or Stop n’ Shop (conveniently located in Vineyard Haven or Edgartown) and enjoying it outside in the park or on the beach.
Dinner is often the priciest meal of the day so be careful where you sit down. Sharky’s Cantina in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown is a local tex-mex favorite known for its big portions and reasonable prices, not to mention their delicious nachos! If you’re looking for an authentic Martha’s Vineyard dining experience you’ll want to try our seafood and Coop de Ville on the Oak Bluffs waterfront has a fantastic view, as well as regular seafood specials including their Tuesday night Lobster Fest. For additional nightly dinner specials browse other options here and be sure to check out local menus before opting to sit down so you know what kind of prices you can expect.
So there you have it! Martha’s Vineyard is not made for millionaires, and there’s ample options for the budget-conscious traveler. Good luck discovering the Island and challenge yourself to stay within whatever cost parameters you may have, after all the landscape of the Island is the best feature we have and looking around is absolutely free.
Martha’s Vineyard truly is is a nature lover’s paradise. With endless stretches of scenic shoreline, rolling hills, expansive woodlands, and hundreds of miles of protected trails through the Island’s diverse landscape, there really is no better place to take a hike. From the more casual strolls along the streets of Oak Bluffs to the more challenging routes up-Island here’s our picks for the most picturesque (and most Instagrammable!) places to explore on foot.
Aquinnah Headlands Preserve
This area refers to what is commonly known as the Aquinnah or Gay Head Cliffs, the most majestic, and most visited location in all of Martha’s Vineyard. This spot is often named the most beautiful location in Massachusetts and for good reason. This sacred ground covers almost 50 acres and the Cliffs themselves rise 100 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy views of the Elizabeth Islands, a little known chain of Islands north of Martha’s Vineyard, as well as the Buzzards Bay coastline, the Rhode Island shore, and, directly below, the Devil’s Bridge, a mile-long string of boulders and other glacial shards that proved dangerous to many in maritime history over the years. The property is managed by the Land Bank and also includes Moshup Beach a nearly half mile stretch of expansive coastline situated under the clay cliffs.
This impressive cropland has long been a fixture on the Island, and was originally a dairy farm for over 300 years. Today it’s known for its innovative hydroponic greenhouses, one of which measures 31,000 feet. The Land Bank purchased the land’s development rights, plus a circumferential trail leading past Little Duarte’s Pond, a thick cool wetland nearby, on a preserve of over 60 acres. Explore this area and appreciate the inner workings of one of our most powerful farms, which acts as the Island Grown Schools’ Farm Hub, as well as a beacon of natural and agricultural beauty.
Mytoi Japanese Garden
If you weren’t expecting it you’d be surprised to find this little slice of Japanese heaven tucked away on Chappaquiddick Island, a small island off of Edgartown. Mytoi is an intimate Japanese-style garden, which offers a natural place to escape and ponder. Sheltered by a charming cluster of pines, the preserve includes a small pond and island, flowers and plants, walkways and seating areas perfect for contemplation. If you’re looking for an outdoor venue quiet reflection or meditation this is the spot.
Caroline Tuthill Preserve
This parcel of land is conveniently located off of Beach Road in Edgartown and Edgartown-West Tisbury Road. Many locals have driven past it hundreds of times without giving it second thought but it deserves to be a destination in its own right. Managed by Sheriffs Meadow Foundation this 150 acre preserve is made up of oak and pitch pine forest, wooded wetlands, salt marsh and open meadow, and it abuts Sengekontacket Pond to the north. According to Sheriffs Meadow Foundation while walking the preserve one might observe such birds as crows, blue jays, chickadees, towhees, pine warblers, white-breasted nuthatches and red-eyed vireos. In spring, one may also be treated to the sight of lady’s slippers, which grow along the trail and at the foot of the Preserve’s many oaks.
Menemsha Hills Reservation
Menemsha Hills is a beautiful and diverse nature reserve located off of North Road in Chilmark. Menemsha Hills is a popular hike that offers a variety of natural habitats including wetland, marsh, wooded groves, and a rocky shoreline, with sweeping views of Vineyard Sound. The three miles of trails are easily passable for the moderate hiker, with some extra energy needed to summit Prospect Hill, the second highest point on the Vineyard at 308 feet, and the view is worth the extra work!
For additional details on our locals hikes visit the websites of the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank and the Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation. Also be sure to download this handy trail map, along with TrailsMV, a user friendly iOS app that helps you better explore and connect the various trails on Martha’s Vineyard. Happy hiking!
Many visitors flock to Martha’s Vineyard to Martha’s Vineyard, making for one of the most anticipated weekends on the Island. While Labor Day unofficially marks the end of the summer season there’s still so much to see and do and the weather is usually ideal for travelling and sightseeing. If you’re heading this way here’s some Labor Day weekend highlights you won’t want to miss!
Explore our Island Farms
There’s over forty working farms on Martha’s Vineyard where you can get fresh produce, meat, and dairy, while mingling with local livestock and barnyard buddies, and Labor Day weekend is the perfect time to explore them. On Friday August 31, from 10-10:45am and again on Monday September 3, from 10-11am, the FARM Institute in Katama offers a guided tour to visitors. “Whether you’re a family with a few wee farmers eager to check out the chickens, seasoned farmers curious about island agricultural techniques, farm-to-table enthusiasts wondering how artichokes grow, backyard gardeners, or anything in between – stop by for a visit.”
The Grey Barn farm in Chilmark, home to the Island’s most delicious (and award winning!) cheeses, offers a couple different tours throughout the weekend on their beautiful sprawling property. Take a Cheese Tasting and Milking Tour on Saturday, September 1 at 5:30 pm and meet the cows that produce their beautiful cheeses before feasting on a large cheese board at the end of the mini tour and talk. Or on Monday, September 3 at 10am visit the farm for a walking tour and learn the history of this important farm and how it’s been brought it back to life in recent years.
For the animal loving yogis in town be sure to stop by Island Alpaca on Monday from 3:30-4:30pm for Alpaca Yoga. There you’ll get to enjoy a one hour session of relaxing yoga held in a pasture among friendly fuzzy alpaca, what could be more stress relieving than that?
If you’re looking to get a taste of many Island farm’s pop into the West Tisbury Farmers Market on Saturday September 1 at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury for a DIY food tour of the Island’s freshest food.
Shop the old, the new, and everything in between
Shopping on Martha’s Vineyard is a sport, especially if you’re looking for on-of-a-kind treasures that have a special meaning or a storied past. Over Labor Day weekend you’ll find several markets selling locally made and locally found objects. On Friday August 31 from 9am to 3pm the Grange Exchange Antiques and Art Sale returns to the West Tisbury Grange Hall for their last sale of the summer. There you’ll find historical artifacts, vintage art, maps, jewelry, Island memorabilia, decorative objects, and more.
Then there’s the Chilmark Flea Market, the oldest outdoor Flea Market on the Island, which returns to the Chilmark Church on Saturday, September 1 from 9am-2pm. The "Flea" features high quality handmade items from Vineyard artists and craftsmen, antiques, imports and vintage finds, including jewelry, clothing, art, food items and more.
If you’ve never visited the Vineyard Artisans Festival Labor Day weekend is the time to do it, and you have three opportunities to get there. The largest art show on Martha's Vineyard features Island artists with unique furniture, clothing, ceramics, jewelry and fine art from the Island’s top artists and it happens at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury on Friday, August 31, from 5-8pm; on Saturday, September 1 from 10am-5pm; and again on Sunday, September 2 from 10am to 5pm.
The Oak Bluffs Open Market will also be alive on Sunday, September 2 from 10am-2pm in Oak Bluffs’ Washington Park with an ever-changing mix of local produce, specialty foods, arts, crafts, antique and vintage dealers, massage, tarot and more.
Get down with local, and international, live music
Martha’s Vineyard loves their music. Most night of the week you’ll find musicians playing local bars, outdoor concerts and various venues around the Island. On Friday August 31, enjoy the final Sunset Concert Series of the season, which brings local favorite the Pickpocket Bluegrass Band to the Tabernacle Green in Oak Bluffs from 6-7:30pm. Take in the sounds of the band and bring a picnic, or dance along, while admiring the adorable gingerbread houses nearby.
Labor Day weekend also brings big talent from near and far for the Martha’s Vineyard Jazz and Blues Summerfest series which takes place on Friday, August 31, September 1, and Sunday, September 2. This annual music festival plays host to music lovers from all over the United States and Europe, and offers a weekend of concerts featuring women in jazz including Jazzmeia Horn, Sage, Alyson Williams, Maysa and more.
For those night owls the Ritz, the Seafood Shanty, the Atlantic, and the Port Hunter all offer nightly live music and entertainment during Labor Day weekend and most nights throughout the summer.
Dance, dance, dance
If you’re looking to be inspired by a riveting dance performance you’ve picked the right weekend to be on Martha’s Vineyard. On Saturday, September 1 at 7pm The Yard in Chilmark presents the Schonberg Fellows their residents from the The Bessie Schonberg Boston Choreography Residency. Alex & Joy Davis - The Davis Sisters of Junk Drawer explore “the intersection of things in their lives that don't quite have their own place, but are too essential to keep hidden from sight” while Marsha Parilla Danza Orgánica of Melaza II performs a dance theater piece based on the colonial relationship between the Caribbean and the United States of America.
Also on Saturday at 7pm the Vineyard Arts Project, an arts and wellness retreat space on Martha’s Vineyard, brings us the Black Iris Project a ballet collaborative and education vehicle that creates “new, relevant classical ballet works that celebrate diversity and Black history.”
Now the challenge is where to start! Be sure to check out our sample itineraries of other ways to spend your time on Martha’s Vineyard along with can’t miss sights and attractions. Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend wherever your travels take you!
It’s no secret that Martha’s Vineyard is home to a robust arts community. From visual arts to theater and dance, this island is home to residencies, galleries, exhibitions, and shows that flourish during the summer season. Nestled in Edgartown, just outside of the town center on Main Street, is Vineyard Arts Project, a performing arts residency that has been quietly bringing high-caliber theater and dance performances to Martha’s Vineyard at pay-what-you-can ticket prices for eleven years.
Vineyard Arts Project offers weeklong residencies to select professional groups, curated by the organization’s Founder and Artistic Director, Ashley Melone. Choosing diverse and emerging talent, Ashley focuses on supporting young artists looking to step outside of the mold and experiment with powerful, groundbreaking styles and subject matter. In 2018 alone, the Ashley Bouder Project, founded by NYC Ballet Principal Ashley Bouder, NYC-based The Black Iris Project, and LA-based No)one. Art House took the opportunity presented by the removed and relaxed atmosphere on the Vineyard to focus on their creative endeavors. Bouder’s collaborative spotlights the often-overlooked talents of female dancers as choreographers and in leadership roles. The Black Iris Project, founded by choreographer Jeremy McQueen, concentrates on the stories and talents of people of color, pulling from social issues and personal histories to create moving works. No)one. Art House focuses on new approaches to movement, often inspired by unusual, pop-culture sources.
Vineyard Arts Project also provides a secluded, safe space for the incubation of major plays and musicals. Michael Greif (Rent, Dear Evan Hansen) was invited to the residency earlier this summer with the actors and creative team for a new musical titled “Far From The Tree,” based on Andrew Solomon’s award-winning book of the same name. They presented a reading with live music to a packed house, affording a venue for many who may otherwise be unable to see the final show in NYC. At the end of August, Vineyard Arts Project will welcome back The Public Theater for their fifth residency to workshop another new musical, “Poster Boy.” The Public Theater and Cirio Collective, a dance company founded by siblings Jeff Cirio (American Ballet Principal) and Lia Cirio (Boston Ballet Principal), are two groups that return to Vineyard Arts Project time and again to partake in the familial atmosphere and relaxed but inspiring setting that Martha’s Vineyard provides.
Beyond artist residencies, Vineyard Arts Project also offers the space to performing arts educators and non-profits. Musical Theatre Lab, Rosie’s Theater Kids, and Jones Haywood Dance have also returned to the Vineyard for the past several summers to teach upcoming generations technique, perseverance, and professional skills. Using the studio space, fully equipped homes, and supportive community, they live at Vineyard Arts Project for a week and present their own performances at the conclusion of their stay.
Vineyard Arts Project also focuses on wellness and offers yoga classes every summer. Led by Johanna Hynes, these mindful, Vinyasa flows are offered every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday throughout the summer from 8:00-9:15am. They are $20 at the door and mats are available for use at the studio.
If you haven’t had a chance to see the exceptional and joyful presentations at Vineyard Arts Project (215 Upper Main Street) or if you’re a regular intent on seeing all they have to offer this summer, there are two remaining performances of 2018:
The Public Theater
Saturday, August 25, 2018
7:00 – 8:00 pm
215 Upper Main Street, Edgartown, MA 02539
Reserve tickets in advance at TicketsMV.com/VineyardArts or
Pay-what-you-can at the door
The Black Iris Project
Saturday, September 1, 2018
7:00 – 8:00 pm
215 Upper Main Street, Edgartown, MA 02539
Reserve tickets in advance at TicketsMV.com/VineyardArts or
Pay-what-you-can at the door
This is a guest blog post by Sarah Simpson, Operations Coordinator, Vineyard Arts Project
For more information about Vineyard Arts Project, and to see everything they offer, visit their website by clicking here.
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