When you think of Massachusetts-grown produce, cranberries come to mind, being that Cape Cod is one of the largest producers of the berries in the United States. On island, we have one of the few certified organic commercial cranberry bogs in the country, located at the Vineyard Open Lands Foundation (VOLF) in Vineyard Haven. The cranberry bog is located on 23 acres of conservation land owned by VOLF adjacent to the Mary P. Wakeman Conservation Center and consists of 2.5+ acres and three reservoir ponds. You can read more about the bog on Point B Realty’s blog post about Cranberry Acres.
If you’re looking for these island grown cranberries, the best place would be the VOLF farm stand, as well as the Morning Glory Farm farm stand. Cranberries are extremely high in antioxidants and phytonutrients, making them a great addition to your fall recipes and snacks. Wondering where to find cranberry cocktails, artisan products, and more on island? Fear not, as we have put together a full list of cranberry goodness!
1. Bake a Harvest Pie with this delicious Morning Glory Farm recipe.
2. Treat yourself to this Berries and Cream body butter from Vineyard Wick and Bath.
3. Snack on Chocolate Covered Cranberries from Enchanted Chocolates.
4. Buy a four-pack of the new Martha’s Vineyard Spiked in Cranberry Lime.
5. Sit in the Bad Martha Brewery and order a glass of the Cran Vienna Lager, using the native local cranberries tart flavor to balance out the sweet German lager, this beer is the perfect fall beer for Massachusetts.
6. Pick up a bottle of Kulture Kombucha MV at any of these fine Vineyard retailers and try their Cape Codder flavor, cranberry hibiscus with a touch of lemon. A local favorite especially for new kombucha drinkers, as people expect cranberries to be more tart than sweet.
7. Sweeten up the day by checking out Enchanted Chocolates in Oak Bluffs and grabbing a bar or two of their Cranberry Day Chocolate Bar.
The unspoiled charm of Martha’s Vineyard is probably best exemplified by its pristine beaches. Beaches vary from protected, shallow, clear-water stretches on the northern and eastern sides of the Island to expanses of rumbling surf along the south side of the Island. Some beaches are open to the public without restriction, while others are reserved for residents and summer visitors who are staying in the towns where the beaches are located. Visiting this time of year means you actually have access to many of the Island’s most adored — but often exclusive — beaches. Once mid-September rolls around, most of the restrictions are lifted and some of the most coveted patches of sand become accessible to everyone.
Here’s some of our favorite gems that we’re excited to get back to this fall.
Lambert’s Cove Beach
Lambert’s Cove Beach is conveniently located off of Lambert’s Cove Road in West Tisbury on the north shore of the Island and is only a 10-15 minute drive from the Steamship Authority in Vineyard Haven. There’s ample parking at the beach lot and resident permits are only required mid-June through Labor Day. From the parking lot expect about a 10-minute walk to the sand via a wooded path that is relatively flat. If you’re visiting without a car, the Vineyard Transit Authority bus system does make a stop at the beach from mid-May through late September. Upon arriving to the beach you’ll be awestruck by the stunning views across the Vineyard Sound, including the Elizabeth Islands to your north, Falmouth and Woods Hole to your northeast and Aquinnah to your west. Equally as impressive as the views at Lambert’s Cove Beach is the soft white sand, which is possibly the nicest and most luxurious of all Island beaches. The ocean is very clear and relatively warmer here than at many of the south shore beaches. The water is also significantly more calm, making it more ideal for swimmers than surfers or boogie boarders. Sunsets on Lambert’s Cove Beach can often rival those seen at Menemsha Beach, with the sun often going down over an obstructed view of water. It is not uncommon to visit Lambert’s Cove beach on a fall evening and find several groups of people out enjoying the night, possibly eating dinner on the sand or having a sing along or playing live music near the shore.
Lucy Vincent Beach
Lucy Vincent Beach is located off of South Road in Chilmark and is a Chilmark-resident or renter-only beach during the summer months from 10am to 5pm. Breathtaking rock formations line this beach’s coast, making for a dynamic and uniquely different landscape when compared to many of the Island’s other beaches, and it has been said that this coastline looks similar to beaches found in the northwest of the United States. A look out to sea offers expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean and Nantucket Sound. Lucy Vincent also offers soft, clean sand and active surf for those looking to catch a wave. It’s also known as a nude beach among some longtime residents so don’t be surprised if you see someone sunbathing in the buff. Visit in the early morning and you’ll find local photographers with their tripods trying to catch a beautiful beach sunrise. Click here for map, details on getting there and seasonal permit information.
Squibnocket or “Squibby” is another resident only beach along the south shore of Chilmark that reopens to the public in September. The coast here is a bit rockier than nearby Lucy Vincent but it’s known for its strong waves and great surf, making it a favorite spot among local surfers. Earlier this spring the beach reopened after a massive excavation bridge building project that altered the landscape here. A new 44-space parking lot was also added and is conveniently located near shore, offering a short walk to the water.
Another great private beach to rediscover in the fall is Philbin Beach, which is only accessible to Aquinnah residents in the summer. This time of year you can visit this surf heavy beach via Moshup Trail.
Wherever you choose to explore, you’ll find idyllic scenery and picturesque patches of paradise along our tranquil shores. Just remember all beaches reserve a Carry In, Carry Out policy – so be sure to take your trash with you.
For a full list of Island beaches click here.
Whenever visitors arrive on island, they mostly want to know one thing: where can we get the best lobster dish on island? And while we do love a good lobster roll, we wanted to share the love for all the ways lobster is prepared on Martha’s Vineyard, from the simplest ways, to the most complex and sophisticated elaborations. To celebrate National Lobster Day, which falls on September 25th, below are some of the most delicious lobster eats on island:
Lobster Eggs Benedict from Right Fork Diner - this is just the way to start your day on island. Buttery lobster, spinach and tomato, drenched in housemade hollandaise and served on a toasted English Muffin or Cheddar Polenta cake with mixed greens or hashbrowns. Sit outside and watch the biplanes take off into the sky!
Grilled Lobster Extra Stuffed from The Square Rigger - with chunks of lobster meat, a house specialty, served with an herbed lemon butter, two sides, salad, and just a quaint ambiance, this stuffed lobster is what dreams are made of. The charred bits of it from the grill give it such fantastic fire flavor, it might just become a favorite.
Two Pound Crispy Wok Fired Island Lobster from Atria Restaurant - served with a lemon beurre blanc, whipped potatoes, greens, and lemon this is a spectacular lobster dish that’s sure to impress.
Lobster Macaroni and Cheese from the VFW by Chef Deon - Chef Deon is known for his island cookery, specifically with conch but he is a master of all crustaceans, so his lobster macaroni and cheese is a delight!
Etuvee of 1.5 Pound Menemsha Lobster from l’etoile - when you want to go somewhere special for a lobster dinner, this is it. This dish is served with a lemon pepper pappardelle pasta, Chilmark MVM-Hana Shiitake & Spring vegetable saute, lobster, chardonnay, roasted garlic, and parsley sauce.
Sexy Sushi Roll from Mikado Asian Bistro - made with lobster salad, mango & avocado rolled up with soybean paper, served with kani, mango and mango sauce, this is a sushi roll to write home about!
Lobster Pasta from Black Dog Tavern - fresh tagliatelle with lobster meat, roasted tomatoes, and Rose cremé, what more could you ask for?
Lobster Asparagus Risotto from Detente - this risotto is the accompaniment to their fluke main dish and is hands down the creamiest, cheesiest risotto you’ll ever encounter.
Lobster Dinner from Larsen’s Fish Market - head up island to catch the sunset and call on your way to order two cooked lobsters from Larsen’s. Delivered in a rustic bag, with drawn butter and lemon, you’ll get dirty and it’ll be delicious as you crack the lobsters open on the beach, dunking each tender piece into hot melted butter. What could be better!?
Seafood a la Russia from Ocean View Restaurant - fresh lobster meat, shrimp, scallops, and mussels are all sautéed in a creamy pink vodka sauce over pasta. This dish feeds two if not more - the seafood is perfectly cooked! Ask for a side of bread to sop up the extra sauce.
Whenever you visit a new city, a new state, a new country, shopping is one of the activities everyone recommends. Not only because it boosts the economy of the area, but it’s a great way to meet the locals that own these shops, connect with them and their brands, and support their ventures. Because our island is like a getaway for everything, we even “get away” with not having any big box stores or corporate shops on island, meaning most of the shops you walk into are locally owned or have some local connection. Whether you’re at the hardware store or the movie theater, you know that your money is well spent supporting islanders.
Today, we’re narrowing it down even further and showcasing ten island shops that are owned and operated by women. These shops provide a variety of options on island for the traveling shopper, while at the same time supporting the local needs of the island. As of 2016, it is estimated that there are now 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing nearly 9 million people (8,976,100) and generating over $1.6 trillion in revenues.
Remember, this is just a list of ten island businesses that are women-owned. There are plenty more, so make sure to meet the shop owners, talk to the staff at the stores, and support as many local businesses as possible when visiting!
Past & Presents
An antique shop on Main Street Edgartown owned by Jane and Beverly, two of the nicest ladies in town. They make annual trips to England to source and discover new items to bring back to stock their shop on island. It’s a great place for classic antiques and locally made gifts like glassware. The antiques are primarily classic English 19th century, sourced by the owners
Claudia features jewelry by local artisans, as well as noted jewelry designers: Alexis Bittar, Jamie Joseph, Chan Luu, Hidalgo, John Apel, Alex Sepkus, Seaman Schepps, Lola and many more. They also carry French & Italian perfume, hair accessories, eyewear, handbags, wallets and hand blown American glass. All are uniquely displayed amidst antique décor and Richard Lee artwork. Owned and operated by Claudia Canerdy herself, this shop has been a staple on Main Street Edgartown for many years. Claudia is also a big part of the community and town.
New Moon Magick
This candy shop in Oak Bluffs is a must when visiting the island. Don’t miss the Almond Butter Crunch, Stoner Food and Pirate Food - their most requested confections. In addition to the chocolates you'll find vintage jewelry-featuring Dorothy Bauer, linens, antiques and magical treasures. They also offer a full line of botanicals: herbal oils, island embossed soaps, mists, butters & teas. Some of their products include: Almond Butter Crunch, Pirate Food- Salty Cararrghmels, Stoner Food, Chocolate Covered Almonds with MV Sea Salt, Chocolate Covered Pie In The Sky Espresso Beans, Dark Vader Chocolate Bar, Nutty Islander Chocolate Bar, Cranberry Day Chocolate Bar, Martha's Vineyard Sand Bar, Prosperity Chocolates, Chocolate Runes, Chocolate Love Spells, Chocolate Pentacles, Sea Turtles, Chocolate Fudge, Keep It Real Hot Chocolate, Happy We Shall Be Herbal Teas and more.
Established in 2017, and owned by jetsetter Maggie Towels, Magnetic North combines cosmopolitan and New England style, and offers a curated selection of women's and men's clothing, jewelry, accessories, gifts, home and decorative items, and art. Among other things, they feature emerging and socially conscious brands and support local artisans, businesses and charities. Like its namesake, Magnetic North will help you navigate, explore and arrive.
Bunch of Grapes
One of only two island bookstores, Bunch of Grapes is a favorite among visitors and locals alike. Owned by Dawn Braash, the bookstore features a carefully curated array of local authors, national bestsellers, and hard-to-find classics. Plus, the quaint bookstore offers a great kids’ section and gifts of all kinds.
CB Stark Jewelers
This very Vineyard jewelry store celebrated its 50th year in 2016, just one year before its owner and founder Cheryl Barbara (CB) Stark passed away. The store continues to be owned and operated by Margery Meltzer, Cheryl’s partner and co-owner for well over 40 years, along with a strong and talented team of women. Known and loved for their unique island charms, and distinct nautical and beach-themed designs, CB Stark’s jewelry is like no other on Martha’s Vineyard.
This year-round clothing store is owned by powerhouse duo Erin Tiernan and Laurie Welch. Erin handles all the buying for the shop, and her eye for fashion helps keep Islanders stylish while not breaking the bank. A mom herself, Erin knows the importance of practical but attractive designs. Plus, Basics offers one of the best selections of adult footwear and baby clothes.
These designs are high-fashion for the modern woman, with an emphasis on comfort and quality. Bryb Walker boasts nine locations throughout the US, but Martha’s Vineyard is home to the only east-coast locations — one in Vineyard Haven and Edgartown — while all others are west-coast locations. The designer has been selling her wears since 1992 and has gained a loyal following ever since.
The Great Put On
Owned by Nicole Bilzerian, The Great Put On is one of Edgartown’s oldest shops – and there’s a reason for that. This trendy boutique in the heart of Edgartown’s downtown district has been pleasing shoppers since 1969. The owner prides herself on choosing up-to-date, high-end styles. The store’s success continues to grow, and they have recently opened a new shop focused on jewelry, Tesori by The Great Put On.
For many locals on Martha’s Vineyard this is literally the most wonderful time of the year. As much as we love the hustle and bustle of summer, the slower pace of September is welcomed after a hectic season and the weather is just perfect. Another bonus? September marks the start of the 73rd annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby, more commonly referred to as simply “The Derby,” now underway until October 13th.
It’s a known fact on Martha’s Vineyard that if you live here and love to fish you are likely fishing The Derby, at any and all costs. Sleep, work and the regular responsibilities of daily life are often compromised on-Island during the tournament, and for good reason, the stakes are high. The winning shore fisherman walks away with the keys to a Cape Codder 19 boat and the winning boat fisherman rides away in a 2018 Subaru Forester, and people are fishing to win.
If you’re planning to visit Martha’s Vineyard between September 9 and October 13, 2018 and you love to fish you’re in luck. In addition to fishing (and most importantly catching!) The Derby fosters friendships and camaraderie, and creates lasting memories, while encouraging participants to fully appreciate the natural beauty of the Island. To fish The Derby is to become part of the fabric of the Island community and its history, and every eager fisherman or woman is welcome to participate.
Interested fishing enthusiasts can register for The Derby at several local tackle shops including Larry’s Bait & Tackle, Dick’s Bait & Tackle, Coop’s Bait & Tackle, Keep it Reel Kayak & Tackle, and many other convenient locations listed here. The cost of registration is $60 for adults, $35 for seniors, and $25 for juniors. In addition, you are welcome to give an optional donation to the organization’s scholarship fund which awards annual scholarships to Martha's Vineyard Regional High School graduating seniors. The total amount of money donated since its establishment now exceeds $600,000. So not only is the experience of The Derby more than enough of a reason to enter but the cause is a meaningful one.
Plus, it’s kid friendly too! Enthusiastic anglers ages nine to 14 are invited to compete in the junior division and the youngest fishermen, those between four and eight, compete as mini juniors. There is also a free kid’s derby event on Sunday, September 16 that always makes for a great photo opp.
The highly anticipated Derby Awards Ceremony takes place on August 14 and is free and open to the public. There those that top the leaderboard at the end of the Derby hope to be given the winning key to the car or the boat, coveted prizes that carry the weight and honor of decades of a local fishing tradition, which in itself is the best prize of all.
Martha’s Vineyard may be synonymous with leisurely summer beach days by the seashore, but the Island stays very much awake and vibrant throughout the fall months. The locals love the cooler temperatures and lessened crowds, and the slower tempo makes for more relaxing days to enjoy the nearby sights and sounds. Here are some more reasons to fall for fall on Martha’s Vineyard, and 20 reasons you’ll want to plan a trip before the season passes you by.
September 15–October 6: The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse presents The Room Where I Was Held Written by David Zax and directed by MJ Bruder Munafo, this play marks the last performance of the season on the Patricia Neal Stage. It’s the world premiere of a gripping drama about the power of money, privilege, and family ties and a great excuse to visit the MV Playhouse, our local hub for theater buffs and those that love a good show.
September 22: Martha’s Vineyard Craft Beer Festival Craft Beer Festival Beer lovers rejoice! Enjoy your pick from 150 beers from 50 breweries under a big tent at Waban Park in Oak Bluffs. Sample your favorites and discover new brews.
Through September Sunset & Moonrise Kayak Tours: Join Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary for a paddle on Sengekontacket Pond and take in a breathtaking sunset or spectacular moonrise. Sit back, relax and appreciated the painted skies of Martha’s Vineyard.
October 6 & 7: The Art of Chocolate Festival For fifteen years Featherstone Center for the Arts, the Island’s year round art haven in Oak Bluffs, has celebrated all things chocolate. This tasty festival features two days of all-out chocolate consumption. Enjoy the heavenly experience of sampling every morsel of chocolate your heart desires.
October 7: Vineyard Artisans Columbus Day Festival The Vineyards Artisans resurrect their weekly summer festival especially for Columbus Day and it’s the ultimate destination for shopping local on Martha’s Vineyard. Meet the artists themselves and browse their impressive products including textiles, fine furniture, pottery, leather goods, oil paintings, pastels, mixed media, sculpture, wampum jewelry, hand-knit items, clothing, photography, handmade books, and more.
October 7: Popcorn Festival at Native Earth Teaching Farm Pop in for free popcorn all day from 10-3pm and enjoy fall fun for the whole family.
Through October 13: Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby Now in its 73rd year “The Derby” is a Vineyard fishing tradition that completely consumes local anglers, and those that visit especially for it. Participants vie for big prizes including a car and a boat, and many of them don’t sleep until they catch a winning fish.
October 17–21: Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival This 4-day food and wine event brings together the Island’s top culinary talents and beyond, along with world class winemakers, local farmers and discerning foodies for the ultimate taste of the Island experience.
October 20: Morning Glory Pumpkin Festival The largest farm on Martha’s Vineyard hosts this lively free fall festival each year, complete with pumpkin games, hay rides, live music, and all things pumpkin.
Through October: Pizza Nights at Orange Peel Bakery This charming up-Island bakery welcomes the community to stop by and enjoy pizza together every Wednesday night from 5-8pm through September and October. Show up with your favorite toppings, mingle with the locals and meet some new friends.
Through October: Take a biplane ride with Classic Aviators Take in the best view of Martha’s Vineyard from high atop the sky. Enjoy breathtaking scenery and sights that can only be viewed from above while learning about the history of the Island.
Through October: Island Alpaca Yoga Calling all yoga loving animal enthusiasts! Island Alpaca farm hosts a 1-hour session of relaxing yoga, held in a pasture among their friendly alpaca. Please pre-register.
The month of October Fall for the Arts Each fall, Martha’s Vineyard, along with Cape Cod and Nantucket, dedicates the entire month of October to a celebration of the arts. Fall for the Arts strives to initiate and sustain conversations among artists, patrons, and the public.
October 28: 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.
November, 17–December 16: Featherstone Holiday Gift Show Featherstone Center for the Arts is the place to go for unique, one of a kind holiday presents made right here on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s gifts galore for a whole month, including apparel and accessories, cards, calendars, jewelry, pottery, photography, paintings, ornaments, and more. All sales benefit local Vineyard artists and Featherstone, the Island’s only not-for-profit year-round art center.
November 23: Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary Fall Festival This celebration of fall is a Vineyard tradition held the day after Thanksgiving and features hayrides, face painting, live music, food, wreath making, a weather station and crafts for kids, live animals, trail walk, and fun to be had by the whole family.
Ongoing: Enjoy the Island’s tastiest restaurants. Many of the Island’s seasonal restaurants stay open well into the fall, not to mention the dozens of others that stay open all year. Come sample some of the Island’s best dishes without having to wait in line or needing a reservation.
For a full list of everything happening this fall, visit the EVENTS tab on our website.
Discovering historic Martha’s Vineyard is something that should be on every retiree’s travel bucket list. Not only is this New England island quaint and peaceful, but there is so much to do while here.
Some might say that getting to the island is “a hassle,” when in reality you can just walk on a ferry in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and be on island in 45 minutes flat, over calm seas that greet you as you ride along. Once you arrive on Martha’s Vineyard, we have created a great list of suggestions for senior travelers seen below - for both relaxed seniors as well as active seniors. As the senior population in the US grows, we more and more travelers above 65 years of age looking to experience the world after working all their lives, and Martha’s Vineyard has so much to offer! Here are some suggestions:
Book a relaxing inn, like Isabelle’s Beach House in Oak Bluffs, the Nobnocket in Vineyard Haven, or the Hob Knob in Edgartown.
While you can definitely explore the island in 12 hours, we always recommend taking a weekend or a few days during the week to really get to know MV. Book a few nights in a bed and breakfast and you’ll have a home base to come back to and relax after every day.
Take an island tour
Whether you’re here for a day or longer, you want to be sure you don’t miss anything Martha’s Vineyard has to offer. Some of the easiest ways to do that is with a tour! Whether it be a guided tour on a bus or a in a van, or a self-guided walking tour, a history tour, or even a food tour, you can be sure you get the best sample of everything Martha's Vineyard. Find all available tours on our TOURS page by clicking here.
Schedule a massage
Because it’s all about relaxing! And the island has dozens of spas that will cater to your every need. Whether you need reflexology, a full body massage, a hot stone pedicure, or acupuncture - Martha's Vineyard has it all! Check out some of our faves here.
Go on a kayak or paddle board adventure
If you’re looking for a water adventure, there are numerous options on the island, and they don't disappoint! From paddle board adventures at the Aquinnah Cliffs, to relaxing paddle-board yoga, to sunset kayak tours, getting on the water is a great way to enjoy Martha's Vineyard
Visit the Martha’s Vineyard Museum
Their mission is “to inspire all people to discover, explore, and strengthen their connections to this Island and its diverse heritage”, which we love because you’ll learn so much about our island with just one visit!
Browse a local bookstore
Nothing better than supporting a small & independent bookstore, and the island has a few great ones, like Edgartown Books and Bunches of Grapes in Vineyard Haven!
Watch a movie with the Martha's Vineyard Film Society
With so many new movies coming out, the film society theater is just the place to watch them - the space is gorgeous and perfect for a rainy day of movie watching.
Visit the Carnegie and explore the island’s history
The Carnegie serves as Vineyard Trust’s flagship landmark and the starting point for historic walking tours of the Trust’s other Edgartown properties.
Go golfing at one of the island’s golf courses
Golfing has to be on of the best pastimes on island - and it’s very accessible if you set it up with enough time. After all, it's one of President Obama's favorite pastimes on MV! Courses like Farm Neck Golf, Edgartown Golf, and Mink Meadows are great options.
Sit on the beach and read a book!
This one is the easiest - don’t do a thing but relax on one of our many beaches while reading or watching the waves come in! You’ve earned it!
Want more suggestions, or have questions about retiree travel to Martha's Vineyard? Call us! We're happy to help. 508-693-0085 ext.0
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