Holiday shopping on Martha’s Vineyard is a far cry from the chaotic chore that it can often be off-Island. You won’t find yourself fighting for a parking spot at the mall here, because, well there’s no mall. There’s no big box store to bum-rush on Black Friday, and there’s definitely no stores opening at midnight shortly after you’ve cleared your Thanksgiving plates away. Like most things on Martha’s Vineyard, holiday shopping is a more slow paced, intimate experience. Often you’re purchasing gifts directly from the artist or designer that made them, or the shopkeeper who bought the items first hand. Holiday shopping on Martha’s Vineyard generally means going to any number of locally owned shops and boutiques, and browsing the various Christmas fairs and holiday markets that take place throughout the season. Holiday shopping on Martha’s Vineyard often involves making new friends, catching up with old ones, and finding locally made treasures that satisfy everyone on your list–naughty or nice.
Here’s a round up of some of the Island’s best holiday shopping options. At these locations you can shop with the confidence that you’re directly contributing to the local community and economy, which is a thoughtful gift in itself.
Featherstone Center for the Arts Annual Holiday Gift Show: Featherstone, the year round arts center in Oak Bluffs, presents their 16th Annual Holiday Gift Show. Featherstone invites you to celebrate the holiday season while supporting Island artists and Featherstone. This is the perfect holiday shopping destination with gifts for everyone (and yourself), including handmade creations including paintings, photography, pottery, crafts, jewelry, knitwear, clothing, purses, accessories, soaps, dog goods, ornaments, cards, calendars and stocking stuffers. Buy local and support local artists all while supporting Featherstone as well - 50% of proceeds benefit the art center. The Gift Show kicks off with a Preview Party Friday November 16th from 6–8pm, and continues daily through December 16 from 12-4pm, closed Thanksgiving Day. Located at Featherstone Center for the Arts, 30 Featherstone Lane, Oak Bluffs.
Vineyard Artisans Festival 10th Annual Holiday Fair: The Vineyard Artisans is a Vineyard summer tradition and the only weekly juried art show where the public can meet over 70 artisans and buy directly from them. The Artisans return each December for their annual holiday show, where you’ll find demonstrations, weaving, fine furniture, pottery, stained glass, oil paintings, pastels, mixed media, sculpture, wampum jewelry, quilts, clothing, sea glass windows, handmade books and much more. It’s the last Vineyard Artisans Festival of the year, so stock up on your favorite Island goodies like beauty and bath products from Bluewave Body Company, handbags and accessories from Noepe Designs, gourmet salts from Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salts and much more. December 15th, 10am to 4pm, at the Historic Grange Hall in West Tisbury.
Christmas in Edgartown Shopping Specials: Christmas in Edgartown takes over Edgartown each December, with an array of shopping special from local retailers and holiday sales. The weekend kicks off on Thursday, December 6 at Backwater Trading Company where you can find brands like Patagonia, Marmot, Under Armour, Yeti and more. The event continues through the weekend, with an Annual Arts & Crafts Festival at Edgartown School that showcases the handmade gifts of over 30 Island artists, selling goods to benefit the 8th grade class of 2019.
If you prefer to make a day of it going store to store here’s some of our most popular gift shops we’re your sure to find something for that special someone.
Driftwood Jewelry is located on Circuit Avenue, in Oak Bluffs. Driftwood Jewelry is a haven for jewelry lovers looking for unique one-of-a-kind pieces made right here on Martha’s Vineyard. Driftwood features handcrafted artisan jewelry, gifts, and accessories by local artists, including Brenda Benware, Nettie Kent, Ivry Belle Jewelry by Ivry Russilo, Clementine & Co. by Emily Spykman, HawkHouse by Jessica Kramer, Noepe Design, Althea Freeman Miller Designs, and many more.
Rainy Day on Main Street in Vineyard Haven is one of the best curated shops on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s practically impossible to leave this store empty handed. The space isn’t big but the selection is. Rainy Day has everything from greeting cards to jewelry, accessories and home goods and everything in between, not to mention they always have a beautiful selection of holiday ornaments and decorative items for every occasion.
Alley’s General Store in West Tisbury is the island’s oldest retail business on Martha’s Vineyard. When it opened in 1858, it provided householders and local farmers and fishermen with basic staples and as a retail outlet for their goods. Today, Alley’s is a gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. You’ll always find friends gathered on the front porch enjoying coffee or locals inside picking up the mail. Alley’s boasts an eclectic assortment of just about anything and everything, from toys to housewares and hardware. No matter what time of year a stop at Alley’s is always a good idea.
Chilmark Chocolates in Chilmark is THE place to go for chocolates and confections on Martha’s Vineyard. Their coveted goodies are hard to get given their limited hours but it’s worth the hunt. Just make sure you buy something for yourself too.
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