*Updated Jan. 5, 2021. Planning a winter getaway in 2021? Be sure to read up on updated travel guidelines.
When most travelers think about visiting the island, they mostly consider a trip between April and October, but we are here to remind you of the gorgeous season that is winter on Martha’s Vineyard! Sure, it’s colder than those other months, but we're actually warmer than the rest of New England in the winter (and slightly cooler in the summer than the mainland!) The winter is the perfect time to settle into a cozy accommodation, explore our beautiful trails and outdoor attractions, and dine in or take out from some of our beloved year-round restaurants. Plus, the island underneath a soft, pillowy blanket of snow is a beautiful sight to see!
One of the best things about planning a winter getaway to MV is that you’ll get the island mostly all to yourself, along with the locals. The population reduces to about 17,000 islanders in the winter, versus the 250,000 guests we have in the summer, so the pace is much slower, much more relaxed.
Here are the top five things to make planning a winter getaway to Martha’s Vineyard a must on your ravel bucket list:
1. Book a cozy accommodation in or close to town, to make it easy to get around in the snow. Some of our favorite inns include the Nobnocket and Mansion House in Vineyard Haven, and the Oak Bluffs Inn in (you guessed it!) Oak Bluffs.
2. Look at what your inn or hotel has to offer, and see if you can take advantage of any of the offerings. Do they offer on-location dining, breakfast in bed, or safe, personalized experiences? Be sure to ask your host how they can help you make the most of your stay.
3. Discover the culinary scene by enjoying some of the Island's tastiest offerings in the winter from some of the best restaurants on island. Offshore Ale House, the Island's only brew pub, offers not only award winning beers, but an extensive menu currently available for curbside delivery, contactless customer pickup, and outdoor dining. If Mexican is what you're craving, Sharky's Cantina (with locations in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs) is the place to go, and currently offers take out and in-person dining. Also check out the Ocean View Restaurant and Town Bar MV for casual east as well as the Cardboard Box and The Sweet Life Cafe for more fancy fare.
4. Plan some outdoor activities to get some fresh air and explore the island. Check out websites like Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, Felix Neck, or Polly Hill Arboretum for upcoming events, guided walks, and more. The island has some incredible walking trails that are explorable during the winter - just make sure to bundle up! Be sure to download the TrailsMV app to get a lay of the land and help you navigate the Island's extensive network of trails.
5. Visit our local farms and farmstands like The Grey Barn Farm and North Tabor Farm for fresh produce, locally raised meat and award winning cheeses. For some animal fun be sure to stop by the Alpaca Farm, which is open daily, year round from 10am to 4pm.
For those looking for a relaxed vacation, and a quiet place to enjoy peace and tranquility, planning a visit to the island in the winter months is ideal. It’s also a great time for budget conscious travelers, as hotel rates are at their lowest, restaurants run winter specials all season long, and shops have endless sale racks. It’s a great way to get to know and explore the island, meet the locals, and embrace the island in all it’s snowy glory.
For more year round visiting tips check out the following links:
What to Do on Martha’s Vineyard in the Off-Season by We Are Not Martha
Martha’s Vineyard, Off-Season by The New York Times
The Insider’s Guide to Martha’s Vineyard, The Off-Season Edition by Ball & Buck
Unexpected pleasures of Martha’s Vineyard in the winter by The Boston Globe
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