A look at local offerings for Winter 2019
Aquinnah Public Library
A little history on this gorgeous library: The Aquinnah Public Library is located in the historic Red Schoolhouse building at 1 Church Street in Aquinnah. It was renovated by the town with the assistance of a grant through the Massachusetts Historic Commission.
The Gay Head Public Library (renamed the Aquinnah Public Library in 1998) was established in 1901 by an act of the State Legislature in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. At the time of its establishment, the legislature also appropriated funds for the purchase of a small collection. Prior to that time, the town school was the sole repository of publicly-owned volumes. From its inception, the new library found itself competing for space with all the other public needs of the town. The schoolhouse was the only public building in existence until the Town Hall was constructed in 1929. Books purchased with that first entitlement and those brought in later years were kept in the schoolhouse, and were later moved across the street to a room next to the stage in the new Town Hall.
Drawing Group (for adults)
Thursdays in February and March 2.30-3.30pm (excluding February 21):
Drawing can be a deeply relaxing activity. Participants will practice enjoying the process and trusting their own vision. We will be exploring and acquiring skills, rather than setting out to make finished pieces of art. This group is led by Elissa Turnbull, an illustrator and kind-hearted teacher. All experience levels welcome. This is a class for adults but it’s open to children 12+ who have a strong interest.
Coding Club (ages 8 and up):
Tuesdays in February and March and April 3-4pm
The ability to code computer programs is an important part of modern literacy. Scratch is a programming language that allows the coder to bypass learning obscure syntax and jump right into creating interactive stories, games and animations. A free platform, developed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab, Scratch was designed especially for people ages 8 to 16. Playing around in Scratch, kids learn important mathematical and computational concepts, as well as how to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.|
Kids Pizza and a Movie:
We will be having our last pizza + movie of the winter on Thursday February 28, which is during the school vacatoin week.
Thursdays in February and March 2-3 pm
Chilmark Free Public Library
Ebba Hierta, Library Director
Greetings from the island's oldest library, founded in 1882 by noted feminist and suffragist Alice Stone Blackwell and her cousin Florence Blackwell Mayhew. Here are a few things we're doing to stay busy over the winter:
This year we've started an occasional Saturday afternoon program called Chowder and Chat. It's a casual, drop-in get together with different community leaders. We put on a pot of chowder and invite people to come by, have some lunch and join the conversation. Check with the library for the schedule.
On Wednesday evenings we are hosting a series of writing workshops. Previously we’ve done a poetry writing workshop, future topics include nature writing and food writing. When we're not talking about writing, we might be talking about arts and crafts. Figure drawing, hand mending and collage are a few of the topics.
Edgartown Public Library
Lisa Sherman, Library Director
What's up at the Edgartown Library this February? Quite a lot -- from music to movies, from celebrations to learning opportunities.
Highlights of January included the first Slow Cooking class of the winter season, and the first of two workshops on Social Media. Both these programs continue in February, together with a busy calendar of films (and Opera Club, of course) as well as programs for young adults and children. And during school vacation, which stretches from the end of February into the beginning of March, we have special activities for kids of all ages every day of the week. We invite you to enjoy all that the library has to offer through the winter month ahead.
Oak Bluffs Public Library
Carolina Cooney, Program Coordinator
When the rest of the island shuts down, the Oak Bluffs Library is still hopping. Our cozy lounge area, complete with coffee, is the perfect place to spend the day, and we have a very impressive board game selection to keep you occupied (not to mention a plethora of fascinating books). 2019 is also OBPL's Year of the Series, and all month long we have programs on cooking, art, science, dance, and more; plus chess, tai chi, french class, tech help, and numerous programs for English Language Learners. Plus our most popular event of the year, Library Mini-Golf, returns this year on March 15-16th. Not only is this a super fun event, but it's a great fundraiser for our future library programs!
Vineyard Haven Public Library
Amy Ryan, Director
In addition to having an outstanding collection of books and other materials, Vineyard Haven Public Library holds weekly programs for all age groups, from babies to active older adults. Programs for adults include our Tuesday evening Lecture and Film series, monthly Book Club and monthly Adult Crafts programs, and a Public Affairs Discussion Group. Children's programs include 3 weekly story-times, after-school crafts, gaming, and "Build Club" STEAM programming. All library programs are free and open to all.
In order to accommodate growing program attendance, The Library Trustees have just engaged Maryann Thompson, Architects, to design an addition to the library in order to build a multipurpose meeting room. This project will be funded through a capital campaign, and more details can be found on the project website, http://vhlibrary.org/Building.shtml
West Tisbury Free Public Library
The West Tisbury Free Public Library is as old as the town itself. In 1892, the same year the town was incorporated, the West Tisbury Free Public Library Association purchased the former Dukes County Academy study hall and dormitory on Music Street. The library opened in 1893 and was operated independently until 1968, when the town voted to accept the library as a gift from the private association.
Some of their events:
Music & Make Believe Class
Saturdays from 10:15-10:45am
Little Bird’s Laura Jordan presents seasonal songs, movement and dramatic play. Children are encouraged to express themselves in whatever shape or form that feels natural and comfortable. Classes will meet 2/9, 2/23, 3/9, 3/16, 3/23, and 3/30. Sign up is required, and please try to attend all six sessions. Recommended for ages 3+.
Little Bird Music Class
Saturdays from 10:45-11:15am
Little Bird’s Laura Jordan presents seasonal songs and movement. The class is somewhat structured but it’s a free flowing environment, allowing space for magic to happen in the moment. Children of all ages welcome and the more the merrier! No sign up required. Classes will meet 2/9, 2/23, 3/9, 3/16, 3/23, and 3/30.
The game is scheduled to be played on February 3, 2019 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. And there are no bigger football fans than New England Patriots fans, so you can be sure these top three places to watch Super Bowl 53 on Martha’s Vineyard are going to be pumped full of fandom.
Sharky’s Cantina in Edgartown - this seems to be the biggest party every year, and over the last 3 years they’ve given away $24,000+ in prizes! Watch the game on one of 15 TVs, including 70-in., 60-in., and 50-in. televisions at full volume. Raffles, food & drink specials, and so much more are always part of this fun day. Call the restaurant at 508-627-6565 for additional information.
The Barn, Bowl, & Bistro - this hot spot in Oak Bluffs is always a fun environment no matter what, but with the Super Bowl on the screens, we know that their staff will be coming up with a fun party. Food and drink specials, along with more surprises will make this a great place to be on Super Bowl Sunday!
Ocean View Restaurant in Oak Bluffs - watch the game across all 10 of the restaurant’s televisions, and enjoy food and drink specials. Call the restaurant at 508-627-9966 for additional information.
Discover where to warm up this cold winter with the island’s most comforting and chocolate-based drinks
New England is well known for our cold winters, so those of us that live here, along with visitors to the island, are often looking for ways to warm up during those brrrr days.
First, let’s talk about the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate. Although sometimes used interchangeably, they are two different things:
Below we have listed ten coffee shops on island that you can get your hot cocoa or hot chocolate fix, alongside baked goods and other treats that one would want paired with their hot, chocolate infused drink:
If you’re visiting Martha’s Vineyard, you are most certain to Google the words “where to eat clam chowder on Martha’s Vineyard” at least once before your trip. Because New England is known for some of the best, if not the best chowder in the United States (we don’t talk about the red, tomato based Manhattan chowder), so we wanted to check out some of the best clam chowders on island, recommend by islanders and visitors alike!
But first, let’s talk about the history of clam chowder, what it actually is, where it originated, and why it has become such a popular New England dish that can now be found anywhere from Miami to Texas and everywhere in between. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it is “a soup or stew of seafood (such as clams or fish) usually made with milk or tomatoes, salt pork, onions, and other vegetables (such as potatoes)."
There are as many types of clam chowders as there are New England states, if not more. Delaware clam chowder, Hatteras clam chowder, Long Island clam chowder, Manhattan clam chowder, Minorcan clam chowder,New Jersey clam chowder, and Rhode Island clam chowder are just some of the few variations of this dish that can be found in the Eastern coast of the United States.
It is believed that New England style clam chowder was introduced by the French, Nova Scotian, or British settlers in the 1700s and continued to gain popularity, where it was being served in Boston at Ye Olde Union Oyster House by 1836. So - where can you find clam chowder on Martha’s Vineyard nowadays? Below we’ve listed three restaurants on island that make their own clam chowder from start to finish and are great places to discover what makes a delicious chowder. We can’t say what the best is - you’re going to have to taste and judge them yourself!
Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company located in Oak Bluffs - one of the most distinctive clam chowder on island, this chowder has won awards throughout the years. It’s packed with a secret blend of herbs, celery, potatoes, and SO many clams. There is no flour, butter, or pork in this chowder - ingredients traditional in chowder but the lack of them do not affect how delicious this clam chowder is. The texture is just right - not too thin nor too thick.
Offshore Ale Company located in Oak Bluffs - one of the island’s local breweries, Offshore Ale is a great spot to grab a cup of clam chowder and a tall glass of locally made beer. Their chowder is on the thinner side, made with all the traditional chowder ingredients. This cup also had a TON of clams in it - not diced, but larger chunks of clams, making it for a good bite.
The Wharf Pub in Edgartown - the most recent first place winner of the island’s Annual Great Chowder Contest, this chowder is a bit thicker so if you’re looking for a thicker chowder this is it. It’s quite rich and buttery, with bits of bacon and celery within the cup. Another delicious option on Martha’s Vineyard!
Some might think that Martha’s Vineyard is a seasonal location, where you only visit during the spring and summer, but winter is also one of the best times to visit the island [if you love the cold weather, of course!] Because in all honesty, it’s still New England so the weather will be cold but we can assure you that it’s well worth it because there is so much fun to have in the winter!
Discovering Martha’s Vineyard in the off season is such a treat and we think it’s just such a gorgeous time to explore the snow covered island. Martha’s Vineyard in the winter is filled with activities such as trail walking, local shopping, and quite honestly - the island is also the ideal winter retreat for creatives like artists and writers.
As you plan your winter getaway to the island, make sure to read a few of the articles below to get you ready to explore:
Unexpected pleasures of Martha’s Vineyard in the winter by the Boston Globe
Martha’s Vineyard, off-season by the New York Times
The Vineyard in Winter by Smithsonian Magazine
Top Ten Things About Vineyard Winters by Martha’s Vineyard Magazine
What to Do on Martha’s Vineyard in the Off-Season by We Are Not Martha
Runners from all over will descend on Martha’s Vineyard once again for the Martha’s Vineyard 20 Miler on Saturday, February 16. Their motto is “no weenies” and they mean it. While the race is open to runners of all levels it is not for the faint of heart, it’s twenty miles after all! Highly competitive die-hard runners, marathoners, and dedicated recreational runners compete alongside one another for the chance to bask in the glory. While multiple award levels exist, every last runner receives a finisher medal and an official MV 20-Miler long sleeve t-shirt. After all the real reward is just being here and being able to compete!
Not only does the race offer a USA Track & Field (USATF) certified course but it’s on Martha’s Vineyard so you know it’s beautiful. The course is described as mostly flat, with some rolling hills, and circles through the varied terrain of three iconic Island towns. The race starts at Vineyard Haven harbor, home to the Steamship Authority ferry terminal. From there runners pass by the historic Gingerbread Cottages of Oak Bluffs, work their way along picturesque Beach Road, where they can admire Nantucket Sound to their left and Sengekontacket Pond to their right (it’s a beautiful sight but may be windy and cold in February so plan accordingly).
Runners continue along toward downtown Edgartown including a section of the town’s farming community, and finish back at the Oak Bluffs School after a trek through the State Forest. The course includes mile markers, water stations, and fun post race festivities. Think music and food, including none other than New England clam chowder, and yummy hot chocolate. Sounds pretty amazing, right?
Amazing but exhausting. So don’t worry, if you want in on the action but can’t commit to the full 20 miles grab a partner and enter the Amity Island Relay. In the relay both partners complete 10 miles instead of 20. The relay is split into 3 categories, regardless of age: All-Male, All-Female, and Co-Ed. A shuttle bus will transport relay runners from the start to the relay area at mile 10 and back to the finish.
Ready to sign up? Head on over to the MV20 website and get started. Act fast! The number of runners is restricted to 600 Individual 20 Milers, and 2x10 Mile Relay athletes. Relay Teams must register online with a team name. Individual runners are encouraged to sign up in advance but day of registration is possible with cash payment only, but no event swag is guaranteed. Those that sign up in advance will be rewarded with a race t-shirt, finisher medal, bag check at the starting line, post race meal at the finish, access to showers (towels are not provided), a bus back to the boat, and an experience to treasure forever. Need another reason to enter? All proceeds from this event benefit Martha's Vineyard Youth Hockey, and other Island youth organizations.
If you really want to make the most of your experience stay the weekend! A day trip to Martha’s Vineyard is always worth it but a couple extra days is even sweeter. Plus you’ll deserve some rest and relaxation after a race like that! Check out our local lodging options and ideas on other things to do while you’re on-Island. Be sure to plan appropriately for the weather, it may be an Island but it’s still winter in New England and anything is possible.
Be sure to save the date for our other great races, including the Martha’s Vineyard Marathon on May 18 and the Chilmark Road Race.
If you’re considering a trip to Martha’s Vineyard this winter you’re likely wondering what activities are available this time of year. While the events calendar isn’t as busy as the summer months, now is the perfect time to take advantage of the natural beauty of Martha’s Vineyard. There are still plenty of ways to spend your time enjoying the landscape of the Island, from the rolling hills of Chilmark to the vast woods of the West Tisbury State Forest. If you’re an active traveler plan to bundle up and head outdoors during your stay. Here’s some ways to get your heart rate up and your stress level down during a winter stay on Martha’s Vineyard.
Hiking. One of the best ways to explore the Island is by walking one of Martha’s Vineyard many hiking trails. From wooded paths, to open field trials, to stretches along seaside cliffs, there really is a trail 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. 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. 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 rock 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 any one of the Island’s 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 (something that can be spotty on-Island).
Running. If a faster pace is more your speed you’ll also enjoy the Island’s signature hiking trails for a run. For flatter, paved terrain along one of the most picturesque stretches of road consider a run from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown along Beach Road. This six mile stretch offers breathtaking views on both sides, with Nantucket Sound to your left and Sengekontacket Pond to your right. The Island’s Manuel F. Correllus State Forest is another great option for paved trails, good for running, walking, cycling, horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and more. This impressive site is home to a 5300 acre forest sits in the center of Martha's Vineyard. You'll find miles of trails, a paved bike path, and a disc golf course. For additional routes and inspiration on running around town check out these helpful local guides from Great Runs.
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.
Birding. Throughout the year more than 300 species of birds inhabit and frequent the Island, including the European cuckoo, Blackburnian warbler, Magnolia warbler, Baybreasted warbler, Canada warbler and the Black-throated blue warbler. One of the most magical birds to spot is the Snowy Owl, which frequents the south shoreline of the Island in the winter. Don’t be surprised to see some other amazing species still flying around this time of year while you’re out and about. During the warmer months enjoy a truly unique Guided Birding Tour with the Island’s own Robert Culbert of Nature Watch, by calling 508-560-5294.
Surfing. For the brave! Believe it or not Martha’s Vineyard has some greatsurf. Die hard surfers hit the south side of the Island at beaches like Squibnocket to catch the best terrain the Island has to offer. While the surf here is inconsistent, as it is in most of the Atlantic, when it’s spot on it can be pretty epic. Seasoned Island surfers claim that when we get a good swell it can be world class. If you’re not brave enough to ride the waves it’s still a treat to witness those that do, and it’s not uncommon to see surfers out in the middle of winter waiting for the perfect wave. If you’re up for trying head to the Green Room in Vineyard Haven where you can get hooked up with a surfboard and gear. Like any water sport be sure to be careful and well informed before heading in to the sea.
Hunting. Hunting on Martha’s Vineyard is almost as popular among locals as fishing, with deer hunting being the favorite. The deer population on Martha’s Vineyard is well into the thousands and it’s estimated there are currently about 40 deer per square mile of habitat on -Island. With no natural predators here deer hunting is an important way to control the population of deer and the harmful ticks they can carry. The archery season for deer generally takes place in October and November and the shotgun and firearm season takes place throughout December. Interested in giving it a shot? Check out the Martha’s Vineyard Rod & Gun Club to brush up on your skills.
Ice Skating. Martha’s Vineyard boasts a newly renovated ice arena for those that want to lace up and hit the ice. Skating is a fun, healthy activity that can be enjoyed by the whole family, and at only $5 for admission it’s one of the cheapest paid activities too. The Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena in oak Bluffs offers open skating sessions as well as ice skate rentals, and ice walkers for beginners.
We’ve heard Virginia is for lovers but we’re pretty sure Martha’s Vineyard has it beat. First off it’s an island after all, and island’s are notoriously romantic. You have to take a boat or a plane to get here so it’s remote by nature, which only adds to the appeal for couples of all kind. Despite being located only seven miles from Cape Cod it feels a world away and the natural beauty of the Island is sure to fill anyone with that loving feeling.
Then there’s the fact that Valentine’s Day is on February 14 when the Island has settled into its winter calm. The slower pace and welcomed peacefulness adds another layer of romanticism. If you’re considering a whimsical weekend getaway to Martha’s Vineyard this Valentine’s Day here’s some tips on making it even more magical.
Where to stay?
For a truly romantic experience take advantage of the Island’s quaint inns and bed and breakfasts.
Nobnocket Boutique Inn is located a short distance from the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal, so it’s convenient, while also being both comfortable and modern. It prides itself on offering “luxury with a twist” and does not disappoint. For the most romantic room in the house ask them about the Luxury Grand Room (with fireplace) or a Deluxe Room and add some champagne and strawberries for an extra special touch.
Isabelle’s Beach House in Oak Bluffs is known for its panoramic ocean views from the sprawling front porch. Just minutes walking from downtown Oak Bluffs, this seaside inn offers a convenient location while allowing inn guests to enjoy the relaxing water views and ocean breezes of Nantucket Sound.
For the most walkable option, stay at the Mansion House Hotel and Spa, located just steps from the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal and walking distance to several year round restaurants. This historic property offers a whole host of amenities including a jacuzzi, sauna, steam room and full service spa.
Where to eat?
Beach Road, Vineyard Haven. Aptly located on Beach Road, this sophisticated space serves modern American cuisine with an emphasis on seafood, while offering water views while you dine. Nothing is fresher than their local oysters which are available for only $1 each, at the bar Wednesdays through Saturdays. It’s a great deal and a no-brainer–oysters are known to be an aphrodisiac after all…
Alchemy, Edgartown. Cuddle up to your honey inside the airy dining room or bustling bar of this new American spot that’s been an Edgartown staple for over twenty years. The space is elegant and charming and the menu invokes culinary styles of Italy, France and Spain. They’re food features locally sourced ingredients from land and sea, and a whole lot of love.
Rockfish, Edgartown. Warm up inside this casual upscale bar and restaurant that boasts a beautiful wood-fired pizza oven. People flock to Rockfish for craft cocktails expertly poured across their two full bars, tasty American bites, and their popular flatbreads perfect for sharing with that special someone.
What to Do?
Share a relaxing day de-stressing and detoxifying. Join your partner for an invigorating massage or body treatment at one of Martha’s Vineyards finest spas this Valentine’s Day. The Mansion House Spa offers couples massages, as well as hot stone and aromatherapy massages. Sea Spa Salon in Edgartown offers treatments specifically tailored to him and her, including customized facials. Try one of their signature body scrubs and leave feeling softer and more rejuvenated than ever.
Enjoy a show at one of the Island’s local entertainment hubs. John Stetson America’s Master Mentalist, comes to the the Comedy Lounge at the Barn Bowl and Bistro on February 16. Share some laughs with your partner while John blends the art of mystery with the study of psychology, and a disarming sense of humor. Film buffs? Head to the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center for the best in independent films, movie classics, documentaries, and world cinema or check out what’s on stage at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse.
Take a long walk along one of the Island’s most beautiful beaches. February may not make for a hot day under the sun, but a bundled up stroll along the sand with your partner is one of the most romantic ways to spend some time together. Plus you can access some of the Island’s most beloved beaches like Lucy Vincent Beach and Lambert’s Cove Beach, which are restricted to town residents in the summer.
If you’re looking for a low-key and relaxed New Year’s Eve, yet want to have fun with friends, we have put together a complete list of what to do on New Year’s Eve on Martha’s Vineyard. Spending New Year’s on the island is such a lovely time, when businesses focus all their energy on the family and friends that visit. Plus, nothing better than starting the year on MV - January 1st on island just means you’ll be here even more throughout the year!
Where to Stay
Wondering where to stay? You can definitely rent a winter rental with one of our many real estate companies, or stay at one of the island hotels listed below. Plus more ideas online on our where to stay page.
Where to Eat & Party
Whatever you decide to do to welcome 2019, we are excited to have you celebrating on island! Make sure to tag your photos on social media with #marthasvineyard and #VisitMV so we can share your celebrations!
Martha’s Vineyard is an idyllic Island escape located approximately seven miles from the southern tip of Cape Cod and about 30 miles from Nantucket. Once you’re here you’ll feel like you’re a world away, and it’s a refreshing change from the bustle and bustle of the mainland. While there’s more than enough to keep you entertained on-Island there’s also various day trips that you can take to explore nearby lands, quickly and conveniently, and without a car. Here’s a round up of some of our favorite travel trips for getting you “off the rock” (but we won’t blame you if you just want to stay put).
Woods Hole Village
Distance from Martha’s Vineyard: approx. 7 miles
Getting there: Via the Steamship Authority ferry, year round, 45 mins travel time, $8.50 for a passenger ferry ticket each way
About: Woods Hole is a quaint fishing village located in Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, and it’s home to the year round Steamship Authority ferry. Most visitors travel through Woods Hole to get to Martha’s Vineyard but Woods Hole is a destination in itself and often overlooked by those travelling to Martha’s Vineyard.
Things to do: In addition to great shopping and delectable dining (the pop overs at Pie in the Sky and the fried chicken at Water Street Kitchen are a must) Woods Hole is home to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), a global leader in ocean science and exploration. The WHOI operates a small, public science aquarium (admission is free, but donations are gladly accepted) that displays approximately 140 species of marine animals found in Northeast and Middle Atlantic waters. Nerby, the Woods Hole Historical Museum is a lively but small museum with changing exhibits and diverse programs. You can’t miss the Nobska Point Lighthouse, which you’ll see from the ferry as you’re approaching Woods Hole. This stately 40-foot tower was built in 1876 and recently began offering seasonal tours.
For the cycling enthusiasts you’ll want to bring a bike on board the ferry (an additional $4 fee) and explore the Shining Seas Bikeway (SSB), a paved 10.7 mile bikepath that begins in Woods Hole and continues 10.7 miles north along the west coast of Falmouth. The Shining Sea Bikeway (SSB) was named for a line in the song America The Beautiful, written by Falmouth native Katharine Lee Bates. It follows the original route of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad that used to run from Buzzards Bay, through North and West Falmouth, around Woods Hole and into Falmouth Station.
Distance from Martha’s Vineyard: approx. 11 miles
Getting there: Via the Steamship Authority ferry, year round, 45 mins travel time, $8.50 for a passenger ferry ticket each way. Take the complimentary shuttle to the Palmer lot and walk to Main Street Falmouth. You can also take the Patriot Party Boat year round ($12 each way), or the Island Queen ferry in the summer months ($14 one way, $22 round trip), which both depart from Oak Bluffs harbor and arrive into Falmouth harbor. It’s a short walk to Main Street from there.
About: Falmouth Village offers shopping, dining, and playing all within steps of Falmouth’s beautiful beaches. Stroll Falmouth Village’s tree-lined Main Street and you’ll find locally-owned shops filled with unique gifts, apparel, artworks, books and more. From day spas to night life there’s more than enough to explore in one day.
Things to do:
Highfield Hall and Gardens is one of Cape Cod’s premier historic sites located in downtown Falmouth. This 19th century estate and cultural center is open to the public from April 15 – October 31 and boasts spectacular gardens, 400 acres of nature trails, fun special events and high-quality programming for all ages. Nearby is Falmouth Museums on the Gree, a two-acre campus across from the historic downtown Village Green. Admission is only $5 and visitors can enjoy tours of the 1790 Dr. Francis Wicks House, the 1730 Conant House, the Hallett Barn Visitors Center, the Cultural Center, and the colonial gardens. Historic walking tours of Falmouth also take place Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Bowling and gaming enthusiasts can enjoy Ryan Family Amusements for some fun for the whole family while foodies can eat their way down Main Street and choose from a variety of fare including Italian, Mexican, Thai, Indian, Greek, New American cuisine, and of course, seafood!
Distance from Martha’s Vineyard: approx. 16 miles
Getting there: Via Hyline Cruises, seasonally, approximately one hour travel time, $29.50 each way, $59 round trip
About: Hyannis is located in the mid-Cape area and is the closest thing you’ll find to a city on Cape Cod. It is the commercial and transportation hub of Cape Cod and was designated an urban area in 1990. Islanders flock to Hyannis for its shopping which includes the Cape Cod Mall, Trader Joe’s Christmas Tree Shops, Cost Plus World Market, Old Navy, and more. While those destinations require a cab or car to travel to from the boat, there are several small shops, boutiques and restaurants located on Main Street, just a short walk from where the ferry arrives. Historically, Hyannis has been known for the private Kennedy Compound at nearby Hyannis Port and the family’s legacy lives on in the hearts and minds of locals.
Things to do:
Located on the inner harbor in Hyannis, the Cape Cod Maritime Museum is a devoted to maritime culture on Cape Cod. The museum houses a rotating collection of maritime art steps from the ferry dock. The John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum is one of the most popular attractions in downtown Hyannis, and includes a multimedia exhibit designed to open a window on the days JFK spent on Cape Cod. The Museum's exhibits features videos and photographs spanning the years from 1934 to 1963. For a true taste of Hyannis walk up and down Main Street exploring the various shops, and admiring the work of local artists and designers.
Distance from Martha’s Vineyard: approx. 25 miles
Getting there: Via Hy-line Cruises InterIsland ferry, seasonally, approximately 70 minute travel time, $36 each way, $65 round trip
About: When it comes to comparing Martha’s Vineyard to Nantucket each Island has its own distinct charm. While Martha’s Vineyard measures approximately 100 square miles, our smaller sister Island to the southeast is about half the size. Martha’s Vineyard boasts six different towns while Nantucket has one, aptly named Town. The wharves and picturesque cobblestoned streets of the Town are lined with restaurants, high-end boutiques and steepled churches, and the island’s rich whaling history is celebrated throughout. The National Park Service cites Nantucket, as being the "finest surviving architectural and environmental example of a late 18th- and early 19th-century New England seaport town." It’s old New England charm is appreciated and admired by thousands of visitors each year.
Things to do: No stay in Nantucket is complete without a visit to the Nantucket Whaling Museum which showcases Nantucket’s rich history and significance in the whaling industry. One of the museum’s most impressive sites is the forty-six-foot-long sperm whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling, as well as the fresnel lens from the Sankaty Head Light that is proudly on display in the lobby. Step outside the museum and discover a plethora of shops, restaurants and galleries along the cobblestone streets.
Beer lovers can hop a complimentary shuttle to Cisco Brewing Company from downtown, located about 2.5 miles inland. Explore the brewery, distillery, and winery, which offers food and live music along with sips of their house made beverages.
For lighthouse aficionados the Great Point Light can’t be missed. Towering more than 60 feet, this historic lighthouse was established in 1784, destroyed in 1984 and rebuilt in 1986. Located on the Coskata Coatue Wildlife Refuge, you can get a tour of the lighthouse depending on the time of year and access to the lighthouse.
For the best view of the Island make sure to climb atop the tower of the First Congregational Church and be rewarded with a panoramic look from above.
It’s no surprise that Martha’s Vineyard plays hosts to hundreds of weddings a year. With its unparalleled natural beauty, unique Island allure, and Old World charm your hard pressed to find a more romantic location. While the Island makes for a beautiful backdrop it can also be a logistically challenging location to host a special event, but with the help of some extra considerations you can plan the perfect Martha’s Vineyard wedding. Here’s some local insider tips to help guarantee a memorable celebration for you and your guests.
Over-communicate the details
Chances are many of your guests may be new to the Island and have limited knowledge of the logistics involved in getting here, getting around and their available travel options. You’ll want to thoroughly communicate the steps involved in getting here and what your guests can do in advance to be prepared. Make sure to have a detailed wedding website or information card in your invitation that breaks down available travel options as soon as possible. Travelling to the Vineyard isn’t hard but it does require pre planning, especially for big groups.
Ferry and plane service are available year round but schedules depend on the season. Cape Air offers year round air travel from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Delta, JetBlue, and American Airlines offer seasonal service from various locations including New York and Washington D.C. For additional details visit the Martha’s Vineyard airport website here.
The Steamship Authority offers year round ferry service from Woods Hole, MA and is the only way to get your car to the Island. There are also several seasonal ferries available including the Island Queen from Falmouth, Hyline Cruises from Hyannis, Seastreak from New York and New Bedford and the Rhode Island Fast Ferry from North Kingston.
Plan in advance
Be sure to provide clear instructions for your guests so they allot enough lead time for travel. For example if your guests plan to take a car over to the Island for your summer wedding they should make that reservation with the Steamship Authority months in advance. Visit our Getting Here page for a breakdown of the various travel options year round.
You’ll also want to help your guests secure lodging as far in advance as possible, especially if your event is taking place in the summer. The summer is the busiest time on Martha’s Vineyard and hotels, inns and rental homes also book up months in advance. Consider a spring or fall wedding when the weather is a little cooler, rates are lower and the crowds have lessened. Also keep in mind the spring and fall can also bring more rain and wind, which can complicate your travel arrangements. Ferries are regularly cancelled because of bad weather and high winds which may affect your timeline so be aware that these types of scenarios are possible and plan accordingly.
Whenever you decide to tie the knot on Martha’s Vineyard make sure to reach out to local wedding vendors as soon as you’ve locked in a date, as there are limited resources and a high demand for their services.
When it comes to lodging keep in mind that there are is not an endless selection of large hotel options like there may be on the mainland. The hotels that can accomodate the most guests include The Winnetu Oceanside Resort, the Clarion Inn and the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown; the Mansion House in Vineyard Haven and Summer Camp in Oak Bluffs. Other smaller hotels, like the Hob Knob Hotel, provide a more intimate setting and can be bought out exclusively for your guests. Another popular option for housing big groups is to rent a private home. AirBnb, VRBO and homeaway.com all offer several listings on the Island, as well as local real estate companies like Point B Realty, Sandpiper Realty and Tea Lane Associates.
Hire a wedding planner
Given the nuances of the Island and the special considerations involved in planning a Martha’s Vineyard wedding, you may want to consider hiring a wedding planner to help you navigate through the logistics and available vendors. Martha’s Vineyard is home to some incredibly organized and well connected wedding planners including KG Events & Design, Plan It MV, Timeless Events, With Grace and others. Their expertise, local knowledge and widespread resources will help ensure your wedding goes off without a hitch and will leave you to focus on more important things.
Many people ask us if it’s still worth visiting Martha’s Vineyard this time of year. The answer is always “yes.” The fall and winter months on Martha’s Vineyard are noticeably more quiet but there is a peacefulness around that you won’t find in the summer. This time of year allows you to mingle with friendly locals who are eager to share their recommendations, and meet the shopkeepers and business owners that have the time to interact with new faces. Visiting during the winter months also means cheaper rates on hotel rooms and better deals, as well as more access to places you would be restricted to in the summer, like some of our most coveted beaches.
While some seasonal businesses have already closed, more than enough remain open to entertain weekend and day trippers. The holidays on Martha’s Vineyard are especially worth the trip, it’s a genuinely magical time full of old-world charm. Here’s some tips to help you discover the magic of Martha’s Vineyard throughout the year.
Getting to Martha’s Vineyard in the winter is just as easy as travelling here in the summer. The Steamship Authority, our year round ferry service, continues to operate daily, offering more than a dozen trips a day from the mainland in Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard. If you’re planning to walk on the ferry without bringing your car you’ll want to be sure to remember to park your car at one of their designated parking lots, where you can take a shuttle down to Woods Hole. You’ll have to pay to park at the lot ($10/day through March), but the shuttle is complimentary. Once you arrive to the Steamship Authority terminal you can purchase a passenger ticket ($8.50 each way). If you’re planning to bring you your car with you to the Island you’ll need to contact the Steamship Authority in advance to reserve a spot. Another great reason to visit in the winter is reduced rates on the ferry.
If you’re travelling without a car you can also arrive directly to the Woods Hole terminal via Peter Pan Bus lines. You can take a direct bus from Boston or transfer from Boston’s South Station from several other locations. Peter Pan Bus has a great app to purchase tickets in advance via mobile.
Flights to and from Martha’s Vineyard are also possible throughout the winter months. Cape Air continues to run trips from Boston, Westchester County and Nantucket from the Martha’s Vineyard Airport. Nothing beats arriving in the sky and being treated to an aerial view of Martha’s Vineyard!
Where to Stay
There are several hotels and inns on Martha’s Vineyard that offer year round lodging and world class hospitality. One of the most convenient locations is the Mansion House, located steps from the ferry terminal, and situated in historic downtown Vineyard Haven. The Mansion House offers a variety of guest rooms and suites, as well as an on site, fitness center, pool and spa. For a full list of lodging check out our hotel directory.
Martha's Vineyard is home to the Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA), which offers a comprehensive bus system that connects all towns: Edgartown, Oak Bluffs,Vineyard Haven, Aquinnah, Chilmark, and West Tisbury. Frequency of service varies with the season, but buses run regularly and reliably year-round and are a great cost-effective way to see the beauty of the Island. You can pay as you go, or purchase 1-day, 3-day, or 1-week bus passes on the buses or at the Steamship Authority. All VTA buses are handicap accessible, and are equipped with bike racks. Visit their website to view their suggestion on how to see the Island in one day using public transit as well as current schedules, route maps, fares and additional information.
For a more private ride enlist the help of local Martha’s Vineyard cab companies including Lighthouse Taxi, Stagecoach Taxi, and Adam Cab among others. Cabs are generally available for pick up at the Steamship Authority in Vineyard Haven once you arrive on the Island, or can be called for scheduled service. Uber is also available on the Island year round.
If you’re looking to rent your own wheels you can rent a car year round through the Hertz office located at the Martha’s Vineyard airport. Looking for two wheels? Bike rentals are always available at Anderson’s Bike Rental on Oak Bluffs harbor and throughout most of the year at Wheel Happy in Edgartown.
Yes, Martha’s Vineyard is home to many seasonal businesses but there are still more than enough places that stay open throughout the year to keep things interesting around here. For the arts lover be sure to check out Featherstone Center for the Arts, a year round arts center with galleries and exhibit spaces as well as classes and open studios. Two of our local movie houses are also open year round for your cinematic pleasure. Entertainment Cinemas in Edgartown is your go-to for the big Hollywood blockbusters and the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center is our independent art house cinema that screens many smaller, independent films as well as hosting various film festivals and special events. Nature lovers are always in luck on Martha’s Vineyard as most of the Island’s protected lands and trails are open year round and offer free fun while taking in the natural beauty of Martha’s Vineyard. Download the TrailsMV app for iOS or Android to see a comprehensive map of all of the trails available for exploration. Foodies can also rejoice in knowing that there’s still dozens of restaurants that stay open throughout the winter too. Check out What’s Open on Martha’s Vineyard for a real-time index of places to eat on the Island.
Be sure to stop by the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce office, located at 24 Beach Street in Vineyard Haven, steps from the Steamship Authority ferry terminal. Open year round the Chamber can answer any questions you may have while visiting, and supply you with free maps and brochures for making the most of your stay. Remember that a trip to the Island any time of year is sure to be a memorable time!
“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.” ~Bernard Baruch (1870-1965)
‘Tis the season for delicious apples and in conjunction with our friends over at Visit Massachusetts we wanted to share our love for apples and where you can find apple dishes, desserts, and drink on Martha’s Vineyard!
“Applechusetts is ripe for the visiting. A fruit favorite for wellness, the harvest season staple come in a spectrum of shapes, sizes, colors, flavors, and textures. More than tasty treats alone, apples represent heritage, family, tradition, and - the really good stuff - memories. Get to the core of Massachusetts with pick-your-own orchards, hard cider tastings, family-friendly festivals, and bushels more!” - Visit MA
Not only are apples delicious to eat, but their health benefits abound so like the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, we made sure to find the most delicious apple dishes on Martha’s Vineyard to share with you. All of these restaurants are open year round, so whenever you’re craving something with apples, we are sure they will impress!
Espresso Love’s “Love Salad” in Edgartown is packed with tender mixed greens, apples, goat cheese, toasted walnuts, all tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette that makes the perfect light seasonal lunch!
The Wharf Pub’s “Apple Salad” is another healthy lunch or dinner idea, with a salad that’s composed of green apples, mixed greens, blue cheese, red onion, potato stix, crushed pecans & all tossed in a luscious champagne vinaigrette.
Alchemy’s “Grammy's Pancrepes” are a cross between a pancake and a crepe and are a delicious brunch option on Sundays on island. They come served with the most delicious apple butter, fresh berries, pecan crumble, and NH maple syrup to douse it all in.
Nat’s Nook’s “Apple Butter Crepe” is just as the name states, a freshly made and warm thin crepe slathered in apple butter and served with maple syrup. Sit in one of their cozy tables and order a latte to go with it and it’s the perfect mid-afternoon treat!
Scottish Bakehouse’s “Hot Organic Ancient Grain Cereal” is the kind of breakfast you need on a cold winter morning before work. The ancient grains cereal will fill you up and the topping of apples and warm cinnamon will entice your senses.
State Road is where you’ll go all out because they have two apples desserts and two apple savory dishes on their various menus, so go apple-crazy!
With winter approaching, the weather on Martha’s Vineyard is a sharp contrast to our hot, summer beach days. While the climate on-Island is generally more mild than mainland Massachusetts, it can get very windy, and snow and cold temperatures are typical this time of year. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you’ll want to layer up and often bundle up while exploring Martha’s Vineyard during the winter months.
So where can you stock up on cold weather gear or pick up a last minute hat or scarf if you forget to pack one? While there’s no chain retailers on Martha’s Vineyard there are some great local shops where you can find some of your favorite off-Island brands to keep you warm this winter. Watch out for special deals and discounts throughout the holiday season and note that many stores have more limited hours once January rolls around so call ahead to make sure they’re open.
The Green Room, 71 Main Street, Vineyard Haven
Since 1994 the Green Room has been providing the Island with high quality, good looking clothing and outdoor gear. The two floor store is packed with casual, outdoorsy essentials, as well as pieces that can be incorporated into an elegant evening out, making it a versatile place and a great one-stop shop for whatever you might need. It’s the go-to spot for those reliable outdoor brands that are known for keeping you warm and cozy, like Patagonia, the North Face, Barbour, Oakley, Pendleton, Save the Duck, True Grit and more. You can also find coveted rain boots from Hunter and Chooka, and durable footwear like Frye, Clarks, Dansko, as well as cozy slippers from Minnetonka. For the warmer weather (or those brave winter souls) Green Room is also the go-to Island resource for surfwear and skateboarding gear, as well as snowboarding supplies.
Brickman’s, 8 Main Street, Vineyard Haven
Established in 1913 as a cobbler shop, Brickman's has evolved into a full service footwear, apparel, sporting goods and toy store for the entire family. It’s the closest thing you’ll find to a department store on Martha’s Vineyard and stay stocked with practical finds for all seasons. When it comes to staying warm you can browse their selection of jackets, coats, vests, hats, scarves and socks from brands like Woolrich, Adidas, Marmot, Carhart, Prana and more. (Insider tip if it’s ever applicable, it’s also the only retailer on Martha’s Vineyard that offers tuxedo rentals).
Basics, 24 Circuit Ave, Oak Bluffs
This year-round Circuit Avenue staple focuses on affordable, easy fashion for women, men and children. In the summer season they also have a sister store, Eastaway Clothing, located across the street with trendy, Island inspired fashion. In the winter stop in for flannel lined canvas work dungarees and fleece lined jeans from Carhart, shoes from Woolrich, outerwear from Timberland and fashions from brands like Billabong, Fossil and Levis. Basics also boasts an impressive shoe and footwear selection including designer kicks from Ugg, Frye, and Under Armour, with a wide variety of styles and competitive prices. It’s also one of the only stores on Martha’s Vineyard where you’ll find a wide selection of infant and children’s clothes throughout the seasons.
Backwater Trading Company, 4-6 Main Street, Edgartown
This locally owned lifestyle shop challenges you to “step outside of the normal current,” and once you step in to the store you won’t want to leave. Conveniently located in downtown Edgartown, steps from the harbor, this bustling boutique has everything you need for getting outside, finding adventure and looking good while doing it. Backwater is finely curated with finds for men, women and children, featuring brands like Patagonia, Arcteryx, Olive & Oak, Marmot, Woolrich, Toad & Co., Under Armour, Hatley and more.
Another great feature of all of the above mentioned winter clothing retailers? They’re all locally owned small businesses and you can feel good shopping while knowing your purchases are making a difference in the lives of our local community. Now that’s something to really warm you up! For a full list of Island clothing stores check out our directory here.
Where to Eat the Most Indulgent Food on Martha’s Vineyard During Our Coldest Months
Now that the temperatures are more classic New England winter, we wanted to put together a list of some of our favorite comfort foods on island to help you get through the cold winter. Nothing like warming foods, take are nostalgic yet modern, that remind us of our childhood, and ultimately makes us warm from the inside out! The restaurants listed below are scattered around the main towns of the island: Edgartown, Vineyard Haven, and Oak Bluffs. They are restaurants that are also open during the winter, making them extra special to the locals.
Alchemy: New England Fish Cake with Baked Beans
Start your Sunday with brunch over at Alchemy in Edgartown, where they have just implemented their brunch and are serving up some delicious options! Our recommendation is their New England Fish Cake with Baked Beans. A gorgeous fish cake sits atop of greens and those classic New England baked beans, so hearty and delicious. Topped with a sunny side up egg, what more could you ask for?
Humphrey’s: Hot Pressed Gobbler Sandwich
The perfect Thanksgiving meal pressed between freshly made bread at Humphrey’s. They freshly roast their turkey and then the sandwich is layered with juicy turkey, homemade stuffing, and cranberry sauce, all held together with melted cheese. A true holiday sandwich!
l’etoile: Short Ribs over Polenta
l'étoile restaurant is chef-owned & operated. They offer an inventive & fresh, seasonally-driven menu utilizing native ingredients such as produce, herbs, and berries from local farms and shellfish from the surrounding waters, along with fresh game birds, lamb and other meats. Their braised boneless short ribs, “Tony Meyer’s style” are served over a maple smoked cheddar polenta with a roasted tomato and onion marmalade!
Scottish Bakehouse: Brazilian Plate
One of the Scottish Bakehouse classic’s, this Brazilian plate is composed of jasmine white rice, beans, sautéed onions, chef’s choice of two cold salads plus your choice of chicken, beef or pork. With our island’s large community of Brazilian Americans, we know a taste of home is always welcome!
The Food Truck: Lemon Rosemary Fries
Oh fries, salty goodness that makes us come back for more! The Lemon Rosemary Fries at The Food Truck have a cult following - they are THAT good! Something about the blend of fragrant rosemary with the citrusy brightness of lemon salt make these fries the best fries on island, if we do say so ourselves! Grab a bag or two - because you won’t want to share them with anyone! They are located at the Airport Business Park and open for lunch Monday through Friday, 11am until 2pm. You can call or text your orders to 508-560-5883.
Square Rigger: Extra Stuffed Grilled Lobster
Chunks of lobster meat, grilled and served with an herbed lemon butter, along with a vegetables side, potato salad or rice, greens salad, and freshly baked bread. The lobster at The Square Rigger is a splurge but it’s definitely worth every penny. It’s grilled to perfection, not overcooked, but with a bit of char on the meat to give it a delicious flavor. Go all out and ask for extra melted butter to dip you lobster meat in!
La Soffitta: Linguini di Mare
La Soffitta features authentic Italian cuisine accompanied by a great wine list and classic cocktails and located on the upper level above Waterside Market right on Main Street in Vineyard Haven just a block from the ferry. They are serving dinner year round featuring authentic Italian cuisine prepared by Chef Salvatore Della Torre and our recommendation is their Linguini di Mare - perfect for the seafood and pasta lover: sea scallops, shrimp, clams, mussels, lobster, and calamari all come together in a spicy tomato sauce with parsley and garlic!
Ocean View: Classic Breakfast
For those that like simple comforts, head to the Ocean View Restaurant & Tavern in Oak Bluffs for Sunday brunch and get their classic breakfast of eggs, bacon, toast - sometimes the simplest of foods are the most delicious!
This will be the 37th Annual Christmas in Edgartown, December 6-9, 2018 Voted Best of the Vineyard for the fourth year in a row, Christmas in Edgartown is a weekend festival you don’t want to miss! Every year through the various events, Christmas In Edgartown helps raise over $50,000 for island-wide charities and non-profits. Come be apart of the holiday magic! Over 100 Edgartown and Island Businesses participate in the weekend festivities, where locals and visitors alike rejoice in the holiday spirit.
First things first, if you’re coming from the mainland, this is the first year you’ll have THREE ways of getting to the island, listed below:
Make your way to Edgartown direct from Hyannis on the Hy-Line Cruises
Come over from New Bedford straight to Edgartown with the Seastreak ferry
Ride over to Vineyard Haven from Woods Hole on our incredible Steamship Authority
It’s a joy that all these ferries will be coming in to MV - two directly into Edgartown Harbor specifically for Christmas in Edgartown, so nothing could be easier than heading over to us this holiday season. Now, what’s Christmas in Edgartown all about and what are these 100 events the town has prepared just for you? Below is just a sampling of the Christmas in Edgartown events, you can see the full listing online here.
You can also click on the events below and you’ll be taken to more information about said event:
The Teddy Bear Suite at 17 Winter Street – 12/06/2018 at 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Celebrating its 8th enchanting year, located at Nevin Square for 2018, Point B Realty’s Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite fundraiser is a magical holiday tradition where family memories are made. The money raised goes to help the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club’s Healthy Happy Kids, its after school food program, which helps provide hundreds of Island children with nutritious food and helps the battle against childhood hunger on the Island. This beloved event, the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite, has a new home for the season. You will find the bears at 17 Winter Street, Edgartown – Nevin Square. This downtown location puts the bears at the center of all the Christmas in Edgartown holiday fun. The space will be filled with hundreds of teddy bears and holiday splendor. Come celebrate the magic of the season at the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite. Suggested donation $5.00 If you can’t come to the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite but would like to help support the Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club’s Healthy Happy Kids, visit mvteddybearsuite.com to make a donation.
Below is the schedule:
Thursday, December 6th – 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Friday, December 7th – 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 8th – 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 9th – 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Suggested Donation: $5.00
Late Night Lights on Main Street: CIE Kick-Off Shopping – 12/06/2018 at 5:00- 8:00 pm
Let evening shop lights entice you in for our first annual CIE Late Night Lights on Main. To kick-off Christmas In Edgartown, stores will be open until 8pm on Thursday for you to focus on holiday shopping before the busy weekend of festivities begin. Come early, stay late, and hop between parties, sales, discounts with a drink or appetizer in between.
Mytoi Illumination – 12/07/2018 - 12/09/2018 at 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Experience Mytoi in a way you have never seen it before! Enjoy a magical stroll through our Japanese inspired garden, and witness it come to life at night! Please call 508.693.7662 with your questions!
Lighting of the Lighthouse – 12/07/2018 at 6:00 pm - 6:15 pm
Countdown to the Lighting of the Lighthouse, Edgartown’s version of a tree lighting. Brought to you by Martha’s Vineyard Museum and the Edgartown Board of Trade.
Minnesinger Concert at the Old Whaling Church – 12/07/2018 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Join the Preservation Trust on Friday, December 7th. The Island’s premier high school choral group, the MVRHS Minnesingers, performs a concert of seasonal favorites at the magnificent Old Whaling Church. A concert you won’t want to miss! Admission is $15 per person. Call 508-627-4440 with questions.
Christmas in Edgartown Parade – 12/08/2018 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Join the fun to see floats, animals, music, dancers, kids, fire engines, and of course Santa. The parade will take place on Main Street between Pease Point Way and Water Street.
The Original Breakfast With Santa at The Wharf – 12/09/2018 at 8:00 am - 10:30 am
The original and longest-running Breakfast with Santa! The charitable event is hosted by Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce and The Wharf Pub. All proceeds go to Jim Lambert Memorial Scholarship Fund. Come out and take photos with Santa and enjoy the breakfast buffet. The breakfast is run entirely on donations and by volunteers, so come support this important community event! The event is $4 for children, $8 for adults. Call 508-693-0085 with any questions. The Wharf Pub & Restaurant is a proud sponsor of Christmas In Edgartown.
Teddy Bear Trot - Holiday 5k Run & Walk – 12/09/2018 at 9:45 am - 11:00 am
The Teddy Bear Trot. is a 5K Run and Walk through picturesque downtown Edgartown. In addition, there will be a 1/2 mile Fun Run for kids under 10. Register in advance here. 100% of proceeds benefit the MV Boys & Girls Club Healthy Happy Kids Program. The Martha’s Vineyard Hurricanes Youth Running Club partners with us again for this year’s Teddy Bear Trot organizer, and this year will be even more amazing. The event will be timed, awards given, and of course we’re hoping to see some of the most festive attire at a road race ever.
Overall, the weekend will be jam-packed with fantastic events for everyone - from the youngest in your family to the oldest but young at heart, Christmas in Edgartown is a must not miss weekend on island. For more information, check out their Christmas in Edgartown full list of events, follow on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and if you do share on social media, use the hashtag #ChristmasInEdgartown!
The holiday season is coming up soon enough and with that the endless list of people you will be gifting this season. In showcasing our efforts and mission to support local Martha’s Vineyard businesses, we decided to make gift-giving as easy as possible with a list of the most delicious, locally made edible gift ideas for the holidays! These delicious treats can be bought online, in store, or by calling in the retailers themselves. It’s a way to show island makers that their work and business is important to us and what better time to support them than during the jolliest time of year?
Martha's Vineyard Sea Salt
If you’re really looking to have a taste of the island back home, MV Sea Salt is the perfect gift idea for anyone that loves Martha’s Vineyard. Hand harvested by locals Heidi and Curtis, the sea water is sun-dried to become gorgeous salt crystals that are just the thing your recipes need this holiday season.
Coffee is the perfect hostess gift, because it brightens every coffee lover’s day. Purchasing locally roasted Chilmark Coffee not only ensures you are buying some of the freshest coffee ever, but you’re supporting a local Chilmark family!
Murdick’s Fudge has been delighting families for decades now, and gifting a few slices of this traditionally made fudge is a delight. Pair the fudge with a bag of their cheddar or caramel popcorn, and it’s the most munchable gift of the season!
An island favorite, Enchanted Chocolates pairs local ingredients with exceptionally created chocolate. Visitors can check out the chocolate maker's quirky shop while on-island, and are lucky enough to be able to order online during non-summer months.
By the Sea Salt
These seasoning salt blends are just what the foodie on your list needs! Made on island by a woman that not only loves food, but loves people, By The Sea Salt is the perfect blends of salt and seasonings to flavor your food - whether it’s tofu, chicken, vegetables, steak, or seafood!
Morning Glory Farm
If you’re on island, do all your shopping for the foodies in your life at the Morning Glory Farmstand - there you will find locally made salad dressings, jams, jellies, tomato sauces, and so much more. This is the spot to shop if you’re looking to put together an island inspired foodie basket for a loved one.
Martha’s Vineyard Nuts
A relatively new company, Martha’s Vineyard Nuts created deliciously sweet, spicy, and savory blends of island-roasted whole nuts. They are the perfect snack, salad topper, or ingredient in a recipe you are creating!
New Lane Sundries
New Lane Sundries is the creation of Linda Lee Alley, a life-long native of Martha’s Vineyard. She started in 1987 making preserves for the West Tisbury Farmers Market. One Saturday morning, she happened upon the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market and came upon an idea. That idea then branched into 5 varieties of jams and a table at the market the very next Saturday. The rest is delicious history! Some of her most delicious jams (although all delicious) include Pink Grapefruit Marmalade, Zinfandel Chili Jam, and Rose Petal Jelly!
A trip to Martha’s Vineyard is incomplete unless you make a stop at Chilmark Chocolates. Known for their box of delicious chocolates, these are a staple at almost every island family dinner - plus, it makes the host’s job a lot easier: not having to make dessert and just serving up a platter of Chilmark Chocolates!
Little Rock Farm
Little Rock Farm makes some of the best granola on island - Vineyard Sunshine Granola! It is made from scratch with rolled oats, maple syrup, dried blueberries, coconut and pecans. Perfect for sprinkling on fruit and yogurt or eating by itself as a snack!
Not Your Sugar Mamas Chocolate
This gift is perfect for those in your family that not only love chocolate, but love to be healthy as well. The Not Your Sugar Mamas superfood chocolate bars would make the perfect stocking stuffers this year!
The Grey Barn
The island’s only dairy farm, The Grey Barn is the place to shop right before your holiday parties. They craft some incredible cheeses made from grassfed cows, cheeses that would be perfect for your holiday cheese platters and as ingredients in recipes. Their farmstand not only carries cheeses, but everything else you might think you need to create the ideal cheese plate, from crackers to jams to fresh vegetables, it’s a one stop shop!
Mimi’s Hittin’ the Sauce
This island family-owned hot sauce company, Mimi’s Hittin’ the Sauce, start with a lot of gardening love, as they grow all the peppers and tomatoes for their sauces. The labor of love in turns creates some of the most flavorful hot sauce you’ll ever taste! They also make hot pepper jelly and salsas, and can be found at island retailers.
Created by chef and owners of the island restaurant Chesca’s, these sauces have a cult following. There are three types: Thai Chili Glaze, Maple Mustard Balsamic Vinaigrette, and a Dark Chocolate Sauce - all of them divine!
Hand-crafted artisanal pies lovingly made on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Pie Chicks is the solution to now having to make dessert and bringing to the table a few pies. These are just some of their pie options: Apple, Apple Cranberry, Apple Pear Ginger Crumb, Blueberry, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan, Key Lime, Lemon Chess, Pecan, Pumpkin, and Triple Berry.
Located in Vineyard Haven, Shepherd’s Provisions is another island family owned company that is creating not only delicious edible gift ideas but full main dishes you can pick up to serve at parties! Gift ideas like popcorn, cookies, marshmallows, sauces, hot cocoa and more cna be found here.
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.
If you’re looking to experience a truly magical holiday season this year make a plan to visit Martha’s Vineyard in December. With the stockings hung, trees decorated, and lights twinkling there is a peaceful charm that takes over the Island this time of year. It’s a completely different scene than what you’ll find in busy August, and it’s an enjoyable experience all unto itself.
While it’s a quieter time, there are still dozens of holiday inspired events and activities to participate in. Whether you simply make a weekend out of it or start a new holiday tradition on-Island, here’s where you can celebrate the holidays on Martha’s Vineyard this season.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1
Foraged Wreath Making: Forage Long Point Wildlife Refuge for greens, bittersweet, and pine cones to make your own holiday wreath. Foraging followed by a how-to class in the Long Point winter visitor center by the Trustees of Reservations.
Island Community Chorus Holiday Concert: The Island Community Chorus, led by director Peter Boak, launches the season with its annual holiday concert at Edgartown’s historic Old Whaling Church. A reception with treats served by the choir follows the concert. Happening on Sunday, December 2 as well.
THURSDAY DECEMBER 6 - SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9
Christmas in Edgartown: Celebrate the 37th annual Christmas in Edgartown with events for the entire family. Voted Best of the Vineyard for the fourth year in a row, Christmas in Edgartown is a weekend festival you don’t want to miss! Every year through the various events, Christmas In Edgartown helps raise over $50,000 for island-wide charities and non-profits. Take advantage of sales, promotions, concerts and the beloved lighting of the Edgartown lighthouse.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7
Lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse: Celebrate the joy of the holiday season with the annual lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse, Edgartown’s version of a tree lighting. Part of Christmas in Edgartown, begins at 6pm.
Hannukkah Celebration: Join the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center for their Hannukkah service and celebration. Everyone is welcome, and the evening includes the lighting of an outdoor menorah.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8
Christmas in Edgartown Parade: Not quite the 4th of July, but it is a strong runner-up. Join the fun to see floats, animals, music, dancers, kids, fire engines, and of course Santa. The parade will take place on Main Street between Pease Point Way and Water Street. Part of Christmas in Edgartown, from 11am to 2pm.
Scone Baking Class: Learn to bake the Hob Knob Hotel’s world-famous scones with Chef Paul. Hands on baking class and take home scones with recipes provided at the end of the session. Part of Christmas in Edgartown, from 12 to 2pm.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9
Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce hosts Breakfast with Santa: The original Breakfast with Santa, this is one of the longest running events during Christmas in Edgartown. Families can enjoy a pancake breakfast at The Wharf and kids get their photo taken with Santa! It’s a fundraiser for the Jim Lambert Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards Island students with scholarships for college/vocational schools.
Teddy Bear Trot: The Teddy Bear Trot 5K and Fun Run, part of the Martha’s Vineyard Teddy Bear Suite Fundraiser, is a healthy, family-friendly fundraiser sponsored by Point B Realty.This event supports the MV Boys & Girls Club Healthy Happy Kids childhood hunger program and has raised more than $126,000 since its inception. It’s the only 5K race to go through historic, downtown Edgartown, and is sprinkled with festively dressed runners, making it a one-of-a-kind Vineyard holiday event. The half-mile kids’ run starts at 9:45 a.m. and the 5K begins at 10:00 a.m. Part of Christmas in Edgartown.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 10
Holiday Hors d’Oeuvres Cooking Class: Jan Buhrman of Kitchen Porch Catering shares her holiday secrets and shows how to make entertaining fun with quick, easy hors d'oeuvres using seasonal produce from Morning Glory Farm. From 10am to 1pm.
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12
Gingerbread House Decorating: Celebrate National Gingerbread House Day with the Vineyard Haven Library: Partake in this fun, festive and free, annual gingerbread house decorating event. From 3:30–5pm.
Reflections of Peace Christmas Concert: A special evening filled with Christmas music. 100% of proceeds donated to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard. From 7:30–9:30pm at Edgartown’s Old Whaling Church.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 14
A Holiday night With Cher, Streisand & More: The Edwards Twins Impersonators visit the Island, performing as special guests Sonny & Cher, Neil Diamond, Johnny Mathis, Rod Stewart, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Andrea Bocelli, Tom Jones, and many many more all in one show. All live vocal. Each Star sings their #1 hits as well as a few of your favorite holiday favorites. From 7:30 to 9:30pm.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15
Felted Ornament Crafting at the Fall Farmers Market: Make felted ornaments with the Farm Institute with wool rom the Farm’s own Cotswold sheep. Happening during the indoor West Tisbury Farmers Market at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. Keep an eye out for a special market visitor! From 10am to 1pm.
10th Annual Holiday Fair by the Vineyard Artisans: At the Historic Grange Hall in West Tisbury. You won't want to miss this very special holiday fair, the last Vineyard Artisans Festival of the year. A showcase of true Island gifts, all locally made by the artists themselves. 10am to 4pm.
Old Fashioned Farm Christmas at the Farm Institute: Experience an old fashioned Christmas at the FARM. Enjoy a hayride, craft felted ornaments, string cranberry and popcorn to help decorate the farm’s tree. Take your family Christmas card in the photobooth, play with the farm animals and warm up with cider by the fire. Crafts and family fun for all ages, from 12 to 4pm.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 21
Felix Wildlife Sanctuary Winter Solstice Hygge Potluck Sunset Hike: Hygge is the Danish practice of creating warmth, connection, and well being, often celebrated with good food, warm blankets, and candlelight. Join Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary for a community celebration as we welcome the winter season with a sunset hike, community potluck, a fire, and treats. BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket). From 3:45 to 4:45pm, registration required.
Come visit Martha's Vineyard for a magical holiday season!
On Martha’s Vineyard fishing is a way of life, and not just the rod and reel kind. This time of year local fisherman, both hobbyists and commercial fisherman, are gearing up to hit the waters in search of the sweet seafood delicacies we call the Martha’s Vineyard bay scallops. When you think of creamy and fluffy New England scallops, there’s two different kinds to consider. The more common sea scallop is the largest scallop and can be obtained year-round. The medium- to smaller-size bay (or cape) scallop is available only a few months off-season and is the most coveted – tender, sweet, and oh, so fresh – and the kind we’re talking about here. These little marshmallows of the sea are one of the Island’s most popular and tastiest treats.
You might notice scalloping operations underway as you travel around the Island from October through March, it’s often happening in our ponds, harbors and lagoons. Scalloping is generally observed by an individual wading in the water with a large rake or net, or a boat dragging or pulling up a scallop dredge. If you’re lucky you could even see someone plucking a fresh one from the water and enjoying it raw–yes you can, and yes, they’re that good.
So how do you go about catching your own bay scallops? With permission of course, and the proper gear. A shellfish permit for both recreational and commercial fishing is required for the catch or removal of any shellfish from Vineyard waters. Permits are available at the respective town halls, in Vineyard Haven, West Tisbury, Edgartown, Aquinnah, Oak Bluffs and Chilmark. Each town has its own shellfish department, and shellfish constable whose job it is to enforce the state and town shellfish regulations, along with informing the public and media about any law changes, season openings and areas open and closed to shellfishing.
In Vineyard Haven for example the Vineyard Haven harbor (home to the Steamship Authority’s year round ferry terminal and the famous Black Dog restaurant) is currently open to both recreational and commercial permit holders, with the town’s Lagoon Pond following close behind. The Tisbury shellfish constable pushed back the dates this year based on the warm water temperatures. Safe scalloping requires cold waters, which means those fishing for them need to be properly suited up to withstand the conditions!
The minimum sizes for scallops are set by the state of Massachusetts. Shellfish smaller than the legal size are called “seed” and must be returned to the waters from which they were taken. To ensure the sustainability of them, a scallop must live through two summers to reach maturity, and a legal adult is identifiable by the raised “growth line” visible on its shell. Most scallops live in eelgrass beds and are harvested with drags or nets, and persistent fisherman sift through their ocean bounty to hand pluck those scallops that are good and ready.
If you're interested in obtaining a permit check out the local websites of the town you will be residing in: Vineyard Haven, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Chilmark, West Tisbury and Aquinnah. If you’re interested in simply savoring the goodness of our local fishermen’s hard work look for local Martha’s Vineyard bay scallops on the menus of our local restaurants and fish markets. Be sure to enjoy them and be grateful for all of the hard work and dedication that went into to getting them on to your plate!
Thanksgiving this year is November 22nd, and the best place to celebrate this holiday is definitely on Martha’s Vineyard. Gather the family on this holiday and come together to celebrate the island, its food, and the community. Our list of suggestions takes you from start to finish: where to stay, what to do, and where to eat, whether you’re planning on eating out at a restaurants or ordering some key items for takeout and cooking the rest yourself, so we hope you find this a helpful guide to Thanksgiving 201 on the island of Martha’s Vineyard.
Where To Stay
Deciding where to stay on island depends on how many people are in your party. For smaller friends and family groups, we recommend booking a few rooms at a local inn or hotel, so you can all stay together in one location, while at the same time having a bit more privacy. For larger groups and families, we suggest contacting any of the local island real estate companies and renting a house for the weekend - it’s the ideal situation if you’re planning on cooking Thanksgiving dinner together or having a private chef come in and cook for you. We’ve listed both inns and real estate companies to get you started on your search!
Hob Knob, Luxury Boutique Hotel & Spa
The Charlotte Inn
Nobnocket Boutique Inn
Mansion House Inn
Real Estate Companies on Martha's Vineyard that can help you find a house rental for Thanksgiving are listed here.
What To Do
The weekend of Thanksgiving is packed with tons of activities on Martha’s Vineyard, but we wanted to showcase just a few that are going to be fun for the entire family! Check out the Vineyard Gazette Calendar for more updates on happenings.
Vineyard Artisans Annual Thanksgiving Weekend Festival: This holiday art show by Islanders, features many holiday gifts such as one of a kind winter handmade sweaters, soaps, Island lavender, and fine crafts including leather and vintage material bags, wood butcher block cutting boards, and so much more. A parking fee is for the Vineyard Artisans Scholarship Fund, which awards several scholarships to graduating MV High School students for studies in the Arts each year. Felix Neck Fall Festival: Join us for our 37th Annual Fall Festival. This celebration of fall is a Vineyard tradition held the day after Thanksgiving. With hayrides, face-painting, live music, food, crafts for kids, live animals and trail walks there is something for everyone and fun to be had by the whole family.
West Tisbury Farmers’ Market: Indoor farmers market features locally grown produce and meat and locally made products. The market is dedicated to bringing local agricultural products to the people both living on and visiting the Island. The market was started in 1974 by a group of Island growers. That first year they had about a dozen farmers selling their produce.
Where To Eat Dinner on Thanksgiving Night
Treating yourself and your family and friends to dinner out on the town is a great way to connect with them and relax all through the night! There’s no pressure to cook or clean up, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Below are just a few of the restaurants offering Thanksgiving dinner this year:
L’etoile (dinner served 1-6:30pm)
Lucky Hank’s (dinner served 11am-5pm)
Sharky’s Cantina (regular menu with holiday specials)
The Black Dog Tavern (buffet seatings at 12 noon, 2pm, and 4pm)
The Cardboard Box
Where to Order Takeout Dinner, Sides, and Desserts
Want the restaurant relaxed feeling but don’t want to leave your rental home? Just put in orders for the food, pick up and bring home! You don’t even have to change into fancy holiday clothes if you don’t want to!
The Black Shop Bakery Cafe (deadline November 17th by 2pm)
Black Sheep Mercantile (deadline by November 16th at 4pm)
The Black Dog Bakery Cafe
Cakes by Liz
The Chappy Kitchen
Morning Glory Farm (deadline November 19th by 4:30pm)
Orange Peel Bakery
The Scottish Bakehouse
Where to Order Turkeys
This is a short list of spots on island that offer turkeys (cooked and/or uncooked) to bring home and have dinner at home.
The Larder Market
Morning Glory Farm
Edgartown Meat and Fish Market
Many people don’t realize just how many businesses stay open after the summer season winds down on Martha’s Vineyard. If you’re visiting between October and June and you still want to enjoy quality Martha’s Vineyard dining, you’re in luck, you’ll still find a great selection of options to choose from, including fine dining, casual, and take-out spots. While some seasonal locations shutter in the fall and winter, there’s still dozens of restaurants that stay open all year long, catering to locals and off-season visitors that come to enjoy the quieter days on-Island.
Here’s a helpful list of those restaurants you can rely on even after summer subsides.
Sharky’s Cantina - Mexican food, drinks and fun for the whole family. Located in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. Offering a full bar and televisions for watching the big games.
Henry’s at the Harbor View Hotel - A cozy hideaway and gastropub offering thoughtful food and creative drinks with views of the Edgartown lighthouse and Chappaquiddick. Under renovations and temporarily closed until Memorial Day, May 2019.
Lucky Hank’s - Casual, intimate nook serving breakfast, lunch and dinner year round, as well as beer and housemade desserts.
The Wharf Pub - Classic pub food served for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Family friendly dining, full bar with televisions and live music and entertainment often.
Rockfish - Featuring wood-fired flatbreads and New American bites in a bi-level space with two full bars.
Edgartown Meat & Fish -
Square Rigger - Classic New England seafood restaurant serving lunch and dinner seven days a week, along with a full bar and popular takeout offerings.
Dock Street Coffee Shop - Martha’s Vineyard’s take on the quintessential American diner, limited seating at the counter only. Open 365 days a year for breakfast and lunch.
Espresso Love - Breakfast and lunch counter service in a cozy cafe.
Dippin Donuts Coffee shop with sandwiches and pastries.
China House - Traditional Chinese food in a casual setting with a full take out menu.
R & B’s eatery - Inconspicuous diner style restaurant with a short order menu. Serving breakfast and lunch six days a week (closed Sundays).
Edgartown Pizza - A family style restaurant with a traditional pizza menu, open for lunch and dinner, serving beer and wine.
Edgartown Meat & Fish Market - Groceries and wine market plus made to order Starbucks coffee, sandwiches, and sushi with eat-in and take out options.
Wolf’s Den Pizzeria - Specialty, deep dish style pizza and oven toasted sandwiches served daily from 11am to 9pm. Locations in Edgartown and Vineyard Haven.
The Terrace at the Charlotte Inn - Elegant bistro serving up farm-to-table American fare with French and Italian accents. A fine dining restaurant with an elegant, old-world atmosphere.
Alchemy - Fine dining bar and bistro serving creative new American cuisine with French and Italian influence for dinner.
Rosewater Market & Take Away - Featuring locally sourced, farm-to-table ingredients and artfully curated gifts and souvenirs. Open year-round for breakfast, lunch and takeout.
Isola Pizza and take out with traditional Italian entrees offered in a more formal dining room.
The Newes from America - A pub with rich history and genuine Colonial character featuring American and British pub food including Bangers & Mash and Fish & Chips.
Soigne - French inspired market with made-to-order sandwiches and thoughtfully prepared sides. Also home to a gourmet market of fine wines, cheeses, and gifts.
Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company - Local fish house and raw bar famous for their clam chowder, serving lunch and dinner daily and ongoing specials throughout the year.
Sharky’s Cantina - Mexican food, drinks and fun for the whole family. Located in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. Offering a full bar and televisions for watching the big games.
Bangkok Cuisine - Traditional Thai fare in a casual setting, with vegan friendly options and wine and beer.
Slice of Life - Casual cafe and bakery serving New American fare in a cozy dining room or on its covered front porch. Lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch available.
Linda Jeans - A home-style American restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner since 1976, and a favorite among locals.
Barn Bowl & Bistro - A full-service restaurant and bar offering an impressive menu plus games, TVs and a 10-lane bowling alley. Not your average bowling alley fare.
Offshore Ale Company - Popular gastro pub and tavern serving house-brewed seasonal and year-round beers, plus wood-fired pizzas, burgers and other casual pub grub.
Park Corner Food Bar - A cozy nook in Oak Bluffs with creative food and cocktails, and a popular brunch menu.
The Ritz - Known as the classic Martha’s Vineyard dive bar and music venue this space also serves an impressive Southern inspired dinner menu including brisket and shrimp and grits.
Pizza di Napoli - A pizzeria serving stone fired Neapolitan pizzas loaded with fresh toppings and imported ingredients, located inside The Loft, a full service bar with game and entertainment.
Ocean View - Tavern style restaurant with an extensive menu, offering a dining room and full bar with televisions for big game watching.
Deon’s Kitchen at the VFW - New American fare with a Caribbean twist by Chef Deon Thomas.
Copper Wok - Modern locale with mellow lighting for creative sushi rolls, Asian kitchen entrees and cocktails. One of the only Vineyard Haven restaurants with a full bar.
Little House Cafe - A cozy restaurant (in a little house) offering a variety of creative and unique international foods and American classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Mikado Asian Bistro - Offering a distinctive menu featuring more than 80 dishes ranging from traditional Japanese favorites and innovative specialties to classic Thai foods from across Asia.
Mocha Motts - Coffee, sandwiches, soups, homemade desserts located on Main Street. A second location in Oak Bluffs stays open several months a year with a break in the winter.
Beach Road - By the owners of State Road in West Tisbury, serving locally sourced seafood, New American fare and beer and wine in a sophisticated space with water views.
Waterside Market - Fresh ingredients, and innovative recipes made from scratch daily including soups, salads and sandwiches. Breakfast, lunch and occasional dinner service.
La Soffita - Featuring authentic Italian cuisine using simple, creative and high quality ingredients accompanied by a great wine list and classic cocktails.
The Black Dog Cafe - Serving a full breakfast and lunch menu, plus specialty coffees, cakes, pastries and more.
The Black Dog Tavern - An iconic Vineyard restaurant serving a hearty breakfast (including their famous pancakes), lunch and dinner overlooking Vineyard Haven harbor, offering beer and wine.
The Black Dog Bakery - Baked goods, salads, soups and sandwiches to go, plus a retail store.
Bite on the go - Buffet style Brazilian inspired food.
Wolf’s Den Pizzeria - Specialty, deep dish style pizza and oven toasted sandwiches served daily from 11am to 9pm. Locations in Vineyard Haven and Edgartown.
Rocco’s Pizza - Pizza by the pie or slice along with sandwiches and pasta from a quaint eatery with outdoor seating.
Not Your Sugar Mammas Organic Cafe - Plant based cafe and market caterings to vegans and vegetarians. Menu includes creative coffee beverages, smoothies soups, salads, flatbreads, grain bowls and more.
Bobby Bs - Fried seafood, burgers, pizza and sandwiches, along with a homemade ice cream bar.
Island Fresh Pizza & Subs - Take out restaurant with sandwiches, salads, and traditional American and Brazilian pizza options.
La Choza - Take out burrito spot featuring a build-your-own option with ample and affordable offerings.
Humphreys - Coffee, pastries and sandwiches available for eat-in or take out.
Nat’s Nook - Tucked in a little ally off Main Street serving speciality coffees and creative crepes.
Scottish Bakehouse - Bakery, cafe and small local grocer with a focus on local meat and produce.
Woodland Variety & Grill -
Shepherd’s Provisions - Prepared foods and gift items and confectionery, including to go dinner entrees.
Sweet Bites - Specialty bakery, espresso bar and cafe including classic Brazilian desserts and custom cakes from the owners of Bite on the Go.
State Road - Farm-to-table breakfast, lunch and dinner serving beer and wine, from the owners of Beach Road.
Fella’s - Take out catering company with small eatery for breakfast, pizza and sandwiches.
7a Foods - ‘Farm to takeout’ spot serving breakfast and lunch with a focus on local sourced ingredients.
Plane View Restaurant - Serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week year round, inside the Martha’s Vineyard airport. Beer and wine available with the purchase of food.
Back Porch Larder - “A Little Hole in the Wall” to the Kitchen Porch Catering, offering freshly prepared salads, sandwiches, hand pies, grain and vegetable bowls and more.
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, book interesting activities, and dine at some of the best year-round restaurants the island has to offer. 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 in Vineyard Haven, the Hob Knob in Edgartown, the Beach Plum in Menemsha, or the Dockside Inn in 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 in room massages, breakfast in bed, or private chef dinners? Book those so you get to enjoy the most of what they have to offer.
3. Discover the culinary scene in the winter by dining at some of the best restaurants on island. State Road in Vineyard Haven, Alchemy in Edgartown, and MV Chowder Company in Oak Bluffs are just some of the many restaurants open through the winter season, offering some of the best dining on island.
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!
5. Whether you spend a day bowling at the Barn, Bowl, and Bistro or decide to make friends at the Alpaca Farm, there are plenty of winter activities to do on island!
For those looking for a relaxed vacation, 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 off season inspiration, 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
National Chocolate Day on Martha’s Vineyard Where to treat yourself to the best chocolate bites on Island
National Chocolate Day is this week, October 28th and here on Martha’s Vineyard we are well-versed in the art of treating ourselves to the delicious local offerings our brands and businesses have, so we put together this list of the ten best and tastiest chocolate confections, baked goods, and candies on this New England island. For all the chocolate lovers out there - we have you covered.
Where: Enchanted Chocolates
What to Order: Almond Butter Crunch
This is a crunchy, buttery, hard almond toffee cooked in small batches with 70% dark chocolate spooned over top. A light dusting of roasted almonds is sprinkled on top that and voila - magic!
Where: Black Dog Bakery
What to Order:Triple Chocolate Mousse Majesty
A chocolate-lovers dream! Rich white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate mousse are nestled between layers of chocolate enveloped in lush whipped cream and draped in chocolate ganache.
What to Order: Ganache Brownies
You might get greedy and want to buy a dozen of these brownies, but let’s just say that starting with one is enough, as these are decadently rich brownies that you will eat for a few days, since a small sliver of it’s richness is just the right amount.
Where: Garde East
What to Order: Hazelnut Mousse
Not only will the setting of Garde East make you feel like royalty, but if you’re looking for a chocolate dessert to impress, this Hazelnut Mousse with chocolate soil and Martha’s Vineyard Smoked Sea Salt Caramel Ice Cream is just the dessert you need. The mousse is light as air, with a nutty flavor that pairs exceptionally well with the chocolate and ice cream.
Where: Sharky’s Cantina
What to Order: Hot Fudge Brownie Skillet Sundae
On cold winter nights, this is the dessert you want. Grab a seat at the bar at Sharky’s and order the Hot Fudge Brownie Skillet Sundae and be prepared to warm up from head to toes. It’s baked to order, so it’s hot and delicious brownie topped with cold ice cream, hot fudge, and whipped cream. It’s so good you won’t want to share. But you should - because that’s what chocolate lovers do.
Where: Murdick’s Fudge
What to Order: Double Chocolate Fudge
This is hands down the best chocolate treat on island to send to off-island friends, since it’s sturdy enough to mail but melt in your mouth delicious enough to treat your friends to it! The double chocolate-ness of this fudge is that it’s made with some of the best chocolate and once that’s doubled up, it’s cooked and cooled to perfection, achieving that perfectly sweet, perfectly balanced slice of fudge we all know and love.
Where: Not Your Sugar Mamas
What to Order: Original Chocolate Chip Cookies
If you’re looking to curb your sweet touch and not ruin your diet, these cookies are it! Made with high antioxidant rich raw cacao, coconut oil, low glycemic and all natural coconut palm sugar, gluten free oats, and a touch of trace mineral rich Himalayan Sea Salt, they are a cookie unlike any other.
Where: Chilmark Chocolates
What to Order: Variety Box of Chocolates
In all honestly, anything you get from Chilmark Chocolates is going to be hands down incredible, because this island staple is the go-to of many visitors and locals alike. It’s the best hostess gift - everyone you bring a box of these chocolates will love you forever, so it’s a good idea to stock up on a few during the upcoming holiday season.
Where: Rosewater Market & Takeaway
What to Order: Cheesecake Brownies
Imagine the perfect brownie - not too fudgy, not too cakey. Then imagine it topped with a layer of light and airy cheesecake batter, swirled and baked to perfection. This is Rosewater’s Cheesecake Brownie and it’s best paired with any of their seasonal coffee like a Fall Spice Latte.
Where: Sweet Bites
What to Order: Chocolate Prune Cake
This one will sound a bit out there for most of us, but trust us, the combination of chocolate and prunes is one of the best combination in the culinary world. The sticky sweet prunes balance out the dark chocolate and pair very well with the light sponge cake it’s all layered in between. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!
This weekend brings one of the most highly anticipated events of the fall season on Martha’s Vineyard, the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival. Each year hundreds of wine and food enthusiasts descend on the Vineyard to enjoy the bounty of Island chefs and farms and celebrate the beauty and peacefulness of the fall season on-Island. If you’re up for taking a last minute trip to the Vineyard tickets to some festival events are still available, and many local hotel are already offering discounted rates this time of year. This year’s festival will be headquartered at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Katama, Edgartown, marking a new home for the festival at one of the Island’s grandest and liveliest locations.
The festival kicks off with the ever popular Fresh Off the Farm event on Wednesday, October 17 where local chefs and food purveyors show off the finest flavors of the Island at the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Hall including Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt and Martha’s Vineyard Mycological mushrooms, among several others. Winelovers can enjoy an impressive array of wines curated by Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant while Vineyard band, Good Night Louise, will provide lively entertainment. It’s “as local and fresh as it gets,” plus the evening's proceeds will benefit Island Grown Schools and the Agricultural Society’s Farmers Program so it’s a good time for a great cause.
Thursday, October 18, brings an action packed day of fun and festivities, beginning with Bubbles & Shellfish at L'etoile Restaurant in Edgartown, a tasting of elegant Moet & Chandon champagne paired with Vineyard shellfish. Martha’s Vineyard seafood is arguably the best around so you know this is going to be good! If you’re up for a physical challenge give yourself a couple of hours to digest and head to the Thrill of the Grill, where you’ll sip the best wines from Frederick Wildman and Sons and sample the Island's meatiest morsels grilled to perfection. Participating chefs include Justin Perdue of Lark Hotels; Italian Salumi Expert Marco Mocellin; Educator and Epicure Will Myska; Pit Master and Executive Chef at Ore Nell's BBQ; Ryan DePersio of Fascino; and Anthony Bucco of Felina. For the most ultimate and intimate wine and dining experiences check out the Joseph Carr wine dinner at the Dunes, a 4-course dinner, artfully prepared by Dunes Executive Chef Scott Ehrlich or the Ultimate Wash-A-Shore dinner at Beach Road restaurant featuring Ruby Wines expertly paired with Chef André Garza’s creations.
Friday brings another busy day of perfectly prepared pairings including one of the festival’s most popular signature event, Lobsterpalooza offers guests both classic Maine and Connecticut hot-buttered lobster rolls. As if delicious Martha’s Vineyard lobster rolls weren’t enough Amy Traverso, Yankee magazine senior food editor and co-host of public television’s Weekends with Yankee will preside over a lobster roll tasting and guests will be treated to wines provided by Kendall-Jackson. This event sold out quick but be sure to make a note for next year!
On Friday night get treated to six heavenly courses of the freshest New England seafood during the Sea Oui Si dinner. Two award winning New Jersey chefs including Michael Carrino, Chef/Owner of Pig & Prince Restaurant in Montclair, NJ, and Kirk Avondoglio, Chef/Owner of Perona Farms in Andover, NJ join chef Schott Ehrlich of the Winnetu for a memorable culinary experience complemented by an impressive selection of French and Italian wines by Kermit Lynch.
Saturday’s Grand Tasting is the highlight of the weekend’s events, featuring tastings from 250+ winemakers, spirits, breweries, gourmet foods, and restaurants. It’s sold out but you can still score tickets to one of Saturday’s other events the Deconstructed New England Clambake which brings Boston’s award-winning chef Marc Orfaly, Culinary Director of ReelHouse, and The Dunes Executive Chef Scott Ehrlich for their take on the traditional New England Clambake. Think dueling chowder, and all the usually clambake suspects including littlenecks, clams, mussels, potatoes and lobsters. Nothing says New England like a clambake and there’s a good chance this one will be the finest you’ve ever had, topped off with a bruleed pumpkin cheesecake, with corn-nutmeg foam and cranberry compote. Mmm, mmm, good.
For fitness enthusiasts Sunday is the day to shed some of those extra calories during the Martha’s Vineyard Brunch Run/Walk 5k and 10k. The course will be nothing short of spectacular with a course along breathtaking Katama, and red carpet finish where everyone will receive a custom finisher medal and a commemorative brunch glass which you can fill up at the post-race brunch event. For those looking for a more leisurely brunch the festival has you covered there too. Sunday also offers a Jazz Brunch at the Winnetu featuring a fabulous buffet brunch with live music, bloodies and bubbles, providing the perfect ending to a delicious and eventful festival weekend. One thing’s for sure, come hungry, come thirsty and get ready to fall in love with fall on Martha’s Vineyard.
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