Fresh Basil Mini Travel Guide M A R T H A ’ S
V I N E Y A R D
I S S U E TWO A little taste of the best on the Vineyard
Favorite restaurants Beaches, golf, and family fun Small collection of fantastic shops Odds and ends that to make you feel like an insider!
BEST BITES Atria is a charming spot with relaxed but attentive service. Their Brick Cellar Bar downstairs is a great casual dining option— they serve a fantastic burger! 137 Main Street, Edgartown * 508.627.5850 For a fancy dinner in town, Détente is an excellent choice. Fancier, with a cool urban atmosphere and innovative, beautifully composed dishes. Nevin Square, Edgartown * 508.627.8810 Mad Martha’s and Ben & Bills are the predominant ice cream shops around the island. Both serve massive portions and are usually packed during the after dinner hours. Mad Martha’s is creamier; Ben & Bills has a more surprising selection of flavors. Various locations throughout the island including in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Vineyard Haven. Order lobsters and steamers at Net Result, then head across the parking lot to the picnic tables by the pond for a more secluded dining experience. You can also buy fresh seafood to go at their fish counter. BYOB. 79 Beach Road, Vineyard Haven * 508.693.6071 Outermost Inn, reserved for a special night out, is a quirky spot in a beautiful location. The food is simple, clean, and seasonal, and the service is lovely. 81 Lighthouse Road, Aquinnah * 508.645.3511 BBQ might not seem like an obvious choice for the Vineyard, but Smoke’n Bones is a reasonable, yummy spot that can accommodate bigger groups and children—not the easiest task on the Vineyard! 20 Oakland Avenue, Oak Bluffs * 508.696.RIBS (seriously)
KEEPIN’ BUSY Gay Head is a beautiful beach surrounded by tall, multi-colored clay cliffs. The further out you go in the cliffs, the more nude the beach becomes, so beware! The walk from the parking lot to the beach is just lovely. Aquinnah Cliffs, Martha’s Vineyard * 508.627.4441 Longpoint Wildlife Refuge is a bit of hike down a winding dirt road, but the car trek is worthwhile. There’s a long stretch of beach as well as salt and fresh water ponds that are significantly warmer than the ocean’s temperature. Off Edgartown-West Tisbury Road * 508.693.3678 Grange Hall holds a farmer’s market on Wednesdays and Saturdays as well as a high-end artisan’s market on Thursdays throughout the summer months. 1067 State Road, West Tisbury * 508.627.4440 On a good, clear night, the sunset at Menemsha is downright magical. Grab dinner to go at The Bite, and bring a blanket to the small beach at the edge of the village. 29 Basin Road, Menemsha * 508.645.9239 Stroll through the fairy tale-like collage of gingerbread cottages and wander into the open air tabernacle—there are oodles of twee photo opportunities. Wesleyan Grove, Oak Bluffs * 508.693.0525 Farm Neck Golf Club is a beautiful, difficult course from start to finish, with some truly astonishing views of Nantucket Sound on the back nine. They offer a twilight rate and some reasonably priced golf clinics. 1 Farm Neck Way, Oak Bluffs * 508.693.3057
BITS AND PIECES
Portobello Road: Antiques, a carefully curated selection of books, and paper goods, this is a perfect gift shop. 4 Dock Street, Edgartown * 508.627.4276
The Harborside Inn has a lovely wrap around porch with rocking chairs, and their bartenders make good, strong cocktails. 3 South Water Street, Edgartown * 800.627.4009
Bunches of Grapes: Everything you want (and so much more!) in an independent bookstore. 35 Main Street, Vineyard Haven * 508.693.2291 Larson’s Fish Market: Fantastic seafood shop—a good stopping point after a beach day at Gay Head. 56 Basin Road, Chilmark * 508.645.2688 Midnight Farm, owned by Carly Simon, is a beautifully curated home, clothing, and furniture shop. 44 Main Street, Vineyard Haven * 508. 693.1997
The Flying Horses carousel in Oak Bluffs claims to be the nation’s oldest; even if that’s not true, it’s certainly one of the most beautiful. Grab the golden ring and you’ll be treated to a free ride. $2.50 per ride. 15 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluff * 508.627.4440 For the best food provisions, turn to Morning Glory Farm. Fresh vegetables, baked goods, and other nutty-crunchy specimens abound. 120 Meshacket Road, Edgartown * 508.627.9003 Offshore Ale brews their own beer, serves a deliciously malty root beer, and allows you to throw peanut shells on the floor. Cute t-shirts are for sale next door. 30 Kennebec Avenue, Oak Bluffs * 508.693.2626 Fresh made donuts and fritters are available throughout the night at Back Door Donuts. Don’t fret if the line is long; it moves quickly. 5 Post Office Square, Oak Bluffs * 508.693.3688
ISLAND TOWNS Edgartown is quaint and charming, with stately Federal and Colonial style homes, fancy shops, lots of restaurants, and lovely inns in town. South Beach is here, a large, busy beach with lots of free parking. The beach is long, so there’s plenty of room for large groups and families; plus, it offers the biggest waves on the Island. Oak Bluffs began as a summer Methodist campground, which later became the gingerbread cottages. Nightlight is most active here, with bars and shops open a bit later than in other towns. State Beach is right off of Ocean Park, which is small, but the water is very shallow, making it a good pick for young families. Older kids jump off a nearby bridge during high tide. Vineyard Haven is small and charming. This used to be a dry town, but now beer and wine are available for purchase. Fun, quirky shops and restaurants, with a quieter atmosphere than Edgartown or Oak Bluffs. Chappaquiddick (Chappy, if you want to feel in the know) is a small island off of Martha’s Vineyard that requires a short second ferry ride from Edgartown. There are lots of pretty houses to rent here, beaches that offer more privacy, and a small Japanese garden to visit. Up-Island includes Aquinnah (Gay Head), Chilmark, Menemsha, Tisbury, and West Tisbury. These towns are much less crowded, and with the exception of Aquinnah, are dry. You’ll find gorgeous art galleries, wildlife sanctuaries, inns, and some of the Island’s best restaurants.
Fresh Basil Mini Travel Guide M a r t h a ’ s
v i n e y a r d
GETTING THERE Transportation: By air: Seasonally, Cape Air, Jet Blue, Delta, and US Air all fly into Martha’s Vineyard Airport from Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Hyannis, Nantucket, and Providence. By sea: Seasonally, ferries to Martha's Vineyard arrive from Falmouth, Hyannis, Nantucket, New Bedford, and Woods Hole in Massachusetts; Quonset Point in Rhode Island, Montauk in New York and New York City. On the passenger ferries, you can bring your bike over without a problem, which will come in handy on the Island. The only ferry that transports automobiles and passengers to the Island departs from Woods Hole. The Steamship Authority’s online system is antiquated and time-consuming to navigate, and to plan book your car reservation as soon as you can in January or February (call 508.477.8600 to learn the earliest date you can make your reservation—good times get snapped up quickly!). Grocery Tip: The largest grocery store on the Island is Stop & Shop in Edgartown. It is usually crowded, and basic groceries (along with everything else!) are more expensive on Martha’s Vineyard. Plan to bring staple goods from the Mainland if you plan on cooking and eating at home during your vacation. This especially applies if you’re renting a house further off the beaten path on Chappy or Up-Island.