vineyard-hero
Home-Slider4-K1-20180605-VSH-EmilyOBrienPhoto-294-Edit_LUXONEBEDLOCKOFF_LIVINGRM_FACINGBALCONY2
Home-Slider3-20180605-VSH-EmilyOBrienPhoto-1353-Edit_BREAKFAST_FOODDETAIL_FROMABOVE2
Home-Slider5-20180605-VSH-EmilyOBrienPhoto-934-Edit_FRONTPORCH_GUESTS2

vineyardsquare

Sea foam is no longer the most significant type of suds to wash up on the shores of Martha’s Vineyard — the craft brewing bonanza has made its way across Vineyard Sound and the results are delicious. We’re still on the upswing, so the availability of Martha’s Vineyard craft beer is growing each year. Right now, you’ll find two established breweries on Martha’s Vineyard, two that are a stone’s throw away on the shores of Cape Cod and Nantucket and one more that is the brainchild of Martha’s Vineyard island dwellers.

Marthas Vineyard Craft Beer - Bad Martha

Bad Martha Beer Co., Edgartown

With their farmer’s brewery and tasting room at Donaroma’s Nursery here in Edgartown, Bad Martha Beer has been making craft brews right on our home turf since the summer of 2014. Stroll through the luscious gardens between May and October to sample as many as 10 varieties at any given time, each brewed with wild Vineyard grape leaves for an extra dose of island authenticity.

 

Bad Martha’s selection rotates constantly, but the flagship Martha’s Vineyard Ale is here to stay. This smooth, bronze-colored ale with hints of the stronger flavors found in the Island IPA and the Vineyard Honey Ale makes a very approachable first step into the world of Martha’s Vineyard brewing.

 

Outside of the tasting room, which has growlers available to take out, you’ll find Bad Martha’s beer on tap at Chesca’s Restaurant in the center of Edgartown. If your stomach is well-adjusted to the high seas, you can even rendezvous with Bad Martha on the ferry from Woods Hole.

Offshore Ale Co., Oak Bluffs

Offshore Ale Co. - Marthas Vineyard BreweryOffshore Ale Co. touts a long list of Best of the Vineyard awards from Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, including Best Year-Round Restaurant and Best Bar/Pub. Chalk it up to dedication and consistency — this Martha’s Vineyard brewery has been operating seven days a week year-round since 1997.

 

Here, seasonal craft brews pair nicely with an upscale pub menu that’s as friendly to families as it is to beer enthusiasts. The Parmesan truffle fries make an excellent addition to any order, bringing new flavors to classic cut potatoes. Your evening at Offshore Ale Co. comes with an extra feelgood component, too: when you order certain beers like the East Chop Lighthouse Ale and the Menemsha Creek Pale Ale, you’re throwing a life saver to the Coast Guard Foundation Enlisted Grant Fund with a percentage of your tab.

Wash Ashore Beer Company

The brainchild of Islanders John Clift and Joe Monteiro (who later teamed with Chad & Michelle Verdi), Wash Ashore Beer Company produces organic beer that embodies the experience of island living! And although it is not brewed on the island (they currently brew at The Guild in Pawtucket, RI), you will find the hop-forward beer at many local restaurants, including 19 Raw Oyster Bar and Loft and Pizza di Napoli. Plus, as the official beer of Seastreak Ferry, you can get the party started early!

Cisco Brewers, Nantucket

Our island neighbor to the southeast hosts an impressive three-in-one outfit: Cisco Brewers actually started as a winery, Nantucket Vineyard, which has also sprung Triple Eight Distillery more recently. You can uncover the finer points of all three legs of the operation on an hourlong tour whose entry fee includes generous samples and a souvenir tasting glass. If you can, get your hands on a corked bottle from the Island Reserve line — these relatively high-ABV specialty brews are a highlight.

 

If a visit to Nantucket doesn’t fit into your itinerary, you can find craft beer from Cisco Brewers right here on Martha’s Vineyard at Edgartown Meat and Fish Market.

 

Cape Cod Beer, Hyannis

Plans to get to the Vineyard via the summer ferry out of Hyannis require a stop at Cape Cod Beer. They offer brewery tours once daily at 11am and the tasting room is open all day. Playful brews like the Beach Blonde are available in 16oz cans for your cooler-packing convenience. The seasonal connoisseur can keep an eye on the Cape Cod Beer Calendar, a handy guide to what’s brewing when and where to get it.

 

Thirsty yet? If you’re ready to belly up and sample what these Martha’s Vineyard breweries have to offer, it’s time to start thinking about places to stay once the evening’s keg is kicked. Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites is located right at the center of it all, with Edgartown lodging options ranging from cozy guest rooms to luxury suites. Here’s to frosty mugs and fresh pints on the shores of Martha’s Vineyard.

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

Pack the boots but skip the multi-day backpack. The highest peak on the island is just 311 feet, so this is far from Wild territory. What the best hiking trails on Martha’s Vineyard do offer are leisurely year-round paths that lead to vistas, wetlands, and beautiful beachfronts. The following trails are easy for hikers of every level to enjoy.

 

Great Rock Bight Preserve

Hiking in Martha's Vineyard
Photo: Massachusetts Office of Tourism via flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Distance: 1.5 mile loop

 

Never judge a hike by its distance. The path may be short, but this popular destination is certainly one of the best hiking trails on the island. Just off of North Road in Chilmark, Great Rock Bight Preserve mixes a bit of everything in this little loop. The trail brings hikers through out to a bluff with views of Vineyard Sound and the Elizabeth Islands. If the goal of this nature expedition is to escape summer beach crowds, this is a prime place to achieve it. Only accessible from the hiking trail, the sandy cove at this preserve is one spot that’s sure to be less populated.

 

Menemsha Hills Reservation

Distance: 3 miles

 

For those who crave a bit of elevation gain, the second highest peak on the island is Prospect Hill in the Menemsha Hills Reservation. At 308 feet, it’s just a few feet shy of the island’s top peak, appropriated named Peaked Hill. The preserve has about three miles of the best hiking trails around, leading visitors through wetlands with red maple, beech trees, and black cherry trees. Outlooks along the trail give hikers a terrific perspective with views of Menemsha Village and the Elizabeth Islands.

 

Long Point Wildlife Refuge

Distance: 2.1 mile loop

 

Island isolation has never looked as beautiful as it does at Long Point Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest areas that can be publicly accessed on the island. Combining the beachfront, dunes, and woods, this spot hits the hiking trail trifecta for Martha’s Vineyard. Despite the opportunity for a mid-hike dip in the waves, some would argue that the best time to hit these trails is during a winter getaway. Swimming may be off-limits in winter, but hikers with sharp eyes may spot snowy owls along the beach.

 

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Biking Martha's Vineyard
Image via bikelist.org

Distance: 4 miles

 

Some of the best hiking trails in Edgartown wind around the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. Take the four trails separately for short jaunts, or combine them to explore the entire sanctuary perimeter. No matter which path you take, you’ll admire all the woodlands, meadows, marshes, and ponds this 194-acre spot has to offer. Plus, at under five miles from the Square, this is one destination that’s close enough to visit by bike.

 


After an afternoon of exploring, we’d say an evening of relaxation is in order. Whether that means heading to the Square to catch live music during summer or warming up by the lobby fireplace in the winter, kicking your feet up post-hike at Vineyard Square will never lead you astray.

 

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

Some anticipate the approach of October with jack-o-lanterns, crisp air, and flannel shirts in mind. Around here, though, our focus first turns to the island’s most mouthwatering fall party: the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival (MVFW).

 

Uncorking the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

Man pouring wine into a glass.

 

What You Can Expect

While a small island, Martha’s Vineyard has had a steady relationship with delicious food. This annual festival celebrates the island’s farming and fishing traditions and highlights some of the hottest trends emerging from kitchens and wine cellars in the region.

 

Put simply: This is an event for the foodies. It’s all about grass-fed meats, raw milk cheeses, organic produce, and the freshest seafood imaginable. You’ll be able to make new friends who take their food and drink as seriously as you. Some of the most popular events at the festival include renowned experts demonstrating their love of fresh ingredients and imaginative cuisine. You’ll meet award-winning chefs and sommeliers and get a chance to experience their craft at meticulously planned five-course meals or expansive tasting sessions.  

 

Know the Fine Print

The MVF&W Festival includes 17 events at bespoke locations and around Edgartown, designed for big kids ages 21 and older. Tickets are available online and are non refundable. All events are held rain or shine, so bring an umbrella.

 

It Supports Two Great Causes

We’re sure we’re not alone when we say we’ll gladly eat, drink, and be merry for a good cause. Portions of the proceeds go to Island Grown Schools, a farm-to-school program that encourages healthy eating decisions and connects the next generation of Vineyarders to local food systems. The festival also supports the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society, whose initiatives range from land conservation to stocking local farmers’ markets with island-grown food and flowers.

 

If you approach the holidays like an Olympic sport, consider the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival essential training for your Thanksgiving feast marathon — but with more oysters thrown into the mix. Whether you take a bite out of just one of these events or sample a dozen, Vineyard Square has a comfy spot with your name on it when you’re ready to put your feet up and your fork or wine glass down.  

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

Is there a vineyard on Martha’s Vineyard? It’s a deceptively simple question. With “vineyard” in the name, you’d expect to find some kind of wine-making traditions on the island, right? The answer may surprise you. It’s a story that harkens back to the first settlement of the island, beginning with an exciting journey across the Atlantic Ocean, and ending (in our version) appropriately on the balcony with a glass of vintage.

 

Settling the Age-Old Question: Is There a Vineyard on Martha’s Vineyard?

 

Two women drinking on the balcony in Martha's Vineyard

 

How Martha’s Vineyard Got Its Name

Brace yourselves, because we may have to break some hearts here. Martha’s Vineyard was founded in the early 1600’s by Bartholomew Gosnold, founder of the Virginia Company of London and leader of the first recorded European expedition to what we now call New England. Impressive, right? On May 21, 1602, he and his crew of 32 arrived on the shores of an island off the coast of Cape Cod. He observed many vines covering the island (the same varieties that can be seen today) and dubbed the tiny island Martha’s Vineyard after his daughter. Much to the despair of wine-loving visitors, however, grape-bearing vines were not included among the local flora. We like to say all this confusion is entirely Bartholomew’s fault.     

 

But, Vino Aficionados Aren’t Entirely Out of Luck…

True, vineyards and wineries haven’t been a significant part of the island’s agriculture (Martha’s Vineyard has had exactly one wine-producing vineyard, which closed in 2008 after 37 years of production) but there are still plenty of ways to fill your wine glass on the island, including some very awesome festivals. In May, wine-lovers flock to the MV Wine Fest, a multi-day celebration of food and wine, with past events ranging from oyster adventures to Napa cabernet tastings. On a similar note, every October the island welcomes the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival for four days and four nights of island indulgence. The festival’s a la carte events list treats your tastebuds to the island’s farming and fishing traditions — paired with a glass of red or white, of course.

 

So, wine lovers, while there isn’t an actual vineyard on Martha’s Vineyard, we trust you’ll find a way to marry your island vacation with a glass of your favorite vintage. We may not have rolling vineyard hills to gaze at, but Vineyard Square does happen to be a short two-minute walk to a superb selection at Vintage MV Wine & Spirits — and to us, there’s nothing more enjoyable than a glass or two with an Edgartown harbor view.

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

Think you need a full week to get acquainted with Martha’s Vineyard? Try 48 hours or less (really). Yes, spending several days beachside is as dreamy as it sounds, but you’re far from out of luck if time isn’t on your side. From finding your morning jolt to visiting iconic sights, we’ll show you how visiting Martha’s Vineyard on a 48-hour timeline is done.

 

Visiting Martha’s Vineyard: How to Spend 48 Hours (or Less) on Our Island

Mother's Day Martha's Vineyard

 

Day One

Arrive in Edgartown

After taking your ferry of choice to Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs, hail a cab or hop on the bus to Edgartown and spend your first day exploring the area. For such a walkable downtown, sometimes even we’re surprised at how easily the hours pass in Edgartown’s boutique and specialty stores (time flies when you’re filling shopping bags!). If a walk through history is more your speed, the Edgartown Historic District (which dates back to 1641) won’t disappoint. You’ll see some of the oldest buildings in Edgartown, including the Old Whaling Church, built in 1843 by shipwrights for the town’s sea captains. And since no island visit is complete without a lighthouse, end the day with a sunset visit to Edgartown Harbor Light before giving your feet a well-deserved dinner break — our best recommendation is just a walk across our porch, at Chesca’s. Don’t pass up their Espresso Martini or dessert menu while you’re there. 

 

Day Two

Wake Up and Smell the CoffeeDowntown Edgartown Shops & restaurants

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day so fuel up before you get too far out the door. Should you be staying at Vineyard Square between May and the end of October, you can find a mouthwatering breakfast spread right off our lobby. If you’re looking to explore Edgartown more, there are plenty of morning meals a short walk away. On Dock Street, tucked between a bike rental shop and The Black Dog kids clothing store, you’ll find the Dock Street Coffee Shop, open every day for breakfast and lunch and a favorite of islanders and locals alike. Another local favorite is Behind The Bookstore on Main Street, where you’ll find warm rice pudding, johnnycakes, and locally made granola to pair with your pour-over coffee.

 

Bike It, Beach It, Or Both

After fueling up with a hearty breakfast, get your body moving and explore the island by our favorite mode of transportation: bicycle. Here at Vineyard Square, we have a whole fleet of bikes available for guests to take for a spin, but if they all happen to be spoken for you can also rent a ride from nearby Edgartown Bicycles or Martha’s Vineyard Bike Rentals.

 

There are over 44 miles of bike trails on the island (including a hefty 100 kilometer full-island loop) but to get the most bang for your bike ride on a short timeframe, take the 6-mile Beach Road from Edgartown to Oak Bluffs. Along the way, stop at State Beach to take a dip in the water or watch daring swimmers dive off the iconic Jaws Bridge. Once you roll into Oak Bluffs, you’ll have plenty of options for how to spend the afternoon. Circuit Avenue is home to boutique shops, clothing stores, and tasty spots to grab an afternoon coffee or ice cream cone. We suggest setting aside time to see the historic Flying Horses Carousel, the oldest platform carousel in the country, and the picture-perfect Gingerbread Cottages the Vineyard is known for. If you’re a beer fan, this is also your chance to grab a midday bite and pint at Offshore Ale Co., Martha’s Vineyard’s premiere brewpub.

 

Gingerbread Houses in Oak Bluffs

 

From Farm (and Sea) to Your Plate

For your final night on the island, experience the culinary stylings that bring the farm and sea straight to your table. Venture over to West Tisbury and experience a dish at State Road, a farm-to-table restaurant that has earned the praise of Boston Magazine for its Grilled Spanish Octopus, Nova Scotia Halibut, and Wild Crab Gazpacho. Or, for another night of dining in Edgartown, indulge in the locally-sourced delicacies of l’étoile, a chef-owned and operated restaurant with a seasonally-inspired menu.

 

Feeling an after-dinner drink? Dip into Edgartown’s nightlife and let Alchemy shake up one of their signature cocktails for you — trust us, there’s a reason they’ve won Martha’s Vineyard Magazine’s Best Cocktail spot multiple years in a row.

 

Visiting Martha’s Vineyard in just two days is ample time to dip your toes into what our island has to offer. If you’re craving an even longer stay after your departure, though, don’t be shy — Vineyard Square will happily assist you with planning a full island itinerary.

 

 

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown