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Edgartown

When the weather is nice enough to merit a visit to the beach, prepare yourself for a vast number of choices:  this island has over 125 miles of coastline. Don’t let the sheer amount of options leave you feeling underwater, though.  When it comes to Martha’s Vineyard beaches, there’s plenty to go around and lots of different atmospheres to enjoy.

 

South Beach, Martha's Vineyard
South Beach on Martha’s Vineyard | Photo: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism via flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

 

South Beach (Edgartown)

If you enjoy people watching and don’t mind being around a crowd, South Beach is sure to please. This slice of sandy paradise is on the Atlantic coast, just south of Edgartown (it’s also our main beach).  Lifeguards are on duty July and August, but caution is always advised as the surf can be quite rough and take you by surprise (especially important to remember for kiddos in tow).  South Beach is popular with younger visitors and residents of the Island, so if you’re under 30, this is the place to hang (or if you’re over 30 and want to pretend, that works too).  If people watching isn’t your thing, there’s always sandcastle building! South Beach is such a great spot for constructing architectural masterpieces that the Edgartown Board of Trade now sponsors a Sand Sculpting contest each August, so grab a pail and shovel and get practicing!

 

State Beach (Edgartown/Oak Bluffs)

For a quieter pace, with lifeguards and excellent swimming, head to State Beach. It’s accessible by bike path and located between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. It’s a great choice for family visits, as there’s always kids building sandcastles, splashing, and generally raising a ruckus.  The water here is calm enough that the local kids even have their swimming lessons here.

 

Lighthouse Beach (Edgartown)

Edgartown Lighthouse - Martha's Vineyard
Lighthouse Beach in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard

If you want to hunker down and read in peace and quiet, bring your bookish bundle to Lighthouse Beach in Edgartown.  As the name suggests, it’s just beside the lighthouse.  The fact that there is very little parking means that this beach is generally quite quiet and it’s really nice to watch the sailboats glide in and out of the harbor. It’s only a few minutes walk from our front door, so it is very convenient but remarkably underused.

 

Chappaquiddick Beaches

Get your steps in and experience true peace and quiet on a journey to our neighboring island of Chappaquiddick.  The beaches here are pristine but require a bit more legwork than the average sandy spot. Just make sure you prepare in advance — there are no stores over on Chappy, so pack a lunch to enjoy on-the-go!

 

Can’t decide which Martha’s Vineyard beaches to visit during your trip? Don’t be shy — swing by our front desk and we’ll tell you all about the up-Island gems and down-Island coves.

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

There are few things we like more than chowing down on tasty island nosh. From creamy chowders to fresh raw oysters, Martha’s Vineyard has the distinct advantage of being surrounded by water on all sides. However, don’t think that seafood is our sole culinary triumph. From gulping down raw cow’s milk at a local farm stand to cutting into a hearty steak at a corner bistro, the ways to experience food on the island are as varied as the island itself. Instead of hiking, biking or swimming your way across the island, eat your way from Aquinnah to Edgartown with this foodie tour of the Vineyard.

 

Foodie Tour Martha's Vineyard
Photo: Farm. Field. Sea.

 

Festivals of the Foodie Variety

Get all the culinary delights of the island in one place — all you have to do is show up! Stroll through tent after tent of decadent food and wine as you breathe in the salty air of the island. Honestly, what could possibly be better?

 

Taste of the Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard’s oldest food festival, Taste of the Vineyard Gourmet Stroll, started over 30 years ago and only continues to one-up itself every year with delightful cuisine. Held annually in June, this event kicks of the island’s social season with 1200 of your closest friends and 90 food & beverage vendors, serving everything from artisanal chocolates to oysters on the half shelf to craft brews. Plus, we’re particularly fond of the fact that you can burn all this grub off on the dance floor at the end of the night.

 

Taste of the Vineyard
Photo: Taste of the Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival

Who doesn’t like a hubbub? With 25-plus sold-out events each year, Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival in October is the highlight of the off-season. Bringing together island chefs, local farmers, and wine personalities from across the United States, this festival introduces the culinary creators of the island to the community at large. There’s basically too many wonderful tastings, pop-up dinners, and small batch experiences to describe, so we’re going to keep it simple and say, if you can only go to one event during this four-day feast, attend the Grand Tasting. Arrive with an empty stomach and prepare yourself for over 200 pours.

 

The MV Wine Festival

Can’t wait until October? Attend the MV Wine Festival in May. While this festival also features four days of feasting, its focus falls more towards wine (unsurprisingly, we suppose). With wine dinners, a cocktail competition, and even a forging challenge, you may just find your new favorite summer beverage.

 

Foodie Tour de Farms

Orange Peel Marthas VineyardIt doesn’t get more local than this. Create the ultimate picnic by taking a tour de farms. Start your foodie tour by stopping at Morning Glory Farms, right outside of Edgartown. Stock up on fresh tomatoes and greens grown in their greenhouse, and, if you’re feeling romantic, gather up a bouquet of fresh flowers, courtesy of Heather Gardens. At your next stop, The Grey Barn in Chilmark, delight in their freshly made cheeses with names like Prufrock, Bluebird, and Eidolon, or pick up a pint of their raw cow’s milk. What’s a picnic without some sweet and yeasty goodness to round off the meal? You’ll have to keep your eyes peeled for Orange Peel Bakery. Identifiable mainly due to the large stone oven in the yard, this treasure serves up fresh bread, cookies, and even pizza on special nights if you decide cooking isn’t for you. It’s the only place in Aquinnah open 365 days a year — the head baker bakes breads and cakes every day, leaving them at the bakery in exchange for payment on the honor system. If that isn’t charming, we don’t know what is.

 

Go Classic with a Restaurant Tour

Menemsha Fish ShackTake a seat and dig into the more established side of our foodie tour: Martha’s Vineyard’s booming restaurant scene.  For an authentic, island snack, stop by Menemsha Fish Market for creamy chowder and a lobster roll. Located right on the water, you’re basically guaranteed some of the freshest seafood on the island. For a more upscale experience, settle into the romantic atmosphere of Alchemy where every bite is bursting with flavor. Ascend their staircase and head towards the back of the restaurant where you can dine in an old world library by the fire.

 

In our totally unbiased opinion (okay, maybe we’re a bit biased), Chesca’s Restaurant delivers the best of fine dining with a comforting flair. Grab a hand-crafted cocktail and sip it on our front porch; or settle in for a meal of delectable seared scallops. Honestly, it takes all our willpower not to eat there every evening.

 

Can’t narrow down the restaurants on your must-try list? Plan your visit for Restaurant Week. With discounts and special menus at participating restaurants, your foodie tour of Martha’s Vineyard can be more comprehensive and less expensive.

 

Embark on a Culinary Adventure

Farm. Field. Sea.Not satisfied unless you get your hands a little dirty? You’ll gather plenty of salt and mud on your culinary adventure with Farm. Field. Sea. Through hands-on, knowledge-driven learning experiences, you can connect (or reconnect) with the food of the island in a way that is both satisfying and delicious. Master the art of cheesemaking, explore the island’s culinary heritage, or just join Farm. Field. Sea. for a pop-up dinner. Regardless of which adventure you choose (and trust us, it’s very hard to choose just one), your meal’s setting will be a feast for the eyes, set in some of the most beautiful locations on the island. As the sun sets, feel your body, tired but satisfied and full from a day of culinary adventure.

 

In your weary state, find an island home that is happy to welcome you in, covered in grime or otherwise.  With fluffy, homemade muffins in the morning and saltwater taffy in the afternoons, Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites provides the treats and the luxury to perfectly punctuate your foodie tour. 

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

While everyone hopes for perfect weather when they go on vacation, there’s no avoiding the occasional bad weather day (we haven’t perfected our weather-fixer, yet). Don’t let a little rain or snow cloud your Martha’s Vineyard vacation. There are endless indoor activities on the island that are perfect for the whole family. Stop into a museum, take a class, or just relax and eat. With so many wonderful indoor activities to choose from, a rainy vacation day may just outshine the ‘perfect’ ones.

Indoor Activities: Dance
Photo: Caleb Carr, The Yard

Featherstone Center For The Arts

If you are an art lover, none of Martha’s Vineyard’s indoor activities can beat a visit to Featherstone Center for the Arts. This art center is the premiere destination for local artwork in the area. Stop in and see one of their rotating exhibits, or go to one of their weekly events like Musical Mondays or the Photographers Salon. You can also attend one of the center’s classes open to individuals of all ages.

 

Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena

A day of indoor activities doesn’t mean giving up being active. Burn off some energy by skating at Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena. If, by some chance, you forgot to lug your skates all the way to the Vineyard, they’re available to rent on-site. Martha’s Vineyard Ice Arena also host open skating hours throughout the week, or you can sign up to take a lesson and learn to skate circles around your friends and family. When the weather is just too damp or too cold to skate outdoors, keep your fingers, toes, and nose from freezing off by skating in this indoor arena.

 

Indoor Activities: Museum
Photo: Martha’s Vineyard Museum

Martha’s Vineyard Museum

Learn about the rich history, art, and culture of the island at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. This museum began collecting items in 1922 and has only grown its collection since. Discover the island’s history through pre-revolutionary war artifacts or visit one of the museum’s exhibits featuring modern artists. A visit to this museum has been known to inspire revolutionary war reenactments and the desire to eat whale blubber (just kidding about the whale blubber).

 

Indoor Activities at The Yard

Brighten up your day with a community dance class at The Yard. Taught in an open air barn, these classes make you feel like you’re outside, without actually confronting the weather. If the day’s gloom has you in the mood to rest rather than rhumba, you can sit and watch one of their monthly performances instead. The Yard hosts residencies for prominent dancers, so you may have the chance to see the next great dancing phenomenon!

 

Spend The Day At Vineyard Square

When the temperatures drop or the rain pours, sometimes you just want to cozy up inside all day. Luckily, with all the indoor activities at Vineyard Square, you won’t have to brave the weather. Spend the day getting treatments and massages at the Sea Spa Salon, where the sound of rain will only aid relaxation. In the evening, share a leisurely meal in our in-house restaurant, and watch the snow fall while sipping on a hot beverage. End your day of indoor activities by returning to your snug room and warming up by the fire.

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

Here at the Square, we’re getting pretty excited about October. Not only because it’s a lovely Fall month on New England’s most awesome island. Not only because we’re ready for the ghoulish happenings of Halloween.

It’s because this year’s month-long Fall for the Arts celebration looks like a series of super-fun events!

Events kick off on September 28 and run through October 30, and include favorites like the Living Local Harvest Festival (September 29), the Art of Chocolate Festival (Oct 10-14), Vineyard Artisans Festivals in October and November, plus a series of gallery openings, gallery strolls, readings, speakers, exhibitions and more.

The island also is welcoming a couple fabulous NEW events, like the Creative Economy Speaker Series every Tuesday, and the Local Wild Food Challenge, (October 8), which is essentially a throw down to professional and amateur chefs, hunters and fisherman alike. Think you can whip up a stunning dish with wild ingredients? Click here to read about the events and click here to pre-register by email.

Keep checking our Facebook page as we profile each event as it approaches.

 

 

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
Daddy and his Shadow girls
By Pink Sherbet Photography

Diversity is a buzzword people like to throw around, referring mostly to people who look or behave differently from one another.  Rarely does it refer to anything much beyond the surface.  The fact is that true diversity occurs deep within.  It can rarely be seen from the outside but must be experienced personally.  I contend that Martha’s Vineyard offers a variety unlike other places.   There are so many different things to do for so many different kinds of people in so many different types of places.

A diversity of places…

The terrain, dwellings, and sights on the island are so varied that you might be tempted to think you are in more than one place at the same time.  Hills, farms, beaches, forests, busy streets, and quiet parks are among the habitats available to enjoy.  If you have a change of mood, a change of environment is only a short drive, walk, bike ride, or bus trip away.  In fact, you could become disoriented just by turning around in some locales.

There is even variety in similar ecosystems: State Beach can be as calm as a lake while South Beach can be so tempestuous that it can toss you like so much dirty laundry..

…with a diversity of activities…

From the serenity of kayaking in a placid lagoon to the insanity of parasailing on the turbulent air currents above State Beach, there is truly something for everyone here.  I like to sit on South Beach and read, but if I decide to soar silently over that beach, gliders await at nearby Katama airfield offering that option.  I can bike on the flat paths around the airport or challenge the hills of Aquinnah.

What youngster can resist the lure of the brass ring on the Flying Horses?  (What parent can resist helping said child?)  If that’s too tame for the older kids, they can take real horse rides through the fields and trails of West Tisbury.  The Aggie is a blast while neighboring Polly Hill Arboretum is a tranquil refuge.

Dining offers the same variety.  The Quarterdeck, a classic walk-up clam shack, is mere steps away from the upscale L’Etoile, but don’t try wearing the same apparel to both.

…for a diversity of people.

Families, singles, infants, and elders will all find appropriate diversions.  The crazies and the lazies will similarly find their niches.  Rich retirees from New Jersey coexist with newlyweds from Chicago.  The acclaimed and the obscure can rub elbows in shops and bars.  During the summer, you might be served ice cream by a college senior from Bulgaria or buy a drink from a senior citizen native islander.

I love many things about the Vineyard, but high on the list is that I feel as if I can visit many different places with a single visit to the Island.

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