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Martha's Vineyard

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 some people think a family trip should be solely focused on the kids, we disagree. A family trip is for the whole family, which means that, personally, we think you shouldn’t suffer through your hard-earned vacation days. Martha’s Vineyard has a number of activities that strike a balance between kid fun and adult enjoyment. Where your kids find magic, you’ll find history; where they find silliness, you’ll find aesthetic beauty. These top four activities will ensure that every person on your family trip has a vacation to remember.

 

Gingerbread Cottages

Wander Through the Whimsical Gingerbread Cottages

Every little kid (and adult, if we’re being honest) dreams of living in a house made of candy, or at least one that looks like it. The Gingerbread Cottages in Oak Bluffs are famous for their candy colored exteriors and their whimsical names. Challenge each other to come up with cottage names that are more unique and silly than “Wooden Valentine” or “Lazy Dayz.” Another idea: cast yourself as the witch in a Hansel & Gretel-esque game of make believe (we hear this is a great tactic for keeping your kids on their best behavior during your family trip).

 

Edgartown Lighthouse - Family TripYour Family Trip Gets Brighter at the Edgartown Lighthouse

No family trip to Edgartown would be complete without a visit to its most famous landmark: the Edgartown Lighthouse. The current lighthouse was built in 1938 and the interior is still open to visitors (children under 12 get in free!). Peak your children’s interest by explaining how lighthouses keep boats from crashing into shore. After your family visits the lighthouse, plan to stay and spend time wandering up and down Lighthouse Beach, where you’ll take in views of Edgartown harbor and Chappaquiddick.

 

Hop on the Flying Horses

Skip the typical carousel ride and hop aboard a flying horse. The whimsical fun continues at the Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs. Originally from Coney Island, this Martha’s Vineyard fixture is the oldest platform carousel in the United States. While your kids may not care too much about the history, at least you can say that your family trip had some educational value amidst all the fun. Be warned though: kids who ride the flying horses tend not to want to get off.

 

Pirate Adventures Marthas Vineyard
Photo: Pirate Adventures

Move your Family Trip to the High Seas with Pirate Adventures

All-aboard, mateys and get ready to take Martha’s Vineyard by sea. When your kids are acting like swashbucklers and scallawags, move your family trip aboard the Sea Gypsy. Bid a hearty ‘yo-ho’ to their crew — everyday is “talk like a pirate day” at Pirate Adventures — and let your kids get dressed up in their finest pirate garb. Hopefully, they’ve brushed up on their navigating skills because they’re going to help the crew search for gold doubloons. All the while, you’ll get to ride along the high seas and take in the views of land (-ho!). You and your little lads and lasses will let forth a mighty “arrr!” after your role-playing adventure on the sea.

 

With all the effort that goes into planning the perfect family trip, you deserve a little relaxation once you arrive to Martha’s Vineyard. Our two-bedroom luxury suites will allow you some peace and quiet. Your family can spread out comfortably in the suite, and you can spend some quiet time reading on your private balcony.

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

Finding the perfect holiday gift can be a challenging task, especially if you’re searching in soul-sucking malls and shopping plazas. Add some joy to your holiday shopping by buying one-of-a-kind Christmas presents on Martha’s Vineyard. While many shops on the island close during the shoulder season, you can find gifts for everyone on your list at one of the many craft fairs, gift sales and festivals during the holiday season. This Martha’s Vineyard holiday shopping guide will help you find gifts for the whole family, and maybe even a little something for yourself.

Holiday shopping guide
Photo: Paul LaCedra

Holiday Shopping Guide for Martha’s Vineyard

Featherstone Center for the Arts Holiday Gift Show

There’s nothing more special than a handmade gift from the island. Featherstone Center for the Arts hosts their annual holiday gifts show in the month leading up to Christmas. Stop by and browse through gifts galore, from jewelry and purses to pottery and paintings. You can take pride in knowing that whatever you purchase, it will be one of a kind. In the spirit of the holidays, all sales benefits from the gift show will go towards local artists and the Featherstone Center to help keep art alive on the island.

 

Oak Bluffs Open Market

While Oak Bluffs Open Market is open through the summer and fall, this Martha’s Vineyard staple moves inside for the holiday season. With two markets held, one at the end of November and another in early December, the Oak Bluffs Open Market is ready to meet all your holiday shopping needs. And because most of Oak Bluffs regular vendors return for the indoor market, it’s easy to plan your shopping trip.

 

Christmas in EdgartownHoliday shopping

No Martha’s Vineyard holiday shopping guide would be complete without Christmas in Edgartown. While your children are partaking in cookie decorating and Christmas parades, slip away and take advantage of the deep discounts. Stop by Bryn Walker and get as much as 80% off clothing purchases, or attend the Christmas kickoff at Backwater Trading Co. and sip on hot cider while you shop. Plus, many local stores reopen just for Christmas in Edgartown, so this is your chance to pick up the perfect gift at your favorite Edgartown store.

 

Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop

Let’s be honest—not all of us are master planners when it comes to holiday shopping. For those of you who wait to hit the stores until three days before Christmas, Martha’s Vineyard has the perfect store for you. The Vineyard Holiday Gift Shop only operates during the Christmas season and, thankfully, stays open until Christmas Eve. Go to this everything-store to stock up on stocking stuffers for your kids, relatives, and even your dog. You can also purchase specialty items made by local artists and artisans that will be sure to impress even the most picky of family members.

 

With the help of this holiday shopping guide, you can bring some truly unique gifts home from Martha’s Vineyard. If you’re thinking of doing your holiday shopping on the island, consider giving yourself a relaxing stay at Vineyard Square Hotel. Located right in the heart of Edgartown, Vineyard Square will put the best holiday shopping on the island right at your fingertips.

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

Rick's Crocuses-resized-600

I have declared that spring has begun.  Never mind that the calendar says March 11.  Every other indication that I care about tells me that winter is over in New England and spring has completed its long, weary trek to my front door.

How can I declare that spring has arrived in the face of all scientific data to the contrary?  Hard evidence makes the change clear.  First and foremost, I grilled outside.  If that isn’t spring, I don’t know what is.  Granted I had to maneuver around snowbanks, shovel my way to the grill, and set the bottle of BBQ sauce in a drift while I tried to dig the bottom of the grill cover out of the snow, but those are minor details.  Vini, vidi, chicky.  I came, I saw, I grilled chicken.

Second, as I was engaged in the aforesaid vernal activity, the children in the next yard were swinging on their playground apparatus.  Are you going to tell them that it isn’t spring?  Break their hopeful hearts?  I think not!  It mattered little to them that their tiny little boots were scraping through the snow with each pendular movement.  Though clouds filled the sky, the sun shone in their eyes.

Finally, my crocuses have bloomed.  ‘Nuff said.

How does this affect anything other than my state of mind, which was already open to controversy anyway?  Well, I’ve put away my winter coat for one thing.  I’m done with it until next December at least.  Gloves, wool hats, boots?  No, thanks.  I won’t be needing winter protection for a while.

The grill is open for business for good.  Set up my hammock on the porch.  Hot cocoa?  Nope.  Kick back and have a tall glass of lemonade.  Slap one of those Beach Boys CD’s on.  Surf’s up!  Put the furnace in mothballs.  I’m done contributing to global warming except to drive to Martha’s Vineyard.

There you have it.  I refuse to wait until March 20, 21, 22, or whatever date has been ordained by the whims of capricious meteorological types.  I’ve had enough snow, ice, and cold for a lifetime, never mind the year.  I won’t be bullied or intimidated by the tyranny of calendars, facts, or bothersome reality.  I’m living in spring as of now.

Feel free to join me.  You’ll find me at South Beach.  It should be summer in a few days.

What tells YOU that spring has sprung?

 

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

erc__0378 smAfter reading Rick’s post last month I thought I would take a little time to introduce you further to the Edgartown Residence Club.  Located in what some of you will remember as the ‘porch wing’ of the Colonial Inn, Edgartown Residence Club is available for purchase as a fractional ownership.  “What the heck is fractional owership?” I hear some of you cry, well, that is a good question.

I think my friend and industry expert David Disick explains it best,

“Fractional Ownership is ownership of any property (real estate, yachts, jets, art etc) that allocates use based on the amount of time that each owner is allotted.  In real estate, that means that a number of people all hold a fee-simple deed that conveys the right to occupy the residence for a specific amount of time each year and how that time is allotted.  The deed fuctions just like that of a traditional, whole ownership home in that it can be recorded, mortgaged, gifted or willed.  It can also be resold through local real estate agents.” (Source: David A Disick, “Fractional Vacation Homes – Marketing and Sales in Challenging Times”)

The next question that I often get is, “Well, isn’t that just a timeshare?” and honestly, it’s not.

erc__0041 smallTimeshare is strictly a vacation product where people pre-purchase one or two weeks of vacation at their home resort and have the ability to exchange their vacation through an exchange company. The Edgartown Residence Club, like other fractional ownership resorts world wide, is a commitment to a leisure lifestyle in a location where owners desire to return periodically throughout the year. It is a different product than timeshare, designed for a second home buyer, used in a different manner and sold differently as well. It combines all of the benefits of owning a second home with the services and amenities of a fine hotel, without the responsibility, worry or hassle of owning a second home. The ERC is a luxury club catering to second homeowners who seek an exceptional vacation experience and leisure lifestyle.

“But why buy a luxury vacation home, even if it is a fractional ownership, in this economy?”

With the economy slowly showing signs of recovery, we are all adjusting to the new ‘normal’ with less unnecessary spending and more careful consideration of where our hard earned dollars go.  This is one of the key factors that makes fractional ownership make more sense now than ever before!

erc__0368 sm

  • Reduced Costs – fractional ownership allows you to own a vacation home for a much reduced financial commitment than a traditional 2nd home.
  • Better Location – Let’s face it – we all know you could spend an extra $200k and have a traditional 2nd home on Martha’s Vineyard but you can be assured that it would not be in the center of historic, downtown Edgartown with spectacular views of Edgartown harbor, Chappaqiddick and the Atlantic Ocean beyond (It’s much more likely to be miles out of town, down a bumpy dirt road, with no walkable amenities).
  • Reduced Maintenance Worries – At the Edgartown Residence Club there’s no spending your 1st day cleaning and making the beds, running to Stop and Shop for groceries and touching base with your local caretaker and landscaper.  Just show up, relax and enjoy!
  • Diversity – Why own just 1 vacation home, year round, in a location you really only spend a few weeks a year in when for the same investment you could own multiple fractional ownerships in multiple locations that you love!

So, now you’ve got the basics on what and why, all that’s left is ‘How’.  Just pick up the phone and give me a call on 800-465-2810 or drop a quick email to learn more.  There are lots of other great reasons that ownership at the Edgartown Residence Club can make sense for you and your loved ones!

 

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