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Vineyard Haven

New BridgePerhaps the most frequent question posed to island people is, “What do you do in the winter?”.  I get the feeling that many of our summer friends have a vision of a big, domed platter cover coming down from the sky to envelop Vineyard while the locals hibernate from New Years Day until Memorial Day Weekend. Ah, not so.  Entertainment is at a minimum, but far from non-existent.  It’s just that we have a lot more of everything in the summer.

But I’m getting off track here.  Mostly, what we’re doing here in the winter, is getting ready for the return of all our off Island friends in the Spring!  A summer resort takes a huge amount of maintenance! The biggest projects this year are our bridges!  I’m sure you have all watched the slow progress of the building of the temporary Lagoon Bridge between Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven.  Well, it finally opened this month!  It took two barges to being over the new drawbridge section AND the incredible crane that put it in its place.  Now the old bridge is being cut up into sections and taken away the same way.  The temporary bridge is such an impressive structure, it’s hard to believe that it too must eventually meet the same demise.  By the time you return this year, the new permanent bridge will be well underway.

Moving along to the other side of Oak Bluffs…Watching the progress on Little Bridge and Big Bridge (as they are affectionately known), along the Beach Road to Edgartown, is an education in engineering in itself.  If you were one of the lucky ones who had your 2009 visit spill over into the beautiful fall, you watched as the mobile traffic lights were erected and both bridges lost their ocean side lanes.  Since then the rebuilding has begun, with barges, cranes and equipment I’ve never seen before.  Talk about a feat of engineering? How do those four story cranes withstand the gale winds that have been blowing across the pond? And while I’m at it, I’d like to applaud the work crews and traffic cops battling the same winds and storms, sometimes so concealed under thick winter clothing that all you can see is a slit of their sunglass covered eyes.  But progress is what they are making, and I’m sure by the summer, all kids (young and old), will be jumping off the newly rebuilt Big Bridge.  And when they leave in September, the traffic lights, cranes and construction crews will return to perform the same magic on the pond side of the road next winter.

Going back into Oak Bluffs Center, its east to get distracted, as there’s no more Steamship Authority ferry terminal.  There again, all you see are large cranes, some very strange looking, large vehicles, and a pile of humongous boulders.  Yes, we are finally going to get a new terminal.  But not without complications.  It seems the old foundation has massive cracks in it, so instead of building the new building structure on it as originally planned, it will have to be replaced too.  Why does everything end up costing more? (It’s the same at my house!) But things are taking shape.  If you can see between all the equipment smothering the dock, you can make out shiny new railings.  All should be pretty spiffy for the 2010 season.

And last but not least, lets not forget two major construction projects coming to an end soon and both adding huge new services to the Island –  the brand new YMCA and the shiny new, state of the art hospital, both opening this spring.  The hospital opening was supposed to have been in February, but due to some faulty flooring adhesive, it has been moved back until April.  Details. details.  But not to worry, you will have a state-of-the-art facility to bring your skinned knees and sunburns to this summer.

So, you see, life hardly stops on the Island when the days get shorter.  In fact, there is quite an impressive flurry of activity.  And what does all of this winter maintenance say to you?  I sincerely hope the message is that we really care for and about our summer family and want to offer you the very best when you return to us!!

 

The Best Things to Do in Martha’s Vineyard for Solo Travelers
What to Know about the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
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

pizzaA Martha’s Vineyard vacation doesn’t have to be the posh, high end, “take out a loan, we’re going on vacation” kind of vacation that you so frequently read about in connection with The Vineyard.  A lot of down to earth (and really nice) people live and vacation here and have to make the fun work on a limited budget.  In this post I am focusing on affordable dining-out options in Vineyard Haven; but if you missed the posts on Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, please check these out as well.

Vineyard Haven has the obligatory coffee shops along it’s Main St. that offer a quick and inexpensive “breakfast to go”. I like the variety at the M.V.Bagel Authority on Upper Main St, and Mocha Motts on lower Main. The Waterside Market (also on Upper Main) is a little more upscale and offers more seating to enjoy your coffee and breakfast sandwich if you choose to not take it “to go”.  If you are hankering to treat yourself to a full breakfast, The Art Cliff diner is a Vineyard Haven tradition that should not be missed.  They are located on Beach Rd., and have fabulous food.  The diner is understandably popular with the local community as well as return visitors, so get there early or plan to wait!

Just down from the Art Cliff on Beach Rd. is the Net Result Seafood Market.  The Net Result offers a great take-out menu that makes seafood an affordable option.  I also understand that their tuna and smoked bluefish pates are delicious!  Another great alternative for lunch (or dinner) is Bob’s Pizza and Subs right on Main St.  They have indoor seating, or you can sit outside and watch the crowds wandering by.  One of the things that my kid’s like best about Bob’s Pizza is that it’s right next door to a large Candy and Ice Cream Emporium (which is very convenient!).

Dinner in Vineyard Haven offers some unique opportunities. When considering dining out in Vineyard Haven, remember that it is a dry town. This is not a bad thing if you plan ahead, and can actually save you a considerable amount of money on your beverages of choice. Just keep in mind that a lot of restaurants do charge a corkage fee for the privilege of bringing your alcohol in.

If you like Lobster Rolls, you HAVE to stop by Grace Church (on Woodlawn Ave.) on Friday evenings between 4:30 and 7:30 for take out (from the beginning of May through the end of September). Their lobster rolls don’t have any fillers and at $13, they have the best price on the island!  They’ve been voted best lobster roll on the island in The Best of the Vineyard for the past 3 years, so get there early… there is always a crowd and they might run out!

The Blue Canoe Waterfront Grill is a new restaurant, right on Beach Rd., which is getting great reviews.  Because they have a more casual sandwich menu along with full dinners, you can enjoy harbor view dining for a very reasonable price… and the food is great!   Another casual, fun alternative for families is the Island Cove Mini Golf Grill.  Located on State Rd., families can enjoy a simple meal from their grill in between an evening’s golfing and rock climbing adventure!

Saltwater (on Beach Rd. beside the Net Result) is another great “water front” dining experience.  They have lovely views of Lagoon Pond, and are open for lunch, Sunday brunch, and take out as well as dinner.  The food and atmosphere are wonderful… and the winelist fits everyone’s budget as it is B.Y.O.B.

Do you have a favorite, “affordable” grazing spot that I haven’t mentioned yet?  Please leave a comment so that all of our blog readers can read about it!

Image courtesy of Pizza Pie-er

 

The Best Things to Do in Martha’s Vineyard for Solo Travelers
What to Know about the Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival
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