Martha’s Vineyard is a place I’ve always wanted to go. When my friend, Heather, invited me along, I was tickled pink! Now Heather had never been before either and this trip was so last minute, we were really pretty clueless of what to do and where to go. So, my friends, we’ll also give you some great tips that will be sure to make your trip a great one!
We went in early September after the kids went to school and I loved it. It wasn’t too crowded and the temperature was still perfect for the beach and yet, not to hot for our 12 mile bike ride.
We stayed in Oaks Bluff. A beautiful section of Martha’s Vineyard which sheds so much character and personality with all the Gingerbread Cottages! There are many shops, which to my surprise were very reasonable in price. Of course there are shops that sold souvenirs such as sweatshirts, mugs and so on, but there were many shops that sold unique items such as sea glass lamps, fun house and cottage signs, fun and unique kitchen items and much more. Sanctuary was one that I really loved. There’s also a “grocery store” on Circuit Ave that had very reasonable prices. Also, the Corner Store carries hats, sweatshirts and other items. I ended up getting a Martha’s Vineyard hat there for $10, while all the other stores had the same one for $16.
Restaurants are everywhere. In our walking and traveling around the town, I ask residents their recommendations and all proved to be great choices which I’ll share a little further into our our post.
Hotels and Inns:
Heather and I stayed at The Island Inn. We literally got the last room in the Inn which was a Deluxe Townhouse Suite. It was very very clean. It had a small kitchen with a full size fridge. Though we didn’t use the kitchen, it is nice when you have children, are staying for a longer time frame or just want to save money. For us, we were there for three days, and we wanted to experience as much as we could of Martha’s Vineyard. That definitely meant the food experience. There are several different buildings and choices of rooms. There is a small outdoor pool and tennis courts and in the registration office you can get free coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Our stay was good, the price for midweek was very affordable for our size room, but I would say, the Inn did need a bit of a makeover.
More places to stay in Oak Bluffs that were recommended from friends and from what I thought looked like nice places in passing:
Book the Ferry:
Once you know when and where you’re staying you should book the ferry. We didn’t know to do this–oops. We were thinking it was like a bus, you show up and hop on. Lucky for us, there was still room to book us on. Here is the link information for the ferry for both passenger and automobile.
When you get off the ferry in Oak Bluffs, you’ll be greeted with a beautiful park with flowers, benches and a gazebo. It’s a lovely spot to walk around and begin to see the character of the town.
A few restaurants where we went to and I’d recommend were:
Backyard Donuts-(A.K.A. Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Cafe and Bakery: We visited the bakery late in the afternoon and all their donuts, giant cinnamon buns and apple fritters were 1/2 off after 3:00.
Carousel Ice Cream Factory: There was a carousel horse and tiger that kids (and adults) can sit on for photos. Ice cream of course was yummy! They had a lot of flavors to choose from. The shop was cute, but I though it would have been cuter.
Linda Jeans : We went here for breakfast. They also serve lunch and dinner. It was hoppin’ and the food was good.
Lobsterville Bar and Grille: : Located right on the dock, it’s a perfect place for great food and amazing views of the sunset along the water. Closes late September
Martha’s Vineyard Chowder: Delicious chowder and has won many awards over the years. Eat it there or get it to go and eat on the benches of the Gazebo Park.
Sharky’s Cantina: Located in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown
Things to do:
One thing both Heather and I knew we were going to do was ride bikes along the island. We rented ours from Anderson Bike Rentals. They offer delivery to your hotel and pick up as well.
And off we went—off to Edgartown:
It’s a 12 mile round trip route from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown. There are bike paths almost the entire way and it’s pretty much flat grounds. There are a few spots as you get right into the heart of Edgartown that you either have to ride your bike with the flow of traffic or walk your bike on the sidewalk.
On the way we stopped at Bad Martha’s.
Bad Martha’s is a very cool place to stop. It’s basically a brewery in a garden nursery. We loved the atmosphere. Walk into a barn and order your beers, choose from a few platters for munchies. You can sit inside at the bar or head outside in the garden, where I loved. There’s music playing, benches all around, tables, some made from whiskey barrels, and games you can play while enjoying your company! They are also dog friendly. They had a jar of dog treats and fresh water bowls.
ATRIA Restaurant and Brick Cellar Bar: This was a restaurant that stood out to me and if we had been eating in Edgartown, this would have been a place I would have liked to try.
Edgartown is a beautiful upscale town. The homes are rich colonial homes-far different from the colorful cottages in Oak Bluffs. They have similar shops as the Bluffs and plenty of restaurants. One shop that was out of the ordinary was Bibi’s Baby & Kids. If I had known about this shop when I was pregnant,” Wow! ” is all I have to say, a mommy’s dream baby furniture store! I know where I’ll be getting furniture for my grandchildren in the way off future!
Places To Stay:
While exploring Edgartown, these are hotels that I came across that I wanted to check out for my next visit. All are very different in style and in price, but I really liked all of them!
What To Do:
Jump the Jaws Bridge: Located between Oak Bluff’s and Edgartown is the infamous Jaws Bridge that many tourists and townees jump off. There are many shirts in the gift shops that say “I’ve jumped the Jaw’s Bridge”.
Visit the Edgartown Lighthouse. Certain times of the year, you can climb to the top of the lighthouse for a small fee.
Visit Norton Point Beach: Drive your car right onto the sands
For some who are really looking for adventure, experience Skyhigh Kite Boarding! You’ll definitely want to bring your Go Pro for this adventure!
Visit Aquinnah Cliffs:
Aquinnah Cliffs is about a 45 minute drive from Oak Bluffs. This was my favorite spot, it was beautiful. The parking along the cliff here allows for 1 hour of free parking. There are also a few restaurants here and the prices were really good. One restaurant has a deck that hangs over the edge. The views are breathtaking! There are a few shops here. Again, reasonably priced. The lighthouse is open for tours certain times of the year for a $5 fee.
There is a beach in viewing distance of the Aquinnah Cliffs, but from what I understand is about a 10 minute walk. A parking lot nearby charges $15 for the day.
To find many of the much talked about beaches, check out this website HERE, it lists all of the beaches and information for each one.
Our three days were packed. Of course, there is more to see, but I hope that these tips and resources will be a super start to your Martha’s Vineyard trip!