Martha’s Vineyard has long been a travel destination, the top vacation choice for presidents, celebrities and anyone looking for gorgeous beaches and delicious seafood. Peak season for the island is mid-June through Labor Day, when 10,000 visitors come through every day.
The island has something for anyone—couples seeking a romantic getaway, families looking to take a break for the weekend, friends wanting a high class vacation. Whether you’re there for a day, a weekend or the whole summer, here are some must-sees for any traveler to the island.
80 Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557; 508-693-0525; www.mvcma.org
Grab some ice cream and head over to the Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association to check out these adorable pastel-colored cottages reminiscent of doll houses. Walk through the historical meeting ground and pick your favorite of the more than 300 houses.
Offshore Ale and Brewery
30 Kennebec Ave., Oak Bluffs, MA 02557; 508-693-2626; www.offshoreale.com
This popular Oak Bluffs spot excels not only in food, but in its beer selection. The warm and inviting restaurant features local brews, including several they make right upstairs. The menu features American fare, but of special note are the fish and chips, lobster roll and the pulled pork sandwich. They’re also renowned for their brick oven pizzas, which include standard favorites as well as more unusual options like roasted duck, chicken quesadilla and mashed potatoes and bacon.
Flying Horses Carousel
33 Lake Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557; 508-693-9481; www.mvpreservation.org/properties/flying-horses-carousel
Kids and adults will love this landmark, which is recognized as the nation’s oldest platform carousel. Originally operated as a Coney Island ride, it was moved to Martha’s Vineyard in 1884, where it has been housed in a red barn ever since. The carousel’s horses feature real horsehair manes and tails and distinctive objects in their glass eyes. Try to catch the lucky brass ring for a free ride.
Gay Head Cliffs
1 Aquinnah Circle, Aquinnah, MA, 02535
The sunset at this site at Martha’s Vineyard’s westernmost tip will quickly put every other one you’ve seen to shame. The clay-colored cliffs rise 150 feet above sea level, and visitors can see spectacular views of the main land and beach. Also stop at the nearby Gay Head lighthouse, which is open June through September.
Mad Martha’s Homemade Ice Cream
Locations in Edgartown, Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs
What’s not to love about a place that makes their own ice cream? With a wide variety of flavors and multiple locations, this is an island favorite.
Mytoi Japanese Garden
41 Dike Rd., Edgartown, MA 02539; 508-627-7689; www.thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/cape-cod-islands/mytoi.html
Get away from the sand for a while at this beautiful Japanese-style garden. Winding footpaths weave through this serene, intimate garden, as visitors view exotic and native plants and flowers, small wildlife and a small pond. Mytoi is the perfect spot for some peaceful meditation and a quiet stroll.
Whether you’re stopping for food, browsing for gifts, picking up island supplies or getting your caffeine fix, this walkable shopping area has everything you need. Get lost in the aisles of the quaint boutiques and mom-and-pop shops, or grab some coffee at Mocha Mott’s. Head over to Bunch of Grapes bookstore to pick up some beach reading, or satisfy your sweet tooth at Murdick’s Fudge. People of all ages will find something to capture their interest here.
131 North Water St., Edgartown, MA, 02539; 508-627-7000; www.harbor-view.com/dining/henrys
Located in the Harbor View Hotel, this gastro-pub is a favorite year-round spot for locals and visitors alike. The tapas-inspired menu features delectable small plates, as well as delicious full-size entrees. Ingredients are sourced fresh from local farms and fisherman, and prepared in a contemporary New England style. And all the food pairs perfectly with the drink menu, which features some of New England’s best micro-brewed beers as well as signature cocktails.
Herring Creek Rd., Edgartown, MA 02539
There’s no lack of gorgeous beaches on Martha’s Vineyard, but South Beach is definitely worth putting at the top of your list. Enjoy three miles of barrier beach that are perfect for surfing, tanning and beach fun.
Larsen’s Fish Market
56 Basin Rd., Chillmark, MA 02535; 508-645-2680; www.larsensfishmarket.com
If you love seafood, you’ll want to stop at this island favorite. Located in the fishing village of Menemsha, the restaurant is known for their fresh lobster, which can be enjoyed while overlooking the bay. A staple for natives and island visitors, it doesn’t get more New England than this.
Martha’s Vineyard Museum
59 School St., Edgartown MA 02539; 508-627-4441; www.mvmuseum.org
Learn more about Martha’s Vineyard’s history and unique culture as you meander through the campus of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. Walk through a 1740s colonial home, view a whaleboat and pieces of the Martha’s Vineyard Railroad and peruse the Gale Huntington Research Library and Archive, which has materials from the 17th to 21st century.
Other Charming Attractions And Places To Stay
Cape Cod Railroad
508-771-3800 • www.capetrain.com
Scenic and dinner trains on the rails of Cape Cod.
Chatham Gables Inn
364 Old Harbor Rd., Chatham
508-771-3800 • www.capetrain.com
Leave the real world behind and escape to a romantic Cape Cod bed & breakfast just minutes from the National Seashore.
Sea Meadow Inn
1187 Main St., Brewster
508-896-2223 • www.seameadowinn.com
Extraordinary hospitality in a beautifully appointed Sea Captain’s Inn.
Edgewater Beach Resort
95 Chase Ave., Dennisport
508-398-6922 • www.edgewaterresorthoa.org
Step from your door through the pristine dunes to 400 feet of private beach of the Nantucket Sound.
InnSeason Resort: Harborwalk
26 Robbins Rd., Falmouth
508-548-4300 • www.innseason.com
Just minutes from the beach, downtown and the island ferries making it ideal for exploring the Cape.
The Nantucket Hotel & Resort
77 Easton St., Nantucket
508-310-1734 • www.compassroserealestate.com
The Island’s grand and historic hotel right in the heart of Nantucket.
Compass Rose Real Estate
Nantucket • 508-325-5500
Your experts for Nantucket summer homes and vacation rental properties.
800-262-8743 • www.seastreak.com
The most convenient and luxurious way to get to Nantucket.
Nantucket Shipwreck Museum
158 Polpis Rd., Nantucket
508-228-1885 • www.nantucketshipwreck.org
Preserving the memory of islanders who risked their lives to save shipwrecked mariners.
46 Jefferson Ave., Nantucket
508-228-0618 • www.cliffsidebeach.com
A unique combination of a boutique hotel and private beach club.
Winnetu Oceanside Resort
31 Dunes Rd., Edgartown
508-310-1733 • www.winnetu.com
Enjoy your vacation at this family resort with suites, cottages, and vacation home rentals.
Vineyard Fast Ferry
401-295-4040 • www.vineyardfastferry.com
Ferry service from Quonset Point, Rhode Island to and from Martha’s Vineyard.
Martha’s Vineyard Seacoast Properties
800-338-1855 • www.mvseacoast.com
Providing high-quality services in Martha’s Vineyard real estate and vacation rentals.
The Look Inn
26 Look St., Vineyard Haven
508-693-6893 • www.lookinnmv.com
A restored 1806 farmhouse is now a comfortable Bed & Breakfast.
Vineyard Harbor Motel
60 Beach Rd., Vineyard Haven
508-693-3334 • www.lookinnmv.com
Great location with beautiful views and private beach and convenience to town.