The Martha’s Vineyard Guide

Martha's Vineyard Harbor View Hotel

When your summers are synonymous with being on a boat in Greece or in the South of France drinking rose, it’s right about now you’re probably realizing it’s time for the backup plan.  Look at it as your glass is half full, or if you’re spending it in Martha’s Vineyard, we’d say that your cup runneth over. Therefore, we’ve put together a snapshot Martha’s Vineyard guide, whether you’re there this summer or into the fall.

Welcome to America

Martha’s Vineyard as Americana as it gets, and probably why it attracts ex-Presidents who frequent the low-key yet understated high-brow New England scene.  Martha’s Vineyards long stretches of sandy beaches, signature lighthouses and lobsters like you’ve never seen before. You’ll want to make it a place you want to post up and stay awhile this summer.

Good For

Families of all sizes, couples on a getaway, and groups of friends looking to spend a lot of quality time together.  This is all about the low-key yet fun vacation where your company is everything.

Suggested Stay

Anywhere from a long weekend in a quaint hotel to a monthlong house rental stay.

Why Now

Staycations are where it’s at this year, because unless you have second citizenship, as an American, most of us are stateside this summer. You’ll quickly realize that the USA has compelling places to travel, and Martha’s Vineyard for summer is at the top of that list.  Insiders know that season extends way into the fall. So,  you have plenty of time to keep this on your radar and book your Vineyard getaway.

The Highlights

The Beaches

Martha’s Vineyard is the largest island off the coast of Massachusetts, which means you have beach, beach and beach. Menemsha Beach is the most popular for families. South Beach (also known as Katama Beach) is a picturesque barrier beach known for its beauty and consistently good waves. There’s also East Beach, a bit off the beaten path, but worth the trip for its privacy. Lastly, there’s Philbin Beach, a surf beach located in Aquinnah.

The Sections

We can’t have a Martha’s Vineyard guide without some Geography 101. Here’s a little inside scoop on Martha’s Vineyard’s size and all that comes with it. There are two sections on Martha’s Vineyard. The first is the western Up-Island made up of the towns Aquinnah, West Tisbury and Chilmark. The second is the eastern Down-Island area of Edgartown, Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs. The coasts of Martha’s Vineyard boast five (yes, five) lighthouses.  They are surrounded by biking and hiking trails, which make for great daytime activities for all groups.

Where to Stay

Whether you’re traveling with friends or family, or just doing a couple’s getaway trip, Edgartown is the place to stay. The main reason is that it’s where lots of action is. The Christopher is a super-luxe hotel located in the heart of Edgartown. The hotel does not fall short on charm or sophistication. Shops and galleries surround this boutique hotel, which is conveniently located just a block away from the pier. Edgartown is also home to the chic Harbor View Hotel and Vineyard Square Hotel & Suites. These hotels make traveling without a passport feel luxurious. You are sure to get in vacay mode the second you check in.

The Food

Now let’s get to the best part: the food. Most coastal towns are known for their fresh seafood, but Martha’s Vineyard takes lobster to the next level. There’s an unlimited amount of restaurants that have “The Best Lobster Roll in Town,”. These include spots like The Right Fork Diner, the Sand Bar & Grille and Larsen’s Fish Market. So, we have all the best places to sink your teeth into a lobster roll in our official list below. These places are so good, we recommend doing a lobster roll food crawl for all true lobster lovers out there. You can thank us later for the recommendation.

The Vineyard is also known for its clam and corn “chow-da” (to pronounce it as the locals do) and farm-to-table eats. For this Martha’s Vineyard Guide, here are a few favorite spots:

Lookout Tavern
Red Cat Kitchen
State Road Restaurant
The Port Hunter
Woods at Lambert’s Cove Inn

As always during the summer, reservations are highly recommended.

The Best of Lobster Rolls

You would be hard pressed not to have a  lobster roll on Martha’s Vineyard, unless lobster in general is not on your diet.  These are the top rolls on the Vineyard.

The Right Fork Diner

Lookout Tavern

Sand Bar & Grille

Katama General Store

Behind The Bookstore

Grace Church Lobster Rolls

John’s Fish Market

Larsen’s Fish Market

Menemsha Fish Market

Transportation

The ferry service between Woods Hole, Falmouth and Martha’s Vineyard is the only service that carries cars onto the island, but we don’t necessarily think you’ll need your car here. You can take a passenger ferry directly to Vineyard Haven, Edgartown or Oak Bluffs, and the towns are easily walkable and most importantly safe. If you’re planning on venturing outside of your area, cabs and Ubers are available.

If you’re into renting an upscale house instead of hotel rooms, Edgartown is by far the best town for doing so. It’s also important to note that the only town that isn’t dry on Martha’s Vineyard is Edgartown. The rest of the towns remain dry either by choice or by tradition, so if you’re looking for a town that’s rich on happy hour cocktails, Edgartown is your place (and ours as well, cheers).

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