As a true east coast girl, born in Boston and raised in Philly, Martha’s Vineyard was my Jersey shore as a kid. Each summer my parents packed my two sisters and me up and ferried us away to the magical Martha’s Vineyard, a Massachusetts island kind of south of Cape Cod. These trips continue in my 20s and 30s when I rented or forced myself upon my friends to stay in shore houses on the Vineyard. After about a break from the Vineyard for a decade, I went back this past week. Absolutely amazing. While many of the restaurants on Circuit Ave., the main strip in Oak Bluffs, have changed, the island still is the charming, friendly sanctuary looking to welcome its summer visitors.
During the summer months, especially August, the Vineyard is quite the buzz. It is the vacation destination for the Obamas, the host venue for the MV African-American Film Festival, and the choice gathering spot for many girlfriend trips, Greek organizations, and those just looking to have fun.
The thing that I love about the island is that you can do as much or as little as you like during your stay. This year’s trip was all about relaxation and connecting with friends. From house hopping to long walks on the beach, I enjoyed my stay and came up with this list of top six Vineyard favorites.
6. Unless you just feel compelled to have your car on the island (Note: all the shared ride services are available and biking on the island is quite en vogue), do yourself a favor – FLY. While there is a quaint charm of being on the ferry line, that last 5 minutes, fly. Martha’s Vineyard airport is convenient and quick. If you book early, you can get a reasonable rate. Delta and Jet Blue are the main carriers. Trust me; it is worth it. No ferry lines for me.
5. Visit the local towns of Tisbury, Edgartown, and Oak Bluffs. As a fashionista, the towns are great to see the craftwork of local artists and grab some of the tourist gear like the island uniform (just joking) Black Dog sweatshirt.
4. Drink some Prosecco on the beach. Not much more I can say about this, but many hours were spent pondering life sipping, chatting, and listening to the waves. Thanks, Cathy and Sharon for indulging me.
3. House hop. One of the things I love about the Vineyard, unlike NYC living, it is a house friendly place. Most people expect that there will be visitors, so it’s a great time to connect with friends and family without having to wait for Thanksgiving. The Vineyard, especially Oak Bluffs, is also a great sitting on the porch and people watching place. Shout out to Rhonda on Narragansett for hipping me to this Vineyard pastime.
2. Stay at an amazing b&b. This is me with Kahina Van Dyke, the fabulous owner of the Narragansett House. A real island treasure with quaint rooms, lovely morning pastries, and the most precious staff. Not to mention, the wonderful programming that Kahina has arranged to ensure that the inn is always filled with authors, artists, and fun guests. Must do!
1. Be a polar bear. Yes, I did it. Each morning at 7:30 AM, myself and about 115 other guests, took a plunge into the Ink Well waters to partake in a precious ceremony of water aerobics. A genuinely freeing and communal experience. As I am not a swimmer, I was pleased that I tried but thrilled that I felt the love and support of the community. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.
See you on the Vineyard next year!