Good morning my dears! I have a special treat for you today — another installment of our travel series, and this time we are headed to Martha’s Vineyard with Sarah Waldman of Two Blue Lemons! Hooray! In case you missed them, in the first two installments of our series we traveled to Nashville and Seattle.
I am lucky enough to know Sarah in real life, and I can tell you she is the sweetest person imaginable. She is also a gifted cook, wellness coach, and food contributor to Say Yes to Hoboken. And oh yes, did I mention she is renovating a cute cottage on Martha’s Vineyard, where she lives with her architect/surfer husband and their adorable son…are you jealous yet? Seriously though, don’t be jealous. Just read her tips below and start planning your own trip to the island, pronto — I know I am! Take it away, Sarah!
1. Bask at Long Point
The Vineyard has a strict town beach sticker policy during the high season which can be frustrating but my favorite beach on the island is a Trustees of the Reservation property. You have the best of both worlds at Long Point – miles of ocean beach, perfect for body surfing and boogie boarding, as well as fresh water ponds for easy swimming and kid friendly fun. If you visit in the summer, make sure to go early as the parking lot fills up fast but if you’re willing to walk down the beach you’ll always have plenty of space.
2. Gaze Over Gay Head
I may be biased as we were married at the Gay Head Lighthouse but the clay cliffs, lighthouse, and beach are some of the most spectacular sights on the island. The cliffs are layers of bright red, brown, and orange clay. It’s worth taking a ride up-island to check it all out. You can pay to park at the beach lot and walk down the pretty trail to the beach. There are charming shops and food stands at the cliffs for your mid-day snack. Don’t forget your camera. Oh and be wary of wandering far down the beach with your grandmother as it is still an active nude beach!
3. Be an Early Bird at Art Cliff Diner
Ah the perfect breakfast. This is my hands down favorite breakfast spot on the island and perfectly represents the farmer chic, local food movement. Everything on the menu is delicious but I always end up ordering the black bean cakes, potato pancakes, peach stuffed french toast, or any special on the board! It is a small diner so go early or be prepared to wait – it’s worth it!
4. Play at Felix Neck
This Wildlife Sanctuary is a playground for kids and adults. Kids love visiting the small indoor nature center, butterfly garden, and outdoor obstacle course. Bring the kids (and your nets!) on a small hike down to the pond to find snails, crabs, and fish. My husband and I took a full moon kayak trip here years ago and it’s still a wonderful memory! Call and ask about special programs for kids and adults as they are always dreaming up new things.
5. Eat a Menemsha Sunset Dinner
Menemsha is one of the few spots that still feels like old New England. It’s a small fishing village with a mix of large commercial fishing boats, small charters, delicious local fish markets, and a few take out seafood and ice cream spots. The biggest attraction is the fact that Menemsha is one of the special spots on the east coast where you can sit and watch the sunset. Crowds flock to the beach and eat friend clams, lobsters, fresh clams, and oysters. My advice is to go early and pack some food (cheese, bread, olives) and a nice bottle of wine. If you want to brave the takeout lines the seafood is delicious. Bring a blanket and take it all in!
6. Meet Your Farmers in West Tisbury
My town! I’m not just singing its praises because I’m a resident but West Tisbury is a charm. Come visit Saturday morning for the famous Farmer’s Market. Some of my favorite treats at the market are fresh squeezed lemonade, popovers from The Kitchen Porch, fresh mango lassi from Mermaid Farm, cold brew iced coffee from Chilmark Coffee, and everything from The Egg Roll Lady. Don’t spoil your appetite at the market because you have to walk across the road to 7a Foods for a killer sandwich made with creative local ingredients. Eat it on the porch at Alley’s General Store and then go shopping for toys and trinkets.
7. Be a Kid in OB
Oak Bluffs is the most kitschy town with plenty of class seaside vacation charm. First visit the Flying Horses Carousel (America’s oldest platform carousel!) then get an ice cream cone and wander through the Gingerbread Cottages. Or, if you are on an adult vacation, head down to the harbor, find a seat and order a fun summer cocktail and enjoy people and boat watching.
8. Test Your Imagination at the Cinema Circus
Every Wednesday in the summer Chilmark holds the Cinema Circus. It’s a super creative and fun short circus show with side games and dress up costumes for kids. Older kids can stay after the circus to watch a movie as part of the MV Film Festival. Local farms and cafes cater with simple and delicious island food. A great place to watch how the hip up-island families play.
9. Be Fancy in Edgartown
Edgartown is a town of classic whale captain’s homes – white clapboards, black shutters, and widow’s walks. Instead of spending loads of money in the fancy shops or restaurants, I would get a decadent iced mocha coffee from Mocha Mott’s (just say yes to the whipped cream, you’re on vacation!), take a stroll around the beautiful neighborhoods then rest atop the viewing platform next to the Chappy Ferry. You can admire the Edgartown lighthouse and ogle the yachts and mansions along the harbor.
10. Farm Picnic at Cedar Tree Neck
Cedar Tree Neck Wildlife Sanctuary is my favorite place to hike. It has it all – pond, beach, trails, views of the Vineyard Sound and Elizabeth Islands. First, stop off at Fiddlehead Farm to pack a special picnic. Fiddlehead always has fresh summer fruit, freshly baked bread, and amazing cheeses. It’s hard to leave without a huge bag of goodies! Take your treats to a shady spot at Cedar Tree Neck and toast the Vineyard!
(images: top four images by Sarah Waldman; collage images linked to sources above)