The season may be waning
but summer memories of The Vineyard still warm our late August remembrances of sunny days. Primarily known as a summer colony, and only accessible by boat or air, Martha's Vineyard still charms with end of summer pristine beaches, bright gingerbread cottages, over flowing farmers markets and sun-setting lighthouses. Stay 'On Island' with these followsummer recommendations and enjoy these last remaining kisses of summer on Martha's Vineyard.
Martha's Vineyard is known for her beautiful and untouched beaches: so have a walk by the waves or plunge in with these recommends.
South Beach, Edgartown. If you are hooked on waves and don't mind some crowds, then head to the Atlantic side of the island and dip your toe in.
Aquinnah Public Beach is perhaps the prettiest public beach on the island. It is on the farthest tip of the isle with magical, cascading clay cliffs. Beware of the nudists! Aquinnah has large boulders in the water so don't try and body surf. Take your wallet with you as you may have to pay for limited, close by two-hour parking.
The Joseph Sylvia State Beach (or known to locals as State Beach) between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs is where the movie Jaws was shot. (but don’t worry, sharks don’t go there) Situated on the bay side of The Vineyard and a convenient hop to town, State Beach is calm and easily swimmable and a natural choice if you only want to head to the beach for a few hours. Make sure to check out the Bridge Jump. If you are feeling like a daredevil, you can jump off the bridge into the cold water!
Walk, hike or drive: there's plenty to see.
Favorite walks/hikes on the island are on Trustee’s land. The hike goes up to a huge overlook of the Menemsha Hills and cliffs and the open water. It isn’t too long of a walk, and you may just see some surprises along the way! Laminated pages from children's books guide you to the summit or type in 'Menemsha Hills Trustee’s Hike' into your handy GPS for walkable maps. Easy and free parking is available.
The Aquinnah Lighthouse and Overlook.
Hold your nose as you approach Menemsha Beach and Port. With the many fishing vessels unloading their daily catch, you'll get to meet some fun local fishermen and women and taste and buy some great seafood. Just type it into your GPS, and you are on your way to the Edgartown Lighthouse and Lighthouse Beach.
Time to Shop
The shopping in Edgartown! Just like Nantucket.
The Shopping in Oak Bluffs! (or be a local and shop at 'The Bluffs') Much less expensive than Edgartown.
Whether fine dining or brown bagging to the beach, Martha's Vineyard offers many options for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a takeaway coffee. Tuck in!
If you are looking for a great brunch/breakfast item, 7A in West Tisbury has the best egg sandwiches on a biscuit! While you are there, you can stop into Alley's General Store for unique shopping and plenty of beachy snack items!
- Rosewater Market in Edgartown. Prepared foods and specialty items with yummy salads and sandwiches the mainstay here. Make sure you bring additional cash for your takeaway.
- Slice of Life & Beetlebung in The Bluffs. Try the lemonade at Beetlebungs; it is to die for! Slice of Life has a fried green tomato BLT that is just delicious! Literally across the street from each other.
- If planning on a day trip to the other side of The Vineyard, make sure you stop at the Scottish Bakehouse in Vineyard Haven for their beautiful breads and sandwiches.
- Morning Glory Farm in Edgartown. Go to the farm and look around this fun store. Grab a baguette from the bakery section and picnic with some delicious house-made chicken salad. And don’t forget to add an iced tea and a cookie to your picnic hamper before you leave!
- Chilmark General Store is a great place to get a slice of vegetarian pizza! Items can be pricey, but hey you are on vacation: sometimes it's nice to splurge!
- Sharky’s Cantina in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. Affordable, easy comfort food.
- Giordano's Pizza. “Best on the Island” and serving locals in The Bluffs for over 80 years. Get a pizza to-go and have a picnic in the park overlooking the bay in Oak Bluffs.
- The best take-out seafood (and the most affordable!) on the island is found at Net Result in Vineyard Haven. Crab cake, lobster rolls, shrimp, sushi, and much more are available for takeaway. Comfy picnic tables, right by the water, await your first bite and sea views! Be warned: sometimes they close rather early.
We are Sweet On
Morning Glory Farm has the best cookies. Try the Lemon Ricotta: a perfect summer sweet! (Insider's scoop: we know someone who used to make them!) If you are in the mood to splurge, you can put down $19 for a pie! So worth the sweet extravagance!
Our favorite ice cream on the island is in Edgartown and right by the water. Like many places 'on island,' Scoop Shack makes their ice cream, and we highly recommend the sea salt, caramel ice cream with chocolate truffles! It will not disappoint.
If you can get into Chesca’s in Edgartown, consider starting with dessert! Try the Snowball: vanilla ice cream rolled in fresh cake crumbles on top of the homemade caramel and island-made toffee. It may cost some additional sweetness, but it is an unforgettable “meal.”
We can't say this enough: Behind the Bookstore, Behind the Bookstore, Behind the Bookstore!! Best coffee you might have in your whole life. Professionally trained baristas make every drink perfectly, and while it may be a little more expensive than your regular Starbucks, it is entirely worth it. You can get a great Chai tea there too. Outside seating is both tranquil and chic and great for people watching. In Edgartown, and just like its name, you find them Behind the Bookstore.
Espresso Love in Edgartown. While some of their espresso drinks can be inconsistent, the environment is cozy and fun. A good spot to grab a coffee on the run.
Beetlebung in Oak Bluffs and Chilmark has good coffee, but be warned: be ready to put down at least $4 for any drink.
Mocha Motts in Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs. It’s an island classic! If you want to feel like a local in the early morning, go here!
Enjoy your last remaining days of summer on The Vineyard with our top 25 recommendations.
About the Author: Franci Dumar is a talented and gifted writer, artist and considers herself a real "Vineyarder'. As a regular visitor 'On Island', Franci knows the inside scoop on everything there is to see and do on Martha's Vineyard.