The summer resort island ( although accessible and great all year round) of Martha's Vineyard is located just ten miles off the coast of Massachusetts. The 100 square mile island is reached via a quick ferry ride from Woods Hole to either Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven, two of the island's six towns. Keep in mind, though, that the island is dry, but for the two towns of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. So, thinking ahead, you may want to take the ferry to Oak Bluffs so you can have a cocktail upon arrival!
Martha's Vineyard is loaded with charm, from the soaring cliffs and views of Gay Head to the National Historic Landmark District of Oak Bluffs with its colorful gingerbread cottages. Rent a moped, and take a ride to see the island. Plan to take a walk "up island" on the spectacular cliffs of Gay Head, visit the lighthouse, and stop for some lobster roll at the Aquinnah Shop on the cliffs. Off the Beaten Path suggestion-One of the few nude beaches left in the United States is on Martha's Vineyard situated below the soaring clay cliffs in Aquinnah. Start your diet now... Makes packing super easy, load up on the sunscreen, pack a hat.
While in Oak Bluffs, grab a bite to eat along Circuit Avenue. The island is not renowned for its night life, but there are a few lively bars in Oak Bluffs. Before the bars, though, for dessert in Oak Bluffs, an ice cream cone it is, and a quick whirl on the Flying Horses, a national historic landmark that is the country's oldest carousel. See if you are lucky enough to grab the brass rings and earn a free ride.
A Be Inspired favorite stop on Martha's Vineyard is Menemsha Harbor, an old picturesque fishing village on the western end of the Island with fabulous sunsets. If you are headed out to that end of the island, on a Saturday morning, make a stop at the West Tisbury Farmers' Market for fresh produce and beautiful flowers. You may even be able to buy a llama or two. Once you hit Menemsha, grab some snacks at The Menemsha Galley, an institution on the island, that sells arguably the best lobster roll around. Then, hit the beach for a picnic, and stay to watch the sunset. Or, rent kayaks and paddle around the harbor. You can also try Larsen's Fish Market for freshly prepared lobster dinners served on picnic tables on the dock. Be prepared for a line, call in the morning to place your order. Or, try The Bite, a small shingled house on a side street in Menemsha that serves the best fried clams ever, especially paired with a beer. The Beach Plum Inn is a very comfortable place to stay with views of the harbor, or the Menemsha Inn & Cottages.
Fun Fact- Did you know Menemsha is where the movie thriller Jaws was filmed? "Martin, it's all psychological. You yell barracuda, everybody says, "Huh? What?" You yell shark, we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July." Pack your Anti-Shark Cage.
Save a day or part of a day for cycling. Start your morning with coffee from Espresso Love in Edgartown. Then, there are lots of great bike paths on the island, and one easy ride is the six-mile trail from Edgartown to Oak Bluffs. You will pass the sandy stretch of Joseph Sylvia State Beach. Hop off and take a dip. In Edgartown, you can also board the Chappaquiddick ferry "On Time," with your bikes. The ferry runs like a shuttle, and travels past the beautiful waterside views. It is a three minute ride. If you are into luxury, The Charlotte Inn in Edgartown is a very lovely Relais & Chateaux property. Perfect for a romantic summer weekend. Last Be Inspired Tip-Great fireworks in Edgartown on the 4th!
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