Travel Guide | Martha's Vineyard
This summer, as we start to slowly venture out of our houses, we can't wait to explore America and rediscover some of our all-time favorite places. Adventure is calling.
For me, one of those special places is Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. I spent my first summer there in 2019 with my best friend from college. Her family lives on the island full time, and I was lucky enough to live with them and work at the Martha's Vineyard Boys & Girls Club (read my mom's post about our new Pledge partnership which benefits the Club here). Then, after a magical, beachy, unforgettable first summer, I went back last year for 3 months and will continue to visit beautiful Martha whenever I can.
Martha's Vineyard is one of those places that feels new each time. I am always discovering new beaches, farms, lookouts, hikes, restaurants, and secret little spots I want to visit over and over. So, I am here to share all of her secrets with you.
Keep reading to get my ultimate Martha's Vineyard itinerary to discover all her beauty. You'll almost feel like an islander.
Where to Stay
Lambert's Cove Inn
Lambert's Cove Inn is the sweetest little escape from the busier parts of the Island. It's situated right next to Martha's most beautiful private beach, Lambert's Cove. Dine in their little restaurant on island-grown food, meander through their flower garden, and visit their on-site farm. All your island dreams come true.
If you want a little more bustle, the Sydney is perfect for you. Located in Edgartown, one of the island's bigger towns, the Sydney puts you walking distance from the Lighthouse Beach, dozens of restaurants and shops, and a short bike ride from Morning Glory Farm. Walk everywhere and see what you find.
The Gingerbread Houses
If you're lucky enough to score a stay in one of the iconic Martha's Vineyard Gingerbread Houses (mostly available for rent on Airbnb), book ASAP. Every August, these get decorated with lanterns and lights for an annual festival, and they're just the cutest thing ever. Located in busy Oak Bluffs, you'll be walking distance from all the beaches, restaurants, and ice cream shops you could want.
Where to Eat
Behind the Bookstore, Edgartown
Perfect for your evening aperitivo or midday coffee break. Good food, good atmosphere, and close enough to the beach to go for a swim after.
Scottish Bakehouse, West Tisbury
If you eat one thing on Martha, let this be it. Order a breakfast sandwich with the works and avocado, and thank me later. Add hot sauce as you please.
Morning Glory Farm, Edgartown
If you're feeling more of a picnic atmosphere, Morning Glory Farm is your spot. Pop in to this little farmstand, and pick up a kombucha, lemon bar, zucchini bread, and some island-made cheese. Walk down the path a few minutes to the pond. Breathe deep, enjoy.
Chilmark General Store, Chilmark
Your go-to spot for the best pizza on the island. Sit on the porch with a slice or two and hit the beach after.
7a Foods, West Tisbury
This is always my stop before a full day at the beach. Get a Liz Lemon and a Nantucket Nectar half & half, and you'll be a real New Englander.
Martha's Best Beaches
Great Rock Bight
This is my absolute favorite beach on the island. Go early so you get parking, and enjoy this secluded swimming spot in Chilmark. There's a rock you can climb on in the water, and it's my favorite place to get a little sun and chat with friends.
This classic Edgartown beach is a five minute walk from my friend's house on the vineyard, so I walk to this lighthouse to swim almost every day after work. It is perfect for a quick dip, and a great spot to spot some piping plovers, a special breed of shorebird native to the island.
Be prepared for a hike if you want to hit this beach, but the solitude is worth it. I guarantee even on the busiest Saturday, there will be no one else around and you can swim and read to your heart's content.
Unfortunately, this beach is only for Vineyard Haven and West Tisbury residents, but after 6pm, it's my favorite sunset swim spot on the island. Around sundown it opens up for everyone, and I recommend bringing a picnic and planning to stay a while.
My Favorite Things to Do
Tour De Lighthouse
My mom invented this game on the vineyard. When she and my sister came to visit, we went to every lighthouse on the island in one day. Start at the Gay Head Light (and admire the Aquinnah Cliffs), then head to the East Chop Lighthouse, and finish at my personal favorite, the Edgartown Lighthouse. A perfect day.
Menemsha is the spot for a beautiful sunset. Get there early and stake out your spot on the beach, and pick up some cole slaw, clam chowder, and a lobster roll from Menemsha Fish Market. It's the kind of place where people clap for the sunset because it's just that good.
Ice House Pond
Nothing is more refreshing than a dip at Ice House. It's a secluded little freshwater pond in West Tisbury, and there are only four spots in the lot to keep it quiet. I recommend going around 6pm, when the sun is setting and it'll be extra peaceful.
This is the absolute best souvenir you can get on the vineyard. An incredible artisan named Geoffrey Borr sells handmade pottery out of his gorgeous barn/home studio. I have a mug with a map of Martha's Vineyard, and it's one of my prized possessions.
It's a tradition on Martha's Vineyard to jump off the Jaws Bridge (featured in the iconic film) at least once each summer. My sister and I did it together last year, and it was super special. Follow up with a screening of Jaws at the Drive-In for the full island experience.
The Yoga Barn
Due to lockdown restrictions, the Yoga Barn has only been offering online classes for the past year. However, during normal times, the Yoga Barn offers free 90 minute community yoga classes on Friday nights. What really sets this studio apart is its location in a grassy field next to a pond, so take a peek at the website to see what the fuss is about. Michele Obama even practices here!
Sunset Kayaking at Felix Neck
Several of my best friends on the island work at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary in Oak Bluffs, and every summer, they offer sunset kayaking in the pond (the very same one from Jaws). If your guide is my friend Liz, be sure to say hi from me!
Native Earth Teaching Farm
A wonderful woman named Rebecca owns this farm, and on Sundays she offers an indigo dyeing workshop. Bring your own t-shirts, and Rebecca will teach you how to hand-dye them with natural indigo. Bonus points if she lets you pet their goats.
I hope this guide to one of my favorite places gave you some inspiration to explore & see the island for yourself. I wish I had discovered Martha's Vineyard a lot earlier in life, but I promise, once you make the trip, you'll want to return every single summer. She truly is a beauty.
Most photos in this post were taken on my vintage Minolta SRT100 film camera. Take a peek at @furbsonfilm on Instagram for some more film shots of beautiful Martha to inspire your travels.
Feeling inspired? Check out these other Elsie Green travel guides >