I spent most of my summers growing up visiting Martha’s Vineyard, a small island off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Hop a ferry from the mainland and in less than an hour you’ll be in one of the islands two main ports. It’s an idyllic New England summer escape and one that has left a truly lasting impression on me.
It’s a place full of memories, days spent on the beach, diving into the ocean from the infamous jumping bridge, eating ice cream and the smell of fresh fudge. It brings back so many emotions, I can’t help but smile.
I recently revisited the island as an adult and all those feelings came rushing back, all those smells were there, the same beaches, the same breakfasts. Except, it was even better. Suddenly I was interested in all the amazing boutique hotels, the delicious restaurants that are serving up top quality food, and the plethora of shopping there is to be had.
Now when I think of Martha’s Vineyard I don’t immediately think of flying horses and fudge, I think of charcuterie and plush beds, whisky bars and mudslides. I think of the grown-up version of Martha’s Vineyard instead.
Let’s start with breakfast. Mornings aren’t complete without a diner experience and the best has to be Art Cliff Diner in Vineyard Haven. The owner is an ex-haute cuisine chef who gave it all up to buy a diner by the sea. The sweet potato scones are a personal favourite.
Lunch usually requires a big bowl of clam chowder and a tasty craft beer which can both be found at Offshore Ale Co. It’s by far my favourite chowder on the island and their selection of beers will keep you there all afternoon.
There are so many great restaurants on the island, seafood being a big hit wherever you turn. I love a nice dinner at the Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven. You can’t leave the island without enjoying the view and the lobster. But if you want somewhere totally different, head to 20byNine. A little whisky bar with incredibly charcuterie and cheese boards and the best pâté I’ve had outside of France.
Finish the evening at Back Door Donuts, a late night spot to get your sweet fix. The donuts are amazing and the line that wraps around the street gives it away every night.
Martha’s Vineyard has always been a preppy girl’s dream location. It’s the place to get the latest lime green and hot pink polo shirts. But it’s become so much more than that now. There are one of a kind boutiques stocked with local designers. My personal favourites are in the village of Edgartown: The Great Put on and Katy Did.
For island souvenirs or simply a great place to window shop, head to Main Street in Vineyard Haven. You’ll find high end jewellers, hand painted homewares and the best bookstore on the island, Bunch of Grapes.
There are so many gorgeous boutique hotels in Martha’s Vineyard. The island is an incredibly popular spot to visit, especially in July and August. If you plan to visit in summer it is essential that you book several months in advance. Spring and Autumn are also excellent times to enjoy the island, it’s much quieter and hotels offer much lower rates.
My favourite boutique B&B is Madison Inn. The owner is so friendly, the rooms are lovely and bright, very clean and the beds are over the top comfortable. The continental breakfast changes each morning – banana bread one day, pumpkin bread the next, and coffee and tea are available 24/7.
If that’s all booked up, I also love the nearby Dockside Inn. There’s a wraparound porch that is the perfect spot to enjoy your morning coffee and the views from the upstairs rooms are breathtaking.
Have you ever been to Martha’s Vineyard? What are some of your favourite spots?