Summertime on Martha’s Vineyard!

A guest post on Martha’s Vineyard from my friend Eve who vacations there every summer! This post includes tips on planning a vacation there and traveling to the island. Once you have arrived on Martha’s Vineyard, be sure to read my post “Top 10 Things To See & Do on Martha’s Vineyard” in order to get the most out of your vacation!

From Eve:

Martha’s Vineyard has always been one of my favorite summer destinations (tied with Sag Harbor, NY). Known by many as The Vineyard…MV….The Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard is considered to be one of the affluent summer vacation areas of the Northeast. White or Black, it doesn’t matter, it is a melting pot of cultures (Native American, Portuguese, African American and European). Visited by a myriad of people from the likings of Presidents (Kennedy, Obama, Clintons) and other publicly known figures (Henry Louis Gates, Carly Simon, Diane Sawyer, Peter Norton {Norton Anti-Virus}, Quincy Jones, James Belushi {brother John is buried on the island}, and Spike Lee), there is a certain charm this island possesses that keeps people returning, year after year.

 

My family and I have been going to Martha’s Vineyard for over 15 years. We pack our bags and load up the cars and head north from Englewood, NJ on our four-hour journey to Woods Hole, MA. Traditionally we reside in the town of Oak Bluffs, one of the more diverse towns on the island. Known as the home of the Ink Well Beach, the historic gingerbread homes, the flying horses and Mad Martha’s Ice Cream, Oak Bluffs has a little something to offer everyone.

Most popular during the months of July and August (when the population grows from 15,000 to 75,000) getting to the Vineyard begins months in advance. MV is accessible by passenger ferries (from New York City, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts) and plane, however in order to bring your car on-island, you must depart from Woods Hole on the auto-ferry. Yes the ferry…better known as the Steamship Authority, has auto travel to and from the island on LOCK! Leaving every hour, this well organized system carries both cars and passengers to MV terminals (Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven). However due to limited space, auto reservations for the summer season begin in early March. Being put on the waitlist or traveling standby are additional options only for the lucky few who have flexible schedules. For newcomers to the island there is one thing that they MUST understand…FERRY is KING! During high season, missing your auto-ferry reservation can be problematic, especially on weekend travels where there is no standby. Please do not take this lightly as you may not get on or off the island when needed. I know this might seem a bit taxing but if you allow for enough travel time (to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled boarding time), you should be fine. I don’t know what it is, but during that 45-minute ride across the Nantucket Sound, your attitude adjusts, you relax and start anticipate seeing your old friends, visiting your favorite spots and doing absolutely nothing if you choose. It is then and only then that you are officially on vacation.

Just under 100 square miles, this island is packed with a plethora of activities for everyone. Great restaurants, island touring, tennis, boating, cycling, fishing, running/walking/hiking trails, wine tasting and of course beaches. There is never a reason to be bored. Some of my favorite things to do while on-island are coffee at the Black Dog, clamming, breakfast at Linda Jean’s, visiting beaches (Ink Well and South Beach), a quick lunch at The Net Result (seafood), ice cream from Mad Martha’s, going to Menemsha beach to see the sunset, clam bake on the beach, dinner at The Seafood Shanity, partying at Lola’s, eating hot donuts (sold after midnight from the back door) of Back Door Donuts and fresh produce from Morning Glory Farms in Edgartown.

I have always loved the summer, but spending the summer in the Vineyard is bound to create great memories….what more could you ask for!

For more information about Martha’s Vineyard visit www.mvol.com, www.steamshipauthority.com, www.vrbo.com, www.weneedavacation.com

 

Eve A. Marsan

Syracuse University ’96 – S.I. Newhouse

Seton Hall University ‘98

Marketing & Special Events Director in Northern New Jersey

 

 

 

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