I hope you're all enjoying the new beach aerials from Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket as much as I enjoyed capturing them! To celebrate their release, I am excited to share a travel guide with all the must see spots on each of the islands. From where to stay and where to eat to what to see and where to sun, there are endless options when it comes to visiting these East Coast vacation destinations.
Martha's Vineyard has such a special place in my heart. My grandparents owned a house in Edgartown and my Dad and his four brothers have endless stories growing up going to "The Vineyard." One of my Uncles' even lives there year round to this day!
Estimated at 100 square miles of land and divided into 6 towns: Tisbury, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah - My cousin, Abby and I covered lots of ground! I spent the better part of the four days interviewing my family for tips so below is a collective guide of my travel tips for anyone looking to plan a vacation to this timeless island.
WHERE TO STAY:
The Harbor View Hotel - This beautiful hotel looks over the light house and has a wrap around porch that is perfect for sipping Bloody Mary's on rainy days.
The Beach Plum - Set on a hill overlooking the Menemsha harbor, this quaint 19th-century inn is a 7-minute walk from the Menemsha village.
Lastly, for a larger group, the best way to go is to rent a house, through usual suspects like AirBnB or VRBO, and then there is also HomeAway. This obviously isn't too much of an insider tip but wanted to include nonetheless as this is what we did, and it was so ideal being all together under one roof.
THINGS TO DO & PLACES TO GO:
Edgartown - This is the part of Martha's Vineyard that I stayed in. It was very easy to bike around and check out all the shopping and restaurants in the area. Known for their lighthouse, the most iconic beach to visit is Light House Beach, which is also a great place to go crabbing!
Oak Bluffs - *In 1866 Robert Morris Copeland was hired by a group of New England developers to design a planned residential community in Martha's Vineyard. The unique "Carpenter's Gothic" architectural style of the cottages was often accented by the owner's use of bright, multi-hue paint schemes, and gave the summer cottages a quaint, almost storybook look. Dubbed "gingerbread cottages," they became a tourist attraction in their own right in the late nineteenth century. And tourists, like myself, still enjoy them today! They are just SO Instagram'able.
Menemsha- Tucked at the western end of Martha's Vineyard, Menemsha is an old fishing town located in the town of Chilmark, which is famous for Alley's General Store and for being where President Obama likes to stay while visiting the Vineyard in Chillmark.
Aquinnah Beach - Famous for the red cliffs and beach, this a MUST see in MV. South Beach Bridge, dubbed The Jaws Bridge at State Beach is perfect for the movie lover in all of us, especially those who love scary movies! Take in some movie magic history and visit the beach where the move JAWS was filmed.
WHERE TO EAT:
Offshore Ale Company - This is obviously a heated debate but I have to say I really enjoyed my Lobster Roll here and it went down quite nicely with a cold brew.
Scoop Shack- Literally, the best ice cream I've ever had. Cool Mint Oreo was 70% Oreo cookies crunchy and 30% mint chocolate chip ice cream. Homemade daily!
The Atlantic Restaurant- During the day they serve bacon at the bar instead of nuts or other bar snacks. People love it! Then, at night it becomes a big bar scene, it's definitely a happening spot to go any time of day.
WHERE TO STAY:
76 Main - This Lark property is the ultimate B&B in my blACKbook. Located right at the top of Main Street, this spot boasts both rooms and one bedroom cottages on site and offers a delicious homemade breakfast as well as an evening BYOB bar in the courtyard where they set up the chasers, you just bring the booze!
Cottages at The Boat Basin - Want to bring your dog with you to explore Nantucket? Good thing we’ve got the Cottages at the Boat Basin. These pet friendly “Woof” Cottages come with unique setups and feel like you’re genuinely sleeping in a boat as you fall asleep to the sound of the ocean below. BONUS: each cottage comes with a full kitchen for those that want to make their own meals!
Wauwinet - the only Relaix & Chateaux Property on the island, The Wauwinet is a true island retreat. If you’re really looking to get away from it all, this stunning inn has five star service in a setting that cannot be beat. Honeymooners? This is the ultimate R&R hideaway if you ask me.
Harborview Nantucket - Located just on the outskirts of town, these one, two and three bedroom luxury cottages offer stunning views of the island in an oh so convenient address. I love how they have their own private beach with paddleboards and kayaks as well as lounge chairs … it’s like your own mini Nantucket resort!
The Copley Group Nantucket - Searching for that ideal weeklong home rental? The Copley Group Nantucket has a charming collection of properties on the island with homes throughout some of the most sought after locations. From four bedroom homes along Surfside to poolside paradises on Pleasant Street, these please are awesome for couples, families and Nantucket reunions.
THINGS TO DO & PLACES TO GO:
Sconset Bluff Walk: This scenic walking path is not to be missed! It begins in the adorable fishing village of Siasconset and ends at the Sankaty Head Lighthouse. As you make your way to the beach either by foot or bike, you'll pass rose covered cottages as well as some of the most stunning homes on the island.
Surfside Beach: Interested in getting in the water to do more than a dip? Surfside Beach is great for body surfing. Once you've worked up an appetite, head to the Surfside Beach Shack for snacks and sips with a view.
Cisco Beach is not only a mellow beach that's great for waves and time spent on the sand, but home to the Cisco Beach Brewery. Spend the day at the beach, then head up to this daytime drinking spot for wine tasting, beer tasting, frosé, fruity cocktails, live music, food trucks and picnic tables for lounging.
Steps Beach: I love the picturesque wooden staircases and seagrass of Steps Beach. It is quintessential Nantucket, not to mention a great spot to catch some sun.
Sail the Atlantic: A must while visiting Nantucket is to get out on the water and enjoy the ocean breeze, I recommend Endeavor Sailing for your day at sea.
WHERE TO EAT:
CRU: I love this spot for both dinner and brunch. It has a fun lively vibe and some of the best lobster rolls in town...oh, and the view certainly doesn't hurt, either.
The Galley - Want to eat where over 50 years of Nantucketers and visitors alike have dined before you? The Galley is the spot to celebrate your arrival to Nantucket. With beautiful views of the colorful umbrellas of Cliffside Beach Club and a see and be seen kind of crowd, I recommend making a dinner reservation in advance, specifically an outside table so to enjoy the sunset.
Sandbar at Jetties Beach: For a classic beachfront restaurant experience, a first time visitor or island regular can't go wrong at Sandbar at Jetties Beach. With a festive atmosphere and traditional Nantucket menu (hello, oysters!), this is the perfect spot to kick back and enjoy the beach, sans the swimsuit and towel.
And, there you have it! There are so many more things to do and places to eat, drink and be merry but this guide is a GREAT start. I hope you've found some pointers for your next visit ! To see all of the aerials of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket click here.