We try to spend a part of every summer or late September on Martha’s Vineyard. It has been a summer tradition for Tom’s family since the 60’s and now my new family tradition. On the off season it is fairly affordable to book a bed at the Youth Hostel on the Island; they are super friendly and you have all the amenities that you will need. Otherwise the next cheapest option is Martha’s Family Campground (which the price range has risen extensively over the recent years). It is lush camping really, with indoor/outdoor showers, a necessity shop, toilets not port-o-potties, fire rings with grates, an arcade, electric hook-ups at an extra cost. They also have some cabins for rent but for an added cost. And the only vermin to watch out for are the skunks and the late night campfire singers like us who try to push the curfew. (No really we are respectful and try to end all shenanigans by 10pm). If you are down for camping then this may be your cheapest bet for housing on the island.
This is one of my favorite farm stands on Martha’s Vineyard. It may be a bit more pricy than the Stop&Shop in Edgartown but it is good quality stuff. And don’t get me started on the bakery. The pies are great and the brownies are to die for. Check them out @ 632 State Rd. West Tisbury, MA.
So Tom has had some bad luck with his bike wheels since they were last laced. Every summer we head to Martha’s Vineyard with the intent to bike the whole island and every year multiple spokes break. You’d think we would learn our lesson and bring some backups with us but we always forget. Most things on the island are overpriced but Edgartown Bicycles is guilty of highway robbery; they sell one spoke for $4 when you can buy them off the island for $0.50 or less, plus they always try to talk you into letting them respoke your whole wheel for much more.
If something goes wrong with your bike there aren’t many shops you can go to if you just need parts and want to fix it yourself. Edgartown Bike Shop carries parts and so does Cycle Works @351 State Road- Vineyard Haven (next to Cronigs Market). The guys at Cycle works are super helpful and friendly and don’t have that “salesman” vibe that Edgartown has. The prices are lower and they know their stuff. So if you need a part then go to Cycle Works but if you just need a rental then there are a few shops to choose from.
I am going to try to make this food post short and sweet
-Best pizza on the island and maybe all MA = Giordano’s. Go get a slice, the slices are bigger and better than the pies to go. Really amazing. End of the season people line up to the gills until the last pie is sold out. Wish I could get a slice now.
-I don’t want to blow up the food cart market on MV but there is now one cart (genius idea) on the V called ArtCliff Diner. Late night diner food. Vegetarian options and all. I can vouch for the falafel and fries. A filling late night dinner but tons of garlic (on the fries), which i love. at a fairly normal/ to low MV price range for a generous portion. Long lines and limited parking but perfect for those late night bike rides home or you can probably catch them open at an earlier hour with less of a crowd. Wish I had land here because this womans diner fail/success is every beach lovers dream. Check them out when you visit.
-Seafood. well, I can’t really say whats the best because we don’t really eat it. We’ve kept fish out of our vegetarian diet for years and T’s allergic to shellfish anyway. But I did break my fish edge this time and tried some clam chowder from the reknowned The Bite in Menemsha. It was meh. Long wait for a tiny cup of cream and maybe 4-5 tiny clam morsels. (I guess its’ changed) This is usually the spot for clam chow but i have to say for breaking the muscle/clam/ameoba barrier it was sub par and not worth the hype. But no matter where you go on the island I hear the lobster will not let you down. So don’t stray and get specials, apparently just get the lobster. Read every review on MV. Lobster customers are never disappointed.
-Ally’s General Store Cafe? (the back ally) has some good vegetarian wrap /sandwiche options. Not bad if you are in West Tisbury but maybe not worth the ride over if you’re not.
-If you are craving sweeties, then head to Fiddleheads. Best damn brownies on the island and other good pasteries/bread to boot. Not to mention if you are missing some hard to find ingredients that Cronig’s Market doesn’t have then this place might have it. Oh my god and PIES i forgot to specify the PIES. so good.
-Oh and if you haven’t ever tried the back door donuts that have been going on forever then you should head around the corner of 5 Post Office Sq. Unfortunately people have caught on over the years and now you have to wait in a super long line for fresh amazing donuts if you don’t arrive an hour before opening (7pm). Actually, it used to be a hush hush thing like in many cities where bakers are up at 2 am getting ready for the next day and a local stumbles by and scores a fresh amazing pastery. Now it is a structured marketing gain for the buisness. And totally worth the wait.
Don’t worry about bringing too much over to the island. There is a Stop n Shop and its not outrageous pricing. Also most people say bring your own liquor over if you drink, but honestly liquor was cheaper and beer was steaper but by not too much depending on where you were coming from. So just fill up on gas if you are bringing a car and everything will be fine because you can still find good deals on this increasingly popular island.
Please share your favorite spots in the comments below.
The last time I visited Martha’s Vineyard, I was just on my bike and had a huge backpack full to the brim. As soon as we got off the ferry I wanted to jump in the water but I didn’t want to bike my luggage all around town. So we dropped off our stuff at The Madison Inn (we weren’t staying there) and they held it for us per hour. If I can remember correctly I think it only cost us $3 for 2 or 3 bags.