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weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

Edison, New Jersey
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weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

My wife and I are planning a 3 night (2 full day) weekend getaway at Martha's Vineyard in early October this year. We'll arrive Friday mid-day and leave Monday mid-day. I'm assuming we'll spend Friday afternoon/evening and Monday morning on Martha's Vineyard.

We've never been to the area. Looking for suggestions as to what to see and do. We realize that Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Boston are all points of interest in the area as well. With only two full days and we want to choose well!

As to our tastes:

Wife loves to browse shops, and we both enjoy exploring restaurants, so she'd probably be happy if we never left the island. I'm sure we'll rent bikes for at least an afternoon, exploring the island (or at least our end of it in the Oak Bluffs vicinity) that way. We love to walk in beautiful outdoor surroundings, so I'm sure we'll want to take in a nature preserve. We'll want to take a walk along a pretty beach somewhere as well. We're not really into nightlife stuff. Historical attractions are fine if they happen to be there, but are not a major attraction to us. We've done whale watching in Maine, so in this short 3 day time span that won't be on the list. Deep sea fishing is a maybe.

I guess with the limited time we have we'll likely remain on the island. If it were you, and you feel that trying to fit in the Cape, Nantucket, or Boston is something you'd really want to do, it'd be great to ideas about that too, though.

Anyway, any recommendations you all might have as to which things to see and do in just three days--with such a wealth of choices--will be greatly appreciated!

Suggestions for nature preserves, beach walks, favorite shops and restaurants on Martha's Vineyard will be particularly helpful. Thanking you in advance!

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1. Re: weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

The main issue in terms of exploring more than MV is getting off/on the island and the logistics & cost involved. You have to take a ferry to the Vineyard or fly. You can leave your car on the Cape and take the ferry over inexpensively from Woods Hole. Conceivably you could come back over on the ferry, get the car out of the parking lot visit some of the Cape and come back. (I can't imagine doing this but it is possible) If you take the car, it will cost about $145.00 r/t. This doesn't make it feasible to leave the island. To get to Nantucket in October from the Vineyard you will have to either fly or take the ferry to Hyannis and then another ferry to Nantucket - this could take hours and does not lend itself to a day trip.

Why not just relax & explore beautiful Martha's Vineyard? Plenty to do & see, great restaurants and shops, bike paths, walking trails.

Edited: 26 July 2013, 03:34
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Edison, New Jersey
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2. Re: weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

Thank you! You just answered why we will stay on the island for the whole trip! And it certainly does make things a lot simpler just to stay put on MV--especially given the brief time period.

Recommendations for any favorite restaurants, attractions, or activities on MV will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you again kendrick!

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3. Re: weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

Some good upscale restaurants include the Sweet Life in Oak Bluffs. Detente, l'etoile and the Atlantic in Edgartown. The Atlantic is also a nice place for a cocktail and snack as you are right on the harbor. We also like the Blue Canoe in Vineyard Haven, also right on the harbor. Hooked in Oak Bluffs for seafood. For more casual the Newes from America pub at the Kelly House Hotel in Edgartown and Espresso Love a great little shop for coffee, baked goods and sandwiches. It is behind the court house in Edgartown.

As for things to do- here's a good link to nature trails & conservation lands open to the public:

mvinfo.com/land-conservation-nature-trails-m…

You can also take the ferry over to Chappaquiddick and do a tour of the Cape Poge lighthouse - the ferry is quick 5 minute trip and leaves from Edgartown - they pick you up at the dock for the tour:

thetrustees.org/places-to-visit/cape-cod-isl…

South Beach in Edgartown has great waves, the beach in Menemsha is lovely for a sunset. Visit the Gay Head Cliffs and Lighthouse in Aquinnah. Stop at Chilmark Chocolates on the way out. Morning Glory Farm has local produce as well as gifts.

Anyway, you will find enough to keep yourselves busy!

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4. Re: weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

Hi Kendrick

From reading your reply above, I understand that a there is no ferry from MV to Nantucket?

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5. Re: weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

Hi, Herby - there is an inter-island ferry in the summer season, it would not be running in October.

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6. Re: weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

Excellent. We r coming in mid Sept. Thank you.

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7. Re: weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

One thing you should definitely check out is the Martha's vineyard striped bass and bluefish derby i cant believe no one has said this. http://www.mvderby.com/ this is one of New England's premiere saltwater fishing competitions. The weigh station is in Edgartown and weigh in times are 8 to 10 every morning and night. If you like to fish you need to get in on the action. Its all inshore species , striped bass bluefish bonito and false albacore, Many charters are available all over the island any tackle shop will be able to help you out.

The Martha's vineyard surfcasters site is very helpful here is a page with numbers and links to various tackle shops

http://www.mvsurfcasters.org/FishingInfo.aspx

/If you don't like to fish its still quite an experience to see the beautiful fish people bring in they also show the grand prizes of a new boat and truck as well as historic pictures of past derbys. Early fall is a beautiful time on the vineyard the weather is still warm and most of the large crowds have left leaving the island in a tranquil state there are also many amazing hiking trails to explore check out the trustees of reservation

://www.thetrustees.org

And mv land bank

http://mvlandbank.com/

Most trails are hard to find but are well worth the efforts don't forget to go to Chappaquiddick!!!

Hope you have a great time and don't fret asking us locals questions we're nicer than we may look and may point you to great places off the beaten path ;)

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8. Re: weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

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9. Re: weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

Kendrick nailed it. I would have made many of the same suggestions. But a couple additions: Do not fail to walk around the "campgrounds" in Oak Bluffs, aka the "Gingerbread Cottages". Historical, beautiful, unique part of Oak Bluffs.

Since you like walking, and since MV has many good trails, I suggest this: go to a bookstore as soon as you arrive. Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven is the biggest bookstore. Each of the bookstores has a Martha's Vineyard section. There are great little pocket sized guidebooks to the trails of MV, and one at least includes a separate map. Super helpful. My husband and I are working our way through the different walks on each visit. I also agree with the Chappaquiddick island recommendation. You can go over in your car or bike or on foot, using the "On Time" ferry from Edgartown. Only proviso is that sometimes there is a line for the cars and you may have to wait just a little bit. It's worth it. You will find yourself telling people about your time on Chappy. Several good walks over there. There is one with a fantastic view that begins off of North Neck Road, but I love the area around Wasque Point as well. Lots of shopping, but I think it is concentrated in Edgartown and in Vineyard Haven.

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10. Re: weekend on Martha's Vineyard in early October - what to see?

The Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven is one of my favorite places for breakfast or lunch because it borders a beach and has an breath-taking view of the harbor so you can watch the ferries come in and out. It's reasonably prices with simple but really good food. We often share the spinach salad and fried oysters. Yum!!!

I think the Maxie Lou's suggestion about going to Chappy is a really good one. Still, you can have a wonderful stroll along State Beach in Edgartown.

Atria in Edgartown is popular with folks who live on the island for dinner downstairs. Off-season there are some nights they do 2-for-1 burgers. Executive Chef Christian Thornton does some of the best fried calamari EVER! It's as if it was fried in air. Some people find the Atlantic too noisy.

The Lookout in Oak Bluffs is popular and faces the beach. In addition to their American/seafood menu, they also do wonderfully fresh sushi.

MV Chowder Co. does it's one light delicious version of New England Clam Chowder. Their menu is consistent and their staff is friendly.

Going up to Menemsha to see the sunset is a very special Vineyard experience. You can have fresh clams or oysters at Larsen's or even a very reasonably priced lobster.

The Net Result in Vineyard Haven is another reasonably priced casual place where folks order seafood, burgers or sushi and then eat at the picnic tables outside. IMHO their fried clams with the bellies are better than Nancy's in Oak Bluffs.

You'll enjoy biking on the island, they have Zen-like trails and drivers are super considerate.

If it's still open and it should be, you should take yourselves to Back Door Donuts in OB for what has become a real happening; freshly made donuts sold from the bakery's back door after-hours. People take taxis from Edgartown to experience this.

Don't be afraid to us taxis, the prices are fair and the drivers are usually pretty friendly and willing to answer any questions about the island.

Another iconic treat is Murdick's Fudge in OB and Edgartown. Freshly made since I think the 1800's.

You can buy all sorts of gear that has MV or the names of towns on it but some of the most unique souvenirs are the inscribed rocks at Sanctuary on Circuit Avenue in OB. You'll also find great driftwood looking pieces of wood painted with phrase about the island and the names of various towns on them.

Okay, that's my 3 cents.

Have a AbFab holiday in what of my favorite places on the planet!

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