Martha’s Vineyard offers the perfect summer vacation for families and couples. From the bright, candy-colored Victorians of Oak Bluffs to the charming Whaling ambience of historical Edgartown, and the rural charms of touring “up Island,” including those memorable sunsets at Menemsha, you will find beautiful beaches, bike paths, recreation, and have plenty of time to relax and throw some steaks and seafood on the grill for dinner, or dine in a casual or gourmet restaurant. Just remember, when dining “up Island,” including the towns of Vineyard Haven, Menemsha, West Tisbury and Aquinnah, it’s “BYOB.”
We are vacation homeowners and have been visiting Martha’s Vineyard with our family for 20 years. Here are our favorite “insider’s” tips. Beaches: the “little ones” will find the calm waters of State Beach refreshing; Long Point, in West Tisbury, offers a pond and the ocean, for those who like variety. Our favorite public beach is Katama, also known as South Beach. Pack up a picnic lunch or hop on your bike and “go.” Parking is free, and the surf is gorgeous. Playgrounds: there is a wonderful playground near the Edgartown Elementary School, with jungle gyms, swings, tennis courts and ball fields, and be sure to visit the antique fire engines at the nearby, quaint Edgartown Fire House, a highlight for the under-five set, and for anyone who likes fire engines. Grab breakfast or lunch and picnic at the Katama Air Field, and watch the small planes take off and land (the landing field is a large meadow). Bike paths: While there are extensive bike paths throughout Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven and West Tisbury, our favorite stretch is the State Forest Bike Path, where you can pedal through woods, farmland and meadows. It’s a fairly flat ride, with some modest hills. Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven and Edgartown Village all have fun and charming shops and restaurants. We love to shop at Bowl and Board, in Vineyard Haven, for household items. Our favorite bookstores to browse and buy, especially on rainy days, are Edgartown Books, in Edgartown Village, and Bunch of Grapes, in Vineyard Haven. Around the corner from Bunch of Grapes is Riley’s Reads, a haven for young readers.