Hy-Line doesn't just get questions about taking the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. Most times, when people call about the Vineyard, they want to know what to do, what to see and where to eat on the island. I've had a lot more inquiries about the Vineyard this year than ever before. Thankfully, I had the opportunity to spend a day (and an overnight!) there early this summer.
Recently, a gentleman from Hollywood, California inquired about taking his family there for the day. In his email he said, "Your service stuck out as the easiest and best for us!" OK. You say that kind of thing and you're already my friend. I told my new friend all about my day and I'm going to tell you about it too:
There is a wonderful article and video about the Vineyard that was published recently by the New York Times. I think you’ll enjoy it. It's entitled What to Do in 36 Hours on Martha's Vineyard.
Last time I went to the Vineyard was June. It was the first time I rented a car and I would definitely do it again. There’s a guy on the dock, Martha's Vineyard Auto Rentals, and it was somewhere around $45. We have a coupon for $10 off a car rental in our brochure (there are tons on the dock). Considering that it costs $33 for a bus tour, I think it was totally worth having the flexibility to go wherever I wanted for the day.
You can also get between the towns via the Vineyard Transit Authority. You can buy an all-day pass for $8 per person.
If you go to Edgartown, I suggest taking a walk through the Old Whaling Church. The architecture is amazing and there is a volunteer there who can answer questions and tell you about the history. The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is good. It’s not very big so it wouldn’t take up too much time. Of course, there is plenty of shopping. There is also a pier where a lot of fishing boats dock, and there is a deck that you can walk up to and view the “On-Time Ferry” to Chappaquiddick. It’s a beautiful view of the harbor and Edgartown Light. It is right across the street from the Martha's Vineyard Art Association and Old Sculpin Gallery.
If you rent a car, I suggest making the trip out to the Aquinnah Cliffs. It's worth the drive. See...
We then stopped by the Island Alpaca Farm in Oak Bluffs (not downtown). They have more than 70 alpaca on the farm and the kids will love it!
Back in downtown Oak Bluffs, you have to visit the Camp Meeting Association (you can walk or drive through) which is where all the Gingerbread Houses are.
OF COURSE the kids have to ride the Flying Horses, the country’s oldest platform carousel, and try to get the brass ring for a chance at a free ride! There’s an arcade too…my 10-year old can spend some serious time there.
Here are some suggestions as to where to eat:
Mocha Mott’s is the best for coffee (a short walk from the boat)
In Edgartown, I’ve had lunch at The Wharf Pub.
I like Sharky’s Cantina for Mexican. He has a place in Edgartown and Oak Bluffs.
The guy that owns Sharky’s also owns the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company, which is beyond awesome.
The Coop de Ville is good for a drink and an appetizer while you wait for the boat.
Nancy’s Restaurant is also good and right by the boat If you go, order a Dirty Banana – it’s their signature drink.
To all of my friends reading this blog - I would like to send a whole bunch of love out to my friend John Tiernan at The Dockside Inn for putting up with us for an overnight. BTW - this inn is the BOMB. It is right across from where the Hy-Line ferries dock, super clean and has a phenomenal staff. He's won a bunch of 'Best Of' awards and was even featured on the Today Show as an 'Outstanding Value for a Celebrity Getaway.' Robin Leach would totally take you there...