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Martha’s Vineyard Guide: The Best Things to See and Do

Martha’s Vineyard Guide

Martha's Vineyard Guide

Martha’s Vineyard Guide
When you think about Martha’s Vineyard, if you picture a beautiful island covered in hydrangeas straight out of a story book then you are exactly right. I now realize why every summer romance novel takes place in the islands off the coast of Cape Cod. The slow, yet bustling streets are full of people escaping their everyday worries, either bicycling to the beach or strolling the sidewalk ice cream cone in hand. The laidback aura among the people and quaint local businesses make it to where you would never know who is a local headed to their summer house or who is visiting the island for the first time. Keep reading to see why you should visit Martha's Vineyard!
Martha’s Vineyard Guide
Martha’s Vineyard Guide

Getting Around Martha's Vineyard

Island Queen Ferry

Aboard the Island Queen Ferry

There are many different ferries you can take to get to Martha’s Vineyard from the mainland. Some places you can take the ferry from are Falmouth, Hyannis, Quinnset, RI, and Woods Hole. You can also take a ferry from Nantucket if you are coming from there. If you have a car with you, you can actually take it with you on the Steamship Authority ferry from Woods Hole.  Since we were coming from Providence, RI we ended up driving to Woods Hole and taking the Island Queen ferry to Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard. There is a ferry almost every hour both ways, so I bought the tickets on my phone and it was super easy. They even have coffee and some beer/wine on the ferry. Just make sure you arrive on time because the ferry pulls out at exactly the time it says it’s going to leave.

Where To Go In Martha's Vineyard

map of martha's vineyard

Something I didn’t realize until going to Martha’s Vineyard is that although it is a small island,  there are a few different towns on the island. Each part of the island has a different feel to it and is known for specific things. In this Martha's Vineyard travel guide, I'm going to break down what to do in each area of the island.

Oak Bluffs

Our ferry arrived into Oak Bluffs so we walked into town a little bit before getting an Uber to head to Vineyard Haven where we stayed. Something neat about the island we learned from our Uber driver is that the houses look different in each area. Oak Bluffs is known for their “gingerbread houses” which are basically super cute colorful houses all in a row. I definitely recommend going to see them if you have time to explore Oak Bluffs. They are just as adorable as they sound.

Oak Bluffs

Vineyard Haven

The Airbnb we rented for the night was in Vineyard Haven, so that is where we spent the evening when we got to Martha’s Vineyard. I absolutely loved this part of the island. One of my favorite memories of the whole trip is our time at The Black Dog. It is a casual restaurant on the beach in Vineyard Haven with a huge patio and inside seating. We ended up going around 5pm to get drinks. The atmosphere of the place is super chill and it was obvious that it is a go-to for locals as we watched them rolling in one after another, all seeming to know the staff’s names.

After getting drinks at The Black Dog, we walked around and ended up grabbing dinner at an Asian place connected to a hotel called Copper Wok. Our uber driver from earlier had suggested we eat at an Italian place called Salvatore’s but unfortunately it was booked for the night. We left Salvatore’s running in the rain and just happened to stumble upon Copper Wok, which was on my list of restaurants recommended to me in Martha’s Vineyard. We both had a few appetizers and sushi and it was delicious.

vineyard haven
vineyard haven bikes

One thing to note about Vineyard Haven is that alcohol is only sold with food. There are not liquor stores or bars there, so if you are staying in the area and want a bottle of wine, you’ll have to get it from Oak Bluffs or Edgartown. Even if we just wanted drinks, we had to order an appetizer in order to purchase alcohol at a restaurant.


While Vineyard Haven seemed pretty quiet and low key, Edgartown is much more busy. It is the prettiest little town known for its shopping and ice cream. We had a lot of fun walking around the town and going in all the shops in the area. If you are visiting the island on a girls trip, definitely make time for this! I could have looked around all day in some of the local shops. While some were expensive like I assumed they would be, there were many cute super reasonable clothing stores. If you are planning a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, I’d recommend you spend the biggest chunk of your time in Edgartown, as there is much more I wish we could have done.


(Some of the cute shops in Edgartown below)

Edgartown shop
Edgartown shopping

Things To Do In Martha's Vineyard

American Legion Bridge where Jaws was filmed

  • Aquinnah, MA – If you have a car, you should go see Gay Head, now known as Aquinnah, because it offers stunning views of the ocean and iconic red clay cliffs.
  • Shopping in Edgartown - Spend an afternoon strolling around downtown taking in the local shops and getting some ice cream.
  • Gingerbread houses in Oak Bluffs - Again, if you have a car, these houses are worth the drive to see.
  • Charter a sailboat from Vineyard Haven for a sunset cruise
  • Memensha – Get some fresh seafood and go eat it on a picnic table watching the sunset in the quaint fishing village of Chillmark, MA.
  • American Legion Memorial Bridge – Go see the iconic bridge where the famous Jaws scene was filmed.

Where To Eat In Martha's Vineyard

art cliff diner | Martha’s Vineyard Guide

Where To Eat In Edgartown

Where To Eat In Vineyard Haven

Where To Stay In Martha's Vineyard

harbor view hotel | Martha’s Vineyard Guide

If you're looking for a luxurious and relaxing stay in Martha's Vineyard, the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown is the perfect choice. The hotel boasts stunning views of the harbor and offers easy access to many of the island's top attractions. Including beaches, shops, and restaurants. The rooms are spacious and elegantly decorated, with comfortable beds and modern amenities. The hotel's on-site restaurant, Water Street, serves delicious cuisine made with locally sourced ingredients. Guests can also enjoy the hotel's outdoor pool, fitness center, and spa services. With its prime location and top-notch amenities, the Harbor View Hotel is the ultimate destination for a memorable Martha's Vineyard getaway.

A quick story about our experience staying in Martha's Vineyard:

While I wish I could tell you all about our lovely accommodations in Martha’s Vineyard, unfortunately I cannot. I could write a novel about our experience in the Airbnb I booked, but I’ll spare you the details. Let’s just say, I thought I found a steal when I booked an Airbnb located on a sailboat. The reviews painted a dreamy picture of sipping cocktails with their husbands watching the beautiful sunset over the water while chatting with the world-traveler Airbnb host about his adventures and how he gives back to villages in Haiti.

Reality check: It was raining and dark, nowhere to sit and enjoy the wine we brought, and just a super odd experience with the Airbnb host and his lady “helper”. Oh and there was a bad storm that night. So we were up till 3am, both rolling with the waves and crashing into the walls of our own twin beds all night. Let’s just say seasickness and a toilet that doesn’t flush don’t mix well. We arrived to the sailboat with no sleep or shower the night before and left even worse off. For some visuals and laughs, check out my Vlog on Youtube here. I promise you won’t regret it!

Best Time To Go To Martha's Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard Guide

The best time to visit Martha's Vineyard is during the summer months, from June to August. This is when the weather is warm and sunny. So it's perfect for outdoor activities such as beach-going, hiking, and biking. Additionally, many of the island's attractions and events are open during this time. Including the famous Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Fair and the Martha's Vineyard Film Festival. However, it's important to note that summer is also the busiest time on the island, with crowds and higher prices. For a quieter and more affordable experience, consider visiting in the shoulder seasons of May or September, when the weather is still pleasant and the crowds have thinned out.

Martha's Vineyard Outfit Inspo

As always, I hope you find this useful when planning a trip to Martha’s Vineyard!

Comment below and let me know your favorite places on the island and if you love any of my recommendations, I would love to hear about your experience!