Fashion Director, Travel Curator contributor, and busy mom of three Sarah Meikle recently left the family and hectic pace of NYC behind for a lovely long weekend with friends in beautiful Martha’s Vineyard. Here she shares her curated itinerary on where to stay, eat, explore and of course shop in this charming little island off Cape Cod.
Best Places to Stay in Martha’s Vineyard
There are so many quaint hotels and cute cottages in Martha’s Vineyard, it’s hard to narrow down. I love to stay at The Charlotte Inn in the heart of busy Edgartown. It’s incredibly charming and lively, but also secluded and peaceful. I also love staying at Summer Camp in Oak Bluffs. It sits directly across from the view of the harbor, among the historic and colorful gingerbread style cottages. You can’t beat the view but it’s also so chic. The outside is traditional Victorian while inside is a playful homage to mid 19th-century design, with bright colors and pale woods. There’s also a huge veranda, fab games, and fun food and drinks.
Best Breakfast Spots in Martha’s Vineyard
All the wonderful foodie options add to the allure of Martha’s Vineyard. Little House Café has the best breakfast burrito, hands down. The classic Woofer breakfast sandwich from The Black Dog Tavern, a local staple on the waterfront at Vineyard Haven Harbor is always at the top of my list. The breakfast at ArtCliff Diner, a sweet little shack outside Vineyard Haven is another favorite for quirky diner food made with lots of local ingredients. The Coconut Banana pancakes are bonkers good, but beware, lines can be long. And then there’s the donuts, made in-house at Life at Humphreys and not to be missed.
Best Lunch Places in Martha’s Vineyard
On a sunny, gorgeous day, I love grabbing a sandwich and heading to the beach for a picnic. It’s hard to beat the sandwiches at 7a Foods, my fave being The Liz Lemon made with hot housemade pastrami, turkey, swiss, coleslaw, Russian dressing and potato chips on rye. It’s truly the perfect combination. The Buttermilk Fried Chicken with pickles, arugula, buffalo sauce from Rosewater in Edgartown is another on my tasty treat list. On rainy days, I love going to The Newes from America pub for an insane Hail Mary (Bloody Mary) and their award-winning Fisherman’s Stew. Or grabbing the best pizza pie from The Chilmark General Store, try The Island Grown Pie-island grown veggies, mozzarella and olive oil. Also on my foodie radar are the Coconut Tofu and Brazilian plate from The Scottish Bakehouse, simply delicious and RED CAT for the best fried chicken I have ever tasted. EVER.
Best Restaurants for Dinner in Martha’s Vineyard
This one’s easy. I LOVE LOVE State Road farm-to-table restaurant, it also happens to be the Obama’s favorite, and their sister restaurant Beach Road. For something more romantic Outermost Inn has great sunsets over Aquinnah. And if you are looking for a low-key vibe, head to Net Result to sit at the picnic tables and eat steamed lobsters and fried clams, yum. For a truly gorgeous atmosphere eating in the garden at Lambert’s Cove Inn is another top pick.
The Best Beaches in Martha’s Vineyard
It goes without saying, the harbor and the beaches are beautiful in Martha’s Vineyard and you won’t have any trouble finding relaxing by the ocean, though you might have a little trouble parking. Lucy Vincent is definitely my fave, although technically it’s a private beach. State Beach in Katama is amazing and so is Lambert’s Cove Beach in West Tisbury. Be sure to grab a lobster roll before you head off.
Where to get the best lobster roll in Martha’s Vineyard
New England is of course known for the best lobster rolls in the US and for me in Martha’s Vineyard, it’s a toss up between Menemsha Fish Market and Larsens. So why not get both and do a taste test on the beach with a glass of wine while watching the sunset (again beware finding a parking place can be impossible). My top tip is to go for the hot lobster roll at Menemsha Fish Market and the cold lobster roll at Larsen’s Fish Market. The chowder at both is also excellent. Fun fact: the airport diner has the best chowder on the island—worth traveling for. And good to know if you find yourself fogged in with a canceled flight.
Where to go for dessert in Martha’s Vineyard
There are so many awesome ice cream spots in Martha’s Vineyard but I love Ben & Bills in Oak Bluffs. Mad Martha’s is fun and has a few locations across the island. In Edgartown, I can’t decide between the Ice Cream & Candy Bazar and Scoop Shack. The hot glazed donuts at Back Door Donuts and chocolates from Salt Rock Chocolate (pick them up at the Farmer’s Market) are both sweet treats you should try.
My Favorite Places to See and Shop in Martha’s Vineyard
Go Bike riding around the colorful Gingerbread Cottage Village in Oak Bluffs and see the Flying Horses carousel, super special.
When I get tired of beach days, I like hitting the Island Cove Mini Golf and taking the five-minute Chappy Ferry to bike around Chappaquiddick. The Granary Gallery has a superb collection and Martha’s Vineyard Museum open in a new location is worth a visit to explore more of the history and art of this beautiful part of the world.
Magnetic North in Vineyard Haven is heaven and my all-time favorite shop. There are so many amazing home goods, clothing, accessories, and gifts – all beachy, colorful, and cool.
Lennox & Harvey in Vineyard Haven is a must. It’s a super cute curated, modern-day general store for the design-conscious.
Slate in Edgartown is a great fashion and lifestyle store and the place to go for cute style pieces.
Salte, also in Edgartown, is another cutie for gifts and home goods. Boneyard is a fun, iconic surf shop and another firm favorite.
The Grey Barn & Farm is so beautiful and has great farm goods, especially the most exquisite cheeses. Morning Glory Farm is perfect for stocking up on essentials and has a lot of local produce and lovely flowers.
The West Tisbury Farmers Market on Wed and Sat mornings is also fantastic. The Chilmark General Store and Katana General Store are also well worth a visit for their local, organic, artisan food.