Island visitor guide from one newbie to another, part I

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Hello August-tanned-and-ready-for-school-supplies-shopping babes! It’s my midweek day off and I’m on the tail end of having a week of visitors here. I almost don’t even know what to do with myself without waking up to thoughts of “which breakfast place shall we go to?” or “which beach will provide max relaxation to this visitor???” I want to share my take on having visitors when you yourself are technically still somewhat of a visitor. This island has enough to do , but sometimes it’s hard to gauge which activities one visitor might like as compared to another.

When you live on an island and don’t have a car, transportation and figuring out transportation becomes in and of itself part of the adventure 🙂 I have loved that my family and friends that visited have embraced this little saying that my wise soccer coach preached….”The journey is the reward” (Dad are you CRYING with joy that I just used this phrase?) in some of our transportation adventures. It can also be difficult to find inexpensive things to do on an island where it costs $6 for a pound of tomatoes from a farm stand and a whopping $3 for an avocado at some grocery stores. Here’s my take on visits to Martha’s Vineyard. Please note that the perspective here is from a food-obsessed, sweets-loving, stationary-store-craved, fan of the sun. I have some specifics for people with different tastes and must-visits for everyone in your crew. This is just part I!!

First stop – the necessary breakfast joint:

It doesn’t get more important than this if you ask me. I am SO pumped for a good breakfast place and as it so happens, so are some of the close people in my life!! I have to say that visiting the Art Cliff Diner in Vineyard Haven is an absolute must for breakfast. The catch is, you HAVE to get there before 8 am to beat the line, and sometimes the owners decide to close for the day whenever they feel like it. It’s one of those places where you get giddy looking at the menu options and the feeling of indecision takes over as you see the amazingness of the Specials board. I love that there is the hustley-bustley noise of coffee-pour, moving dishes, and sizzling bacon, and that every single thing that comes out of that kitchen has you thinking, “ugh, I should have ordered THAT piece of heaven.”

So far, I have eaten the blueberry pancakes and the Green Monster (pictured below). My mother had a delicious omelette when she came and my boyfriend had this big ole brioche BLT (pictured below).

The green monster, soooo yummy/crispy/cheesy

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The patriotic BLT (had to be snapchatted, of course)

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Okay, so if you’re not going to Art Cliff, here’s other breakfast suggestions

If you want a place with easy parking, good service, healthy options, and you’re in Tisbury…..Little House

If you are staying in Edgartown/Katama, want a nice view, like rolling fields and don’t mind waiting……Right Fork Diner. There’s an airfield here where you can watch people take biplane rides.

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Other places I’m dying to try…Dock Street Coffee Shop, Lucky Hanks, 7a’s breakfast menu, Linda Jeans, and Biscuits.

A trip to West Tisbury

I have managed to bring a few different guests to “downtown” West Tisbury, a teeny little town thingy with a town hall, general store, art gallery, food, and conveniently the location of our Wednesday and Saturday markets. I think that if you’re staying down island you may wonder what you can spend an afternoon doing down here, but there’s a good bit to explore if you like to wander. It’s not difficult to get to by bus, or you can visit via moped!!

For everyone….

The West Tis Farmer’s Market!! I have loved getting to show my visitors our adorbs Pie Chicks booth at the farmer’s market at the Grange Hall in West Tis. In addition to showing them our beautiful pies and buying a scone, it’s always fun to show people the other farm stands and listen to the band play. It’s a small market, but we have diverse stands. There’s a woman who sells egg rolls, a dairy farm that makes it’s own lassis,  a number of produce farmers, and beeauuuutiful flower options. You must come pick up a Pie Chicks pie for your dinner guests, or have a scone or piece of pie right then and there! If you’re headed to the beach, pick up some granola or pie bites (little cinnamon-sugar crusted pie-crust pieces) to snack on.

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Where to go next in West Tis…

For your New Yorker father or any meat-loving, sandwich appreciator….

The Liz Lemon at 7a foods. 7a is a delicious little sandwich deli in West Tisbury where I took both my dad and my boyfriend. They have this sandwich called the Liz Lemon which has housemade pastrami, turkey, Russian dressing, and slaw with potato chips on top!! As soon as I took a bite of this sammie, I knew I had to bring dad. Also buy an iced cocoa hazelnut coffee…sooooo good.

For the art-lover….

The Field Gallery. There’s this open gallery across from 7a where they have interesting sculptures and beautiful paintings from local artists. I am not the most knowledgeable about art, but I loved reading the little bios about each of the artists and seeing paintings of places on island I hadn’t seen. My mom loved this place.

For exploring…

If you’re already up in this neck of the woods, I recommend heading out to Great Rock Bight for a beach visit, or taking the bus down to Menemsha. I brought two groups of visitors to Great Rock because I love it’s remote, naturey feel and the less populated beach. The hard part is, the parking is really limited, so either bike here if you’re staying close or try to take the bus. Spencer and I took a moped (apparently frowned upon by locals) which is also a viable option. If you have no car, biking or walking around Middle Road in West Tisbury is also incredibly beautiful. The windy road is lined with quaint, quiet farms with stone fence-bordery-things, sunflowers, and trees. Then you can just walk back to town whenever you feel like it and catch a bus back.

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A moped adventure through West Tis

My sister and cousin visiting at Great Rock 🙂

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And then there’s Menemsha….the cutest little fishing village where you feel like wearing a worn-out sweater, cuddling up on the beach and saying hello to the fishies with a warm cup of chowda on a cloudy day. Well, if you’re a girl. If you’re a guy, my take is that you’re thinking, ” I feel very Ernest Hemingway and want to get away from the world, buy a beat-up boat, and fish here until the end of eternity”

This town is really small, but there’s two great fish markets where you can get great lobster rolls and fresh fish as well as a few places to eat. You can also peek into some of the boats docked here and dream about which boat you’d want for yourself. If you feel like spending the whole day down here, there’s a nice beach which apparently has the best sunset in town!

 

Phew, I thought I could write about all my visiting spots in one post, but I’m going to have to split this up!! Here’s some pics from my journeys in the meantime…

Sleepy lil beach in Menemsha

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The Menemsha docks

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The Galley (below) is a lil beach shack where you can get soft serve and burgers

imageMenemsha on a sunny day!image

 

 

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