Thursday, August 27, 2020

Martha's Vineyard Travel Guide

Martha's Vineyard has been on our travel list for a while but we aren't huge fans of road trips so it was just something we never got around to.  After many trips were cancelled this spring/early summer with more to come as the year goes on, we decided a road trip was our best bet this summer and to take the opportunity to try something new.  We had the best time and it was a wonderful week away after not traveling since the start of February.

Travel & Overview:

The ferry is the way to get onto the island, since we were going to Nantucket also, we took the Hyline Ferry out of Hyannis but the Steamship Authority out of Woods Hole is most popular for the Vineyard.

The Vineyard is more spread out and is made up of six towns - Edgartown (being the most popular), Oaks Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, Aquinnah, Chilmark, West Tisbury.

You can bring a car over on the ferry but we found it easy to get around without one.  The hotel had a shuttle into Edgartown and jeeps are easy to rent.  We didn't use them but taxis and ubers are usually plentiful too.

Beach season was a fun time to go but it would definitely be fun to go back and visit in the cooler fall weather or over the holidays.


The Winnetu:  This is where we stayed and the only resort like hotel on the island.  It's great for families because there is plenty of space for kids to run around, a pool, short walkway to the beach, lawn games and cottages as well as regular hotel rooms and suites.

Harborview Hotel: This was our second option.  A plus is that it's a short walk into Edgartown and right across from Edgartown Lighthouse

Kelly House: There are many boutique hotels and smaller spots to stay on the island.  If we wouldn't have been traveling with a toddler, this would have been a good option too.


The Atlantic: Our favorite meal out of our entire time in New England.  A great setting and the lobster mac and cheese is out of this world

Seafood Shanty: Views of Edgartown Harbor and casual seafood with plenty of indoor/outdoor seating

Black Dog Tavern: A total tourist spot as it's probably the best known restaurant on the island with Black Dog Gift Shops all over the island but for good reason.  The food was delicious and the clam chowder the best we had.

Nancy's: On the water in Oaks Bluffs, a popular spot for a big menu of seafood with indoor/outdoor seating.  They're known for the dirty banana drink so make sure to try one.

Ice Cream & Candy Bazaar:  Some people like Mad Martha's but in our opinion this was the best ice cream on the island.  We all tried different flavors but Tatum's campfire s'mores was beyond tasty)

To Do:

Rent a Jeep: The best way to see the whole island.  We rented one for a day and that was plenty.  

Aquinnah Cliffs: The best views on the island.  Also stop by Gay Head Lighthouse (we couldn't go in because of Covid).

Island Alpaca: Great spot for kids, you don't need to spend a lot of time here and it's only a few dollars to visit.

The Cove Mini Golf: If you have a little golf fan like us, this is a great spot to spend an evening after dinner.

Beaches:  We only did South Beach, one of the biggest beaches on the island but there are plenty to choose from whether big or small.


We made our way to many of the shops on the island.  One thing to note is for more touristy shopping, head to Oaks Bluffs.  For nicer and boutique like shopping, head to Edgartown.  For a mix, it seemed like Vineyard Haven was a good spot.  Make sure to stop by the original Vineyard Vines too. 

Wish You Were Here: Our favorite spot for Vineyard gear.

Soft as a Grape: Another popular spot for Vineyard gear with a few locations.

Murdick's Fudge: A classic on the island and honestly the best fudge we've had.  We left with a bag to bring home to family.

Boutiques: Katydid, Bell, Island Outfitters, Lilly Pulizter

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

This & That: Summer Scenes

 Summer hasn't been quite like usual but we've made the most of it and had a great time.  Tatum's at a great age this summer and really coming into his own.  Swimming is always a highlight and as the days have gone on he's gotten brave enough to love jumping off the diving board, going down the slide and jumping into the pool by himself.

Another highlight continues to be golf.  He puts around the house with his many golf sets, cries if he knows Daddy goes golfing without him and asks "we go golf?" multiple times a week.  Getting to play on the real course at night with Dad is such a treat - you can see the excitement all over his face.

Even though with Covid we aren't quite back to normal routines, we've found ways to fill most summer days - though I do love our quiet mornings when we're home and just playing around the house.

A big helper - we made some dog ice cream for Stella to enjoy on hot days.  The plan was to make homemade ice cream or popsicles for us too but we haven't gotten to that one yet - maybe next summer.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Lake Scenes


We've had two wonderful weekends at the lake the past two weekends.  We'll get up once in the fall but I can't believe our summer weekends have come to an end - it feels like the season was just starting!

Weather was a little rainy two weeks ago but we were able to get in a dock day and boat ride and this past weekend was perfectly sunny and a great way to close out the weekend.  We were even able to grab some family pictures too.

Tatum has really thrived at the lake this summer - swimming, jumping off the dock, riding and playing on the boat, kayak ride and playing with them on the grass - he loves it all!

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Nantucket: Part Three


Our final full day of the trip and last day in Nantucket.  After some morning porch time we headed back downtown to finish anything we'd missed before.  

We picked up sandwiches from Something Natural not too far from the hotel and walked back passing by the gorgeous New England homes.  Typically you can eat outside on picnic benches there but not this year so we walked back and had a picnic on our porch.

We spent the afternoon at another of the bigger beaches - Jetties.  Another good spot for kids because there aren't many waves.  We heard a lot of people complaining about jelly fish this day so we kept Tatum only right by the edge or playing in the sand.

We walked down the beach a bit past Galley Beach and stopped to play at Steps Beach - definitely the prettiest beach entrance and very instagram worthy.  Tatum had the best time jumping from the dunes and did it time after time.

The pool was specifically requested by Tatum earlier in the day so we finished the afternoon with that.  The hurricane was working its way up the coast so we took a nice break for nap, porch time and relaxing later in the afternoon to see what the weather would do but other than a quick sprinkle we got lucky.

We went to the Tavern on the Wharf right in the center of the wharf for our last dinner.  It was pretty chilly so the clam chowder tasted extra good.

Our ferry wasn't until after lunch our last morning and we'd planned to go over to Sconset for breakfast sandwiches, playground and stroll along the Bluff Walk but unfortunately we'd found out the night before the hurricane caused a bit of flooding in our basement at home so we moved up our ferry to mid morning to get home a bit earlier.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Nantucket: Part Two


Getting close to the end of our trip, we had a quiet morning playing on the patio and then walked over to town shortly before the shops opened for breakfast treats from Provisions and shopping.  After a fun morning of shopping we got pizza from Oath and ate on a quiet bench on the pier.

The next part of our day was something new to us - sailing!  We sailed around Nantucket seeing the island from the water and experiencing a new type of boat ride which we all had fun with.  Endeavor sailing is definitely a popular excursion for anyone visiting Nantucket.

We took a little break at the cottage to cool off and let Tatum nap for a bit then went to another beach down the street, Children's Beach.  Another great spot for kids since it's a smaller beach, boats in the background and a playground/snack bar right there too.

Dinner was one I was really looking forward to - outside on the patio at Brandt Point Grill.  There's a big grassy area for kids to run around (usually lawn games but not this year) and boats in the background.  The burata and tomato from Bartlett's Farm was so good and the lobster mac n cheese was hard to pass up. 

We walked around downtown and shopped up the upper part of Main Street before finishing the night at the famous Juice Bar.  The line is always wrapped around the corner and for good reason - our ice creams were delicious.  The hotel was showing the Little Mermaid so we caught the end of it with some popcorn for Tatum by the pool then enjoyed our porch for the rest of the night.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020



We were up early and ready to take the Hyline Ferry over to Nantucket, but when we got to the ferry docks we found out ours was cancelled and we'd have to wait until the next one.  We got breakfast, walked around the shops and then finally were on our way.  The Grey Lady was the nicest of the ferrys and we enjoyed being able to sit outside in open space.

After we met someone from the hotel to pick up our bags, we walked around the downtown area a bit and then walked the short walk over to the hotel to check into our cottage.  It was nice having plenty of space for Tatum to play and we loved our porch.  He accumulated a ton of stuffed animals left for him in each location.

We got changed into our bathing suits and went down the street to Brant Point Beach - right by Brant Point Lighthouse and at the part of the island where boats area coming and going which was fun to watch.  It was personally my favorite beach because while it was really small, it was great for kids to swim and you couldn't beat the views of ocean and boats.

Dinner was at Millies over in Madaket - we had to wait about an hour so we walked over to the beach to play and watch the sunset - I'd heard that it was the best spot to watch sunsets on the island and it definitely was - such a pretty view.  

The outdoor tents with picnic tables, strings of lights and music at Millies was a fun setting and the Mexican food was worth the wait.