It’s tough to keep things on the down low on Martha’s Vineyard. Word travels fast when something good comes along, and even faster when it’s great. Still, if you venture beyond the Main streets, there are some surprises: a place you’ve passed but never explored, a new business, or hidden facet of a familiar one.
The following suggestions will help you get started on your search for the Island’s hidden treasures:
Come browse a gallery of hand blown art glass at MV Glassworks. Less known is the fact that it’s an experience made even more meaningful when you take the time to watch the artists and artisans at work in the studio forming their beautiful creations right before your eyes. MV Glassworks Is located at 683 State Road, West Tisbury. The gallery is open Wednesday–Monday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., in season. (Photo: melting the glass is the first step for glass-blowers at MV Glassworks, West Tisbury - credit: D Welch)
Directly across the way is State Road Restaurant, where you can experience another kind of artistry. Primarily known as a dining destination, you can also pick up coffee and/or cakes, cookies, scones, muffins and pies at their service counter until 2 p.m. daily. The selection changes day-by-day, but the quality is consistently amazing. Get there early if you want to try the limpopos.
Cakes, cookies pies and cobbler the choice is your at State Road restaurant, West Tisbury
For those looking to visit Martha’s Vineyard on a whim, check out Martha’s Vineyard Last Minute Lodging, a new service offering leads on last minute availability for Island inns, hotels and guesthouses. You’ll find a number of page listing names, descriptions and available vacancies, as well as Google maps showing where the property is and how to get there.
Lorraine Parish’s modest berry-colored storefront just on the outskirts of Vineyard Haven may not catch your eye, but the couture clothing sure will! Lorraine Parish has been a fixture at this location for decades, offering classic, impeccably-styled clothing and home furnishings. According to her website, Lorraine’s clients include Carly Simon, Debra Winger, Judy Collins, Mary Steenburgen, Mariel Hemmingway, Demi Moore, Liz Smith and others. Not as well known is the fact that the conveniently located and beautifully appointed 1 and 2 bedroom suites that are located directly above the boutique are available to visitors. Click here for details.
Lorrain Parish in Vineyard Haven - credit: C. Segel
Stop in at Edgartown’s Black Sheep charcuterie by day, and what you’ll find is a delicious selection of cheeses, pâtés, sandwiches, baked goods and more. Stop in by night and you’ll find the space transformed into Trio — offering tasting menu and wine pairings in a cozy, intimate setting. Stop by in the morning, and word has it, it’s back to business with killer coffee and scones. You’ll find both Trio and the Black Sheep at 18 North Summer Street in Edgartown, just off Main Street.
Biking up around Aquinnah or Menemsha? Don’t overlook the cool little bike ferry that shuttles bikers and their rides across the Menemsha Creek inlet separating the home of the Gay Head cliffs from the still active fishing port (and vice versa). The crossing takes just 3 minute and costs $5 one way and $8 roundtrip. The ferry accommodates about 6 bikes each trip and shuttles back and forth, as needed, and operates daily during the summer from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Make like a local on Wednesdays and head up to the Orange Peel Bakery in Aquinnah anytime from 5 to 8 p.m. for Pizza Night! $10 and a container of your favorite toppings entitles you to enough pizza dough (provided by bakery owner Julie Vanderhoop) for a pie, which you’ll then bake to crispy deliciousness in her wood-fired oven. This all happens outdoors and on picnic tables, so keep an eye on the weather and be aware that Aquinnah is usually about 10 degrees cooler than anywhere else on MV.
DIY pizza, BYOB and good times at Orange Peel Bakery, Aquinnah
Also, up-Island, is the Allen Sheep & Wool Farm, whose simple sign doesn’t begin to describe the extraordinary quality of their blankets and other woolens. Or, seek out and sample the great local feta made from start to finish at Mermaid Farm & Dairy. In addition to the cheese you’ll find fresh raw milk, lamb and beef, yogurt, and fresh seasonal vegetables.
Allen Sheep Farm sources its wool from its own sheep in Chilmark, MV - credit: M. Rosenthal
Enjoy the adventure!
Carol Ward is content editor at MVOL providing current information about the Island at www.mvol.com & www.mvolmobile.com. An Island resident for 30 years, Carol was formerly publications editor for MV Chamber of Commerce. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.