A July 2004 trip
to Martha's Vineyard by SFPhotocraft
Quote: This was our first trip to Martha's Vineyard. The moment we stepped off the ferry we were hooked. This is summer at its very finest. It wasn't hard, but we had fallen in love with Martha's VIneyard.
The name alone leads me to vision some small island that was holding off the rest of the world. A part of the United States, yet a land on to itself. I had my own preconcieved ideas of what I thought this place would be. To be honest many of my notions of this place held true, all for the good.
We picked three days that were full of rain. It was wet and damp and not the kind of weather to be sitting on the beach. We had brief moments between passing storms, but it was never sunny. Even with picking these three wet and gray days I could tell what a special place the Vineyard was and is.
We rented bikes and road around the island. The kids loved to explore during low tide. On one small inlet, some local kids found a shark trapped in shallow water, this was the ultimate island experience for my kids, to see a small shark up close and personal and not behind the glass of an aquariam.
We spent most of our time in Edgartown and ate and shopped. We walked around and were happy to just be part of the local scene. I even found that just sitting on the dock and watching the local ferry depart to Chappaquiddick Island was entertainment.
The pace moves slower here. We felt a little less stressed each day we woke up on the Vineyard and could understand why so many people want to spend the entire summer here. Our three days just flew by and went too fast. However like a great first date, you always hope there will be a second and a third and a....you get the picture.
Once you pull into Edgartown harbor on the ferry, call the hotel. They will send a bellman down to the dock to meet the ferry and help you walk the two blocks with your luggage. It was nice to have a friendly face greet us and welcome us to Martha's Vineyard.
When we checked in, they saw we had two kids and upgraded us at no charge to a large, one-bedroom suite overlooking Water Street. The staff was pleasant and extremely helpful. They gave us some great dinner recommendations and took care of all the reservations for us.
I was surprised the hotel was built in 1911, as it has such a clean and modern feel to it. It has lots of fresh white paint, and the whole hotel has a kind of beachhouse feel to it. The hotel offers 43 rooms. In the back of the hotel, there are a lot of shops and a salon and day spa. In front is the popular restaurant Chesca's that was one of our favorite places to eat on the island.
Our room was huge. It had a great sitting area with a pull-out couch and a view of Water Street. The main bedroom was large with a king-size bed. The room was kept clean during our stay, and the furniture seemed to be new. The whole hotel was in top shape and did not show any wear and tear for being so popular and in the height of the season.
The hotel does serve a continental breakfast and afternoon tea. The entire inn is nonsmoking.
One tip: Make sure you climb the stairs to the top floor. There, on the fourth floor, is a small common deck that overhangs the top of the hotel. You have a stunning view of the island and the Edgartown harbor. There is not a view like this anywhere else on the island. It's the perfect place to pull up one of the comfy chairs, get a drink, and just watch the world sail by.
We couldn't ask for a better location to explore Edgartown. This is pretty much the hub of things, and we could walk to everything.
I was extremely happy with our choice of hotels for our visit. The location is great, the hotel is in top shape, and the staff is friendly and helpful. This was Vineyard living at its best.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 13, 2004
38 N Water Street
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Restaurant | "The News from America"
The first thing you notice when coming into the pub is the smell. It smells of years and years of wood burning in the fireplace, a comforting, cozy smell. The restaurant has a long ceiling and is dark. Small candles glow on each table. You feel like you are in a pub during the 1700s!
On each table is a small grouping of condiments. The best one being a jar of hot peppers. The back of the restaurant is a large bar, the most important part of the room. A fireplace sits with a fire roaring in it. It's raining and the fire helps you dry off and warm up.
Our waitress is friendly and helpful. I order the bratwurst and a beer that our waitress recommends. The kids had burgers with the seasoned fries. Chris had the fish and chips and the fish was local and the breading was not too heavy. The food was hearty and full in flavor. Our orders came out of the kitchen in no time. I was told next time to order the Island Poor Boy, which has wood smoked oysters and a delcious linguica relish on it.
We had lunch here and got here right when the doors opened. Already there was a line forming. When we left, we heard the hostess say the wait was about an hour.
Every night, we would see a crowd of people waiting outside for a table. The News from America does not take reservations. This is a popular spot, and, during the summer, a wait is part of the price you have to pay.
It's no wonder the locals name this the best pub on the island. The food was good and very filling and the atmosphere was unique and authentic. The pub is open all year long. It's the kind of place I would love to sit at the bar on a stormy night and listen to some old locals tell their stories. This is the kind of place that makes the Vineyard so special.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 26, 2004
News from America Pub
23 Kelly St
Edgartown, Massachusetts 02539
+1 508 627 4397
Restaurant | "The Seafood Shanty"
The place looks like a typical New England seafood joint. It had dark wood and lots of nautical-themed items hanging from the walls. The main feature here is the wonderful view. The backroom sits right on the water, and the boats bob right outside the window. Edgartown has a busy little marina, and it's fun to watch the comings and goings. It's a great view to have with your dinner. Even without reservations we had a prime window table.
The wait staff is all Jamaican guest workers or college kids. It's not professional, but the service is at least cheerful.
The Seafood Shanty does not have a kid's menu, but there is plenty on the menu for kids to eat. This was the night the kids wanted to go adventurous and asked to share a lobster. It was a medium-sized, local lobster and was pretty good. I had the Chappy Cod, which is an island-favorite way to prepare local cod. Chappy, of course, being for Chappaquiddick Island. It was okay, but it was bit bland tasting for my tastes and not very complicated. It's pretty much just a piece of cod that is very lightly breaded. I was glad I tried it, but probably won't be ordering it again - although you see it served all over the island.
I love their dessert idea. You can order your dessert from the wide range of desserts on the menu OR they will give you a dollar off coupon and you can get an ice cream cone at the small ice cream stand just outside their front door. It had stopped raining by the time our dinner was over, so we opted for the ice cream cone to go. It was a pleasure to stroll down the streets of Edgartown enjoying our cones. I thought it was a cool idea to give you a buck off your dessert, and the kids loved it.
This was an enjoyable meal. The food was good, very much what we would have expected. The decor was themed just like you would imagine and the service was cheerful, but had a few minor flaws. However, you come here for the million dollar view - it can't disappoint you.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 27, 2004
31 Dock St (next To The Memorial Wharf)
Edgartown, Massachusetts 02539
+1 508 627 8622
We ordered the clam chowder and chicken breast sandwiches; Patrick ordered the waffles. The order came fairly quickly. I have to say everything was good, not great. Patrick had the best pick - the waffles were very, very tasty. Overall, it was a pretty plain meal, without a whole lot of flair. The worst part was that everything is served on paper plates and bowls. I thought this touch was just a bit tacky.
The service was good. It's mostly college kids working here and seems a little rushed. It was packed outside, and even inside, our few tables were full. You got the impression everyone was running on full throttle. There were not a lot of smiles to be found among the staff.
People rave about this place for being so affordable and cheap. That is because you are one Martha's Vineyard, and paying $15.00 for a small bowl of chowder and a sandwich with iced tea seems like the deal of the century, when back on the mainland this meal would have been called a rip-off. I thought maybe it would be a deal for dinner, but checked out the menu. The dinner pasta is $24.00, the local halibut was $24.00 and the steak was $25.00. I thought all the prices were a bit high for a little local cafe, but then again, this is Martha's Vineyard.
Clearly, what everyone is waiting for is to have lunch outside among all the flowers (just like the name suggests). This was not a bad meal, just a very average one.
Among the Flowers Cafe
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
The inn is delightful; it's full of antiques and typical island furnishings. If you had a grandmother who had a house on Martha's Vineayrd, this would be it. The owner greeted us and was extremely charming. She offered us a delightful table on the back patio. There are also tables inside on the first floor.
Okay, so after having sticker shock all week in Martha's Vineyard, this was the deal of the century. You have two choices for breakfast at the inn: the first one is the Continental Breakfast for just $5, and the other is a full breakfast, which is homemade coffee cake, eggs, bacon, and coffee for just $7.
We chose the larger full breakfast. The coffee cake was outstanding. I loved it. The waitress told us the inn does a special homemade bread item each morning; all are made right here in the inn and each item is just as good. The staff was friendly and always kept our coffee cups full.
It was delightful sitting out on the pretty patio, enjoying a really good breakfast. It had finally stopped raining (of course the day we were leaving) and the sun was warm. The garden was in full bloom. This was truly a find.
I would love to have seen more of the inn. It looked great and the people who were staying here seemed happy. The owner was making the rounds, making sure everyone was happy. You could just tell that she loved her job. Several rooms are in the main house and some surround the patio where we ate our breakfast.
There is a lot of history here as well. The inn was built in 1798 by Captain Thomas Worth. His son, who grew up here, was a war hero in Texas; Ft. Worth is named for the child that grew in this house. Nathanial Hawthorne stayed here and wrote Twice Told Tales in this inn. Daniel Webster was denied a room here, as his skin was too dark. President John F. Kennedy also stayed here while he was a senator from this great state. These walls are filled with history.
We learned later that the inn has a ghost. An old housekeeper still haunts these walls; she's a bit of a troublemaker as ghosts go. We did not see her on this visit, but I will be sure to keep my eyes peeled for her on our next visit.
Edgartown Inn is a great deal for breakfast. I would also consider staying here on our next visit.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 27, 2004
The Edgartown Inn
56 N Water Street
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Atria is in an old house, that is located just on the outskirts of Edgartown. It was a perfect summer evening so we decided to walk from the center of town. It took us about 20 minutes. The walk was enjoyable. Atria is in a more residential part of town. When you come to a pretty, white house, you have found Atria.
Each room of this house is now a separate dining room. The front wraparound porch seems to be the location everyone desires. The upstairs has private dining rooms for functions and the downstairs is a very happening bar and jazz club. We had the kids, but otherwise we would have loved to have checked out some good jazz after dinner. The hostess gave us the grand tour and could not have been sweeter. The staff here all look like movie stars.
Atria has an outstanding wine list, we are told the best on the island. Our waitress was great - she had the perfect pace, we never felt rushed, but we always felt like we were the center of attention for her.
Christian Thorton is the chef and owner, and he is a master with New England produce and shellfish. There were so many wonderful things on the menu, I had a really hard time choosing just one. I finally settled on the area scallops, served over corn pudding. Chris had something that caught all of our attention - a whole local lobster dipped in tempura batter and then deep fried tempura style. Our waitress suggested the kids share a steak (there is no kids’ menu, of course). We both started out with the Fried Green Tomato Caprise Salad.
The food was indeed memorable. The Fried Green Tomato Caprise was your typical Caprise salad with great mozzarella cheese; however, the tomatoes were indeed fried and green. They were delicious. My scallops over the corn pudding was one of the best seafood meals I can remember. The scallops were large and tender and I could have had another bowl of that delicious corn pudding. The kids’ steak was cut in the kitchen and lovingly served with mashed potatoes. The steak was so tender, the kids loved it. However, Chris won the "good pick" award. His tempura lobster was so unique we all ooohed and ahhed when it arrived. However, looks were only half of it - the taste was incredible. We all agreed it was probably the best lobster any of us had ever tasted.
We couldn't resist desserts. Breana had some chocolate cake creation; Chris had fresh, homemade ice cream; and I had the fresh local blueberries with cream. My dessert pick won hands down. It was very simple, but you just can't compete with the local berries this time of the year. Chef Thorton understood the value of local produce in his cooking.
Atria is perfection.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 27, 2004
137 Main Street
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Mad Martha's has three island locations, one in Edgartown, another at Oak Bluffs and a third at Vineyard Haven. Each location does a booming business on warm summer nights.
Mad Martha's is your typical order-at-the-counter scoop shop. Mostly island teens work behind the counter here and you stand in line and wait your turn to get up to the counter and check out the wide variety of ice creams.
It didn't take our family long to each find a favorite flavor. I always got the peppermint - it's loaded with little chunks of peppermint; Breana and Patrick loved the Death by Chocolate; and Chris loved the fresh blueberry.
Every year Mad Martha's wins the Best Ice Cream on the Island poll, and it's no wonder why. The ice cream is pretty darn good! It's hard to find a table to sit at once you have ordered your ice cream. However, that is never a problem for us, as we prefer to get our cones and stroll down the street, licking and dripping our ice cream.
I noticed that Mad Martha's also has an ice cream called the Pig's Delight - it's 12 scoops of ice cream, tons of toppings, hosed down with whipped cream and then loaded up with cherries. I was hoping one night someone would order one - I would have loved to see what this bad boy looked like. We were out of luck, as nobody ordered one any of the nights we were there. However, one of the counter guys promised me they sold a lot of them.
There is something that fits onto Martha's Vineyard with Mad Martha's. The island is about simple pleasures, wrapped in perfect, simple paper. Mad Martha's seems to fit that image - good, real ice cream, served by friendly island teenagers. Walking down the street, enjoying your cone. I understand why these three locations are such a part of the island landscape.
7 North Water Street
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Chesca's is in the Colonial Hotel in the middle of town. It has a clean, modern look to it. It reminds me of a stylish beach house you would find in the pages of Coastal Living.
The wait isn't painful. You can order a drink from the bar and sit out on the porch in one of the white rocking chairs and watch the world (or at least Martha's Vineyard) go by. It's not a bad way to wait for a table.
The front area is a sunny porch. This night we were seated more in the back, near the bar. It was a bit darker, but had a little bit of an urban edge to it with some modern funky furniture.
Our waitress was friendly and very efficient. As busy as she was, she kept things moving and kept a cheerful calm about her.
I seldom comment on the bread, but the bread here is worth the comment. It was a buttery, rosemary bread, and we quickly gobbled up the first loaf-they quickly brought a second one to finish off as well.
I had the lazy lobster, which is a whole lobster, but cleaned, shelled, and taken apart for you. It was juicy and tender and I liked not having to struggle with picking meat from the shell. Chris had the seafood paella; it was a good size and was full of local lobster. I had a taste and the spices and flavor was perfect. We also had an order of long neck clams. They were from the Cape; they were juicy and full of flavor.
The food here is outstanding. It's fresh, innovative, and cooked to perfection. They use a lot of local fish and produce in their cooking. I quickly understood the lines out front, and I knew that when I come back, I too will get my name on the list at Chesca's once again. This is good eating!
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 28, 2004
38 N Water Street
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
The place shares its space with the bike rental shop next door and you have to maneuver a maze of bike rentals to find the front door. Once inside, the place is extremely plain. This is a coffee shop and is about food, not decor.
One afternoon, Patrick and I ducked in for lunch. The counter was full and we had to wait a few minutes for two stools to vacate.
We ordered two tuna fish sandwiches from the girl behind the counter. The sandwiches were good and had a ton of tuna in them. I looked down the counter, and even though this was lunchtime, most of the patrons were enjoying hearty breakfasts of eggs and bacon.
The most fun for us was to sit at the counter and listen to the local gossip. I would say the vast majority of the folks here were locals. (Not chic enough for most tourists). Two local fishermen at opposite ends of the counter were discussing some good catches when some local teenage boys joined in on the conversation. Then the woman behind the counter put in her two cents. It was kind of fun sitting there and pretending we too were locals. Martha's Vineyard does not have fast food chains, so this is one of the hangouts for local teenagers.
The prices were good by island standards; however, in the real world, the prices may seem just a tad on the high side. Most sandwiches and most breakfast items were floating around the $8 mark.
If you want to feel like a local, stop by for a sandwich and a coke. This is a great place to get a bite and catch up on the local gossip.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 15, 2004
Dock Street Coffee Shop
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Their shop is in Edgartown, and sits pretty much as the heart and center of everything. The shop is a typical, white Vineyard building with large glass windows out front. From the street, you can watch the fudge being made. A small elf that has been here forever stirs a vat of fudge in the front of window. It's the kind of mechanical elves that are in department stores at Christmas and bring back fond childhood memories. It's clean and spotless inside.
Large marble tables take up half the room when you enter. Here, a small wooden fence separates you from the candy makers. You are about 10 feet away from the candy makers as they do their magic. The kids loved watching the fudge being worked and made here on the big marble tables. I have to admit, I got into it as well. The candy maker was a Jamaican man and was having fun with the kids.
I am not a huge sweets eater and, honestly, the fudge had little appeal to me. However, it's such an island institution and we did spend at least 15 minutes visiting with the candy maker that I felt I could not leave without a purchase.
There was a lot to choose from, fudge of all kind, bark and brittle. The most unusual fudge I saw was the red cranberry fudge. I figured I would give it a try. It was very sweet, but pretty good. It had a bit of a tart cranberry flavor that was a nice blend with the sweet fudge. I could not eat the whole piece, but that is just me. I can see where someone would crave this stuff.
Murdick's Fudge is one of those things, like black dog t-shirts, that everyone knows is from the Vineyard. It makes a good gift for the dog sitter or the housekeeper from your holiday.
This place has been here well over 100 years. However, it was interesting, as it seemed fairly empty every time we went by. I think the sweet and fudge craze may be on a bit of a decline. I sure hope it sticks around another 100 years, as it really is part of island life.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 28, 2004
21 North Water St.
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Attraction | "Falmouth - Edgartown Ferry"
The Falmouth-Edgartown ferry is the only ferry that runs right downtown to Memorial Wharf in downtown Edgartown. It's by far the most convenient way to arrive into Edgartown. The service runs daily all summer and goes on the weekend only from September 10 until October 11th. It then starts up again on May 28th. They do not operate in the winter. Reservations are required for summer weekends and holidays. All other departures you can walk up and pay for.
When you arrive in Falmouth to catch the ferry, things are a bit confusing. The larger ferry to Oak Bluffs on the Vineyard also leaves from Falmouth. However, the location for each ferry is miles apart. The Oaks Bluffs Ferry has more signage, but only reads "Ferry to Martha's Vineyard." It was very confusing, as we went to the wrong location and had to get back into the car and find Falmouth Marine to board our ferry to Edgartown. It made for some tense car moments and one of those silly family tiffs that makes family travel oh-so-much fun!
However, we did find it. It's located behind a small marine in town. It's somewhat deluxe as ferries go. First off, your car is valet parked for a mere $15 per day. The captain calls the valet on the return and there your car is, waiting at the dock for you with the trunk open! Sweet!
The cost for the ferry is $15 each way. It's a small ferry that does not take cars. However, it will allow you to bring your bike. The crew is helpful with your luggage, and the service is exceptional.
The ferry is called the Pied Piper. On board there are two decks. The bottom one is enclosed and has a full bar and snack shop. The top deck is open and allows for some great views along the coast. We were told at certain times of the year that you can see whales from the ferry. We weren't so lucky on this trip.
Going to the island, the seas were a bit choppy. However, coming home, the sun was out and the water was smooth. It was like being on a pleasure-boat cruise. The whole ride takes about an hour.
The ferry docks in the center of Edgartown, and if you are staying at a hotel in town, they will send a bellman to meet the ferry and help you with your luggage.
The ferry ride was a great way to arrive into Martha's Vineyard and is a memorable part of our stay.
The web page is Falmouth-Edgartown Ferry
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 14, 2004
Falmouth Edgartown Ferry
278 Scranton Ave.
Edgartown/Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Attraction | "The Black Dog"
Then the master built a small tavern in Vineyard Haven that opened in 1971. It was a small place that was to be opened year round, and it served the best chowder and pies on the island. Soon they opened a seperate bakery. The name was Black Dog and the logo was a simple silhouette of the black lab.
The tavern was a smash hit, and so was the bakery. In 1979, the tavern started selling a simple t-shirt with the dog logo. It soon became a smash too, and everyone just had to have one of the Black Dog t-shirts.
The t-shirts became so popular, that in 1997, they opened an apperal store in Edgartown. The little tavern was now a little empire.
Things really became popular when President Clinton visited the island and bought several of his love gifts to Ms. Lewinsky from the Black Dog. The name quickly became a household name across the whole U.S.
It's no longer cool for islanders to wear Black Dog wear. It is simply for the tourist. A waitress at Among the Flowers told us this fact when we were proudly wearing our Black Dog wear!
The store in Edgartown is large and has every kind of t-shirt, hoodie, and sweatshirt you can imagine with the famous logo on it. The store is mobbed with happy tourists with arms full of Black Dog products. We did our share of damage here!
Black Dog keeps growing and sadly they are now opening stores off the island. This year they have opened stores in Newport, P'Town, Falmouth, and Chatham. I prefer it when a store remains local; when you see the logo and you know the person bought it on the island. I fear soon it will be sold all over the country, and it will then lose its Vineyard charm. Did you buy yours in Edgartown or in Tulsa?
However, as of now, it remains a Vineyard success story and something no tourist can miss on his or her visit to Martha's Vineyard. You haven't really been here unless you can wear or carry a Black Dog t-shirt back home with you.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 15, 2004
Black Dog/Edgartown General Store
11 South Summer Street
Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard 02539
The hardest part of the bike ride on Martha's Vineyard is driving in the towns. We were in Edgartown, and it was a bit of an obstacle course to maneuver around cars and pedestrians.
Once outside of the village center, driving was a breeze. Martha's Vineyard (especially around Edgartown) is fairly flat and easy to cycle. We had an eight-year-old girl with us on a very small bike frame, so we needed to keep things simple.
Our first bike trip was to the easiest beach to get to from Edgartown and is one of the most scenic. It's simply called Lighthouse Beach and is a small beach that surrounds the Edgartown lighthouse. Getting to the beach was less than a mile of flat road. It could have easily been walked to from Edgartown. Every beach, shop, restaurant, and public building on the island has a bike rack, so it's never a problem to find a place to store your bike. We locked our bikes and walked down to the beach.
This beach was great, a bit rocky, but had a lot of character with the picturesque, white lighthouse guarding the bathers. There were a lot of kids on this beach, and I think it was popular because it was so easy to get to from town.
The beach also had a small pond on the opposite side of the lighthouse, which seemed to be a big draw for the kids. Tons of small kids were there catching crabs in pails and finding other small marine life. I always marvel at how kids are able to make new friends at the drop of a hat, with no pretense like we adults have. However, all the fun soon stopped when a young shark was trapped in one of the small pools. He was probably about 4 feet long, just big enough to give every parent a bit of a scare and get the kids out of the pond. (Was that the Jaws music I just heard?)
The kids thought the shark pond was totally cool, but dad felt different, so we got back on the bikes and headed around the neighborhood around Lighthouse Beach. The houses were incredible. These are summer beach homes and each one was a lot larger than the house we call home! They had sweeping lawns down to the beach. A guy can dream, can't he? We peddled by the Harbor View Hotel, which is a grand hotel overlooking the harbor. It has a large inviting porch where folks were just rocking and letting the world go by.
We did find one beach that was somewhere between Lighthouse Beach, but not as far up as Joseph Sylvia Beach. I looked on several maps and none of them have the name of this piece of beach named. However, it was very clean and had a few families on it. The water was calm and the kids had a ball on it. They met a friendly lab and played fetch with him for hours. This may have been a private beach, and we were just too green to figure it out. In any case, it made for a delightful few hours.
The kids then begged to take the small ferry over to Chappaquiddick Island. They really had no interest in seeing the island, but they sure wanted to ride the ferry. The ferry leaves from Edgartown and is a small, flat ferry that only carries three cars at a time and as many bodies and bikes as it can carry. The line for cars was pretty long, but with a bike, you can move up to the front of the line. The ferry only takes a few moments, but is a fun old-fashioned sort of ride. The kids loved it!
There isn't a lot to see on Chappaquiddick; even the old Dyke Bridge where Ted Kennedy had his accident is now torn down. The road was gravel and got a little steep, and Breana started having a hard time keeping up, so we headed back to the ferry. On the way, we noticed a very pristine beach club and decided maybe we could pay the admission and spend a few hours here. When we approached the guard, he pretty much laughed at us and told us the wait for membership is just over two years. Sorry!
We did find a bit of beach, right next to the ferry on Chappy. It was a small little nothing strip of beach, but it had lots of kids. The water here very calm and it was fun to watch all the boat traffic float by. We watched a group of kids taking sailing lessons and our two kids wanted to take the class as well. I have to admit, it did look like fun.
All too soon we were back on the ferry and again fighting the Edgartown traffic. We parked our bikes at the Colonial Inn bike rack for the night and did our town exploring on foot.
The next day we agreed to take a longer bike trip, and we took Herring Creek Road to South Beach. This was a very easy bike trail and one we all enjoyed. The trail is very groomed and very flat. It was easy for the whole family. It's a pleasant ride: in some spots there are beautiful homes and in other spots pretty little vineyard ponds and some views of the harbor. The whole ride to South Beach is about 4 miles.
We loved the beach. It's a big broad, white-sand beach with a life guard, sweeping dunes, and even a porta-pottie. It had some fairly good surf and the kids loved playing wave tag in the Atlantic. This to me was what I pictured as Martha's Vineyard, and I was not let down. The beach was somewhat empty for a summer day, but I will admit, it was a bit cloudy.
On the way back, we stopped at a little grocery store and got some cokes in a bottle, some Cape Cod chips, and some great homemade crab dip and had a little picnic on the lawn. It was one of those impromptu travel moments that will stay with me for a long time. Everyone was happy, stress free, and enjoying our little family.
All too soon we were back to our hotel, and we had to turn in our bikes the next morning. We were happy we rented bikes and can tell you this was the only way to travel.
We did not make it around the island, but many avid bikers do. I am told that Gay Head Cliffs are worth the ride (although you will run into some hills here). We got just a taste, but we will be back for more!