Martha’s Vineyard is one of New England’s most classic, quintessential seaside vacation spots. As locals know, relaxing on the beach and in the water—although amazing ways to enjoy the island—aren’t the only joys to experience. Below, DEPARTURES culls a list of splashy new openings and old staples to help curate the perfect itinerary for visiting the vineyard this summer.
What to Do
Orchard Mile, a fashion platform with a cult-like following, is taking the e-commerce world by storm. The site allows you to completely personalize and curate your shopping experience, creating your “mile” as if you were building your own shopping street filled with favorite brands and boutiques. This summer, Orchard Mile has added a shopping gem to the already quaint and lively center of Edgartown.
Co-founder of Orchard Mile and longtime Martha’s Vineyard resident, Julia LeClair, brings her “mile” to life with the company’s first-ever Pop-Up shop. LeClair has selected some of her favorite designers and items to fill this adorably chic and stylish store, including Cynthia Rowley, Temperley London, Solid & Striped, Blanc & Eclare and Sachin & Babi, to name a few. And while strolling the collections, be sure to take a look up to the walls where you’ll find stunning seaside prints by Natalie Obradovich, an NYC and LA-based travel photographer. (22 Winter St. Edgartown, hours of operation: Sunday - Thursday 10-6pm, Friday - Saturday 10-7pm, open through Labor Day weekend)
West Tisbury Farmers’ Market, founded in 1974, and the island’s oldest and largest market, is a perfect outing rain or shine. Every Wednesday and Friday mornings through October 5th you’ll find dozens of vendors selling fresh and local products. “Each vendor is an exceptional human being that has an interesting, productive life,” wrote Ethel Sherman, beloved late vendor and well-known local, in her self-published book titled ‘West Tisbury Farmers’ Market: Behind the Scenes.’ Do as the locals do and check out this weekly Martha’s Vineyard staple. (The Grange Hall – West Tisbury, Summer Hours 6/9-10/6 Saturdays 9-12pm, 6/20-8/29 Wednesdays 9-12pm)
One of the most picturesque scenes on the vineyard goes to Tea Lane Farm in Chilmark. Between the six (of fourteen) acres of land devoted to organic cut flowers, the 250-year-old farmhouse, and several barns throughout, this property is a beautiful landscape to take in. On top of designing and arranging for weddings and events, and making custom arrangements for the West Tisbury market, owner Krishana Collins has recently had fun hosting and teaching flower arranging for private groups. Collins is entertaining the idea of continuing with these intimate sessions, depending on the farm’s bandwidth at the time of inquiry. If you’re lucky enough to catch an opening in the schedule and book with Collins, you’ll walk away with a wealth of horticulture knowledge, a beautiful arrangement in hand, and an afternoon straight out of a storybook (firstname.lastname@example.org, 774-563-8274)
Where to Stay
The Lark Hotels continue to upgrade and grow their boutique hotel group. The Sydney, initially comprised of eight accommodations in the original 19th century home of whaling captain Charles Willams Fisher, has just expanded and added a second adjacent building with 14 more elegant, charming rooms. Located in the heart of Edgartown, this stylish Martha’s Vineyard gem is a stone’s throw away from a selection of gourmet restaurants, specialty shops, and the Edgartown Harbor. (22 Winter St., Edgartown; 508-939-9299)
The Lark Hotel’s newest addition, The Richard, has just opened its doors this June 2018. Self-proclaimed as “a retreat fit for a king,” this 16-room boutique hotel is lush and modern while keeping up with the surrounding vineyard charm, the sizable front porch and billowing hydrangea bushes are proof of that. The Richard, located just five minutes from both The Sydney and The Christopher, is the third hotel in the group’s Edgartown properties. (104 Main St., Edgartown; 774-310-1055)
Where to Eat
Black Sheep Mercantile, a local, cozy store, and café in downtown Edgartown, has opened up a second location closer to the airport. This new spot has allowed the shop to expand their food and merchandise offerings, provide parking, and include plenty of seating. That is unless you want to take it to go and head to the beach, of course. (17 Airport Road, Edgartown; 508-338-7770; open daily 8am-6pm)
In the wake of 7a foods success, a West Tisbury restaurant dedicated to utilizing all that their farm has to offer, husband and wife team Daniel Sauer (Chef/Farmer) and Wenonah Madison Sauer (Events Coordinator) opened Sea Smoke. Following true laid-back island fashion, this barbeque joint doesn’t take reservations, although there are indoor and outdoor seating options and a takeout window, as well as online ordering. Sea Smoke is in full swing for the 2018 season and will run through Columbus Day, eventually hoping to extend the season to last from May 1st through December 24th. The restaurant adds to the menu weekly, just recently adding jerk wings seasoned with honey, lime, and garlic, which have been a fan favorite so far. (7 Oakland Avenue, Oak Bluffs; 508-338-7404; open daily 5-10pm)
Behind the Bookstore, quite literally located directly behind Edgartown Books, has filled the gap for a breakfast and brunch need in the vineyard. From coffee and pastries to the breakfast menu and bagel bar options, and extending to the lunch, dinner and cocktail menus, there isn’t a shortage of fun, flavorful farm-to-table choices. The menus, which are based around the island’s offerings and evolve as the seasons do, are also growing in number as this year the restaurant has added an “Island Time” menu for 3-5pm in the afternoon. Whether you have an Iced Mint Latte in your hand or something from the fun spritz menu, you’ll be sure to enjoy this casual-upscale restaurant. (46 Main St, Edgartown, MA)