Don’t dismiss Martha’s Vineyard just because you’ve docked your boat for the season. The East Coast crowd may flock here in summer months, but true MVPs know the best time to visit is after everyone flees on the Labor Day ferry.
Anywhere Like Heaven
Check into Hob Knob (128 Main Street, Edgartown; 508-627-9510), a boutique hotel with eco cred (low-toxicity paints, organic cleaning supplies), farm-fresh breakfasts, and all-natural spa services.
You’re So Vain
Rent a bike at one of many shops (Martha’s Bike Rentals even delivers; 508-693-6593) and pedal through empty streets and nature trails. Beginners should take the scenic down-island trail from Vineyard Haven to Oak Bluffs to Edgartown for seaside views without steep hills. The Schwinn set will want to trek six miles up island from Chilmark Center to Aquinnah on Moshup Trail, breezing past old Vineyard farmhouses and lush landscapes, hitting Quitsa Pond Lookout in time for sunset.
When flora and foliage aren’t soothing enough (stress can be such a beach), schedule a Vineyard classic facial at The Spa at Mansion House (9 Main Street, Vineyard Haven; 508-693-2200). The treatment will leave your skin as relaxed and refreshed as the laid-back Vineyard lifestyle.
They Just Want You to Be There
Fuel up at latte literati fave Beetlebung (32 Beach Street, Vineyard Haven; 508-696-7122), then spend the day browsing indie boutiques in ferry-side town Vineyard Haven. Pick up leather Chan Luu bracelets or antique bedding at eclectic emporium Midnight Farm (18 Water-Cromwell Lane; 508-693-1997). The shop is open year-round and ships anywhere; you’ll want to stock up on its legendary mango lime salsa.
Coming Around Again
Saltwater (79 Beach Road; 508-338-4666) is a family-run restaurant that specializes in fresh and classic fare. Slurp local mussels at the raw bar as you ponder the panorama of the Vineyard Haven lagoon. After dinner, saddle up to the bar at The Wharf (Lower Main Street, Edgartown; 508-627-9966) to meet the locals and hear colorful fish tales. If you’re lucky, one of the island’s resident bands will be performing.
Go ahead and start mis-v-haven.