This summer I rented a house on Martha’s Vineyard with my girlfriends. A lot of my friends went to really fancy schools in Boston, so they’ve been going to Martha’s Vineyard since undergrad, but this was my first time.
I had zero expectations coming into the trip, I just knew I would be on a charming island with my friends. In the end the 7 days we spent on the island is my favorite thing I’ve done all summer.
Martha’s Vineyard is nice because some areas feel like the woods and some areas feel like the beach. I really liked being able to tap into both of those vibes each day.
Before I jump into things to do, here are some quick things I learned.
We drove cars onto the ferry so that we would have them all week. This was the best decision, it made outings simple, it made grocery shopping easier (buy as much as you can ahead of time because groceries on the vineyard are more expensive).
Related: 3 Easy Plus Size Nautical Outfits
Be sure to be kind and speak to locals, they have the inside track on interesting events and things to do that you wont find online.
As a black person, being on Martha’s Vineyard felt amazing. It’s not something I can quite put into words, but if you know… you know. If you don’t know you should check out this NYTimes article on the Nourishing Magic of Martha’s Vineyard on Black Americans.
I left Martha’s Vineyard with short term goals to bring my parents there next summer and long term goals of owning a home there for my kids… it’s that special.
In the meantime, for those who want to plan a trip there here are the five things you *have* to do… the list is longer than five actually, but I couldn’t leave any of these places out!
Indulge in Sweet Treats
We went for ice cream at Vineyard Scoops one day and had the best time. The ice-cream was pretty simple, but they had lots of flavors and ample seating inside with AC. There are also cute benches outside. It’s cash only.
My favorite sweet treat was the fudge at Murdicks. I got the double chocolate (because I’m greedy, haha) and it was super rich, but it took me all week to finish it so I didn’t mind.
Also, if you go out at night, don’t go home without stopping by “backdoor donuts”, best apple fritter I’ve ever had and it was as big as my head!
SQUAD! Aren’t my homegirls the cutest?
I documented all of my outfits in this post
Enjoy Magical Mornings
Mornings in Martha’s Vineyard are pretty special.
Every morning at 7:30am, a group of women called the Polar Bears heads into the inkwell for an inspired and empowering water aerobics session. The Polar Bears are an institution, they even have an entry in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, DC. My time with the Polar Bears was one of the most special things I’ve experienced. Water is such a healing element for me, a morning workout always elevates my mood and to close out a morning water workout being embraced by strong and beautiful women of all ages… it was powerful.
They’re all so loving and at then end of your first Polar Bear experience they induct you and make you an official Polar Bear. I won’t give you any spoilers, but you should wake up early at least once and do this.
I spent one morning with my morning cup of coffee on Lambert’s Cove and it was a perfect place to greet the sun. A few things to note– it’s a semi-private beach so be sure to look up the best times for a non-resident to hang out.
Tip from a Local: if you like to swim the waves are gentle so you can swim laps in the ocean with ease– I plan to do that a lot next time.
Hang with the Locals
I went to Atlantic Fish and Chop House twice for the amazing Charbroiled Oysters and casual company of the locals. Skip a table and sit outside on the deck. It’s open seating and we made friends with lots of locals around the fire pit.
On Wednesday’s head to Orange Peel Bakery for their epic pizza night. Here’s how their website describes it: Pizza Night at the Orange Peel Bakery happens nine months a year, from April to November. The suggested donation is $20 per adult and $10 per child. If you can’t afford that much and you’re hungry, you’ll get fed one way or another. That’s what Orange Peel Bakery is about. Community. It might look like a private party, but don’t let that dissuade you-it’s not. Walk right up, drop your toppings off at the pizza table, say hello, and ease into the scene. BYOTS (Bring Your Own Toppings to Share) and BYOB.
Recharge at the Yoga Barn
From the moment I walked into the Yoga Barn on Martha’s Vineyard, I felt a warmth and kindness from everyone who was there. The yoga barn staff helped me get comfortable and set up right away. The aerial yoga instructor, Jennifer Delorenzo was kind and patient with me during our session. Since I had done aerial before, I knew that inversions (going upside down) was really difficult for me– Jennifer listened to me, gave me some pointers, encouraged me to do my best and breath and by the end of the session I was doing inversions that I didn’t think I could pull off. I actually cried at the end of my session, which speaks to the type of powerful release that can happen through body positive fitness!
Have you been to Martha’s Vineyard before? What places do you suggest?