Riding Through Martha’s Vineyard

On our second day in Cape Cod, we hopped over to Martha’s Vineyard to do some bike riding, beaching, and of course, eating.

There are several multiple ferries going to Martha’s Vineyard, the two main ferries being Steamship Authority and Island Queen. Island Queen only takes cash and has a more limited schedule, so I suggest Steamship Authority.

If you take Steamship Authority, you don’t need to make a reservation online if you are only passengers traveling. If you are taking a car onto the island, then you must make one. This next tip is important: do NOT drive to the ferry to park and get on it! There is no parking! Only drive there if you’re bringing your car on board. Instead, drive to either of the two parking lots (about 10-20 minutes away, you’ll see them on the website) and take the shuttle to the ferry.

We wanted to spend the entire day on Martha’s Vineyard, so we took the earliest and latest ferries possible. We took the ferry to Oak Bluffs, since our dinner reservations were there, but you can also take it to Vineyard Haven, another town west of Oak Bluffs.

As soon as we got off the boat, we headed into Oak Bluffs to rent bikes. You do not need to make a reservation—there are many bike rental stores right by the docks. We went to Anderson’s Bike Rentals, a little family-owned place. We mapped out a route from Oak Bluffs > South Beach > Edgartown > Vineyard Haven and back. The bike paths are very easy to follow—well-marked and wide at most places.

Martha's Vineyard map

We rode the nine miles or so down to South Beach, past gorgeous homes, marshes, little beaches, and the Jaw’s Bridge (yes, from the movie).

Martha's Vineyard Lighthouse

South Beach was fairly crowded for the morning, with rougher surf since it’s on the Atlantic side. But after riding in the sun we couldn’t wait to jump in!

South Beach State Park

South Beach State Park

Once we started feeling hungry, we rode north to Edgartown, an adorable little town with shops and restaurants and weather-beaten shingled homes.

Edgartown

We grabbed a seat at The Seafood Shanty, a huge restaurant right on the harbor, and ordered some New England specialties: clams on the half shell and lobster rolls.

Seafood Shanty lobster roll

Seafood Shanty clams

My personal favorite lobster roll is from Luke’s, but Seafood Shanty’s was delicious and brimming with sweet lobster meat and not too much mayo.

We grabbed some ice cream and walked around the town a bit, but we realized time was ticking and we probably couldn’t make it to Vineyard Haven, so we rode back to Oak Bluffs instead.

Back in Oak Bluffs, we popped into a few shops, and changed out of our sweaty, salty clothes.

Oak Bluffs

Before dinner we stopped at Offshore Ale Co. to try some brews—very welcome in the heat. Our favorite was the East Chop Lighthouse.

Offshore Ale Co.

We didn’t have to walk too far to dinner—it was right next door, at 20byNine.

20ByNine

20ByNine is known for its extensive selection of whiskies. I went for a whiskey cocktail, which tasted nothing of whiskey, but it looked tropical and was delicious.

Whiskey cocktail

What seemed to become a theme for this trip, we started with a charcuterie plate. This one had very interesting accoutrements.

20ByNine charcuterie board

Next up was a fairly sizable portion of homemade pate–delicious and creamy.

20ByNine pate

Followed by tune tartare.

Tuna tartare

Then duck with chorizo and rice.

20ByNine duck

For something sweet, a deconstructed s’more.

Smores

We were impressed by all of the dishes at 20byNine, and it was a really phenomenal dinner. I highly recommend it if you’re in Oak Bluffs.

Stuffed to the gills, we boarded the final ferry bound for Falmouth, watching the sun set as we went.

Martha's Vineyard sunset

Martha’s Vineyard ended up being one of our most favorite parts of the Cape Cod trip, and we will surely be back again!

Dana

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