Martha's Vineyard Travel Guide

Planning for Martha's Vineyard on any summer day is a fit, planning it 4th of July weekend is something to reckon with. A month to the date I started thinking of where we would go for Brian's birthday which happens to fall on one of the most expensive times to travel in America. It's close to July 4th and it's also in the summer so it's a no win for bargain traveling.

So anyways I started looking into hotel deals and really there were none. All the nice hotels had been booked and what was left over was super expensive. I dug deep, took a deep breath and reserved the last available room for that weekend at the Mansion House Inn and Spa. All the blogs I read recommended staying at the Summer Camp but alas there was no room there. So we settled for the Mansion House. The reviews were good so I had some comfort but I didn't know what to expect. 

 Amazing views from the cupola at the hotel. 

Before you ask why we had to go there. Let me explain. We had just come from a two week vacation in South America and we were tired; didn't want to fly anywhere, didn't want the hustle of planning something grand so Martha's Vineyard seemed fit and also why not. This New England gem is an hour away from the mainland it was time to go.

I had planned on taking the car on the ferry but spots on the ferry were fully booked so that wasn't an option. It worked out in the end because we saved money leaving the car in Woodshole and public transportation on the vineyard is super convenient. Anyways thank you for reading my long spiel below is a travel guide based on my experience.

  1. When you decide to go book a hotel well in advance. You will get better rates than we got. Alternatively you can do a day trip so you won't need a hotel. There are options to stay in Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven and Edgartown. We ended up staying in Vineyard Haven at the Mansion House and I fully recommend staying here. They have an indoor pool, spa and fully equipped work out area. Also if you practice yoga they have regular classes that you can go to as part of your stay. I also recommend staying in Vineyard Haven because it is close to the ferry. It's a five minute walk from where the ferry drops you. Summer Camp Hotel is also very convenient if you are staying in Oak Bluffs. It is also a five minute walk from the ferry.
  2. If you plan on taking your car reserve a spot on the ferry. The ferry goes to Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven so pick one. If you are like us and plan on leaving your car in Woodshole where the ferry stop is located use the link above for the Steamship Authority to track where they have available parking. The locations change depending on availability so check. You will drive your car to that location and then take a bus to the ferry. The bus is free. It's all very straight forward once you get to the parking location. The ferry ride is $17 round trip. The round trip fare for cars is about $137. Here is a link to the ferry schedule
  3. Plan on using public transportation. It is very convenient because you do not have to worry about parking. The downside is that you are on a schedule. It could take an hour to get somewhere where as if you had a car it could take half an hour because you don't have to make connections. So plan accordingly. We had two days there so we didn't really mind. There are bus schedules at Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs as well as visitor centers that can help you. We bought a day pass which saved us money. We used bus 13 ALOT. It's the bus that goes to all three cities. Bus 8 will take you to South Beach. Bus 3 and 5 will take you to Aquinnah from Vineyard Haven. 
  4. Make reservations for restaurants because they do fill up. We had an excellent dinner at the Alchemy in Edgartown which I fully recommend.
  5. Here is an itinerary that you can modify. 
As you can see we were able to see the entire island in two days. If you have a car it would probably be faster but with the bus it was super convenient for us.

Here we are on the ferry.

 So excited that we made it. We started with Oak Bluffs before heading to our hotel.

The Summer Camp Hotel.

Then we went to Vineyard Haven and later on Aquinnah. Clearly we didn't have great weather at Gay Cliffs and Moshup beach.

This is where you change buses to go to Aquinnah.

On Day two the weather was perfect. We headed to Edgartown and the beach.

 I matched with the flowers.


And then it was beach time.

Hope this helps.

Listening is loving...

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