As an island, Martha's Vineyard has a diverse variety of living harbors and today we're talking about three of our favorites: Edgartown, Menemsha, and Oak Bluffs Harbor.
Once a major whaling port and home to over one hundred whaling captains in the 1800s, Edgartown Harbor still keeps to its historic charm, but is now decorated with a large variety of boutique stores, gorgeous hotels with breathtaking views, and plenty of restaurants that range from quick takeout to fine dining. If you're looking for something a little more upscale, head over to Atlantic Fish & Chophouse or Bettini for a gourmet experience. If you're visiting with family, the Seafood Shanty is a great stop for some oysters or burgers. You can enjoy stunning views just steps away at the Edgartown Memorial Wharf, which overlooks the small ferry to Chappaquiddick Island.
When the sun sets, you'll often find families and fishermen alike casting their lures just over the edge of the docks in the summer. Edgartown Harbor happens to be a wonderful place for squidding! On the other side of the harbor sits the historic Edgartown Harbor Light, which offers magnificent views of Vineyard Sound and is considered the best spot for wedding photos on the island. Whether you're in the mood to indulge in rich and unique Massachusetts history or to go on a shopping spree, Edgartown Harbor is sure to fulfill your desires and leave you wanting to come back for more!
Menemsha is a small fishing village that is considered an angler's paradise. The area was once famous for its abundance of swordfish, and you can still find plenty of fishermen casting off of the jetty day and night. Each year, the Menemsha Harbor hosts the Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby in September, where people young and old compete for record-breaking catches. One of the most notable monuments on the island, the Swordfish Harpooner Sculpture, stands tall above the dunes of Menemsha Beach, overlooking the bustling harbor. Also home to Larsen's Fish Market and Menemsha Fish Market, Menemsha is the best place on Martha's Vineyard to purchase fresh fish.
Even if you're not into fishing (or fish in general) Menemsha has so much more to offer. Menemsha Beach is a wonderful spot for a day at the beach, and if you're lucky you can find sea glass of a variety of colors. Along the harbor sits a public pier that is perfect for a summer stroll. If you look closely, you may be able to see some jellyfish and starfish right off the dock! Just up the road are some beachy boutiques, such as Pandora's Box and Menemsha Blues. Famous for their lobster roll, swordfish sandwich, and soft serve ice cream, the Menemsha Galley is only one of the several eateries in the area. Just across from the Menemsha Galley sits the Bike Ferry, which can take bikers across a small stretch of ocean to Aquinnah in a jiffy. Make sure to catch a Menemsha sunset while you're there, you will not be disappointed!
Oak Bluffs Harbor
On your ferry ride to Martha's Vineyard, you may dock in the Oak Bluffs Harbor. Oak Bluffs is a beautiful destination with magnificent seaside views and buzzing nightlife. Housing the largest marina on Martha's Vineyard, Oak Bluffs Harbor is very popular among recreational boaters and fishermen alike. What makes Oak Bluffs so unique is the atmosphere. Restaurants and bars line the harbor, such as Nancy's and Lookout Tavern, making for the perfect stop after a long day on the boat.
Just outside the ferry terminal sits Inkwell Beach, which is a beautiful strip of beach with crystal blue waters. Neighboring this historic beach is one of the island's most picturesque locations; Ocean Park. Dotted with colorful gingerbread cottages and a stunning pavilion, Ocean Park is just steps away from the harbor, with plenty of shopping and quick bites nearby. If you're visiting with little ones, The Flying Horses is just a short walk from the ferry, and is a must-visit for families!