Although the beaches, hiking, and outdoor recreation are often thought of as the best part of visiting the island, shopping on Martha's Vineyard can be an adventure in itself. For many years local lawmakers have done all they can to preserve the rural, small-town character of the island. Because of this, the majority of the businesses on the island are truly local. Even some of the businesses that have blossomed into bigger brands (think Black Dog) are rooted on the island.
Many of the businesses in Vineyard Haven are concentrated on Main Street, just one street inland from the ferry terminal. This historic street has accommodations, restaurants, shops, galleries, coffee shops and more. Highlights include the Night Heron Gallery and Martha's Vineyard Made where you can find a wide collection of island made products from our talented makers and creators.
When it comes to needing basics like socks, underwear and basics checkout Brickmans, a Main Street institution since 1913. For a wide variety of Vineyard souvenirs, quality gifts and homegoods don't miss a chance to browse Rainy Day or Coastal Supply. For the outdoor enthusiasts stop in to Green Room, a beloved outfitter that got started as a surf and skate shop and now sells popular brand name clothing, sportswear, accessories and footwear with something for everyone.
Oak Bluffs has its most densely populated downtown shopping district on Circuit Avenue, with a bit more on nearby Kennebec Avenue. Circuit Avenue is the “main drag” in Oak Bluffs with a plethora of retail businesses stretching for almost a half mile, including favorites like the Black Dog, Vineyard Vines, Basics and Eastaway Clothing, Stefanie Wolf Designs and more. From clothing to beach essentials and games, jewelry, art, and fast-casual to fine dining, this street has something for everyone. At the bottom of Circuit Avenue you will find even more opportunities to shop along the Oak Bluffs Harbor at Dockside Marketplace & Marina, and ample ice cream and candy shops to fuel your spending spree.
Downtown Edgartown is loaded with historic homes and storefront buildings dating back to the age of early whaling captains in the 1800s. Explore their many shops and galleries while appreciating the architecture of the stores themselves. Start your shopping at “The Triangle” where you'll find Granite Five & Ten, the closest thing you'll get to a department store on Martha's Vineyard, with everything from fabric, to hardware, party supplies, home furnishings and more. Nearby Donaroma's offers a tranquil space for shopping for plants and unique gifts, and you can treat yourself to a beer at nearby Bad Martha's along the way. Travel down Upper Main Street to Main Street and you will find the idyllic streets of Edgartown dotted with high-end boutiques from local designers, artists, jewelers, clothiers. From sunglasses to swimwear, beach essentials to fine art, shoppers delight in all the quaint local businesses that Edgartown has to offer. You'll also find beloved national brands like Lululemon, Vineyard Vines, Black Dog and Charleston Shoe Co for your shopping pleasure.
As you get further “up-Island” the landscape becomes more rural, and opportunities for shopping are fewer and further between, which we think makes them more special. We love to pop into Middletown Nursery for a wide selection of plants but also a well curated selection of gifts and homegoods. Nearby Martha's Vineyard Glassworks is a state of the art glass blowing facility where you can watch artists at work and shop their gorgeous gallery of wares and sculptures. Don't miss a chance to find joy in Tending Joy, a vibrant and uplifting gift shop that sells inspirational fair-trade gifts from around the world. West Tisbury is also home to the famed Alley's General Store, the island's oldest retail business since 1858. This shop has always offered a wide collection of merchandise and even to its own set of fully functioning Post Office boxes. When it comes to food shopping you'll find Cronig's Market up-island location here as well as North Tisbury Market, both of which offer many local and organic staples sure to satisfy.
Shopping opportunities in Chilmark are also more limited than the bustling Main Streets of our down-island towns but its outposts are unique and beloved. The Chilmark General Store is an institution in its own right, offering groceries, provisions and their popular pizza, which has been known to be enjoyed by a handful of celebrities on the store's busy front porch.
Chilmark is also home to Menemsha, the island's iconic fishing village where you'll recognize scenery from the movie JAWS. You'll find the freshest seafood around at Larsen's Fish Market and Menemsha Fish Market with local catches coming into the dock located right behind them. Menemsha is also home to a handful of galleries and boutiques including the Ruel Gallery home to the work of painter Colin Ruel and his talented jewelry designer wife Nettie Kent.
The shopping district at the Aquinnah Cliffs was originally built up as the popularity of the Gay Head Light grew and today it's home to a short strip of galleries, food stands, and gift shops. While you are visiting the majestic landmark that is the Aquinnah Cliffs the Aquinnah Shops offer a unique place to look for a memento. Many of these shops are owned by members of the native Wampanoag Tribe and some of the items for sale, like Wampum jewelry, have been created as time-honored traditions for generations. There is also a restaurant that sits atop the cliffs, aptly named the Aquinnah Shop Restaurant, with the best views of any dining destination on-island.. Like the other up-island towns, Aquinnah is very rural and other businesses located in Aquinnah require some driving.
Martha's Vineyard is home to a number of artists, jewelers, and craftspeople and their locally made item makes for the perfect gift or souvenir. It is worth spending some time driving to artists galleries as you often get the chance to speak with the artists themselves. We highly recommend visiting the Granary Gallery, Martha's Vineyard Art Association & Old Sculpin Gallery and the Louisa Gould gallery for a wide selection of fine art from local artists. West Tisbury's Field Gallery makes for the perfect place to stop and enjoy whimsical sculptures in their garden, we recommend packing a picnic. Visiting Martha's Vineyard art galleries gives you the possibility of running into the artists themselves where you can hear from them directly about their process and inspiration.
In addition to local galleries, Martha's Vineyard makers and creators pop up at local weekly markets throughout the summer months. The Chilmark Flea offers high-quality handmade items from Vineyard artists and craftsmen, antiques, imports, and vintage finds, on display at this open-air market at the Chilmark Community Church every Wednesday and Saturday in the summer season.
Artists and makers also sell their goods seasonally at the Oak Bluffs Open Market on Sundays and the Vineyard Artisans Market every Thursday and Sunday at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury. Then there's First Friday Vineyard Haven is a large local street festival that takes place on the first Friday of every month in downtown Vineyard Haven with ample opportunities to buy direct from island artists too.
When people are on vacation, unwinding is often the name of the game. With many island restaurants and bars closing on the earlier side (last call is usually around 1am) many choose to soak up the relaxing island vibes at their home, or rental home. Due to what seem like laws left over from puritanical times, alcohol can only be purchased at a liquor store in Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown. Many of the liquor stores on-island offer a wide selection of beer, wine, spirits, and more, and will even deliver to any town on Island. Be prepared to pay a fee, and get your orders in early for same-day delivery.
As of 2020, Martha's Vineyard is also now home to two cannabis dispensaries open to the public for adult use. Both accept medical and recreational customers and no appointment is necessary. Island Time is located off of State Road in Vineyard Haven and Fine Fettle is located on State Road in West Tisbury.
The Island has several grocery stores including two Stop & Shop locations, one in Vineyard Haven steps from the Steamship Authority ferry terminal, and one at Upper Main Street in Edgartown. There are also two locations of the island's independent grocer Cronig's Market which offers an up-island location in West Tisbury and a down-island location in Vineyard Haven. Vineyard Grocer is another great option for food shopping, with a wide range of products including many Brazilian specialties. Tony's Market in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown Meat & Fish are the only two grocery convenience stores where you can also purchase beer and wine. but also offers a local bounty beyond what you can find in most places.
With Farm stands, creameries, and seafood markets located all over the island it is entirely possible to skip the traditional grocery store and shop 100% local for your home-cooked meals. Wednesday and Saturday mornings in season the West Tisbury Farmers Market is held at the Agricultural Hall, in West Tisbury. This is a very robust farmers market, with locally raised or produced produce, poultry, seafood, chocolate, cheese, flowers, seasalt, coffee, and a wide selection of prepared, and ready-to-eat foods. We highly recommend doing your best to source your food from our local farmers and fishermen, we promise you'll be rewarded by its flavor.