A small island off the coast of Massachusets, Martha’s Vineyard is quintessential New England charm at it’s finest. Originally inhabited by the Wampanoag people, it was named Martha’s Vineyard by the English explorer Bartholomew Gosnold after his mother-in-law or his daughter, both named Martha. The English began settlement of the island after it was purchased (along with Nantucket and Elizabeth Islands) by Mr. Mayhew of Watertown, Massachusets (where we frequent Target these days).
Just like it’s sister island of Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard was put on the map in the 19th century by the whaling industry. If you’ve read Moby Dick, you know about the ships sent around the world to hunt for whales for their oil and blubber. Both islands had a booming whale trade that lead to lots of prosperity. When petroleum was discovered in Pennsylvania and meant a cheaper source of oil for lamps, the whaling industry almost entirely colllapsed by 1870.
The only industry that continued to grow after that was tourism. With a reputation as a summer destination for the wealthy, over half of the homes on Martha’s Vineyard are only occupied seasonally. With a year-round population of around 15,000, in the summer it can reach almost 100,000.
Fun fact, its one of only five places in the United States that takes a possessive apostrophe.
We spent a relaxing 48 hours with friends from school at a family cabin on the water, about at 15 minute drive from the port in Vineyard Haven.
We drove down just after lunch on Friday to beat the traffic out the city and drove onto the 3:30 ferry without any issue (we had tickets for the 5:30 ferry but got on easily through stand-by for the earlier time). We stopped by the grocery store once we’d disembarked the ferry and grabbed a gallon of milk (which we ALMOST finished in 36 hours).
The next two days were spent at the beach, a farmers market, church, The Black Dog (great food!), and plenty of time snuggled in at “home,” a friend’s family cabin. The kids loved swinging in the hammock, collecting rocks outside, and pushing all of the buoys hanging on the tree outside. We had dinner by candlelight each night and the kids went to sleep with the sun (and woke up with it, too, on Sunday).
It was a nice, slow, quiet weekend after the busy of back to school the week before. Lincoln has already been asking when we can drive our car back onto a boat and play at Martha’s Vineyard again. But note to self, definitely book ferry tickets in advance if you’re trying to drive off the island on a Sunday afternoon.
Thanks so much for having us, Lily!
Our weekend in pictures:
^she only wanted to fill this basket with rocks at the farmer’s market 😛
^we made it to the beach and, while it wasn’t super warm, Lincoln insisted on swimming
^before Ben soaked his pants
^the cutest hostess for the weekend
Things to do in Martha’s Vineyard:
We didn’t do all of these because we spent almost all of our time at the cabin but you can bet we’ll be back! This is what’s on my list for our next visit
- Gingerbread cottages
- Mad Martha’s Ice Cream
- Aquinnah Cliffs
- Rent bikes
- Eat another breakfast sandwich at The Black Dog
green sweater: from a few years ago but similar green sweater here (more cozy knits here)