I can, and have, walked around Edgartown all day. Sometimes when I wake up, I just know that it’s an Edgartown kinda day. There are days where it feels right to swim on the beach in Aquinnah and have lunch at the Aquinnah Shops Restaurant. There are also days when you know that the right thing to do is to head out to Menemsha, eat breakfast at Beach Plum Inn, hike the Menemsha Hills, eat lunch at Larsen’s, and sit on the beach. It seems that every day is a good day for strolling on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs and hanging out in Ocean Park. But there are days, without question, when I wake up and I realize that I’m not leaving Edgartown. Those are Edgartown kinda days.
It doesn’t matter where my day takes me, my day starts at dawn. Edgartown days are no exception. In fact, it’s especially true of Edgartown kinda days. One of my favourite spots to watch the sunrise on Martha’s Vineyard is on Lighthouse Beach. Making sure that I am in position with my coffee and my camera, before the sun is up, is an exciting feeling. Is it the sand falling through my flip-flops as I walk the beach, the ocean lapping at the island—possibly.
It’s probably just knowing that every sunrise is singular, and I’m about to witness something special. The only people that I will see are other people with cameras and fishermen. It’s a quiet time of day. Peaceful and restorative. I have a lot of photos of the sun rising behind, or beside, the Edgartown Lighthouse, and I know that I will take many, many more.
I also like to capture the sunrise from Memorial Wharf. I watch as the early morning light paints Edgartown Village gold. It’s like that scene in Raiders Of The Lost Ark when Indy finds the location of the ark with the medallion and the staff—that exciting yet warm golden light. If you haven’t seen Edgartown at dawn, I strongly encourage that you do so at least once.
I’ve already written a piece about some of my favourite places in Edgartown to have breakfast. There are a lot of great places to choose from. Check out that post for more details. Once I have eaten, I have the rest of the morning to contend with. I have kind of gone about this backwards actually, because for me, what I plan to do with my morning, will directly influence where I have my breakfast.
For example, if I am going to walk out to South Beach—one of my favourite Martha’s Vineyard Beaches—there is a distinct possibility that I will eat at Right Fork Diner. Not being able to drive makes getting out that way a commitment; therefore, it’s important to take full advantage of each trip. I mean, why eat in-town if I’m heading out to the beach, right? I can eat in-town any morning.The walk is just long enough to make you want t0 put your feet in the surf when you get to the beach and you can stop at Katama General Store on your way! If I’m not walking out to South Beach, I will be walking around through the streets of Edgartown Village taking pictures until the shops open, replenishing my coffee as I go. Do I even have to mention that?
Once the shops are open, then I will visit my favourites. Edgartown Books is my favourite book store on the island. They are so kind and friendly, and a wealth of knowledge. I love the building itself too. The old wood is polished bright, and creaks magnificently as you make your way through the shelves. Edgartown Books reminds us all that no matter how convenient a Kindle is, we will always need books and book stores.
Some of my favourite Martha’s Vineyard clothing stores are in Edgartown. Shirt Tales on Main Street is one of my favourite places to look around. They always have good deals on men’s casual wear, and they usually have a cool selection of JAWS tees. Not that I need another JAWS tee, but well, you know… It’s also no secret that I’m a huge Vineyard Vines guy. A friend of mine bought me a gift card for their store a few years back and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love their bright colours. Black clothing is a pet peeve of mine. Having worked for the last twenty years in downtown Toronto, I can tell you that almost everyone wears way too much black. Colours make me happy.
Edgartown is a great town for lunch. There are some really cool options for every price range. I can eat on the upper deck at The Seafood Shanty every lunch and never be disappointed. The food is good, not expensive, and your table is overlooking Edgartown Harbor and Chappaquiddick! Order a lobster roll, and a pint, have some good conversation with a friend, and the count how many cameras and cell phones come out when Tigress of Catboat Charters sails by!
I’m also a huge fan of The Atlantic Fish & Chop House. It, too, has a deck that overlooks the harbour. It’s smaller and more refined than the Seafood Shanty but the food is fantastic and the service is excellent. I don’t even live on island but they recognize me when I walk in. That impresses me. They also serve out-of-this-world brussels sprouts. Just saying.
Last year, my lunch discovery was TACO MV! My favourite food in the world is Mexican food. So, when I heard that there was a funky new Mexican place opening up in the heart of Edgartown Village, I was stoked. I watched their social media with great interest and loved what I was seeing. All of the food was made from scratch and the place had a really energetic and happy vibe to it. When I finally got there, I found out just how cool the brothers were. The fact that they had a JAWS poster on their wall that came from Steven Spielberg’s office didn’t hurt either. I loved everything that I had, I definitely ate more than I should have. Without a doubt, they make the best guacamole.
Depending on what I did in the morning, I will do the opposite in the afternoon. If I shopped in the morning, I’ll go to Katama in the afternoon or vice versa. I also like to take a break from the sun in the afternoon and duck into The Newes From America pub. The Newes is a great place to cool off in the summer and get warm in the winter. It’s kind of like a thermos! I don’t really drink in Toronto, but on-island, I do really like a Guinness at The Newes. I’m hoping that will never change. They also make an excellent french onion soup…just sayin’.
The afternoon is also a great time to head over to Chappaquiddick for a wander through Mytoi Gardens. I know I said that I would be spending the day in Edgartown, but technically, Chappaquiddick is part of Edgartown. So, I’m going to let that slip into my Edgartown kinda day. If the weather isn’t great, I love catching a matinée at Edgartown Cinemas. During the summer they—more often than not—show JAWS once a week. I’m always down for that. I have also been known to while away a couple of hours in the Edgartown Library. It’s a great space.
There are amazing restaurants throughout Edgartown. There isn’t enough room in one blog to go over them all. For supper, among my favourites are The Porthunter and her sister restaurant The Covington, the aforementioned Atlantic, and Seafood Shanty, and Rockfish. There are still so many that I haven’t tried! I have only been to Alchemy for drinks, I have yet to try Atria, or Chesca’s. I say this all the time, but it’s really true—the more things I try for the first time on Martha’s Vineyard, the more things I discover that I have to add to the list! For a small island, there is a lot to see and do!
Don’t get caught in a rut. It’s easy to do. I guess where I have supper largely depends on the weather. If it’s an incredible evening and it’s an Edgartown kinda day, I’m a sucker for the view at The Seafood Shanty and/or Atlantic Fish & Chop House. Hey! I’m a landlubber. There are a lot of wonderful restaurants in Toronto waiting to serve me whatever I wish, but they can’t do it overlooking the ocean and Chappaquiddick. The ocean, the summer breeze, Edgartown Lighthouse, and the clang of buoys in the outer harbour—I mean, that’s kinda why I’m there, right? Hey, it’s the Vineyard!