Things are crazy. Porter Airlines has cancelled all of their flights until at least June 1st and that’s the airline I take from Toronto to Boston. Even if they were flying, every other circumstance is making travel impossible right now. The fallout of this for me is being away from my island home for longer than I would like. I am missing people I love and when I can return is unclear.
It is important at times like these to remember everything that we are grateful for. Martha’s Vineyard is hit with a couple hundred thousand visitors each year. There are just under eight billion people on the planet. That means that 0.00002% of the global population gets to go to our little island paradise. The fact that I am one of them is nothing short of a miracle.
I may not be there right now, but I have been. Martha’s Vineyard is beautiful in the spring and whether I’m there or not, Mother Nature is going to see that our little island is just as beautiful year after year. So, I thought that I would go through my memories and look at spring on Martha’s Vineyard.
Martha’s Vineyard In March
I was there for the first week of March and there was no question that spring was in the air! My best friend Kurt and I spent a lot of time outdoors. Many of the businesses are still closed at this time of the year so if you’re on Martha’s Vineyard in March, be prepared to find a lot of your entertainment in nature. The hiking trails are beautiful and quite dry because even though the air is warming, the ground is mostly frozen. We hiked the Great Rock Bight. It was a trail that neither of us had hiked and it felt good to check it off our list. The Trustees have a great website with all of the trails listed. During the season, I believe you can still get a booklet where you can make notes and check off trails as you do them if you prefer.
Of course The Black Dog, Art Cliff Diner, and Dock Street Coffee Shop are all open. I had breakfast at all three. I get something different out of the dining experience at each one. Black Dog is the classic tourist experience, Art Cliff has more of a brunch-feel to it regardless of the time I go, and Dock Street always makes me feel like an Islander. In March, I also had my first dining experience at Little House Café with my amazing friends John and Sandra. I had never been there before and I would highly recommend it.
Spending time out on Chappaquiddick is one of my favourite things to do and it is just as special in March. Chappy has its own level of serenity—its own zen. A walk on the beach, a walk through Mytoi Gardens, or if the weather is right and your vehicle can do it, go out to Cape Poge Lighthouse! If nothing else, it’s worth it just to be able to take The Chappy Ferry, isn’t it?
Martha’s Vineyard In April
As long as we’re talking about The On Time II, when I was there in April, I was there for my birthday. The first thing I did when I woke up in Edgartown on my birthday was take a ride on The Chappy Ferry. It was a beautiful sunrise and I couldn’t think of anything I would rather do. The island is just as quiet in April as it is in March but just a little warmer. A few shops and restaurants are open that weren’t in March but there aren’t any tourists or summer DINK’s yet.
One very cool thing that I did in April was visit Island Alpaca Company! Alpacas are gorgeous, if not a little goofy, creatures. Something about them always makes me think they are a cartoon incarnation of The Beatles. Don’t you think? Island Alpaca gives a great tour and they have a very reasonably priced gift shop with a lot of the items made from the wool of their own alpacas. Alpaca wool, as it turns out, is warmer and softer than sheep wool and it’s hypo-allergenic. I have a friend who swears by alpaca socks in the winter.
I had my birthday supper at The Wharf. Almost all of your island favourites will be open in April. If you are not someone who needs to swim on her beaches, Martha’s Vineyard in spring is a beautiful place to be. If you like it just a little bit warmer, then I recommend…
Martha’s Vineyard In May
Martha’s Vineyard in May might just be the best kept island secret. The trees are green, the flowers are blooming, and the weather is warm. I even saw kids swimming in Owen Park, but let’s face it—kids are crazy. I remember being determined to keep swimming but my Mum hauling me out of the water because my lips were blue and I was shivering. I don’t think kids these days are any more on-the-ball than I was. Water temperature notwithstanding, Martha’s Vineyard in May is a very summer experience except there are still no crowds. There are a few people on-island—everything is open at this point—but it isn’t crowded by any means. It rained on me one day in May but I used it as the perfect opportunity to check out the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.
The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is fantastic. If you love Martha’s Vineyard, you need to experience the Museum. Set in the old Marine Hospital, the building has been beautifully restored and the island’s history has been laid out in a very accessible way. My favourite display is the display about The Gay Head Lighthouse. When I went for the first time, I had just finished researching the lighthouse and the shipwreck of The City Of Columbus. Seeing spider lamps from the old lighthouse and artifacts from the ship really hit me. Perched upon the hill overlooking the harbour, it’s also a great place to sit and have a coffee and a snack. They have a great snack bar with healthy options and treats.
May was also warm enough for my friend Lisa and I to eat lunch at Aquinnah Shops Restaurant and take advantage of their incredible deck! I had my first lobster roll of the season and soaked up the sun’s rays. What a way to kick-off the summer! As if Lisa’s company wasn’t sunny enough!
The present conditions will pass. I don’t know when or how, but they will. I know that for sure. When things return to normal, my island, our island will be waiting. The beaches will be waiting, Nancy’s upper deck will be waiting, The Seafood Shanty, Catboat Charters, Slip 77, Vineyard Vines, The Black Dog Tavern, South Beach, State Beach, The Edgartown Lighthouse, Split Rock, The Chappy Ferry, Norton Point—it will all be there. Martha’s Vineyard was first incorporated in 1647. Think about the hardships she has seen and lived to tell the tale. I can’t wait to get back to my island home. Knowing that inevitability is on my horizon makes me smile. I’m like a young child waiting for Christmas. I am not exactly sure how long it will take, my grasp on a timeline being vague at best, but I know it’s coming—of that, I am sure—and it’s exciting.