Martha’s Vineyard provides a long list of firm favorites and “must-dos” that bring summer visitors coming to the island year after year; a visit means being able to savour one of the award-winning lobster rolls at Grace Church in Vineyard Haven, hanging out with old friends at Nancy’s Bar in Oak Bluffs, catching a sunset at Menemsha, enjoying music inside at The Ritz in Oak Bluffs or outside at the “First Fridays” stroll in Vineyard Haven, heading out for a sail with Catboat Charters from Edgartown, soaking up the sun at South Beach, or hiking one of the many Sheriff’s Meadows trails.
But if time allows you may want to add some or all of these top 10 new additions to the island (and I’m shocked to say only 6 of them involve food!) :
- Martha’s Vineyard Museum
The new museum is quite simply breathtaking; the building itself is worth the visit alone. The historic 1895 Marine Hospital has been completely renovated and restored to house the much expanded museum collection. The building sits on a bluff that looks directly out across Vineyard Haven harbor and the Lagoon; a more picturesque and grand location could not have been imagined. The star of the museum’s collection is the magnificent first order Fresnel Lens, that was originally installed in the Gay Head Lighthouse from 1854 to 1952. Other exhibits cover and celebrate the history, art, culture, music and diversity of the island
- Harbor View Hotel – Bettini & Roxana Restaurants
The first phase of the $15 million renovation of this iconic Martha’s Vineyard Hotel is complete and the hotel is back open for business. As part of the relaunch a new executive chef, Patrice Martineau, has joined the hotel and created two new visionary restaurants; the fine dining Bettini (opening May 31st) and the more casual Roxana. We can’t wait to try them both.
- Spa at The Winnetu Resort
The exquisite Winnetu Resort at South Beach has further expanded its luxurious amenities with the addition of an on-site spa and treatment room and a new adults hot tub.
- Beach Road Weekend Music Festival
The island is buzzing with anticipation for the inaugural “Beach Road Weekend” 3 day music festival in Vineyard Haven. The island has a rich heritage of live music but has suffered in recent years from a lack of live venues, hence the excitement surrounding this summer’s signature musical event. The festival will feature not one, but two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers!
- Backyard Tacos goes large
The awesome Backyard Tacos has rebranded itself Tacos MV and added a second location. Their to-die-for tacos will now be available in both Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. If you like your tacos with a kick then order it Mauricio’s way, but be prepared!
- New Horizon Hot Air Balloon
The Trustees of The Reservation are bringing the New Horizon mirrored hot air balloon to Martha’s Vineyard this summer, July 12-14th , at Long Point Reserve in West Tisbury. For $250 you will be able to take a ride in this novel balloon (price includes an “up in the air” breakfast). This is quite a coup for the island as the mirrored-orb will only be appearing at 7 Trustees locations.
- Town Restaurant
At the site of the old Grill On Main in Edgartown a new restaurant has joined the hot Martha’s Vineyard restaurant scene. The restaurant is open for the season and will have more of a casual, bar atmosphere with plenty of comfort food, a beer garden and outdoor fire-pit.
- Martha’s Vineyard Restaurant Week
Attention Foodies; the return of restaurant week is going to see a need for reservations at participating restaurants as this much missed island event is a happy addition to the June calendar. The special Restaurant Week deals/menus will be available from June 2-6th and top participating restaurants include Garde East, Détente, Bettini, La Soffitta, L’Etoile, 19 Raw, Red Cat Kitchen, Cardboard Box, Sweet Life, Copper Wok and many more.
- Grey Barn Farm
The national award-winning Grey Barn Farm in Chilmark is adding further food tours to its repertoire. This summer you will be able to join their weekly Bread Talks & Tasting (Fridays 10am) at their new certified organic bakery and also partake in a Flower & Cheese Workshop (Thursdays 4pm) .
- Oyster Bar
Ben deForest expands his Oak Bluffs empire with the addition this summer of an Oyster Bar in the old Loft space on Circuit Avenue. It is bound to be another hip and happening joint.
I’ll also give an honorable mention to MV Salads that will open this summer in Oak Bluffs offering the healthiest of foodie takeout options.