Saturday morning we woke up nice and early, so that we’d be on time for the two hour ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard. We opted for the 9am ferry, which, by the time we got situated, grabbed lunch, and got the rental car I’d already reserved (we used MV Auto Rentals, located a convenient 200 yards from the dock), meant that we’d be ready to start exploring the island by noon.
Hyannis is actually the main ferry hub for Nantucket, and most of the ferries departing from its docks head there. Nearby Woods Hole is where most of the ferries bound to Martha’s Vineyard leave out of (there are also ferries that leave out of Rhode Island and NYC), and if you’re going to take a vehicle, this is your only option (you also have to reserve a spot pretty far in advance-by the time we looked into this, all the weekend spots were filled). The ferries in Hyannis, are passenger only, and only travel to Oaks Bluff, one of the two wet towns on the island, which is obviously why we’d be staying there.
I enjoyed the ferry ride-there’s seats on the top deck so that you can enjoy the weather and views, although there’s plenty of room inside. The ferry we rode on even had a bar, however I didn’t’ indulge, as Katelyn and Kristal were both seasick the entire time, and drinking alone on vacation is just depressing. Plus, I did nap for most of the voyage, which only contributed to the worsening reddening of my skin.
For those of you terribly ill informed, Martha’s Vineyard is an approximately 100 square mile island located just off of Cape Cod. The island is accessed via ferry or airport, and primarily known as a summer colony for the well-to do, especially the political-Jackie Kennedy had a home there, and both the Clintons and Obamas vacation there often. Jim Belushi is buried in Chilmark, and Jimmy Buffet has a home on the island. Oaks Bluff, as mentioned is one of the “wet” towns on the island, and the main ferry hub from Hyannis, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
Once in Oaks Bluff, I grabbed the car, we had a quick lunch, and then took the drive to Gay’s Head beach, on the opposite side of the island. Another travel tip: although it’s a popular tourist locale, there’s hardly any reception once you get out of the towns, so don’t think you could rely completely on your GPS-our 20 minutes drive nearly doubled because of being sent down random dirt roads, and dropped signals. Luckily, the main roads are pretty well marked, and the drive from Vineyard Haven, to the beach is very scenic, most notably passing through the small fishing village of Menemsha, famous for being the filming location for where the The Orca is docked and captain Quint lives, in Jaws.
I’ve already documented my visit to the Aquinnah Beach, underneath the Gay’s Head Cliff here-the beach is clothing optional, which was an eye opening experience, for lack of a better term. Once again, hunger was the culprit for leaving the beach, so we packed up our stuff, hiked back up the parking lot, and had a quick photo op by the Gay’s Head lighthouse (we opted out of the $15.00 cover to climb it) before checking into our hotel, the Island Inn, located about 2 miles outside of downtown Oaks Bluff.
That night we headed back downtown for some harbor-side drinks and food-Martha’s Vineyard has an excellent public bus system, as well as quite a few cabs (actually large vans) and so it would’ve been quite easy to get around (especially just between Edgartown and Vineyard Haven) without any car. Moped and bicycle rentals are also super popular, and in my next post, I’ll chronicle our adventures on that.
Saturday night at Vineyard Haven is packed, so we waited forever to get dinner at Nancy’s, which to be honest turned out to be just ok-the more laisezz faire, fried seafood snack bar, which they had right on the dock, which I ended up eating at a few times the next day ended up being much more my steam. Still, it’s always nice to eat outdoors on the water, and with the view I had, I couldn’t complain.
We barhopped the rest of the night, Oaks Bluff has quite a bit going on, it’s a tourist town after all. There was some sort of jam bam festival though the night we were there, which, along with EDM, falls under “musical categories I’ve tried to appreciate, but can’t.” The highlight of the night, sadly, was the cab ride home-the van was full of rowdy passengers, also coming back from a night in Oaks Bluff, and what we’ve deemed to be a stowaway, who was literally hiding in the luggage rack in the back. It was one of those, would be scary if we weren’t drunk moments, and as I’m writing, realizing a you-had-to-be-there one as well. We ended the night having a few more drinks at the hotel, and politely declining an invitation to smoke weed with the hotel’s security patrol.