Martha's Vineyard | Massachusetts

The twins were given relatively free reign to choose a birthday destination this year, and I was thrilled when they suggested Martha’s Vineyard. I think they know it’s one of the few places I’ll let them run free, within reason. As soon as school let out I packed up my four + a girlfriend and we hit the road. We drove from Cape May to Cape Cod, deposited the little girls with my Dad, and took the afternoon ferry over from Falmouth. All in one day. The longest day. The ferry has a bar, thank goodness. We stay in Oak Bluff’s at a magical little cottage owned by the most delightful, warm, generous woman I’ve ever met - a dear family friend named Marushka. The upstairs bedrooms are reserved for family and friends and she rents the downstairs suite on Airbnb. Linked here if you’re interested. I won’t bore you with every little detail of our week. I didn’t even take that many photos actually, because I wanted to feel truly free from work. I brought one lens and pulled my camera out on one day of our visit. I will link you to our favorite MV things to do and places to eat year after year though.

Atlantic : Excellent service, amazing food, and an excuse to spend the afternoon in slightly more posh Edgartown. Arrive early for lunch - a line forms. Sit outside with a view of the luxury yachts and Chris-Crafts. Order everything. Drink their smoked bourbon cocktail.

Murdick’s Café : Attached to a fudge shop, this place has the most amazing mango smoothie (no mixes, straight fruit) and iced chai. It’s on the road headed towards the lighthouse and just down from Vineyard Vines, so grab a beverage before shopping or sightseeing.

Lookout Tavern : Our favorite restaurant in Oak Bluffs. Great food, great sunsets, huge menu - including a full sushi menu.

Backdoor Donuts : Open normal hours, but then open again from 7pm - 1am. The twins love walking to get donuts before bed and their apple fritter is not from this world.

Island Alpaca : The most hands on alpaca farm we’ve ever been to…and we’ve put in the man hours on this. You can wander the farm petting the socialized alpacas at your leisure, buy some beautiful alpaca clothing and souvenirs in the shop, and you can book a tour. This allows you to feed, walk and learn more about these hilarious animals.

Aquinnah : While catching a ride from our hosts or hopping in a taxi is usually my preference, renting a jeep, taking the top off, and cruising across the island to Aquinnah is an absolute must. The winding roads, lush greenery, small lakes, quaint main streets and hidden gems ultimately lead to Aquinnah Lighthouse and the clay cliffs. Picturesque and a great way to spend the afternoon outside. I was told to grab a bottle of wine and stop at Larsen’s Fish Market on the way back for fresh seafood take-out style, but my teenage girl crew weren’t into that.

The Jaws Bridge : This is a famous spot where the movie Jaws was filmed. You’ll find all age ranges lining up to jump off, despite it being against the rules. Whether or not it’s actually illegal, I don’t know. If it is, the entire island looks the other way. Despite it’s popularity, the girls were able to jump several times in a short time span. Worth checking off the bucket list, although I didn’t feel compelled…

Offshore Ale : It’s just a pub. But, it’s open year round and has one of the best lobster rolls I’ve ever had.

Dockside Jewelry : I’m into tangible memories, a.k.a souvenirs, but they have to be practical. My favorites are Christmas ornaments, sweatshirts and jewelry. The twins and now their girlfriend have sweet little necklaces with a simple MV charm and I have one of my favorite ornaments from this place. It’s nothing spectacular, but the selection is awesome.

Edgartown Lighthouse : Beautiful, peaceful, the sweetest lighthouse keeper, still maintained by the Coast Guard and surrounded by a memorial to children who’ve passed, including one of the Sandy Hook shooting victims. It’s not upsetting, it’s more thought provoking. The contrast of the solemnity beneath your feet and the idyllic view before you can be a little surreal. It’s a short walk from town through streets lined with quintessential Cape homes that look too perfect to be lived in. Like really, I've been in some impressive homes, but there are streets in Edgartown that just don’t even look real. And as someone who lives in a coastal town, HOW do they have such amazing and reliable landscaping services??