We're back! It's been a wild few months, and I am looking forward to cultivating some much-needed margin in the next month as we get ready for our move. I've missed blogging frequently and can't wait to catch you all up! As always, thanks for checking in--I know you all have busy lives as well and it means so much that you take the time to check in with The Gallivant.
At the end of August I headed up north for one of my best friend's (Lindsey) weddings in Westport, MA. The weekend was lovely, and it filled my heart to watch our sweet friends become husband and wife. John made it up for the night, and we spent the evening dancing under the stars, next to the sea, with all of my family and closest friends from childhood. Pure magic. (Also, definitely stalk #joshandlusayido on instagram...gorgeous.)
John unfortunately had to head home bright and early the morning after the wedding, but I was lucky enough to get to tack on a few days of vacation. After taking a quick dip off the dock with the happy couple, my brother, Blair, and I hopped into the car and headed off to catch the afternoon ferry to Martha's Vineyard!
Growing up we spent many a week of family vacation on the Vineyard, and I also went to summer camp on the island all through high school. I worked at that camp, FOCUS, for entire summers in College, and met John during a middle-school week that we were both leading. (And the rest is history...) To say it's a special place to us is an understatement.
The island is full of wonderful beaches, pastoral scenery, amazing restaurants, shops, and farm stands, and I wanted to be able to get a little taste of all my favorite spots over the three days I was there. If you are thinking about making a trip over to Martha's Vineyard know that there is enough to do and see to fill up weeks of time, but you can also get a good overview and be utterly enchanted by the Vineyard in just a few days. I get asked for recommendations all the time from people visiting the Island for the first time so I put together a little list of the places I would recommend to someone who only had a few days to explore.
The beach is a no- brainer while on the Island. Depending on the time of year the beaches can be crowded, but there are plenty of options if you prefer a little more privacy. Some great ones open to the public are South Beach, Menemsha Public Beach, and Great Rock Bite (This one is for the adventurous but so worth it--the hidden beach is quiet and private, and if the tide is right you can swim out to the great rock and spend the afternoon jumping off.)
If you are lucky enough to be either renting or staying with someone in West Tisbury or Chilmark then definitely head down to Lambert's Cove (West Tisbury) or Lucy Vincent Beach (Chilmark.) These private gems are only open to residents of their respective towns but are among the nicest beaches on the island.
2. 7a Foods
I love 7a for their breakfast sandwiches and selection of local coffees. My mom and I popped in one morning and got the home-made biscuit, bacon, egg and cheese with fresh greens and it was delicious--flavorful without being super greasy. Peruse their small local grocery and dry-goods section and pick up a pie for dessert made by the Pie Chicks. (We did, and we think it may be the best pie on the Island.) Also, pop into Alley's General Store next door, and peruse their whimsical selection of art supplies, home goods, stationary, food, toys, candles, and more.
7a Foods, 1045 State Rd., Tisbury, MA 02575
3. Menemsha Harbor + Larsens Fish Market
Menemsha is "up-island" from a lot of the main action but well worth the drive. The working fishing village is quintessentially New England with it's coastal cottages and fishing vessels, surrounded by lush greenery and tall coastal marsh grasses leading down to the waterfront. Come mid-day and head to Larsen's Fish Market for a lunch of the freshest lobsters, oysters, or clams. The lobster comes straight out the steamer and onto your plate, and is served simply with drawn butter--exactly as it should be. On your way out grab a few containers of smoked blue fish paté, a Villa family favorite. We love it served on crackers as an appetizer, preferably sitting outside with a cold drink.
Larsens's Fish Market, 56 Basin Rd, Chilmark, MA 02535
4. Morning Glory Farm
Morning Glory is a local produce paradise, and conveniently about 10 minutes from where we stay. Everything is grown in their fields all over the island, from the freshly cut flowers and herbs, to big red red tomatoes, to berries that fill pies and pastries. When my family stays on the Vineyard we embrace shopping in the euro-fashion, picking up fresh ingredients at Morning Glory each day for that night's supper. While there I also picked up a copy of this beautiful cookbook.
Morning Glory Farm, 290 W. Tisbury Rd., Edgartown, MA
I have a major crush on Juliska's tableware (and just on tableware in general) and love perusing their store in Vineyard Haven. The best part? They have an upstairs that is chock full of seconds (pieces with slight imperfections) that are hugely discounted, and many of them are barely noticeable at all. They have many of the classic french-inspired patterns, and I especially love their serving dishes and bakeware. This time around I made a Christmas wish-list because (hopefully) by Christmas we will be moved and have a new kitchen. (Wherever that may be...more on that soon.)
Juliska lovers--the outlet ships, so if you have a favorite pattern or piece then give them a call and they can put you on a list for when it comes in stock!
Juliska, 23 Main St., Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. (508) 562-4010
6. The Port Hunter
The Port Hunter is my favorite place on the island for drinks and oysters, and hipster-prep ambiance. We love the big Gulf oysters down here in Pensacola, but there is just something about the smaller and brinier cold water New England Oysters that hit the spot on a mid-summer evening, especially accompanied by one of the Port Hunter's craft cocktails. On my last night my friend Jen and I headed to Edgartown to catch up over drinks, the lavender vodka concoction for her and smoky mezcal margarita for me, both fantastic.
The Port Hunter, 55 Main St., Edgartown, MA
If I had had one more day I would have loved to have stopped by Chilmark Chocolates (the best chocolate ever. End of story.) and have dinner at State Road (my favorite restaurant on the Island, and definitely one of my favorite in general) but there just wasn't time. Hopefully next summer! I am so grateful for the time I had on the Island--Even though it was quick there is just something about the Vineyard that works wonders on my heart.
Now you know my favorites, but I'm curious about yours! Have you ever been to Martha's Vineyard? What were your favorite spots?
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