Martha’s Vineyard, MA: Oaks Bluff

While I’m generally not a travel person, sometimes it’s nice to go away for a while and forget that reality exists.  I spent the past 2-3 days breathing in beachy air in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.  I didn’t take many pictures on my trip, but I’ll do my best to make an interesting post with what I did take.  (The picture of the ferry is on a different camera, so I’ll have to add it later when I can get someone to send it to me.)

Day 1 – ferry ride, chowder, souvenirs, pouring rain, and seafood fast food:

We took a 1 hour ferry ride to the island on Tuesday morning.  We bought the kind of tickets that allow you to bring your car onto the ferry as well.  On hindsight, we’re not all in agreement about whether or not that was the right decision.  Parking is terrible in Martha’s Vineyard!  The island is extremely tiny and its streets are narrow and cramped.  We stayed at the Madison Inn in Oaks Bluff.  Now you would think that an inn or hotel or any similar business would have parking for its customers, but no.  Apparently, there are basically two places to park in Oaks Bluff – the park, which allows up to 4 hours of parking from 8am-8pm, and the seaside, which allows 24 hour parking.  We drove in many circles before we could find an open spot. 

View from inside the ferry

After parking, we walked to Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company for lunch.  My impression: the chowder was very liquidy for chowder, the fries weren’t salty enough, and the cost of our meal was the priciest of all the places we ate at during our trip.  Everybody seemed to be okay with their meals, although no one raved about their order either.

Next, we stopped by the souvenir store to shop around.  I got myself a MV coffee mug, and a little something for a friend.

Day 1 ended shortly after the souvenir store, because it was absolutely pouring rain out for the rest of the night.  One of us braved the rain and ran out for seafood fast food – essentially the same food served at MV Chowder Company – fried oyster, french fries, fried everything.  We spent the night in the inn, which, like the island it’s on, is tiny.  As weird as it may sound, the inn didn’t feel very “fresh” to me.  The room smelled damp, the air felt damp, and the sheets felt damp.  But they did have free coffee, snacks, and popsicles, so I guess I’m okay.

Day 2 – breakfast, farm, arcade, Thai food, souvenirs, beach time, seafood dinner

Day 2 started off with breakfast at a nearby shop (sorry I can’t remember the name!), where I ordered a mango smoothie to substitute for my usual ice coffee that I drink when I’m on vacation at home.  Next, we hit the Farm Institution.  My tip: either bring rain boots, or don’t go here at all.  Seriously.  It’s muddy and dirty, with no paths to walk on whatsoever.  There were what looked to be youth groups going on field trips there, and every single one of them had rain boots on.  Aside from the dirtiness, the farm has less animals than I have fingers.  But on the bright side, they had pigs!  They’re my favorite animal, so I love any chance to snap pictures of them.

They’re so precious!

The third stop was the Ryan Family Amusements arcade.  I actually really enjoyed this part.  I may be in my early adult years, but I still love doing the same things as when I was 5.  I had a blast playing skee ball, air hockey, shooting games, and all the good stuff =)  We had the kids with us, so they picked out most of the prizes, but I happily walked away with “Monkeys in Barrel” – my first ever, can you believe that? – and a handful of candy. 

This kept me thoroughly entertained =)

Next was Thai food at the Bangkok Cuisine.  Umm…don’t go here either.  Half of our party got major stomachaches after eating here.  In all fairness, I have to give them some credit because the food did taste good (pad thai, thai ice tea, fried ice cream).  On our way back to the inn to let the kids rest, we stopped by The Black Dog store for more souvenirs.  If you’re really into the idea of getting a souvenir that’s symbolic of MV, go for it.  But if you’ll settle for anything related to MV, look elsewhere – the prices for The Black Dog gear are ridiculous!

The last event of the night was some beach time at Menemsha Beach.  Just as I’m not a travel person, I’m also not a beach person.  But I have to say, I had a lot of fun that night!  We started off playing with a beach ball, which had a hole somewhere and deflated often, so we switched to a frisbee for the rest of the night.  Up until this point, I had sworn off frisbees because I have no hand-eye coordination so I can’t catch or throw, but I gave it a shot last night and I wasn’t too shabby =)

Picture of sunset on Menemsha Beach, courtesy of my sibling

We bought real seafood (meaning not the fried stuff) right on the premises and brought it back to Madison Inn, where we ate on the outdoor patio that’s open until 10pm.   

After that, we went back to our rooms, watched the last hours of that night’s Olympics, and called it a day.  Day 3 was just our trip back home.

Hope you enjoyed my post; sorry it’s so lengthy!


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