Boston & Martha’s Vineyard

When I Went: First week of May 2013

Was That the Best Time of Year to Go? Yes and no. It was a great time to visit because everything had just opened for the season so we didn’t miss out on any shops/restaurants. Also, the crowds of the summer had not yet arrived, so we could easily get around without the traffic that we’ve heard can be so daunting in the summer. On the other hand, it was a bit brisk to be at such a beautiful beach location. I would love to go back when we could really enjoy the beaches more!

Why I Went There: It was a girl’s trip to celebrate my sister’s 40th birthday with her and my mom. We chose this location because none of us had ever been to Martha’s Vineyard.

Who Went With Me? Mom and sister.

We Stayed Here: In Boston, we stayed at the Liberty Hotel. This Starwood property was originally a jailhouse that they have turned into a beautiful hotel. It’s located just off Charles street in Beacon Hillgreat neighborhood! On Martha’s Vineyard, we opted for a bed & breakfast. Isabelle’s Beach House was quite comfortable and the breakfast and cookies were delicious.

You Won’t Want to Miss: BOSTON: Plan to walk a lot and take public transportation/taxis. It is very walkable, plus walking really is the best way to see a city like this. Boston Commons & Public Garden: don’t miss seeing the bronze ducks from the famous Make Way for Ducklings children’s books. Take a ride on the swan boats! Shopping/wandering in Beacon Hill neighborhood, my favorite neighborhood. So cute! Take the studentled tour at Harvard! Shopping & brunch on Newbury Street. See the view of the entire city from the top of the Custom Tower (make sure to check times as you can only go up twice a day!) Walk the Freedom Trail and learn a bit of history. If you can swing a Red Sox game, it will be the most entertaining sporting event you’ll ever attend. Boston has amazing fans! The Isabella Stewart Gardner museum is lovely. Great art set in an old home. Seeing the beautiful house is almost as good as the art. MARTHA’s VINEYARD: Rent a car. You’ll want it to get around to each of the great villages on the island. Take a van tour to get familiar with the entire island in three hours. If your van stops at Larson’s Fish Market in Menemsha, make sure to get the chowder! Take time to walk through the Gingerbread Houses in Oak Bluffs. The van tour will drive through, but you see so much detail when you’re on foot. Stroll down the main streets and enjoy the cute shops in each village: Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown. Buy souvenirs at the Black Dog shops! Jog or a ride a bike along the path between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown–beautiful! On your way to or from Chilmark Chocolates, stop in West Tisbury at Alley’s General store Another good stop out near Chilmark is the Granary Gallery. Amazing art gallery in an old barn.

Eat Here: BOSTON: Italian dinner at Giacomo’s. Don’t miss the butternut squash ravioli! Cash only! After dinner, grab a cannoli down the street at Mike’s Pastry Upper Crust on Charles Street for pizza (take it to go just up the street to the park for a picnic!) When in Cambridge, grab a breakfast sandwich from Crema Cafe–great college coffee shop. Also in Cambridge, eat a fabulous burger at Mr. Bartley’s in Cambridge, Stephi’s on Newbury for brunch or lunch. Eat a piece of Boston Cream Pie at the place it originated, The Parker House hotel. We opted to sit in the bar and eat our piece (this is also where Parker House rolls come from). If you sweet-talk the waiter, he may just bring you some rolls to try, too. MARTHA’S VINEYARD: Go to the Friday night Lobster Roll fundraiser at Grace church. BEST lobster roll you’ll ever have! Eat at Red Cat in Oak Bluffs for dinner–so, so good. Go to Chilmark Chocolates. Every day. So good, so cheap, and the proceeds go to disabled children. Call ahead though as the days/times they are open vary. Eat at the oldest restaurant on the island, Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven Lucky Hanks in Edgartown also has a great dinner menu Go by Back Door Donuts for a “speakeasy” type of experience late at night. Great donuts, fun adventure.

Play Here: BOSTON: Boston Commons & Public Garden Fenway Park. MARTHA’s VINEYARD: the beaches!

If I Went Again: We would not do the bus to the ferry. We ended up deciding we’d be best off with a car once we got to Martha’s Vineyard and saw how spread out the villages were. We knew we would want to spend considerable time in each village, but taxis were difficult and pricey. So, instead of renting a car once we got there (which we did and worked fine–the rental place is right at ferry dock in Vineyard Haven), we would rent a car in Boston and drive it on to the ferry. We loved our B&B in Oak Bluffs, but Edgartown was probably our favorite village, so we might try to stay there next time.

How Did You Get There From Dallas? We flew to Boston on American Airlines. After a couple of days in Boston, we hopped on the Peter Pan Bus line which took us to the ferry to get to MV!

Other Tips For Fellow Travelers: We had almost two full days in Boston and four days in Martha’s Vineyard. We could have spent more time in both places!

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