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Trip Report Loved Martha's Vineyard: one week in July

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We were fortunate to have a one-week vacation on Martha's Vineyard last week, staying in Edgartown. Having never been there, we were not sure what to expect, but it was better than we imagined.

I think I expected it to be smaller, more crowded (which Edgartown itself is), sort of 'stuffy', and more developed. We tend to be more West Coast people, so we were pleasantly surprised at how much we loved it. It is bigger than we thought, with plenty of beautiful shoreline and wooded areas.

We stayed at The Harborside Inn, which is in the midst of things in Edgartown. It sits on the edge of a gorgeous residential neighborhood which is fun to wander and look at the beautiful homes and gardens. The Harborside is a very nice place, especially if you can reserve a balcony room with a full-on view of the harbor. The lodging we had was in one of three historic whaling captains' homes, which are very well-maintained and charming.

Our room was good-sized, with a relatively new bathroom. The ceiling fan and A/C kept it cool, plus its beautiful little private balcony provided extra space. We were extremely pleased with it, having read a negative review on TripAdvisor that the hotel was dated and rooms extremely small, which was NOT our experience. We'd also read that the place can be overrun with children because it has some owner units. But we saw many more kids at the Harborview.

DH's conference was at the very upscale Harborview Resort, which is gorgeous. But we were glad we did not stay there, as their $450 conference rate room would not have had a view. Our Harborside room with a view was $440.

We did not have a car, and were glad of it. The bus system is sufficient, frequent and inexpensive. We took it one day to Oak Bluffs and back. Another day to Aquinnah to see the beautiful beaches and cliffs.

One afternoon we rented bikes and rode all over, including to South Beach. The Winnetu Resort is there. We had considered staying at Winnetu, but were glad we didn't, because it is rather remote and did not look like much.

Bike paths are conveniently located, so we did not have to share the narrow roads with cars too much. Although drivers seemed to be very observant of bikers and were polite about giving us space.

The restaurants:

Seafood Shanty, for our first dinner, which is very LOUD and crowded with younger people, but it has a nice outdoor deck, decent prices, and a nice fresh tuna steak sandwich.

Among the Flowers, for breakfast our first morning. Very crowded outdoor patio, with good food.

Detente, which was our favorite for its amazing menu and the great deal we found there: half-price between 5:30 and 6:00 p.m., in the bar. This meant half-price for drinks, dinner and dessert. We had a fabulous meal with drinks and dessert, for $95 plus tip.

The Atlantic, which is on Main Street by the harbor, and always has a crowd. We almost gave it a pass, as they don't take reservations and usually had a 45 minute wait. But our last night, we lucked out and were seated outside immediately, right next to a gorgeous yacht in the harbor. It was an excellent meal: thick pieces of sea bass, a beautiful lobster salad, nice cocktails and wine.

Henry's at the Harborview, for lunch on our last day. Good lobster roll and pleasant seating with a View of the Harbor (who knew? hehe)

Lattanzi's, where we went two nights, for their excellent wood-fired pizza and charming outdoor garden seating. If you like proscuitto, they put whole slices on each piece of pizza.

Newes from America, a pub at the Kelley House. Ok for pub food; nothing to recommend really.

The Wharf Pub, where we splurged on whole lobsters, because they were only $29! Also a louder place, with live music later in the evening.

Other adventures we were glad we'd taken:

Chappaquiddick-- we took the ferry over, and had reserved a kayak tour of the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge. They picked us up at the ferry, and we chose from single or double kayaks. Our guide was a young high school student, who was so enthusiastic and fun. He took us through the salt marsh and told us all about the birds, the wildlife, and the vegetation. He even dove into the water and found different things to show us, like a jellyfish, and snail-like creatures we could eat. The tour was supposed to be 2.5 hours, but he spent about 3.5 hours with us. We highly recommend going to this refuge, which also offers tours by truck and has a Japanese garden for walking, called MyToi (pronounced 'my toy').

Mad Max sunset sail, which leaves at 6 p.m. for a two hour cruise. You can bring onboard any food and drink you want, which I recommend you take a picnic dinner with you.

One afternoon swimming at the beach next to the Harborview Resort. The water was perfection, and much warmer than we'd expected.

The weather was very nice everyday. Some days more overcast than others, one night with rain after dinner. It was in the 80s, but the breezes made it comfortable.

We flew to Martha's Vineyard on Cape Air's teensy tinsy 10-seater plane from Providence. I really had misgivings about it, when I saw how miniscule the plane was, but we made it there and back safe and sound.

All in all, a wonderful week!

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