Martha’s Vineyard’s already elevated cachet increased the past few years, as President Obama vacationed on the island. Although the Obamas did not return for their family vacation, my family decided to give the island a try. For a biking family, Martha’s Vineyard is ideal.
The island has miles of wide, paved, protected bike paths, clearly marked and respected by most. In NYC, I’ve actually encountered motorcycles and Vespas illegally cruising over the Brooklyn Bridge bike path, and tourists and native New Yorkers alike think it is acceptable to stand in bike paths and force bikers into traffic.
But in the Vineyard, cars don’t honk at you, runners don’t snarl, pedestrians don’t give you the hairy eyeball. The island has more bike shops than traffic lights (OK, it has NO traffic lights) and ferries welcome bikes (for an extra charge).
My kids have outgrown beach vacation staples mini golf and arcades, though you can find these here, but they are still fans of the farmer’s market. The Farmer’s Market at West Tisbury Grange Hall, held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, has a huge playground where younger kids can run around. A band played bluegrass while we bought popovers, iced herbal tea and surprisingly delicious Vietnamese summer rolls. All the vendors have to be local residents.
My teens also liked the Chilmark Flea Market, with local food vendors, handicrafts, earrings and vintage posters. Note that if you have brought the family dog on vacation, he is not welcome here.
If you have rented a house and want to cook, or just want warm zucchini bread right from the oven, head to Morning Glory Farm, in Edgartown. There are picnic tables where you can eat the bread, fruit and cheese that you buy, and a large selection of local, though quite expensive, produce.
Once you’ve had your fill of healthy food, you can find a huge number of ice cream and fudge shops. Our informal survey of daily ice cream awarded best in show to Mad Martha’s, with three island locations.
At the end of the day, head to Sunset Beach, where crowds gather for a cup of chowder (there are at least three places where you can get a cup to go) and gorgeous sunsets.
Who needs the Secret Service?
Read more about Martha’s Vineyard.