Martha’s Vineyard: Where Travel Becomes an Experience
Martha’s Vineyard isn’t just for quiet and relaxing getaways, though the island has certainly proven over the decades that she does that well. More and more, Martha’s Vineyard is earning a reputation as a hot spot for experiential travelers, those looking for a vacation that connects traveler to destination.
Whether it be a unique food event, recreational activities that aren’t run-of-the-mill, or interactive opportunities in arts and culture, the experiences Martha’s Vineyard offers bring you closer to the island, and to yourself.
Experiential food events are some of the finest and most unique in the world! No matter the season, Martha’s Vineyard is a foodie’s paradise.
Farm. Field. Sea. is an island culinary adventure that will wow your palette with an intimate soil-to-table experience. Partnering with local farmers and the island’s top chefs, Farm. Field. Sea. invites guests behind the scenes for a hands-on experience within the island’s unique, authentic food community. Supercharge your immersion in all aspects of growing, fishing, harvesting and foraging for food, and bring a fresh, local meal to the table.
Every year, the Local Wild Food Challenge rocks the Vineyard, one of only six destinations worldwide that hosts the event. The challenge is to create the best dish using at least one wild ingredient from the island. Past dishes have featured wild mallard duck breast glazed with a mix of Chilmark cherries; crispy frog legs served in switch grass crust and topped with pumpkin, sassafras and Irish moss mousse; venison sausage with chestnut and pear stuffing; and beach plum vinaigrette over watercress salad.
Additionally, the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival (October 15-18, 2015) has quickly grown into a world-class wine and culinary extravaganza, becoming a signature event for the town of Edgartown. Praised as one of the “Top 10 Festivals to Taste” by Forbes Travel Guide, the festival features wine-tasting seminars, premium wines, cooking demonstrations by nationally recognized award-winning chefs and wine personalities, culinary dinners, and the Grand Tasting. The festival begins with “Fresh off the Farm,” a dine-around event featuring everything Martha’s Vineyard. The Grand Tasting features wines, celebrity chefs, and cooking demos paired with wines.
Martha’s Vineyard also offers recreational activities that are sure to please your inner outdoorsy side.
For nearly 70 years, the Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby, a.k.a. The Derby, has been a time to make and renew friendships and create memories that fuel the exaggerated fishing stories told all year long. It’s also a time when locals and visitors alike are able to focus on the natural beauty of the island and enjoy a fishing tradition.
Another unique adventure begins with LED Standup Paddleboarding from island Spirit Kayak. Why put the boards away just because the sun has set? Martha’s Vineyard has a better idea: standup paddleboarding in the dark! Well, not totally dark, thanks to underwater LED lights on the bottom of the paddleboards. Whether it’s with just basic LED lights or disco-style ones that brighten and flash your way through the harbors, this new watersport is a big hit on Martha’s Vineyard. If an evening ride isn’t your thing, try one of their sunrise paddles or day tours.
Looking for a twilight activity that’s a little more low-key, but still a ton of fun? Be sure to check out the moonlight kayak tours at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary or the guided kayak tour to the lighthouse at the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge. Both are sure to wow you.
Martha’s Vineyard has no shortage of experiential art and cultural activities. In fact, the Vineyard Haven Harbor Cultural District is rich in creativity, from shipbuilding, to design and open studios. A stroll through the area is sure to spark your imagination.
Unleash your inner van Gogh with a super fun “Create + Cocktails” event by Jazen’s Art Studio. Enjoy some drinks and — at the direction of Jazen — paint your very own island landscape that replicates the work of a local Vineyard photographer.
Hands-on art activities for adults and children at Featherstone Center for the Arts are a must-do while on-island. Whether it’s creating a book, throwing pottery on the wheel for the first time, felting, learning to play the ukulele, or painting with any number of mediums, you could easily spend your entire vacation in the five working studios on the six-acre campus.
Get your body moving at The Yard. This up-island dance and performance center offers daily community dance classes in their open-air barn studio. Various dance styles and techniques keep it fresh, but experience is not at all necessary — all ages and abilities are encouraged to dance.
So come on over to Martha’s Vineyard, where travel becomes an experience to remember!
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