Daytripper's Guide to Martha's Vineyard

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Pristine beaches, delicious seafood, and that "island vibe" are waiting for you.

Exploring Martha’s Vineyard of a tight schedule can be daunting. Which sights should you go out of your way to see? Which ones take up too much time? This book will be your guide on how to best spend your time once you step ashore. The Day Tripper’s Guide to Martha’s Vineyard focuses on the “down-island” towns of Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and Vineyard Haven. This is where you will want to go if you are visiting for only a day of your Cape Cod vacation.

If you want to know how to get there, get around, and make the most of your time, then this guide is for you. The best beaches, sights, and adventure activities are covered as well as recommended eating and drinking establishments. This book was designed for mobile devices and includes all the relevant links that you will need to include maps, phone numbers, menus and websites. It’s all here, at your fingertips.

Made For Mobile Devices

The Day Tripper’s Guide is made for those who do their planning on the go. Filled with links, recommendations, and practical advice, this guide is the ideal reference to keep up and running on your smartphone as you make your way through the major hotspots of the island. You won’t need to write down that phone number or copy the web adress to your next destination. Just click the hot link in the guide and you’ll be off and running.

"To know how much there is to know is the beginning of learning how to live."

- Dorothy West, 1907-1998, long-time resident of Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs Audio Walking Tour

Throw on the headphones and take a 60-90 minute walk around the island's most popular town with the Knockabout Audio Tour. This self-paced tour covers the highlights of a day in Oak Bluffs. Start whenever you'd're on island time.

Best Food & Drink

1. Donovan's Reef/Nancy's

Get whatever you want to eat at Nancy's, but make sure to visit Donovan's Reef, the outdoor bar overlooking Oak Bluffs Harbor. Get a "Dirty Banana." Yes, it's touristy, but even the locals knock these drinks back at scale. Map

2. Quarterdeck

Grab a basket of fried clams, a lobster roll, or fish & chips from this Edgartown take out mainstay. Then walk over to the pier and relax as you eat. You're on "island time" now.  Map

3. Giordano's

Beat the crowds by getting a pizza at this Oak Bluffs eatery and bringing it to Ocean Park for a picnic.  Map

Ocean Park Gazebo Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs

If you have only one day to spend in Martha's Vineyard, then take the ferry into Oak Bluffs. Here, you can tour the famed gingerbread cottages at "the Campground," spend time at fine sand beaches, and grab some of that New England seafood that you have been craving. 

Getting to Edgartown is only a short bus or cab ride away, or rent bicycles and take the scenic bike trail that parallels the ocean.

Photo by MA Office of Travel & Tourism / CC BY-ND 2.0


Stroll the quaint village streets of the island's most posh town to see the sea captain's homes of ages gone by, artisan shops and galleries, and then head to South Beach to see real surf breaking on the sand. 

For those that want to explore a bit further or escape the crowds, rent a bicycle and take the short ferry ride to Chappaquiddick, home to more great beaches, isolated gardens, and the site of the infamous Ted Kennedy incident. 

Photo by MA Office of Travel & Tourism / CC BY 2.0

Vineyard Haven

This town may be the lowest priority for the day tripper, but it is the busiest port of entry to the island and you may find yourself here by intention or even accident. 

The famous Black Dog Tavern is steps from the ferry, where you can grab a bowl of amazing clam chowder and a T-Shirt to take home.  Then hop the #13 bus to Oak Bluffs.

Recent Travels

Follow the Knockabout blog for travel tips around New England and anyplace else that luck takes me.

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium

Clearwater Marine Aquarium began as an idea in 1972 to establish a marine research facility in the Tampa Bay area. Several years later, in 1978, the city of Clearwater donated a decommissioned wastewater treatment plant to the newly established Clearwater Marine Science Center to make their idea a reality. The building had large water holding pools that were modified to house marine life and the facility opened its doors to the public in 1981 with a modest one room exhibit. The small facility continued to grow and as public involvement and visits increased, changed its name to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Visitors Guide to Sandwich, Cape Cod

Visitors Guide to Sandwich, Cape Cod

Just over the Sagamore Bridge on Cape Cod lies the town of Sandwich, known for its beaches along the shore of Cape Cod Bay, quaint town center that features a historic grist mill, and lazy drives along route 6A. Sandwich has always been one of my favorite Cape towns, with a great mix of raw, natural beauty alongside some great man-made luxuries. Whether you are embarking on a day-trip from the metro Boston area, or planning a week long vacation on Cape Cod, Sandwich may be just the town you are seeking.

Getting Outside in Montpelier, Vermont

Getting Outside in Montpelier, Vermont

With outdoor recreation opportunities aplenty and easy access from Interstate 89, Vermont’s capital city is a great choice for a weekend away. Montpelier is the country’s smallest capital – and the only one without a McDonald’s – but it has big character. I’ve been using this central Vermont locale for my adventure jumping-off point for 11 years, and think this city has everything to offer the outdoor adventurer. Spend a few days and see for yourself!

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