An Insider’s Guide to Planning the Ultimate Vacation in Martha’s Vineyard

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© Photo by Michael Blanchard

While many scramble to visit Martha’s Vineyard in the summer, anxious to soak up all the action, there’s a quiet calm that comes over the Island in winter and spring. Secretly, it’s the best time to be here—a sentiment with which many locals agree. On Martha’s Vineyard, winter and spring bring a slower pace, cooler (but still beautiful!) weather, great deals, and hidden gems to explore. The crowds have lessened, making it easier to get around and easing the demand for accommodations. The double benefit for you: lower rates at local hotels and more of the Island to enjoy all to yourself! Here are some insider tips for making the most out of your time during this very special season on Martha’s Vineyard.

​Explore Private Beaches Without Restriction

During the summer, many of the Island’s most coveted beaches are off-limits, being open to residents only. But after summer, these restrictions are lifted, making it
possible to explore most Island beaches, free of charge and without any special access pass. Dogs are also allowed back on many beaches, meaning you can bring Fido for a romp on the sand (leashes are still encouraged). Be sure to check out Lambert’s Cove Beach in West Tisbury and Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark, two of the Island’s most beloved beaches where you’re free to roam this time of year. Our temperate climate makes beach combing possible year-round.

Dine Around Town with Ease

Throughout the busy summers, getting reservations at some of Martha’s Vineyard’s most popular restaurants can be a challenge. Take advantage of this time when many of the local restaurants are open and where it’s easier than ever to get a table—maybe even sneak a hello to the chef. Whether it’s seafood, Mexican, Thai, or Italian, there’s a restaurant waiting for you to explore. Check out the new Dining Source Book and be sure to call ahead, as off-season hours may be in effect.

Deals, Deals, Deals

Summer is the most popular time to visit, which also means it’s also the most expensive. Winter and spring bring discounted stays at local hotels, inns, and B&Bs. If you’re traveling across the water with the Steamship Authority and you’re hoping to bring your car across, you’re in luck! This time of year it’s easier to get a reservation, and the fares are cheaper too.

There’s Still a Lot Going On, Including a Bit of Romance

Winter and spring invite visitors to explore the romance of the Island. That is, if your idea of romance includes long, meandering hikes through pristine forests, collecting sea glass along a stretch of stunning coastline, traveling through time with glaciers and architecture, enjoying the freshest world-class dining, and then cozying up to the gentle sounds of the ocean rhythm.

Any day, any season, your Martha’s Vineyard experience awaits.

Visit us online at, on FB at VisitMV and Instagram at VisitMarthasVineyard.

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The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce (MVCC) is a not-for-profit, professional organization made up of business members located on the beautiful Island of Martha’s Vineyard. Our mission is to support the economic health of our business community through a dynamic offering of programs and services.

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