Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas in Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard

The holiday spirit will be alive and well on Martha’s Vineyard during the month of December with our towns beautifully decorated and the shops displaying and selling an amazing array of gifts that cannot be found elsewhere. For those of you who have not been here during the winter it is a special treat. There are days that you can walk on the beach and not see another footprint – a magical experience for young and old when they can pretend they are the only people on this planet! Below are but a few of the things to take advantage of.  Come and enjoy!

There are special festivities in the Victorian town of Edgartown December 10 to the 12th, 2010. Tree lighting & carols on the Village Green on a beautifully decorated Main street. Open Houses at the classically decorated Inns. A parade down Main Street. The festive lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse.  Wine, hot drinks and tasty treats as well as Christmas music and family concerts to help keep you in that holiday spirit! And….Breakfast with Santa!!!  Come get into the spirit of the Holiday no matter what your faith.

Click on the Lighthouse below to see schedule of events.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Come rain or come shine"...Come to the Vineyard!

National Register of Historic Places listings ...Image via Wikipedia

"Just singing in the rain" ...on the Vineyard?
"Rain drops keep falling on my head"....on the Vineyard!?
"I'm walkin' in the rain"...on the Vineyard!
                  and eventually
"I can see clearly now the rain is gone"....on the Vineyard!

And, yes, the rain will pass, but in the meantime some of the best days on the Vineyard are the rainy ones....believe it or not! We at Sandcastle Vacation Homes know that a rainy day is probably not what you are hoping for as you dream of a much needed relaxing vacation here on this magic isle, but, do not despair as there are any number of memory making things to do!  

Walk in the rain, barefoot if possible, and on the beach if possible....seriously! Some of our children's greatest memories of their island experience is doing just this!   

Go "sheet flying" if there is a Nor'easter (storm with strong winds from the northeast)!! Take a sheet to the beach and get two people to grab two corners each of the sheet, hold it up for it fills with the wind and go "one, two, three JUMP"! See how far you can "fly"! 

Visit the Flying Horses in Oak Bluffs for a very special ride. The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating carousel in the country and has been designated a National Landmark. One lucky person on each ride will catch the brass ring, and win a free ride.! There is also a small arcade in the building and cotton candy available your young and old alike!

Gus Ben David’s World of Reptiles and Birds off the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road is a dream for animal-lovers of all ages. Gus is always ready to talk about his amazing animal collection and throw in some life lessons. Call for hours of operation - 508-627-5634.  

Children also have a space of their own at the MV Museum on School Street in Edgartown. Every year a gallery is dedicated to the artwork and research projects of Island kids. Call for hours of operation - 508-627-4441.  

Visit the Ryan Family Amusements Dreamland Arcade on Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs.

Pamper yourself or entertain the kids at the Mansion House's Spa, Health Club, or indoor pool on Main Street, Vineyard Haven  

Watch amazing artists at work at the Martha's Vineyard Glassworks' Studio and Gallery which provides the highest quality of hand worked glass with a focus on design and excellent execution. www.mvglassworks.com . It is in West Tisbury at 683 State Road
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Favorite Martha's Vineyard Beaches

Beaches are one of the popular attractions on Martha’s Vineyard.  Some of our favorites: 
  1. State Beach – Great for little kids, small waves, very little undertow.  The five mile stretch along Beach road between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs  features usually calm water, sand bars, lots of  free parking, and a snack bar/truck with yummy frozen lemonade. There are lifeguards on duty and nice picnic benches at the part of the beach called the "bend in the road" at the Edgartown end.
  2. South BeachBeautiful Beach at the end of Herring Creek Road or Katama Road. It features large waves, some undertow. Free Parking 
  3. Fuller Street Beach- Just at the very end of Fuller Street in Edgartown. This is a long stretch with mostly calm water. This beach tends to be less busy since there is little parking. Bike racks are available.
  4. Long Beach – In West Tisbury , on the south shore.  A nice beach with a small lake.  Great for young and older kids.  The lake has no waves and the beach great waves and you can access both from the same spot on the beach.  Cost for entry.
  5. Aquinnah (formerly called Gay Head – fabulous cliffs of red clay.  A small part of the beach is "clothing optional", however other sections are clothed.  Cost for parking
  6. Menemsha – In Aquinnah.  A small but nice beach in a quaint fishing village (this was actually one of the sights the movie JAWS was filmed).  Also, since the beach faces west, a local ritual has visitors coming to view the sunset each evening…it’s one of the few sunsets you’ll see over water from an East Coast location.  Many also come with picnics or stop by Chilmark General Store along the way for their famous pizza.  Free but limited parking.
As always, we ask that you respect our magical island and take all of your belongings and trash with you when you leave the beach so they may be enjoyed by all!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Father's Day On Martha's Vineyard

Kicking off on Fathers Day (Sunday, June 20) and continuing through to Thursday, June 24, Martha's Vineyard Restaurant Week will offer the opportunity to sample a wide variety of MV restaurants at fixed prices ranging from $25 to $45 for a three course special menu.

Fine Food on Martha's Vineyard
From haute cuisine to finger lickin’ comfort food favorites, Restaurant Week is the perfect time to visit Martha’s Vineyard restaurants whose menus you’ve not yet had the chance to explore, ferret out new favorites for the coming summer and revisit a romantic spot at significant savings. Ala carte items will, of course, also be available.

Restaurant Week's successful inaugural event in 2009 promises even more participating restaurants this year. You'll want to make plans now to ensure you'll be a part of this opportunity to explore, eat and enjoy the wonderful offerings Island restaurants are planning for Restaurant Week 2010.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May Highlights on the Vineyard

Though the Summer season has not begun yet that does not mean that the great Island is still slumbering! The Spring flowers are out, there is a hustle and bustle in the towns as the buildings are getting spruced up and the seasonal shops get ready to open. Here are some ideas of what there is to do:

* Summer's much beloved Lobster Rolls at Grace Church in Vineyard Haven are back on their summer schedule: Fridays 4:30-7:30 pm.

* Atria Wine Dinner
Edgartown, May 27th

Join friends of the MVM for a exquisite 5-course culinary experience paired with the perfect wine at one of the Vineyard's finest restaurants. Seating is limited - please RSVP no later than May 20, 2010

* Moonrise Kayaking at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary -


* Visit the Island Alpaca Farm and see the babies!


* Miles of Hiking Trails bursting with Spring Blossoms and 100 Miles of Bike Trails

And….many of our Favorite Restaurants are now open.

For a detailed schedule of most Island events by actual date go to http://www.mvol.com/events/.

Come and visit!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Martha's Vineyard Vacation Rental - Chilmark Beauty

Vacation in Chilmark near the pristine shores of the Tisbury Great Pond in this brand new, custom contemporary built with only the best materials. Four-bedroom main house with a detached guest suite. Open living / dining/ kitchen area with cathedral ceilings and exposed beams overlooking a luxurious setting by the fireplace. Separate TV / den room. Professional caliber appliances, stone counters, oak floors and tiled baths. Entertain your guests with elegance and style in a private Vineyard setting of water and sky. Beautifully landscaped. Includes Quansoo Beach key. There is a wood chip path carved thru the thinned woods that go down to the pond where the kayaks are kept. It is 20 minutes by kayak to Quansoo ocean beach or, when the pond is low, it can be walked (30 minutes).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Getting Ready for Boating

Martha’s Vineyard Harbors and Waterways
The good news is that the harbors did not freeze this winter (2010), though many of the salt ponds did, but the better news is that the water is warming once again and soon it will be teaming with reawakened sea life, beach goers and boats. One sure sign that summer is very near is the appearance in our harbors of the nautical snowbirds. What are they you ask?! They are what we call those that take their boats to warmer waters in the Fall and then sail them back up to their home berths in New England coastal towns in the Spring, using the Vineyard as one of their landfalls on their journey North. We love to go down to the waterfront and listen to their stories of their seagoing adventure, some hair raising and others sure to elicit the envy of the listener.
If you are thinking of a boating excursion to the Island here is some information that may be of assistance
Edgartown - Reservations available usually beginning mid-March
Edgartown harbor is the busiest pleasure boat harbor on Martha's Vineyard. Its spaciousness, available services, and the easy accessibility of island attractions explain its popularity. Plan and secure your spot early

Moorings, Fuel & Dockage
Harbormaster - 1 Morse Street (508) 627.4746: Find information on our Harbor, the services and the free anchorage at http://www.edgartownharbor.com/.
Edgartown Marine - located inside the harbor on your right before the Chappaquiddick ferry crossing. Provides boat supplies, ice, tackle shop and fuel. The Harbor Master, Edgartown Marine and Packard diesel all share the same location. (508) 627.4388.
Herring Creek Marine seasonal waterfront location with larger buildings off-site. (508) 627.7752
Mad Max Marina limited prime dockage available. 508 627.7400
Additional Marine Supplies & Repairs
Martha's Vineyard Shipyard has a summer location on Dock Street offering the basics. They can also send out a boat/mechanic or get you what you need within the day or next day. (508) 627.6000.
Oak Bluffs - Reservations Available usually beginning early February.Oak Bluffs harbor is smaller than Edgartown but unique and also very popular. Power boaters especially enjoy Oak Bluffs' numerous slips, with electricity & water provided, and their proximity to night life and dining. There are 85 slips that can accommodate over 150 boats on moorings, and they now offer launch service! Book harbor moorings early as they are in high demand.
Moorings & Dockage
· Harbormaster (508) 693.4355 Box 1327, Oak Bluffs, MA http://www.oakbluffsharbor.com/Home.html
· Dockside Marina & Marketplace provides dockage and fuel. (508) 693.3392.
Boat Supplies & Repairs
· Don's Marine Service. Shop is away from the harbor. (508) 693.0172.
· Martha's Vineyard Shipyard (in Vineyard Haven) 508-693-0400
Vineyard Haven - Space available on first come first served basisVineyard Haven is the Island's main port of entry and is home to the Shenandoah, a 108-foot square-topsail schooner and Alabama, a 90' Gaff Rigged Fore and Aft Schooner (http://www.theblackdogtallships.com/) as well as many other fine wooden sailing vessels. The town, as well as private companies, offer moorings for visitor's enjoyment.
Moorings & Dockage
· Harbormaster 19 Owen Park Way - (508) 696.4249
· Owen Park with public restrooms and a children's swing abuts the Town Dock. Dockage is by the hour. Moorings are located in the outer harbor. A launch service is available.
· Coastwise Packet Dock, run by the Douglas's (owners of the Black Dog). The launch brings you to the dock where the restaurant is located on the harbor. Coastwise is located just left of the SSA Dock, which is dead center. (508) 693.3854.
· Vineyard Haven Marina is located at 52 Beach Road - in back of West Marine Express. This private marina can accommodate large yachts. (508) 693.9720.
· Tisbury Wharf Company is at 144 Beach Road, and immediately on your left upon entering the harbor. Fuel and ice are available. Tisbury Wharf can accommodate boats up to 200 feet. (508) 693.0720.
Boat Supplies & Repairs
· West Marine Express, 52 Beach Road, in front of Vineyard Haven Marina. If they don't have what you need in stock they will have is brought over from the larger Falmouth store ASAP. (508) 693.2906
· Gannon & Benjamin Boatyard, 30A Beach Road. They design and build new wooden boats, in addition to repairing just about anything. 508 693.4658.
· Martha's Vineyard Shipyard 164 Beach Rd. Boat supplies, mechanics, hauling services and storage provided, read full service shipyard. 508 693.0400.
Menemsha Harbor - Space available on first come first served basisThis is the quintessential New England harbor and mariners truly enjoy the compact nature of Menemsha Harbor. Also, dockage in Menemsha offers the advantage of ocean sunsets, a sandy beach and two Fish Markets a minute or two away.
Moorings & Dockage
· Harbormaster 508-645-2846 between June 1- September 30 or, 508-645-2100 ext. 2846 year-round. http://www.ci.chilmark.ma.us/Pages/ChilmarkMA_Harbor/index
· Menemsha is a small harbor, so call in advance. The tides run very strong into the harbor and along the beach approaching the entrance from the North.
Boat Supplies & Repairs
· Menemsha Marine Repair. Lynn Murphy specializes in diesel engines, but can help direct you to where/what you need. (508) 645.2883.
· The Martha's Vineyard Shipyard can send a boat or truck up from Vineyard Haven harbor (see above).
· Menemsha Texaco, fill up your boat and get snacks inside. (508) 645.2641.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring is here on Martha's Vineyard!

Spring is here and the sound of Spring arrived early.! March 16 brought the first of many reports of hearing the first pinkletinks.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Martha's Vineyard Vacation Rental - New Listing for In-town Edgartown Home!!!

The Martha's Vineyard Vacation rental was recently completed in 2009. This spectacular home was designed by noted Boston/Edgartown architect Patrick Ahearn. The center of the village and harbor with shops and restaurants is just a five minute walk from the homes location on the corner of beautiful South Summer Street and Captains Walk, a short private way that connect to South Water Street. The home features 5 bedrooms all with private baths with four bedrooms in the main house and one in the Carriage House guest suite.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Beautiful Martha's Vineyard Home for Rent

Prime beachfront residence perched on a bluff with unsurpassed panoramic view of the Vineyard Sound. Spacious 2 bedroom main house plus a 2 bedroom guest house. Single story. Interiors renovated with new appliances and ceiling fans. Beautifully furnished and appointed. Private walk to private sandy beach. At the end of the road, total privacy. A lovely creek runs through the property.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

“How was Martha’s Vineyard discovered and “Who was Martha?”

The first Europeans that visited Martha's Vineyard were the Northmen, who landed about the year 1000, naming it Vineland. In some of their writings have been found descriptions that can be of no other place than Martha's Vineyard.
Another discoverer of this island was Verrazano, an Italian explorer, who first sighted the western extremity, formerly called Gay Head and now called Aquinnah, in 1524 and called it Claudia, in honor of the mother of Francis II of France. The next explorer and the one most often credited with the discovery as well as the first one to leave any account of the island, was Bartholomew Gosnold, of Falmouth, England. In 1602 he sailed for Virginia. Contrary winds drove him to the Azores; thence he sailed a little north of west, and struck out boldly across the Atlantic. He was the first Englishman to sail directly to the American coast, thereby saving nearly a thousand miles in distance and at least a week in sailing time. He landed on a cape which he named Cape Cod from the abundance of codfish found there. Then doubling the cape and sailing to the southward he landed on a small island about six miles southeast of Gay Head. He called this small island Martha's Vineyard. The next day he landed on the larger island. After exploring it and finding it so large, well wooded, and with such luxuriant grape vines, many beautiful lakes, and springs of the purest water, he transferred the name and called it Martha's Vineyard, in honor of his mother whose name was Martha. He found on Martha's Vineyard "an abundance of trees and vines of luxuriant growth." His expedition was not a failure because it showed Europe a shorter and more direct route to America and kept up the interest in the new country. The Mayflower followed this route eighteen years later.
About five years later, in 1607, Captain Martin Pring, with a more courageous company than Gosnold's, anchored in what is now Edgartown harbor on Whit Sunday and called it Whitsun Bay. He built a stockade on Chappaquiddick Bluffs which he called Mount Aldworth. Pring traded with the Indians, amused them with music, but enjoyed terrifying them with the sound of the cannon, and with two large mastiffs which he had on board his ship. He sailed away at the first sign of hostility with a cargo of the precious sassafras root.
By this time the Vineyard had also become known to the English by the Indian name of Capawock, and it seems to have been considered one of the most important places on the newly-discovered American coast. This was of course because of its geographical location, harbors and springs of purest water.
We can find in the old records at Edgartown where the first settlers had their grants of lands, for many of the deeds are written in the Indian as well as the English language. The following year, 1642, Governor Thomas Mayhew came to the Vineyard with other settlers. He brought domestic animals, tools, and many things which were needed to start a new colony. Among the families that were here in 1650 we find the names of Butler, Bland, Smith, Burchard, Daggett, Folger, Bayes, Trapp, Norton, Pease, and Vinson (aka Vincent). Many descendants of these original settling families* still reside on the Island!
The above text (somewhat modified) is from the book MARTHA'S VINEYARD by Henry Franklin Norton. Copyright 1923 by Henry Franklin Norton and Robert Emmett Pyne, publishers.
*including Ann Hoar Floyd, the owner of Sandcastle Realty, and her family!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Edgartown/Katama Vacation Rental close to South Beach

Beautifully situated at the end of a country road, this spacious new home affords long views from second and third floors across an Edgartown Great Pond cove to the barrier beach and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. First floor bedrooms have their own doors to deck. There's a wonderful billiard room with a wet bar for those who love the game. Second floor fireplaced living room has large entertainment center and opens to kitchen. Deck after deck off living and dining rooms afford vast views. The master bedroom has it's own private deck. A lovely summer resort vacation home. Just bring your bathing suits, flip-flops and sunscreen.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

New Vacation Home Listing in Edgartown!!!

A wonderful, sunny comfortable home within biking distance to Edgartown or walk to Morning Glory Farm for coffee, muffins & homemade breads in the morning. This home offers central air conditioning and a nice open floor plan for family gatherings. A sunny deck allows for relaxing days in the sun and BBQ'S in the evening.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Historic Edgartown Vacation Home with Pool

Step back into history as you walk through the doors of this authentic and comfortably furnished colonial home. A few of the wonderful features are two master bedrooms with King sized beds and the "Admiral's Quarters" which is a library with an adjoining sun-porch. The lovely, well maintained grounds are interspersed with beautiful gardens and small sculptures. There is a private lap pool (5' deep at deep end) and a covered patio, perfect for enjoying the delighful summer weather with guests over a glass of iced tea. Located in the very heart of the Historic District this home is a short walk to the harbor, elegant to simple restaurants (ice cream!), galleries and shops. Feel free to call for additional information. http://rentals.sandcastlemv.com/sf/sf?s=2000&a1=1044

So what there is to do on Martha's Vineyard

So what is there to do on Martha’s Vineyard?!?!?
How often we are asked that question! Believe us that, from about May 1st to November 1st, rarely a day goes by that we can’t take part in any number of the possible activities below. From November 1st through April life does quiet down, but that does not stop many from visiting this magic isle and taking advantage of its quiet loveliness in other ways including some of the warmer activities listed. So….come visit!
Snorkeling/Scuba diving
Deep Sea-Fishing Charters
Sailing vessel Charters
Windsurfing (rentals available)
Kayaking (rentals available)
Equestrian activities/events
Arboretum visit
Dining in our fine or casual restaurants
Art Galleries galore
Flying Horses! Nation’s oldest carousel
Playground visits
Festivals & Fireworks at various times
.....or just plain lazing around!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Great Summer Rental in Edgartown

Contemporary retreat with breathtaking views over Herring Creek Farm to the Atlantic. This shingle charmer is on a private lot and a 10-minute walk to South Beach. First floor has 9-foot ceilings with three bedrooms, two full baths, and separate laundry. Master suite features king-sized bed, bath with jacuzzi, and sliders leading to deck and private outdoor shower. Second floor has cathedral ceilings and sun-drenched great room. A stone fireplace with driftwood mantle separates the living and dining areas. A plasma TV is an added bonus! Spacious, fully equipped kitchen. Second master bedroom with a king-sized bed and a third full bath. Perfect for two families!
Comments from prior visitors! "We enjoyed very much staying at your home. Our group was three couples, and we found the there was plenty of room and privacy. It would also be a nice place for a large family, or two small families. With all the renovations, the home is like new, and is obviously well cared for. We cooked in at night, and found everything we needed in the kitchen. The deck provided beautiful, panoramic views of Katama and the area was nice for walking. " Anonymous