My Martha’s Vineyard Fave Five

June 6, 2011

People have been asking me about specific places I went in Oak Bluffs to help plan potential trips of their own, so I figured I’d put together a quick and dirty list of places you MUST visit when you go. Here are my fave 5:

5. The Green
I’m not sure if this is the official name for it because when I entered it into The Google nothing came up. But it’s a sprawling area of grass and benches and gazebos and frizbees and giggling children and blankets and napping and understated happiness. Grab your blanket, the concealed libation of your choice, and a fully loaded iPod for an afternoon of unprecedented relaxation. If you’re extra hippie like myself, take your shoes off and allow your toes to be tickled by some of the prettiest and cleanest grass I’ve ever seen. It was like the grass didn’t even have dirt underneath it. Or had been run through the dishwasher or something. I wanted to dance barefoot and run through an imaginary sprinkler of purified Poland Spring water to the soundtrack of this song:

4. Smoke’n Bones
If you like onion rings you need to go to this place. No, this is not their specialty but I remember stalking everyone’s onion rings like a champ. I’d sneak up on the basket when its owners were engaged in conversation and steal a few concentric rings, positioning them on my plate as if they were part of my order and acting as if the robbery never took place. The rib basket was the special of the day and the ribs were tender and well seasoned. The cornbread chunk that came with it could feed a small family for a week in some third world country and was sweet and perfectly buttery. But of all the items I sampled, the onion rings were doing the absolute most for my tummy and I’m grateful for their brief cameo during my vacation.

3.  Biscuits
Guess what? I’m not even sending you there for the biscuits. Just keeping it real. I’m from South Carolina where we have places like Bojangles, whose biscuits are a virtual Electric Slide all up and down your tastebuds. However, this restaurant has the best grits I have had north of the Mason-Dixon line. If I were a licker of bowls I would have done it right there in my seat by the window, but my mother warned me about doing that in public so I opted for the unassuming “clean scrape” that leaves just a few grains in the bowl so it doesn’t appear licked.

2. Sanctuary
I wrote about the effect this store had on me last week. You could be the most pessimistic Scrooge on Earth who goes around kicking puppies in your spare time but upon walking into this store, you’re guaranteed to find at least one thing that warms your spirit. From gratitude rocks to wisdom cards, there are enough tangible expressions of positive energy in this store to last a lifetime. Or at least until your next trip to the Vineyard 🙂

1. Ben and Bills Ice Cream Shop
So, I rarely eat ice cream so I can’t really compare it to any shops in New York except the 31 flavors that I grew up on. However, this was the best ice cream to ever grace my palate. Oh. Em. Gee. Like, I didn’t want the cone to finish. I wanted it to refill itself each time I got to that coveted bottom of the cone with a fresh new “kiddie” scoop (which by the way, I wonder what size kids grow on the Vineyard b/c the scoop was massive). I sampled the lobster ice cream just to say I did it, and surprisingly, it was good. In a sweet, seafood and butter kind of way….(you gotta trust me on this one lol) I also sampled the Grape Nuts flavor which was also delightful. But when it was time to order the real deal, I always ordered the Butter Pecan which was just…sinful. If you only eat out once the entire trip, go get a sugar cone from Ben and Bills. You’ll thank me, The Universe, Ben, Bill and their families for making this unforgettable moment in your life possible.

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  • Reply Anonymous June 6, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    The real name of the park in #1 is Ocean Park. And this might be a good Fave Five of Oak Bluffs; The Vineyard as an island has so much more to offer!!

  • Reply Sojourner Marable Grimmett July 13, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    I just loved spending summers with my Dad in Oak Bluffs! Great Fave Fives!

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