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Wednesday, September 21, 2022

West Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard, 02575

West Tisbury is a sprawling town that has shorelines on both the north and south shore of the Island. Bordering Tisbury, Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, and Chilmark, this is the largest geographic “up-island” town. With settlers dating back to the late 1600s, West Tisbury has a rich agricultural history. This charming and quiet town is a bit more spread out than the down-island towns, but has a lot to offer.

The West Tisbury Farmers Market is the Island’s twice-weekly farmers market in season and is the place to go for the largest variety of the freshest food on Martha’s Vineyard. Hosted at the Agricultural Hall off of State Road, this robust market features locally grown produce, flowers, shellfish, sea scallops, locally produced cheeses, chocolate, bread, sea salt, prepared foods, hot food, and much more.

It’s a must-visit for a look at the island’s bounty, this family-friendly market is hosted every Wednesday and Saturday throughout the summer. Dotted around town are a plethora of stand-alone farm stands including Blackwater Farm, Ghost Island Farm, North Tisbury Farm, Whippoorwill Farm, and more offering fresh ingredients all week, and in some cases all year, long. 

West Tisbury is also home to one of the most beloved beaches on the Island, iconic Lambert’s Cove Beach. This beach is famous for its calm shallow water, soft white sand, and Caribbean-esque blue water.

Lambert’s Cove is a restricted town beach and requires a resident permit to visit during the season. If you are staying in West Tisbury many homes come with a beach pass, and it’s reason alone to stay in town. This family-friendly beach does have portable facilities in the summer months but does require a long sandy walk to the beach and is not suitable for beach goers with limited mobility. . 

Hiking is also abundant in West Tisbury thanks to networks of trails managed by Sheriff’s Meadow, The Landbank, and The Trustees of Reservations. West Tisbury is home to fresh and saltwater ponds, miles of beaches featuring giant boulders leftover from glacial movement, soft sand, and even cliffs. There is a lot to see and do outside in this beautiful town and popular nature preserves include Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary and Sepiessa Point Preserve. You can find maps, GPS directions, and lots of helpful information about all of the island’s hiking trails on the TrailsMV app

Polly Hill Arboretum is a lovely place for the whole family and easily accessible from State Road, open daily from sunrise to sunset. This extremely well-curated property is home to an extensive collection of plantlife, and offers programming all summer long.

The Annual Agricultural Fair also calls West Tisbury home, and takes place at the end of summer at the Agricultural Hall. This classic Agricultural fair is everything you would dream of from small-town America. Complete with old tractors, vegetable and canning competitions, tug of war, rides, and of course food, this once-a-year event is an epic celebration of summer, and is looked forward to by many.  

Speaking of history, Alley’s General Store is the Island’s oldest retail business. It even boasts its own set of post office boxes that is owned by the Vineyard Preservation Trust. This historic general store opened in 1859 and has been a local and visitor favorite for generations. Next door you will find 7a foods, a locally driven sandwich shop and coffee business offering to-go breakfast and lunch, prepared foods, coffee, and pantry items. Don’t miss the Liz Lemon, a sandwich named after the 30 Rock character and piled high with turkey, pastrami, coleslaw, and potato chips. Share it with a friend or prepare for an afternoon nap. 

For fine dining, look no further than State Road Restaurant. This beautiful property is known for its locally sourced menu, exceptional dining experience, and stunning ambiance. Though there are no liquor stores in West Tisbury, beer and wine are available with the purchase of food at this popular establishment. 

Art is very much alive in West Tisbury! During the summer months, it’s the home of the Vineyard Artisans Festival, a weekly showing of the island’s talented makers and creators at the historic Grange Hall. Also in West Tisbury is the Granary Gallery, one of the island’s premier art galleries featuring some of Martha’s Vineyard’s most sought-after artists, and world-renowned artists with ties to the Vineyard. If a walk through a whimsical sculpture garden sounds like a good time, don’t miss the Field Gallery which also includes an indoor gallery space featuring a rotating display of local art for sale. Despite its name, Chilmark Pottery is located in West Tisbury and is a working pottery studio with a large building full of handmade ceramic items for sale. Martha’s Vineyard Glass Works is a working glass studio, with resident artists who blow glass daily. This is an amazing place to meet the artists and see them at work. Shop their impressive showroom featuring functional and art pieces of all kinds. Other shopping destinations include Middletown Nursery for exquisite plants and a beautifully curated selection of home goods as well as Tending Joy, a  delightful collection of colorful crafts from local artisans, and from artisans around the globe. 

When it comes to lodging West Tisbury is home to the Lambert’s Cove Inn, a quaint inn that features an upscale farm-to-table restaurant that is open to the public. This property is tucked in the woods, walking distance to Icehouse Pond, a freshwater swimming hole, and just over a mile from Lambert’s Cove Beach. Rental homes, through local realtors, Airbnb, VRBO, etc. are great options for places to stay in West Tisbury. 

Visiting West Tisbury is best with a vehicle, however, you can get around most of West Tisbury on the Vineyard Transit Authority Buses. There are some bike paths in town, but most of the main roads do not offer bike paths and can be dangerous at times. Be sure to exercise caution if you are riding a bike on any road on the Island. 

If shopping for local art and meeting Martha’s Vineyard’s talented artists and creators is on your bucket list, then head to West Tisbury for the perfect leisurely day. 

Funded, in part, by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

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