This past holiday, I had the pleasure of experiencing Martha’s Vineyard during their holiday kickoff weekend for Christmas in Edgartown. Topher joined me so we could have a little holiday getaway together and winter on the island did not disappoint.
Today, I wanted to share my complete recap of this festive weekend. It was such a great experience and you’ll want to bookmark and save this post for reference to plan your holiday this year on Martha’s Vineyard. Christmas in Edgartown is always in early December, and save the date for December 8-11 2022.
Christmas in Edgartown
Every holiday season, the town of Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard becomes a Christmas wonderland. One weekend in early December welcomes the spirit of the holiday season with events galore including a holiday parade with Santa arriving on an antique firetruck and the Christmas lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse. Every storefront, home, and lighthouse is adorned with beautiful holiday displays and Christmas lights. It will put you right in the holiday spirit! It makes a great holiday escape for couples and families alike.
Planning your Stay & Arriving to the Island
Booking your hotel— Hotels book up fast for this holiday weekend, so make sure to reserve ahead of time. There are several hotels to choose from right in Edgartown which is ideal if you are not bringing your car on the ferry. We stayed at The Harbor View Hotel which was absolutely lovely and has THE BEST VIEW of the lighthouse right from its grand wrap around porch. It was the perfect place to stay, especially if you want the ease of just walking out the hotel’s front door to view the Lighting of the Lighthouse from the porch. The Harbor View does it up right with carolers singing on the porch, festive drinks with a full bar, and a beautiful lobby adorned in holiday style.
Booking your travel— Most will arrive by ferry to the island this time of year. We boarded and arrived to the island via Steamship Authority which will bring you to Vineyard Haven. If you plan to bring your car over, again I would suggest booking early to ensure you get a spot on the ferry for your vehicle. Those slots fill up fast for the Christmas in Edgartown weekend.
Arriving by ferry to Vineyard Haven— Before you taxi or Uber over to your accommodations, I’d recommend checking out Vineyard Haven and grabbing a bite at The Black Dog Tavern—the original. It’s a fun way to start your Martha’s experience and the atmosphere is perfectly salty and coastal inside the restaurant. I’d recommend ordering the chowder and the crab cakes. Be sure to snap a pic on the wharf before you leave too. As stated before, I would plan ahead to secure restaurant reservations for this weekend because they book up fast too. It will ease your mind knowing you have that all set in place and you can just enjoy your holiday weekend.
The Harbor View Hotel— We stayed at The Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown, and it was exceptional. Our room was in the main lodge with a walkout balcony and had luxury details throughout. This would be my top pick for being in town on the island and it is all about location, location, location! The Edgartown Lighthouse is just steps from the front porch of this historic hotel. Everything in town is walking distance from the hotel. Shopping, restaurants, and some of the prettiest homes line the streets as you wander around the neighborhood.
Dine at Bettini— The hotel has a fabulous restaurant on site called Bettini. I’d definitely make a dinner reservation here for your stay because EVERYTHING we had was phenomenal! Just a reminder to reserve early if you are coming for the Christmas in Edgartown weekend. The atmosphere is upscale and there is nothing better than indulging in an amazing meal surrounded by candlelight.
Christmas in Edgartown Events
Lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse— The big kickoff to the holiday weekend is the lighting of the Edgartown Lighthouse. We gathered on the porch of The Harbor View with a festive sip in hand amongst groups of generational families and packs of friends gathered for the merry-making night. Carolers adorned in period costume sang on the porch and we all awaited the big moment when the Christmas lights are all aglow on the lighthouse. It was a jolly scene and indoors the bar was hopping, the champagne was flowing, and the fire was crackling as all enjoyed the night.
The Parade— The next morning, we headed into town to enjoy the Edgartown Christmas Parade. A good tip—grab some hot cocoa from Murdick’s Fudge before the parade begins. It was so fun to see all the participants and dogs that strutted in the parade. The big finale of Santa arriving by fire truck had all the kids’ attention, young and old!
Wreath-making Workshop at Donoroma’s— Donoroma’s Garden Store will add to your holiday enjoyment if you are looking for a hands-on activity during your visit. We enjoyed a wreath-making workshop at their lovely garden store. It was so nice to bring home my creation and enjoy it for the holidays. Donoroma’s is also responsible for all the beautiful decorations and fresh holiday displays all around Edgartown.
Where to Grab a Bite
There are so many great restaurants on the island. Here’s a few favorites from this trip. For dinner, just a reminder to make sure to make restaurant reservations in advance for this festive holiday weekend.
Espresso Love Cafe— Great window cafe for breakfast with an array of breakfast sandwiches and delicious coffee drinks to fuel your day. My favorite picks: The Islander Sandwich and Matcha Latte
Black Dog Tavern— A great lunch spot in Vineyard Haven that I featured above when we arrived on the island. My Favorite Picks: Clam Chowder, Crab Cakes, & Spinach Salad
The Town Bar— Open year round on the island serving bar fare and a really good sushi plate! Great for drinks and sharable plates. My Favorite Picks: Get the Sushi—it’s really good! They have an extensive Sushi menu. The Spicy Margarita is pretty darn good too.
Bettini—Having dinner in Bettini at The Harbor View Hotel is a wonderful experience and a special evening. You can’t go wrong with ordering anything on the menu. Be sure to make reservations in advance. My favorite picks: Broiled MV Hussleton Head Petite Bay Scallops, Sautéed Mussels, Pasta Alla Vodka, Affogato Dessert
The Newes from America— A casual dining option with a warm inviting pub atmosphere and phenomenal drink menu. My Favorite Picks: Onion Soup with 3 Cheeses, Fish & Chips, and any crafted cocktail MVspeakeasy whips up!
Murdick’s Fudge— No visit to Martha’s is complete without a stop into Murdick’s. You may catch them in action whipping up fudge in the giant copper bowls in the shop. We loved indulging in their hot cocoa for the parade.
Favorite Shops in Edgartown
Vineyard Vines— This flagship store in Edgartown is a must visit when you are on the island. You’ll love the store selection and special MV Vineyard Vines gear.
Nell— One of my top picks for shopping on MV. This boutique has so many beautiful pieces from fashion, shoes, home decor and more.
Juniper—This home store has beautiful artist made goods from original art to wood carved trinkets and more.
The Black Dog— Another MV original like Vineyard Vines, this is my favorite Black Dog store to shop in. You can get all your Black Dog gear and even extras like cookbooks you will find in store.
Time & Tide— If you want a very special keepsake from your Martha’s Vineyard trip, be sure to stop in this shop for their original lightship bracelets. Handmade in Edgartown.
Explore the Island
If you bring your car on the ferry or have a friend on island with a vehicle, you must venture outside of Edgartown. Even in shoulder season, the beauty of the island will wow you with cliff views of the ocean, lighthouses, farms, beaches and a quaint fishing village.
Aquinnah— If you want that perfect picturesque view be sure to visit Aquinnah. The Gay Head Lighthouse sits perched over the ocean and there is a path that takes you up close and personal.The cliff view path is also a must see because the views from this point will take your breath away. The ocean is so beautiful with the blue waves crashing the shore.
Menemsha— Ultimate salty vibes can be found in this little fishing village in Chilmark. Seaside fishing shacks, walk-up windows for a fresh catch bite, and during the holidays a darling little lobster trap tree. The beach here is beautiful to stroll. The coastal charm abounds here and the sunset views are beautiful.
Morning Glory Farm— Just a mile from Edgartown Center sits this wonderful farm complete with a full indoor market. It’s worth the ride over to pick up coffee, fresh produce, baked goods, and farmstead favorites. The market is wonderfully appointed with fresh bakery items every morning, an array of in season produce, and specialty items for your pantry. During the holidays you will find Christmas trees and more outside the market.
This was my first time experiencing Christmas in Edgartown on Martha’s Vineyard and it was a weekend I will cherish. I’d love to take the whole family to enjoy it in the years to come. The spirit of island is so warm and festive and we had a jolly old time!