How to Plan a Great Thanksgiving on Martha’s Vineyard

Thanksgiving on Martha's Vineyard
Tim Sackton/Thanksgiving Turkey [327/366]/Flickr
Thanksgiving on Martha’s Vineyard is a big deal. After all, Massachusetts is the state where Thanksgiving began! And on the Vineyard, Thanksgiving is not just a special day but an experience that begins well before, and lasts long after, the actual holiday.

Thanksgiving on Martha’s Vineyard is more than a time to connect with friends and family, enjoy a traditional meal and partake in other customs associated with the holiday. It also signifies the start of the holiday season and kicks off the shopping season.

Read on to learn how to plan a great Thanksgiving on Martha’s Vineyard.


If you are traveling to Martha’s Vineyard for Thanksgiving, you will want to plan ahead. Many transportation services are not open on Thanksgiving Day and may be running on a seasonal schedule. Be sure to visit the Steamship Authority and Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority for their holiday schedules.

Thanksgiving Dinner

If you are planning to prepare your own holiday feast, be sure to get your shopping done ahead of time since most grocery stores on the island will be closed on Thanksgiving Day. If you are looking for locally grown vegetables then consider paying a visit to Morning Glory Farms. In addition to a wide variety of seasonal veggies, they sell locally raised meats, eggs, milk, bread, pies and quiches.

If you prefer to leave the cooking to someone else, then your choices range from take-out to grand buffets. In most cases, it is best to reserve your spot at a local restaurant serving Thanksgiving Dinner. And be sure to place your take-out order ahead of time! Local restaurants that serve Thanksgiving dinner typically include The Grill on Main, Water Street at the Harbor View, The Black Dog Tavern, Lucky Hank’s and Hob Knob.

Things to Do

Don’t let the post-Thanksgiving blues get to you. There is still much more to do once the turkey dishes get cleared! Get up and out and enjoy some of the island’s special events that are fun for the whole family.

Vineyard Artisans 18th Annual Thanksgiving Festival

November 27 & 28, 10am-4pm

At the Ag Hall in West Tisbury

This large holiday art show by Islanders features many holiday gifts such as one of a kind winter handmade sweaters, hand-made soaps, Island lavender, and fine crafts including leather and vintage material bags, wood butcher block cutting boards, and so much more. The best part of coming to the Vineyard Artisan Festivals is meeting the artists and listening to how they love their art and enjoy making these beautiful gifts.

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary Fall Festival

November 27, 2015, 11am-3pm

Scarecrows at Mass Audubon Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Enjoy the 25th Annual Fall Festival at Mass Audubon Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. This celebration of fall is a Vineyard tradition held the day after Thanksgiving and draws hundreds of islanders and visitors each year. With hayrides, face painting, live music, food, wreath making, a weather station and crafts for kids, live animals, trail walk, there is fun to be had by the whole family!

Black Friday Shopping

For many, the Thanksgiving holiday is not complete without some Black Friday shopping. Rest assured that while most retail shops are closed on Thanksgiving Day, they reopen on Friday to welcome shoppers eager to take part in some holiday shopping.

Thanksgiving on Martha’s Vineyard is a wonderful experience for all! Whether you are reuniting with family and friends or just looking for a unique getaway for the holiday, be sure to book your accommodations with Sandpiper Rentals. Our Martha’s Vineyard vacation rentals are ideal for relaxing and unwinding in between all of the great activities you can participate during your time on the island. Our rental properties are located all over Martha’s Vineyard, so you can choose to stay on your favorite part of the island. Whether you want to be right in town or more isolated, we have the perfect rental for you. Our homes are all unique, yet they all offer comfortable accommodations and luxurious amenities. Visit our website to check availability and learn about all of our services!

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