For all of the ‘glitz’ the Vineyard offers…(and by ‘glitz’ I mean manicured, rose covered streets in old whaling villages)…the village of Menemsha offers the most charming absence of glitz this side of the Mississippi.
It starts with a long ride down Chilmark’s North Road winding by farms, up and over gently rolling hills. And then the road sort of stops…and you get to the water. The village sits right there on a thrust of land, called a bight, extending out into the ocean.
The first thing you’ll see on your left is the famous Home Port restaurant. A great place to take the family and get a homestyle, full, seafood dinner. And across the street, you’ll find great burgers at the Galley and everything else you need at the Menemsha Market.
Head down the street and you’ll find a few great boutiques and stores full of Vineyard treasures. And then, you’ll come to one of my favorite places – The Bite. Hands down the best fried clams on the island. This clam shack was also featured in the movie Jaws, much of which was filmed in Menemhsa.
Most notoriously, Menemsha is known as a fishing village. As you head down the bight, you pass a few seafood shops where the fish is the freshest you can imagine. Literally, if you look through the front door, you can see out the back – to the dock where the boats are pulling up and unloading that day’s catch.
As you pass the fish shops, stay left – and you can walk along the docks to see all of the fishing boats, their equipment and, most likely, some real live fishermen.
The end of bight features a beautiful public beach…a favorite for picnics, drum circles and the most beautiful sunsets you’ve ever seen.
Image courtesy of jlrotner