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We’ve partied in Miami, adventured all over Bonaire, and chilled out in Aruba — our blogging trio gets together whenever we can. But Kristin, Angie and I don’t get to see each other nearly as much as we’d like to, which would ideally be like, oh I don’t know, every day or so. (Which luckily is how often we touch base in our therapy-like group iMessage.)

Last year, I was thrilled to host our crew for a five-night adventure around the East Coast. After one brief but fun night in Boston, we were off to one of my favorite slices of this planet: Martha’s Vineyard.

Martha's Vineyard Ferry

Martha's Vineyard Girl Weekend

My mom very generously allows me to host friends whenever we can make it work in the cottage’s hectic summer schedule: in the past, I’ve hosted a girlfriend getaway of my childhood friends from Albany, a couples weekend for two of my friends from Brooklyn, and now, my very own travel blogger bonanza.

Our first stop was my mom’s cottage — of which I’ll be doing a renovation update post soon! — and strolled around the ever-charming town of Oak Bluffs. The girls were ga-ga for all of it, but what really got my heart rate racing was the sight of the freshly renovated Summercamp, formerly known as the Wesley Hotel.

My family knew the Wesley fairly intimately — we used to shower and do laundry there when our only bathroom was being renovated! — and so it was wild to wander through this fresh and fun iteration. I swear, if my family didn’t have a cottage a stone’s throw away, I’d be tempted to move right into this playful and colorful new hotel.

Summercamp Hotel Martha's Vineyard
Summercamp Hotel Martha's Vineyard

Summercamp Hotel Martha's Vineyard

Summercamp Hotel Martha's Vineyard

Summercamp Hotel Martha's Vineyard

Since I was showing two travel journalists who just love site inspections — industry sarcasm there, folks — I also couldn’t resist showing them Dockside Inn as well, another slightly more budget-friendly option in Oak Bluffs.

Dockside Inn, Martha's Vineyard

We punctuated our lazy day of wandering the town with two great meals at a few of my island favorites: a quick and easy lunch at Slice of Life, and later a fancy dinner at Red Cat Kitchen. Red Cat is one of the few Martha’s Vineyard restaurants that I just can’t go on living without visiting once a summer, but this particular meal was a bit of a letdown. I was miffed by our table placement out on the closed-in porch — turns out I hate three-tops facing a wall with a passion. Self discovery is so important, isn’t it? From now on, I’ll be specifically requesting a table in the main dining room when I make a reservation (and yes, you need a reservation.)

Early the next morning, Kristin and I hopped over to Mansion House in Vineyard Haven for a hilariously showtune-oriented zumba class. I’d been dying to try the fitness classes at Mansion House for ages and having a fellow group exercise addict in town was the perfect excuse. Fellow Vineyard folk, take note — despite being one of the fanciest gyms on the island, the class packages at Mansion House are an insanely good value, include access to the fitness center and pool, and they don’t expire for twenty-four months! I couldn’t wait to see where the rest of my twelve pack would take me.

Edgartown Lighthouse

Edgartown Lighthouse

After scooping Angie up back at the house, we were off. I actually had a very snazzy plan for the day, but it was quickly crumbling. We were running a little behind schedule, so I ditched the new (and slightly out of the way) brunch location in favor of reliable ‘ol Sharky’s Cantina in Edgartown, so that we would still make it to our Chappaquiddick Lighthouse Tour in time.

Except whoops, I kinda screwed that up too — the website had two different times listed for the tour on two different pages on their website, just thirty minutes apart. For some reason the later one stuck until I called to ask some detail about where to park or something and realized my mistake — and that we’d never make it on time at that point. Oops.

So we were on to Plan B, a different lighthouse. Bonus: Sharky’s is delicious, and a lighthouse is a lighthouse. And this one did not require a tour. (Though I’ll get you someday, Chappy Lighthouse! I’ll get you someday!)

Edgartown Lighthouse

Edgartown LighthousePhoto courtesy of Kristin Luna

Can you believe I’d never been to Edgartown Lighthouse? No surprise I missed in my childhood visits to the island, however, considering public access was only added in 2007.

After a scenic stroll down the short path from Edgartown’s Harbor View Hotel, Kristin and I happily scrambled up to the top of the lighthouse for a bargain $5 donation to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, and a friendly chat with the ticket man, who works in the island’s public school during the year and its lighthouses in the summer.

Edgartown LighthousePhoto courtesy of Kristin Luna

Edgartown Lighthouse

Edgartown Lighthouse

After, we wandered around the boutiques, ice cream shops, and cafes of Edgartown and I took the girls for a house-peeping drive through my favorite residential streets. Edgartown is so different from Oak Bluffs, it’s really fun to compare and contrast and brainwash new Vineyard visitors on the superior choice between the two. (Just kidding! Sort of.)

Edgartown Lighthouse Martha's Vineyard
Edgartown Martha's Vineyard

Edgartown Martha's VineyardPhoto courtesy of Kristin Luna

Edgartown Martha's VineyardPhoto courtesy of Kristin Luna

Edgartown Martha's VineyardPhoto courtesy of Kristin Luna

And then I thought, oh, wouldn’t it be nice to show the girls South Beach? Growing up, South Beach was our go-to stretch of sand, as we always rented houses around Edgartown Great Pond (this was before my mom became an Oak Bluffs resident, of course.)

Of course, this being my major fail of hosting day, the beach was cold, windy, and completely abandoned — the second time I’ve hauled guests to the other side of the island to discover so. Lesson learned, from here on South Beach in a July and August only zone.

South Beach Martha's VineyardPhoto courtesy of Kristin Luna

South Beach Martha's VineyardPhoto courtesy of Kristin Luna

On our way out of town, we stopped for goodies at Black Sheep, an Edgartown favorite for home-cooked grab-and-go meals. I’d arrived on the island with a case of wine for the summer and we decided to tuck into it with dinner at our own dining room table. After, we were joined by my Hawaii friend Caitlin, who I realized via Facebook just so happened to be in town for a wedding, and we hit Circuit Avenue for a hilarious night of dancing at The Trampost, er, The Lampost. (Sorry guys, that joke gets me every. single. time.) I love any nightlife that involves a five minute walk to get to!

Sunday, we woke up relatively early to head to a class at the Yoga Barn. While the gentle fascia-focused yoga wasn’t my favorite class I’ve ever taken, the space is stunning and it was probably a nice transition for our bodies in recovery from the night before. Want more yoga? Check out my list of the island’s best studios!

Yoga Barn Acro Yoga

Yoga Barn Acro Yoga

Yoga Barn Acro Yoga

And then, having ticked off the “health” portion of our Sunday, it was time to move onto the “treat yo’ self” segment! I’d been dying to check out brunch at island darling State Road for ages, and I absolutely loved it. Luckily, so did the girls.

Personally, I preferred it to dinner, though that’s probably for strangely particular only-to-me reasons like I find the lighting too dark at night (honestly, I have a problem) and State Road occupies such a rustically beautiful space I really enjoyed admiring it during the day. Want more food? Check out my list of the island’s best restaurants!

State Road Brunch
State Road Brunch

State Road Brunch

The rest of our day was delightfully low-key. I’d suggested a drive up-island to see the Aquinnah Cliffs and the Menemsha, but it was so overcast and foggy we weren’t sure if it would be worth the trip. Then Angie suggested (slash begged for) another idea — Jane Austen’s Love and Friendship at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center, a limited release movie which she reckoned wouldn’t run in her hometown of Jacksonville.

I have to admit I went completely out of the desire to see my friend happy and be a good host; I personally had no interest in the movie whatsoever. But WOW am I glad we went — I can’t remember the last time I laughed out loud so often in a movie theater, and I have a newfound interest in Austen’s works as a result.

Martha's Vineyard Lighthouse on Telegraph HillPhoto courtesy of Kristin Luna

Our next and final morning, I was determined to take the girls to one last impressive meal. And so we headed to Art Cliff, my favorite choice for weekday brunch — it’s a fools errand, unfortunately, to try to go anytime in the summer on a weekend — with a driving tour through East Chop en route.

As usual, it was a treat! The girls and I split several dishes, including blueberry and brown sugar pancakes. I love Artcliff’s twists on traditional breakfast food, as well as their kitschy cute decor.

Artcliff Diner Martha's Vineyard
Artcliff Diner Martha's Vineyard

Artcliff Diner Martha's VineyardPhoto courtesy of Kristin Luna

Artcliff Diner Martha's VineyardPhoto courtesy of Kristin Luna

Artcliff Diner Martha's Vineyard

And then, in what felt like the blink of an eye, we were headed off the island! Thankfully, it wasn’t goodbye just yet, as we still had one last night together in my hometown of Albany coming up.

Martha's Vineyard Girl Weekend

Martha's Vineyard Girl Weekend

Martha's Vineyard Girl Weekend

This trip, like any time I spend with these girls, was glorious. Granted, I had a bit of hosting guilt over all the things we didn’t do or see. I had planned a gorgeous itinerary, a lot of which fell apart due to weather (it was unseasonably cold and overcast all weekend), planning snafus (I made some oopsies) and all of us craving a bit more down time than expected (understandable). I can only hope I can convince them to come back soon for round two!

Want to see more photos and hear more stories from our trip? Check out Angie’s blog post and Kristin’s blog post for a different take!

What’s your favorite girlfriend getaway destination?

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The Martha's Vineyard Girlfriend Getaway Guide
The Martha's Vineyard Girlfriend Getaway Guide

 

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28 Comments...
  • I cannot WAIT for our reunion in a few weeks. Also, I’m dying to see the renovation update post! Has the new suite been completed already? Definitely going to have to get my family up there in 2018!!!
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted..Back in Boston: A Stay at the Fairmont Copley Plaza

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      It is currently in progress — Kathryn is texting me constant update photos! Fingers crossed it’s all done by July so I can do another big update 🙂

  • Lindsay J.
    May 5 2017

    My husband and I just bought a cottage in the campground so I was super excited to see your posted! Also excited to see the update cottage renovations. We’re doing some work to ours and I love seeing what other’s have done. You also gave me some good ideas for when we’re there this summer. 🙂

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      Lindsay that is so exciting! Shoot me an email — you can drop over to our cottage anytime for a tour! If I’m not there my mom would love to show you… we love getting to know our campground neighbors.

  • Ijana Loss
    May 5 2017

    It’s super fun to have a little getaway with friends! Come to think of it, islands are kind of perfect for such a trip, as all the interesting stuff is relatively close together and the island vibe makes for great socializing

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      Couldn’t agree more! What these three ladies needed was to relax… and Martha’s Vineyard has the perfect island vibes for that!

  • Cate
    May 5 2017

    I love how our blog highlights fun state side places for those who have limited time or cant stray far. I’ve always thought Martha’s Vineyard was for the super wealthy, but it seems like a cute island! Love all the food, looks so yummy
    Cate recently posted..A Love Letter to the Sea

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      Well that misconception is exactly why I just published my new budget guide 🙂 The perfect US dream destination, in my opinion!

  • Angie Away
    May 5 2017

    LOVE everything about this. What a fun walk down Memory Lane… even though it wasn’t really that long ago. I’d go anywhere with you gals =)
    Angie Away recently posted..DIY Laundry Room Makeover – Part 1

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      I know! My heart was soaring writing this. I want to go back… let’s work on a time machine!

  • becky hutner
    May 5 2017

    I’ve probably said this on a previous post but that is the most gorgeous yoga studio I’ve ever seen. Also, the fan of tennis racquets on the wall. Martha’s Vineyard is TOO CUTE!

    PS — thanks for reminding me about Love & Friendship. I really want to see!

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      It was SO GOOD. So glad Angie suggested it. Seriously witty and funny — I would watch it again in a heartbeat.

  • Sarah
    May 5 2017

    I’m just throwing in that I totally love the frequency of your posts recently, It’s fab that there’s a new one pretty much every time I have a blog reading session!

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      Aw, thanks Sarah! I am working really hard to get into my old posting groove and the encouragement you guys are giving me really does help. Positive reinforcement… it works! Lol.

  • Dominique
    May 6 2017

    You girls look radiant! Sometimes all you need is just good company to make the weekend work, all the planning snafus and bad weather can’t stand in the way of that!
    Dominique recently posted..Doha – A Long Transit

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      So true! Could never have a bad time with these two!

  • Marni
    May 7 2017

    This looks like so much fun! I love getaway trips and reunion meet ups. They’re so much fun and some of the best memories are made during them. Martha’s Vineyard looks stunning, and even though some of your plans fell through, it looks like it was a great time for you ladies.
    Marni recently posted..2017: What’s Next

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      Agreed! Of all the trips I take in a year, these are the ones I look forward to the most. It is just so recharging to spend time with the ones you love.

  • Natalie
    May 8 2017

    That hotel looks like so much fun! I love the whimsy. 🙂 Martha’s Vineyard has not been on my radar and with these photos I just don’t know why!! It looks like the PERFECT girls get away. Can you adopt me as your sister? 😉

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      Ha ha, why not? We’ve always been a “more the merrier” kind of family.

  • Arianwen
    May 8 2017

    This is so lovely! It’s been ages since I got together with the girls who were my support group when I first started blogging, but as we’re all in Europe for the first time in ages, we think we’ll do it soon. Angie was one of the first people I met at a blogger event. She ended up staying with me because her accommodation got cancelled last minute! It’s been years since I saw her too. God damned travel makes it so hard to get together, but I guess it makes it even more special when you can have a reunion like this!
    Arianwen recently posted..Win a Pair of Tickets to This Year’s Rock en Seine Festival!

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      Aw, love that you know Angie too. She’s the best! Agreed — being friends with travelers is a major hazard when it comes to scheduling 😉

  • Travelen
    May 9 2017

    Alex keep give us beautiful moments and beautiful photos! Very sweet company.. You must be an amazing trip!
    Travelen recently posted..7 Spring Travel items

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      Thanks! Love sharing my travels here!

  • Chris
    May 9 2017

    Sounds like you guys had an amazing weekend even if your itinerary fell apart! Thanks for putting Art Cliff Diner and the State Road Restaurant on my map, they both seem like a nice cozy and warm felt place to grab a bite to eat. When I’m in Massachusset I’ll be paying them a visit! Love the article.
    Chris recently posted..My Life and Adventure Up and Coming Travel Plan

    • Alex
      May 12 2017

      Thanks Chris! Those are two of my brunching favorites!

  • The Travellers
    July 13 2017

    Very beautiful article!!!

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