Go on an adventure
On the water:
There’s plenty to do on Martha’s Vineyard if you can pry yourselves off your beach towels. For starters, you can stay close to the water and go kayaking, waterskiing, jet skiing, and parasailing.
Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary (massaudubon.org) and The Trustees of Reservations (thetrustees.org) both offer guided as well as non-guided kayak tours of local ponds and lagoons. Winds Up in Vineyard Haven offers lessons in windsurfing, sailing, and kayaking, and also rents and sells all kinds of water toys. For more information, visit windsupmv.com.
Stroll along Oak Bluffs or Edgartown harbor for rent-your-own jet skis, parasailing outings, and charter fishing boats.
In the air:
A great way to really see the Vineyard is from above. Classic Aviators, based out of Katama Airfield in Edgartown, does daily bi-plane tours over Edgartown, along the State Beach coast, along the south coast to the Gay Head Cliffs, or over Chappaquiddick. You can even add a “thrill” to your ride. For more information, visit biplanemv.com or call 508-627-7677.
At the farm:
Gus Ben David’s World of Reptiles and Birds Park Edgartown Wildlife education facility with live animals. Thursdays, 10 am: Live Animal Interviews. Rain dates: Fridays. 508-627-5634.
Island Alpaca Company, Oak Bluffs Visit alpaca, farm stand, children’s programs. $5. islandalpaca.com; 508-693-5554.
Native Earth Teaching Farm, Chilmark Tours, animals, self-guided trail, self-serve farm stand, children’s programs. Wednesdays, 10 am: Toddler Time. Sundays, 3 pm: Shepherd’s Tea. $5; $10 families. nativeearthteachingfarm.org; 508-645-3304.
Tennis, golf, horseback riding...
Farm Neck Golf Club (508-693-3057)
Vineyard Tennis Center Workout and Spa (508-696-8000)
Island Country Club Tennis (508-693-6574)
Vineyard Youth Tennis (508-693-7762)
Golf (Public courts):
Edgartown: Recreation Association on Robinson Road; Oak Bluffs: Town Courts on Niantic Ave. and the courts at the Oak Bluffs School; Vineyard Haven: Church & Lake St.; West Tisbury School.
For off the water activities, there are several golf courses: Farm Neck, Mink Meadows, and Edgartown Golf Club. Island Cove Mini Golf in Vineyard Haven is the Island’s only mini golf course, and the only disc golf course is near the airport, on Barnes Road in Oak Bluffs.
Horseback riding has long been a Vineyard tradition, and the large number of barns small and large attest to its staying power. And what better time to ride than in the cooler, fall weather?
Several Island farms offer lessons in dressage and jumping, pony rides, summer camps, or seasonal boarding if you need a place to keep your horse.
Arrowhead Farm in West Tisbury, established in 1983, boasts a pony camp, clinics, indoor and outdoor rings, and a cross-country course. Sprawled out over 36 acres, the farm has large turn-out fields for boarders, trails, and several different barns.
Camp runs weekly through August 26, from 9 am to 1 pm, and costs $600/week. For more information, call 508-693-8831 or visit arrowheadfarm.net.
Red Pony Farm, also in West Tisbury, offers summer and year-round lessons, pony rides, boarding, training, and horse and rider vacations from 3 days to 2 weeks. The farm includes 2 barns, indoor and outdoor arenas, turnout areas, and cross country course. According to the website (redponyfarmmv.com), “The farm abuts approximately 5,000 acres of conservation land, which allows for excellent trail riding.”
Summer Pony Club, for ages 8 to 13, runs through September 15, and costs $550/week. For more information, call 508-693-3788 or visit redponyfarmmv.com.
Pond View Farm “has been the longest continually operating riding facility on Martha’s Vineyard,” according to its website (pondviewfarmmv.com). The kid-friendly barn offers daily pony rides, lessons, camp, as well as boarding and training.
Pony Camp is Monday through Friday from 9 am to 1 pm through August 30. Contact for rates: 508-693-2949 or email@example.com.
Netherfield Farm North specializes in dressage training, but also offers trails, a cross-country course, indoor & outdoor arenas, and pony camp. It’s sister, Netherfield Farm South, is located in Wellington, Fla.
Netherfield’s Junior Equestrian Camp runs Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 1 pm, and costs $575. Camp is limited to eight students per week, with two instructors. For more information, contact 508-645-2724 or visit netherfield.smugmug.com.
Rainy day activities
M.V. Museum Edgartown, Exhibits, library, lighthouse visits. 508-627-4441
M.V. Ice Arena Oak Bluffs, Call for public skate times. 508-693-5329.
Flying Horses Carousel Oak Bluffs, Oldest operating platform carousel in U.S.
Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary Edgartown, Nature Center and Discovery Room in addition to 4 miles of nature trails.
Featherstone Center for the Arts Oak Bluffs, Weekly events, classes, exhibits. featherstoneart.org; 508-693-1850.
Scenic Bus Tours: MV Tour Oak Bluffs, Ticket Tour covers all 6 Island towns, including stop at Gay Head cliffs. 508-627-TOUR (8687).
The Game Room Circuit Ave., Oak Bluffs, Arcade with dozens of games from skee-ball to Big Buck Hunter. Win prizes with tickets. 508-693-7129.
YMCA of M.V. Oak Bluffs, Swimming pool, aerobics class, childcare, café.
Don’t forget to visit Island libraries. All six have regular programs for children and adults in addition to special events. For more information, see the Vineyard Calendar section inside.