How to get there
Martha's Vineyard is a short ferry ride from Falmouth or Woods Hole, about 70 miles south of Boston. From Route 128, take Route 24 south to Interstate 495 south to the Bourne Bridge. Once across the bridge, follow Route 28 south into Falmouth and follow signs for the Steamship Authority. Call 508-548-3788 or visit www.steamshipauthority.com for schedules. Tickets are $9 one way for adults, $3 for bicycles, $35-$40 for cars, depending on length.
Where to stay
The Oak Bluffs Inn
64 Circuit Ave.Oak Bluffs
All rooms in the big pink inn at the top of Oak Bluffs' main street have private baths and continental breakfasts in the morning. Open through Oct. 31. Off-season rates for rooms are $140-$180.
Where to eat
Slice of Life
50 Circuit Ave.
A tidy cafe with tasty food, run by the same people who own the Sweet Life Cafe. Open daily year round, 8 a.m.-9 p.m., for coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and light meals. Sandwiches $6-$10.
Offshore Ale Co.
A cozy, rustic brewpub with a wide selection of beers and a menu of time-tested standards. Open for dinner daily year round, 5 p.m.-midnight, and lunch June-October, Wednesday-Sunday noon-3. Rustic dinner entrees, including wood-fired brick oven pizzas, roast chicken, gumbo, and hamburgers, $11-$64 (for a two-person porterhouse steak). Owner Bob Skydell books live entertainment throughout the year.
What to do
The Book Den East
71 New York Ave.
Lose track of time in this antiquarian bookshop that's packed with fascinating texts. Owners Ivo and Cynthia Meisner follow their own interests when purchasing books from auctions and estate sales. A bookworm's nirvana. Open Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Ramble through scrub oak and pitch pine forests and sandplain grasslands to a magnificent beach. A great place for fishing and birdwatching, Wasque is one of five conservation areas on the Vineyard managed by the Trustees of Reservations. The other properties include Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge, also on Chappaquiddick; Long Point Wildlife Refuge in West Tisbury; and Menemsha Hills Reservation. After mid-October, all of the areas' trails are self-guided and free.