The Christopher is a registered historic building in Edgartown, on Martha’s Vineyard, opposite Chappaquiddick Island.
Martha’s Vineyard has its own regional runway, but for international arrivals, Boston is your airport of choice: it’s a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Logan International to Edgartown.
Yacht trumps car on Martha’s Vineyard, but if you are bringing wheels, there’s private parking from $50 a day at the Christopher: spaces are very limited, so book with as much notice as you’re able to give.
From the Massachusetts mainland, you can take the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard from Hyannis.
Worth getting out of bed for
MV’s island locale makes sea-based pursuits the obvious choice: if you’re swimming, beaches vary, so find out about undertows and wave sizes before you wade in; take a guided kayaking tour, or book onto a sailing cruise or more exclusive private charter. From Edgartown’s Memorial Wharf, Magic Carpet – a 56ft wooden yawl – sails daily, for a classic yacht experience. Two wheels are the land transport of choice on MV, with miles of trails for cyclists, including a 14-mile round trip looping Edgartown, as well as a six-mile jaunt to Oak Bluffs that’s scenic and waterside most of the way. Some of the island’s outlying beaches make for an idyllic day trip: pack a picnic and take the Chappy Ferry to East Beach, a quieter, boulder-strewn beach of Atlantic rollers and plentiful birdlife. An easy bike ride from the Christopher’s sister stay Summercamp, Joseph Sylvia state beach is where you can jump off ‘Jaws Bridge’ of the Spielberg movie fame.
A trio of eateries on Main Street are your introduction to Edgartown’s rich culinary scene. Fish and chop house Atlantic is a white-timbered homestead with tables out front and on the porch, as well as in the wood-panelled dining room. It doesn’t take reservations, but it’s worth a gamble to sample its waterfront views accompanying platters of oysters, grilled swordfish, sea bass (branzino) or steamed lobster; for turf lovers, artfully plated lamb cutlets and seared prime cuts hit the spot. For local, farm-to-table fare that changes with the seasons, head to Atria, where you can dine on the canopied patio, at a linen-topped round table indoors or bar-style in the brick-walled cellar. It’s hard to pin down such an ever-evolving menu, but chef Christian Thornton describes it as ‘international comfort food’ with refined plates as well as burgers (meaty or vegan) catering to all moods. In a porticoed brick building with tables on the sidewalk beneath its awning, the Port Hunter is a raw bar, cocktail den and kitchen. Maine mussels, Edgartown clams and oysters, and halibut ceviche are the overture to roasted half chicken, fish tacos, curry bowls or burgers; or go for the Manhattans, Moscow mules and margaritas. You can find more recommendations via Smith-approved sister property, the Sydney, too.
A foray at Edgartown Books involves our kind of multi-tasking: picking up a paperback or two, then heading straight to Behind the Bookshop, its resident café, for a caffeine fix and a muffin; they also serve lunch and have a modest cocktail menu. With outposts in Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven, Mad Martha’s ice-cream is an island institution that’s been serving scoops of the cold stuff since the 1970s.