Martha’s Vineyard bed and breakfast the Edgartown Inn is a former whaling captain’s home (and a darling one at that, with its colonnaded porch, plaid accents and fire pit-warmed terrace), but there’ll be no brooding over the waves or going slowly mad in a lighthouse, thank you. Rather, jaunty bike trips to local breweries or coastal beauty spots, boat trips as spirit-lifting as a shanty, super-fresh seafood feasts, and stops for ice-cream await. You’re in good company, too, with the roster of guests who’ve stayed at this historic inn including Daniel Webster, Nathaniel Hawthorne and even JFK.
11am, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm.
Double rooms from £282.49 ($358), including tax at 9.7 per cent.
Rates include a breakfast of small plates (sweet and savory pastries, overnight oats, fresh fruit, juices and local coffee). And guests can help themselves to coffee and tea in the dining room.
The hotel’s ground floor is accessible and there are two accessible rooms with roll-in showers.
The hotel opens for summer, from spring to October.
At the hotel
Terrace with seating and a fire pit, lounge, dining room, beach chairs and towels to borrow, concierge, free high-speed WiFi. In rooms: TV, Bluetooth radio, wine glasses and a corkscrew, mini fridge, waffle kimono-style bathrobes, air-conditioning, black-out shades, and Lather bath products.
Our favourite rooms
Rooms are all light and bright with a distinct coastal feel (white and dove-gray palette, rope and wicker accents). Aim for rooms on the third floor in the main house – the King Deluxe with a Balcony and Queen Deluxe both have charming views of the neighborhood and the harbor. If you’d like a furnished porch to relax and dine on, then book one of the rooms in the neighboring building or renovated barn.
Bring your sea legs for off-land adventures and something soft and cuddly to wear on nights around the fire pit, and stock up on snacks for the room and drinks for the mini fridge (wine glasses and a corkscrew are provided).
Welcome, but there’s no entertainment onsite. Some rooms have a sofa-bed to sleep four and the King Deluxe Courtyard rooms face each other across a hallway – ideal for families with older kids. Cots are $50 a night.
Just a selection of small breakfast plates are served onsite, but there is a stylishly tiled dining room with coffee and tea to help yourself to. Offerings get a frequent shake-up, but expect the likes of banana or zucchini bread, pastries, yogurts, granola, eggs, chia puddings and fresh fruit.
The hotel doesn’t serve any drinks aside from coffee, tea and juice, but you’re welcome to pick up some bottles from Vintage MV Wine and Spirits on neighboring Winter Street, or grab a growler from a local microbrewery to enjoy on the terrace.
The Edgartown Inn is at the historic heart of Edgartown on a picturesque street lined with white picket fences and porches. Edgartown Harbor and Lighthouse Beach are both just a short stroll away.
Martha’s Vineyard Airport, which has direct connections to New York, Boston, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Chicago, is a 15-minute drive away.
You don’t really need a car on-island: the three port towns are well connected using an electric bus system or by ferry; but if you decide to hire wheels, there’s limited parking at the hotel for $50 a day. Contact staff in advance to book your space.
Ferries to Martha’s Vineyard run from Falmouth Inner Harbor, Hyannis, New Bedford, Rhode Island, and Nantucket.
Worth getting out of bed for
Edgartown is a picturesque port with plenty of history and the Edgartown Inn sits right at the heart of it. First, take the 10-minute walk to Edgartown Harbor Light for some striking photo-opps (it’s especially dramatic at sunset). If you want to delve into the island’s Moby Dick-worthy history of whaling and sailing, the hotel sits right next to the Carnegie Heritage Center and you’re just a few streets away from the Harbor and Memorial Wharf. In more recent history the island’s experienced more troublesome big fish, but a fictional one: South Beach was one of the filming locations for Jaws and now makes a pleasant day out, and to the north you can see the Jaws Bridge. Hire bikes from Wheel Happy (who’ll bring the bikes to your door) and you could cycle up the coast to Oak Bluffs, or follow the trails through the Land Bank, Sheriff’s Meadow or Mass Audubon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. If you prefer to paddle, you can hire kayaks from Island Spirit or charter a boat from Mad Max. Or just wander the streets, stopping in at Eisenhauer and North Water galleries and Edgartown Books or Portobello Road for more reading material. And meditate on the Mytoi Japanese Garden a short ferry hop away in Chappaquiddick.
The Edgartown Inn will start your day right with breakfast, but otherwise you’ll need to fuel up elsewhere – luckily there are plenty of options close by. Atlantic does surf ’n’ turf – but not quite so casually; this is 30-day-aged tomahawk in ash butter, A5 Miyazaki striploin with maitake mushrooms and cipollini onions, Alaskan king crab with yuzu butter, lobster and avocado croissants and more. Atria showcases the local farm and fishing talents, with a menu of globetrotting flavours: duck-confit spring rolls, calamari with sambal aioli, short rib with truffle polenta and mascarpone. And red-brick eatery the Port Hunter is renowned for its raw bar, and its steaks, fried-chicken sandwiches and fish tacos have only bolstered it.
In Edgartown, Bad Martha Farmers Brewery is a good sort, offering free samples of its IPAs and stouts, serving up soft pretzels and pizzas, and hosting local bands; and you can fill up a large flask to take back to the Inn. And head up to Oak Bluffs to enjoy scenic drinks and lobster rolls at the Lookout Tavern, and chowder and the house IPA at Offshore Ale Co, where punters throw peanut shells straight onto the floor.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this former whaler’s residence in the historic heart of Edgartown and unpacked their growlers from Bad Martha and bags of saltwater taffy, a full account of their breath-of-fresh-sea-air break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside the Edgartown Inn in Martha’s Vineyard…
If you enjoy staring wistfully out to sea, Chris Evans’ cable-knit from Knives Out and the films of Robert Eggers, and got weirdly invested in the TikTok shanties craze, then we can probably pique your interest in the Edgartown Inn, a clapboard 18th-century former whaling captain’s residence in the white-picket-fence and shaded-porches part of one of Martha’s Vineyard’s port towns. Now a cosy, plaid-covered bed and breakfast with coastal-chic rooms in white and dove-gray, and a fire pit-toasted terrace, it’s just a stroll from the harbor, lighthouse and the bridge that featured in Jaws (one of its beach backdrops lies further south, too), within easy reach of fine fish-based dining, friendly microbreweries, quaint ice-cream parlors, and centuries-old monuments. Although you don’t have to go too far to look into the past – the Carnegie Heritage Center is right next door; but you needn’t even exert that effort: Daniel Webster, Nathaniel Hawthorne and even JFK were all former guests at the Edgartown.