Beatrice Helman

A Brooklyn Girl’s Guide to Sunday: Off-Season Martha’s Vineyard

Sometimes you just really, really need to get away. Even just for a weekend. Martha’s Vineyard in the off-season is one of those perfectly far-away-but-close places, or at least close enough to where I am that it makes sense to go there for a quick adventure outside the city. The winter light is sharper and clearer than the summer light, and you feel appropriate roasting an entire pumpkin and wearing your jacket over your pajamas to get coffee. It’s really really cold in the winter, and most of the tourism business shuts down. This just means that most of the people who are there really want to be there, and the community vibes are strong. It’s the kind of place you can run into half the people you know on the island at Chilmark Chocolates or while getting a latte at seven in the morning on a Sunday before eating at the diner down the street. Martha’s Vineyard is that kind of magic place. But the best thing to do on a Sunday in the winter– if you’re on an island or not– is to find a beach.


A winter beach is a completely different thing than the summer beach. It’s cold and you need a coat, and probably can’t take off your shoes. But the sun hits the waves differently and it makes you feel all bright and shiny-faced and like you deserve that bowl of chili and stuffing. After some time spent listening to the waves everything looks a little bit sharper and clearer– and I’m not just talking about the beach.

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