Vacation Notes to the Obamas on Martha’s Vineyard: A Travel Guide for the First Family

As you might have heard, the Obamas are headed to Martha’s Vineyard for their August vacation. Lucky for them, we got here first.

When we initially heard the First Family was headed to MV for vacay, the rumor was they would settle in Oak Bluffs, a spot traditionally popular with wealthy African Americans. But true to form, the Prez went for the less expected — the way less populous, very chill area of Chilmark.

It’s right around the corner from our current vacation digs: the quiet little fishing village of Menemsha.

So, listen up, Barack and Michelle: Here are a few of the great local places to check out — all pre-approved by us.

The Bite — Dear Mr. President: We know you are not a fan of fried food, but if you get a small portion of the fried oysters or shrimp here, you can share them with your family and not feel guilty at all.  And, OH YEAH — there’s a reason there is a line (you’ll know why when you take a BITE).

Chilmark Chocolates — A small storefront selling delish dark and milk chocolate treats. Our advice: don’t go on a rainy day, when everyone’s looking for non-beach activities.  On the other hand,  something tells us you’ll be able to skirt the wait whatever the weather conditions.

Squibnocket Beach — We know you’ll have your own private beach on Blue Heron Farm, but this could be a great chance to mingle with (some of the) regular people without having to eat fried food.  There are several lovely beaches and ponds in this area of MV, but we’re partial to this one and we think you will be, too. Beautiful sandy stretches are accessible via a short walk from (Presidential) car to shore. You’ll need a beach sticker, even as a resident, and it will set you back $25. Have your peeps nab the sticker for you at the Town Hall. (FYI, hate to be a drag in case you’re inclined, but nude sunbathing is prohibited at Squibby.)

The Chilmark Public LibraryAlan Dershowitz was just there when we dropped by one afternoon to check out DVDs for the kids; we bet the locals will be way more excited to see you pop in.

The Chilmark Community Center — An oasis of “up island” public life. Art shows, plays, and guest speakers for the adults, day camp (hello, babysitting!) and tennis lessons for the girls.

The Farmer’s Market — Held at the Old Ag Hall every Wednesday and Saturday. You can have your people purchase beautiful fruits, veggies, baked goods, and specialty food products (try Pam’s Pesto!) for you here.  Don’t miss the gorgeous-hued, “dinner-plate” size dahlias; we were so impressed, we made dahlias the centerpiece of our wedding last year.

The Home Port — A fave Menemsha stand-by for fresh seafood.  It’s pricey, and we don’t want you catching too much flak for cost (we are footing the bill for this holiday, no?). Skip sitting down for the regular menu and go around back for take-out.

A note about cell phone service on the island — It sucks. But we hear that those with the power are setting up new towers so that you and yours can get better service while you’re here. It’s good to be you (and btw, thanks!).

Island tuneage — Our vote is to keep radios and iPods tuned to MVY Radio.

We hear State Road restaurant is fab (sadly we’ll never get there without a babysitter).  And the Pie Lady (look for the sign “Pies and Otherwise”) on the North Road is a must-stop for tasty homemade desserts.  The Community Church in Chilmark does a lobster roll dinner on Tuesdays for $13.  Mmmm.  And LARSEN’S in Menemsha is the place to go for fresh fish and lobster…

If you need any other recommendations, you can reach us here. Until then, have fun on the Vineyard!


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