My exploration and love affair with Martha’s Vineyard, never sated, only increases each time I return bewitched by this magical island. The first time we visited Menemsha – the charming fishing village on Martha’s Vineyard named after the native American word meaning “still waters” – I immediately recognized the location as the shooting background for the fictional “Amity Island” of Steven Spielberg’s 1975 film Jaws. Even before my first visit to Martha’s Vineyard I was enamored with the book and movie Jaws. I remember vividly late one night reading in bed the frightening opening in the book – far from the ocean still completely captivated by fear. In a dark movie theater with the perfect John Williams movie score, the opening scene did not disappoint as I was totally terrified again! You can imagine how thrilled I was to discover a reoccurring location in the film. I half expected to see Chief Brody walking the village!
Beachgoers and tourists populate Basin Road along Menemsha harbor disguising the historic harbor which serves as a point of departure for local fishermen. I love to come here for some of the freshest fish on the island at Larson and Menemsha Fish Market. At Menemsha Fish Market Mandi, Dan and I can’t resist the hot lobs’ter roll; 1/3 pound lobster meat, butter, lemon on a grilled hot dog roll deliciously fresh, sweet, melt in your mouth lobster, lick your fingers good. While waiting for our lobs’ter rolls I pick out lobsters to be steamed which I’ll pick up before we leave for grilling at home.
Shopping in the unique boutiques along the harbor is another activity I can’t resist when visiting Menemsha. A family favorite is Beetlebung where we love their iconic logo T’s and hats for adults and children. Our grandchild, Alexander, Charlotte, and Madeline, not to be excluded sport Beetlebung wear. Check out their colorful straw bags, an island must.
I adore mermaids, obsessed, I am told. Imagine my joy when I discovered last year at Copper Works of Martha’s Vineyard their exquisite handcrafted weathered copper wall art only to be quickly disappointed as all the mermaids were sold out. This year I made sure I visited the shop earlier finding only one lonely mermaid which I couldn’t resist and is now perfectly at home on my living room wall.
At Menemsha Deli inviting brightly painted outside picnic tables welcome you where inside you’ll find owner Cybele McCormick offering an assortment of freshly made sandwiches, all delectable creations not to be missed.
Traveling down Basin Road you’ll find more retail shops including Menemsha Blues a relaxed clothing line taking inspiration from the sea surrounding the island with four stores on the island.
Our trip to Menemsha is complete without a visit to Menemsha Beach. The beach is a little rocky with a pleasant, gentle surf as it faces north on the Vineyard Sound, rather than the Atlantic Ocean; the vistas from Menemsha Beach are beautifully breathtaking with sweeping views of Cuttyhunk and the rest of the Elizabeth Islands. On beautiful summer evenings, we’ll return to this premier spot enjoying a Martha’s Vineyard sunset.
On our ride home still enchanted, never tiring, we plan our next visit to this quintessential New England fishing village, Menemsha.
Lob’sters on the grill!
We loved Menemsha, too….always think of Carly Simon…loved eating lobster 🦞 in a plain restaurant on a grassy hill with a wide screened in porch overlooking the harbor…wonder if it’s still there..
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It’s still there sadly it didn’t open this season due to Covid-19. I hope that it is just temporary and will be back next year.
I loved reading your description of Menemsha, and will have to visit the island again one of these days. Great photos too!
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You’ll have to come to visit us!