Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts that has become the preferred summer destination to hundreds of families for decades. For those of you visiting us for the first time, you might be a little confused as to how to get to the island and eventually, how to get around island during your visit. We’re here to tackle all your questions, concerns, and overall comments - so here are our top travel tips to getting to (and around) Martha’s Vineyard:
1.There are only TWO ways to get to Martha’s Vineyard: you can fly into the MVY Airport or take one of the many ferries from the mainland. Check out Vineyard Ferries for details on all the ferries you can take to Martha’s Vineyard. If you’re flying, carrier options include Cape Air, JetBlue, Delta, and American Airlines - more details on getting to MV by plane.
2. If you want to bring your car on island, you must take the Steamship Authority ferry from Woods Hole on Cape Cod. The good news is that the Steamship Authority ferry operates many times a day, every day of the year. The bad news is that, while you can walk onto any of their ferries without a reservations, all car reservations must be made in advance, and space on ferries in July and August can fill up quickly.
3. If you still want to fly in and need a car, there are many car rental businesses on island ready to rent you a car, SUV, Jeep, or van. Car renting is common for visitors spending a few weeks on island at a time!
4. Rent a bicycle! There are so many locally owned bicycle shops on island and you can’t go wrong with any of them! Renting a bike will cost you between $25-45 a day - check out bike rental rates and ride safely! The island has more than 35 miles of paved, off-road bike paths, so it’s the perfect way to explore.
5. Don’t want to rent a bicycle? Buy a Vineyard Transit Authority Bus Pass! The VTA public buses are a clean, safe and reliable way to travel around the Vineyard. The daily bus pass cost is $8, on/off as much as you like. Children under 6 ride for free, and seniors 65+ get a reduced rate of $5. Bus passes can be bought at the Steamship Authority terminal, and, if you have exact change in cash, right from the bus driver.
6. Don’t want to ride the bus? Walk/run! There are great walking trails and running paths in every town, and it’s a great way to work up an appetite for lobster rolls and ice cream cones!
7. Take a tour of the island! Whether you're here for the day or for the season, don't miss anything Martha's Vineyard has to offer and take a tour. From tour buses and vans, walking tours, food tours, lighthouse tours, and on-the-water tours, there's a tour for all guests.
8. Don’t want to do any of the above? You’re in luck, because ride share, such as Uber and Lift are both available, as are local taxi companies.
Celebrate St. Patricks Day at the Guinness Brewery in Baltimore, MD
The Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Baltimore, the home of Guinness in the U.S. and the center of its experimental beers, will host a month-long celebration for St. Patrick’s Day. With free entry for all, guests visiting the two-acre lawn and three-story brewery will discover the ultimate St. Patrick’s Day experience in the nation, where more than two and a half centuries of Irish brewing experience and American craft beer creativity meet. Courtesy Guinness Open Gate Brewery Festivities will take place over 16 days in March when the brewery is open: every Thursday through Sunday, including special operating hours for St. Patrick’s Day from 10am-10pm. Highlights include limited edition beer releases and merchandise, live music, an Irish Village lawn takeover with immersive experiences and special menus– including a secret one entirely in Gaelic. In honor of the holiday and Guinness commitment to giving back to the communities it serves, donations will be made to community partners, Sharp Dressed Man and Civic Works Real Food Farm. -Beer Releases- Courtesy Guinness Open Gate Brewery As tradition, the brewing team will release a different special St. Patrick’s Day beer on draught and in cans each Thursday throughout the month of March. Porter (5.5% ABV): brewed with an Irish barley base malt grown in Dundalk, Ireland Release Date: Thursday, March 17Pineapple Coconut Stout (4.7% ABV): brewed with pineapple puree and finished on toasted coconut chipsRelease Date: Thursday, March 24 -Secret Menu-Start practicing your Gaelic, because the brewery has devised a secret St. Patrick’s Day menu for guests with exclusive menu items and deals– but you must place your order in the native language. The only way to obtain the secret menu is to follow and DM the @GuinnessBreweryUS Instagram account with a four leaf clover emoji. -Food- Courtesy Guinness Open Gate Brewery Menus inspired by traditional Irish meals include Corned Beef & Cabbage, Shepherd's Pie, Mussels with Stout, Dublin Coddle and Coffee Cake infused with special Porter, a St. Patrick’s limited beer release. The brewery will bring back its four-course ticketed beer dinner series with a free souvenir in the Barrel Room on Sundays at 6pm for $100 a person. The first course will include Roasted Delicata Squash, Baby Greens, Toasted Farro, Cranberry, Blonde Ale Vinaigrette paired with Guinness Baltimore Blonde and the second is Beef Tartare “Rarebit,” Irish Cheddar, Sourdough, Pickled Shallot, and Crispy Capers paired with Guinness Draught. The main course will change weekly to complement the special St. Patrick’s beer release of the week. Dessert is a Pineapple Upside-down Cake with Citrus Caramel and Cereal Malt Ice Cream paired with Guinness Belgian Style Wit. Tickets will be available for purchase at guinnessbrewerybaltimore.com or by calling (443) 575-6893. -Irish Village-*Operating Hours Saturday, March 12 through Sunday, March 13 and Thursday, March 17 through Saturday, March 19. Courtesy Guinness Open Gate Brewery The outdoor two-acre lawn will feature an interactive Irish Village with beer, food, merchandise and booths highlighting the brewery’s community partners. To level-up the experience, guests can partake in interactive activities for an additional cost including: 3D print your ‘picture’ on a pint, guided food and beer pairing experience (available at the top and bottom of every hour ) and learn the process of pouring a beautiful pint from one of our experts at the Perfect Pint Academy. Guinness-curated food stalls inside the Irish Village include The Hollywood Oyster House, Seamus’ Soup House, Lord Calvert’s Chippy, McHenry’s Snack Co, Wiens & Co. Delicatessen Cured Meats and Fine Cheeses, Over the Moon Ice Cream Parlor, Dudley’s Desserts & Baked Goods and Heaney Grill & Mash. -Entertainment- Courtesy Guinness Open Gate Brewery The double Whammy award-winning The 19th Street Band, whose lead guitarist/vocalist hails from Northern Ireland, will bring its high energy and strong vocal harmonies to the brewery every Saturday in March and on St. Patrick's Day with a live performance from 5pm to 9pm. Traditional Irish dancers from the McGrath Morgan Academy will showcase the rich history of Irish dance in celebration of the holiday to the sounds of live, traditional Irish music each Saturday and Sunday and on St. Patrick's Day from 11am to 3pm. Guests can also enjoy Trivia Night every Friday at 7pm and local cover bands inside the tent on March 3, 10 and 24 from 5pm to 9pm. When: March 17 to March 20 – Weekend 3Thursday, March 17 – Irish Village & Beer ReleaseFriday, March 18 – Irish Village & Trivia NightSaturday, March 19 – Irish Village & Live MusicSunday, March 20 – Ticketed Beer DinnerMarch 24 to March 27 – Weekend 4Thursday, March 2 – Beer ReleaseFriday, March 25 – Trivia NightSaturday, March 26 – Live MusicSunday, March 27 – Ticketed Beer Dinner How: -Entry is free and open to all ages (guests under 21 require a 21+ escort)-Seating is first-come-first-served; no reservations -Guests are encouraged to review social distancing measures in advance of visiting Where:Guinness Open Gate Brewery5001 Washington Blvd, Halethorpe, MD 21227 About GuinnessThe Guinness brand was established in 1759, when Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on St. James's Gate Brewery in Dublin. Brewed using four main ingredients, water, barley (malted & roasted), hops and yeast, Guinness is the world's most popular stout brand. The iconic beer is brewed in 49 countries worldwide and sold in over 150 with almost 9 million glasses of Guinness beers enjoyed every day around the world. The most GUINNESS is sold in Great Britain, Ireland, USA, Nigeria and Cameroon. More information can be found at www.guinness.com.
2022’s Best Cities for St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations
St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and at least $5.87 billion is expected to be spent for the holiday this year, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2022's Best Cities for St. Patrick's Day Celebrations.To determine the best cities for celebrating Irish-American heritage, they compared 200 of the largest U.S. cities across 18 key metrics, ranging from Irish pubs and restaurants per capita to the lowest price for a three-star hotel on St. Patrick’s Day to the weather forecast. Top 20 Cities for St. Patrick’s Day1. Philadelphia, PA11. New York, NY2. Boston, MA12. Worcester, MA3. Pittsburgh, PA13. Cleveland, OH4. Chicago, IL14. Henderson, NV5. San Francisco, CA15. Cedar Rapids, IA6. Reno, NV16. Cincinnati, OH7. Naperville, IL17. Milwaukee, WI8. Tampa, FL18. Boise, ID9. Yonkers, NY19. Orlando, FL10. Buffalo, NY20. Columbus, OH To view the full report and your city’s rank, visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-cities-for-st-patricks-day-celebrations/19603/Courtesy of Wallet Hub
Discover USA: Grand Junction, Colorado
Join Budget Travel as we continue our new series Discover USA. Discover USA explores states, counties, cities, and everything in between. Each week we will explore a new US destination to help you find things to do, itinerary ideas, and plan where to go next. This week, we invite you to Discover what Grand Junction, Colorado has to offer. Grand Junction is known as the hub of Colorado's wine country. Grand Junction is a place where vibrant music, farm-fresh cuisine and a lively art scene converge with countless outdoor adventures. Culinary There is a reason why Food + Wine Magazine recently called the Grand Junction area of Colorado, “the new Sonoma with its charming vineyards and stellar dining.” Shaded by the majestic beauty of the red rock cliffs and mesas that surround Grand Junction, the area is home to nearly 30 wineries and vineyards that serve up some of Colorado’s best wines. Courtesy of Carlson Vineyards Visitors can sample local wines at Carlson Vineyard’s new downtown Grand Junction tasting room or at the Zesty Moose, and Two Rivers Winery and Chateau, located near the Colorado National Monument which offers wine tastings, lodging and incredible views as guests stroll through vineyards. Highlands Distillery produces great handcrafted spirits utilizing local ingredients and mixes up fun regionally inspired cocktails. While there, stop by neighboring Belli Fiori Lavender Farm and check out their specialty, small-batch aromatherapy, culinary, and body care products.The recently opened Ramblebine Brewery downtown offers tasty local ales and the new Foam & Folly Brewery & Taproom serves up great beer in a whimsical space with a great backyard beer garden.New to the Grand Junction scene is Moody’s Lounge. Tucked away on the mezzanine level of the historic Kress building, their 1920’s inspired cocktail lounge offers an intimate space with an ample selection of handcrafted libations and delicious bites Courtesy of Kulina Lani Bakery Kulina Lani Organic Sourdough Bakery. Born in Colorado, raised in Hawaii and returned to its roots with a lifetime of sourdough experience, Grand Junction’s new Kulina Lani Bakery produces beautiful bread, pastries, sandwiches and pizzas for any occasion made with natural fermentation that feeds body and soul. Their whole grain sourdough breads are made from wheat purchased locally from organic farms in the Grand JUnction area and milled in-house. Grand Junction is home to James Beard award semi finalist Josh Nierenberg and his restaurants Bin707 and Taco Party, which is undergoing a major expansion in spring of 2022. Nierenberg has recently partnered with Ramblebine Brewery on a custom menu of perfectly paired bites under the new BlockParty GJ brand and collaborated with local winemaker, Carlson Vineyards, to create the custom High Desert Wine Lab label, which is the house red and white wine for Bin707 and Taco Party.Hog & The Hen - This is an adorable deli and specialty bodega on Main Street with the best selection of cheeses in GJ. Whether you want to make a DIY cheese & charcuterie plate for a night in, or get a top-notch sammie to take on the road while you explore the National Monument, this is the spot. Chef Theo Otte’s cuisine, fun wine flights and cozy ambiance at 626 on Rood never disappoints. Courtesy of The Glorious Fig The Glorious Fig hosts monthly curated dinners that are centered around the chefs’ curated menus celebrating the flavors, produce and flowers of each season and take place in The Fig’s intimate dining space. Devil's Kitchen - Recently opened on top of the Hotel Maverick, this rooftop restaurant has regionally inspired craft cocktails and menu options. Upscale, yet super approachable. Arts and CultureCourtesy of Visit Grand JunctionOutdoor Art: Grand Junction is home to a wealth of art, especially in its outdoor spaces. From its massive sculptures when you enter the city to the public art in its parks, to a year-round outdoor sculpture exhibit known as Art on the Corner, and the murals along the Riverfront Trail, Grand Junction has a vibrant art scene that you don’t even have to go indoors to experience.Colorado National Monument Ranger Walks: When John Otto first witnessed the rugged red rock canyons south of Grand Junction in 1906, it was love at first sight. His passion sparked him to create Colorado National Monument and serve as the park’s first custodian. Today, students K-12 can study geology, ecology and cultural history along ranger-guided field trips and earn a Junior Ranger badge in the process. Dino Dig: The largest multidisciplinary museum between Salt Lake City and Denver, Grand Junction’s Museum of Western Colorado engages with its dinosaur expeditions, extensive educational programming, and historic and cultural trips and tours. For a dino fix, kids can dig for bones and search for tracks in the 150-million-year-old badlands of the Morrison Formation. One-day “101” sessions include transportation between Dinosaur Journey Museum in Fruita and the quarry, field instruction and Paleo lab tour.Learning made fun: Kids can jump feet first into an interactive, hands-on day of fun at the Dinosaur Journey Museum. Visitors can feel what it's like to be in an earthquake, and uncover dinosaur bones from the Jurassic era. Another spot for fun learning opportunities is at the EUREKA! McConnell Science Museum, where along with more than 100 exhibits designed to make the wonders of science accessible to children of all ages, kids can check out exotic saltwater tanks, and meet Charlie the chinchilla. Avalon Theatre: Built for the residents of Grand Junction by local publishing giant Walter Walker in 1923, the Avalon Theatre was and still is one of Western Colorado's largest performing arts halls. The Avalon Theatre features a foreign and independent film series; dance, theatrical, lecture and variety shows; and private functions.Explore the Outdoors Courtesy of Powderhorn Mountain Resort Outside of Grand Junction, Powderhorn Mountain Resort, open through late March, sits on the edge of the Grand Mesa, the world's largest flat-top mountain. The area enjoys a reputation for outstanding tree skiing and diverse terrain. Spend the morning on the slopes, then head into town where visitors can ride the area’s famed singletrack pretty much any day of the year. One of the most famous riding areas is the TabeguacheTrailhead, better known as the “Lunch Loops.” Just six miles from Downtown Grand Junction, the trails were named by locals who can bust out of work and get an awesome ride in during lunch. Winter brings plenty of snow to the Grand Mesa, which stands taller than 11,000 feet at its peak elevation. Three networks of cross-country ski trails crown this enormous, flat-top mountain. The Skyway trail system offers pristine classic and skate-skiing routes for every level and a warming hut just 100 yards from the trailhead. The Country Line trail system is ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers, while the Ward trail system on the south side of the Mesa is best suited for intermediate to advanced skiers. The Grand Mesa Trails also offer great snowshoeing and fat biking. Go Canyoneering, Rock Climbing or Hiking in The Colorado National Monument, Colorado’s Unofficial National Park: The Colorado National Monument is a semi-desert land that sits high on the Colorado Plateau. More than just a monument, CNM’s spectacular canyons cut deep into sandstone and granite, aptly referred to as a mini Grand Canyon. Popular trails include Devil’s Kitchen, and Coke Ovens that are great options for a shorter hike; while No Thoroughfare and Liberty Cap trails will keep you out and about for a longer excursion. Courtesy of Visit Grand Junction Grand Junction boasts four year-round golf courses to enjoy beer, birdies and sunshine. Both Tiara Rado andThe Redlands Mesa Golf Course have breathtaking views of the Colorado National Monument accompanied by rolling terrain and fresh mountain air. Biking and Bird Watching on the Audubon Section of the Colorado Riverfront Trail: Easily accessible from Downtown GJ, there are over 200 species of birds that visit the Audubon Section during various times of the year. A few of the easier birds to spot are bald eagles, blue heron, osprey, several varieties of hawks and ducks. Storied Waterways: The confluence of two of the largest rivers - the Colorado and the Gunnison - makes Grand Junction a paradise for those seeking out water-based activities. With multiple parks along the rivers and adjacent lakes like the James M. Robb-Colorado River State Park and Highline Lake State Park, jet boating, wakeboarding, paddle boarding, windsurfing, and more are all available to visitors. Getting out on the Colorado River is easy with many put-in areas, as well as guides to take guests on rafting, canoeing or kayaking trips. Courtesy of Visit Grand Junction Hike to The U.S. Second Largest Concentration of Arches at Rattlesnake Canyon: Outside of Grand Junction you can find a collection of 35 natural arches tucked away in Rattlesnake Canyon. These soaring spans, protected in the 123,400-acre McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area, form the world’s second largest concentration of arches in the world. The Rattlesnake Canyon Arches are one of Colorado’s most spectacular wonders, but also one of its best-kept secrets. Visit the Wild Horses of The Little Bookcliffs: Spring is a beautiful time to explore the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Preserve that encompasses more than 30,000 acres of rugged canyons and plateaus, and is home to roughly 100 wild mustangs. It is one of only three ranges in the U.S. set aside specifically to protect wild and free roaming horses. CARD WIDGET HERE
Book Lover’s Guide to Fort Myers & Sanibel
When traveling to Fort Myers, Florida, visitors can transport themselves into the setting of their favorite books, allowing them to feel like they’re a part of their favorite stories. Free from the sky-high towers that line much of Florida's coast, Sanibel and Captiva have a long history as a retreat for artists looking for solitude and inspiration from nature. In this book lover’s paradise, visitors will be inspired by the work of Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Randy Wayne White and more, who have not only taken up residence in the destination, but also based novels on the many attributes of the destination. Below is a book lover’s guide to visiting Fort Myers’ islands, beaches and neighborhoods..Gene's Books - Courtesy of Visit Fort Myers Known as the "Seashell Capital of the World," Sanibel Island's shell-lined beaches and laid-back lifestyle served as the inspiration for author Anne Morrow Lindbergh's 1955 novel Gift from the Sea. A profound work reflecting on the lives of modern American women, Lindbergh used seashells as the framework for her meditations on youth, love, solitude and motherhood. Anne took her time on the island to reflect on the life of the American woman in the mid-20th century, highlighting how moments of solitude can be powerful for self-reflection, which still resonates with her readers after over 65 years. Like Anne, visitors may find peace and inspiration from the spectacular shells scattering the beaches. Fort Myers’ very own award-winning author, Randy Wayne White, has penned many New York Times best-selling novels from his home on Sanibel Island. He’s best known for his series of crime novels featuring the retired NSA agent Doc Ford, with most of the stories set right in Fort Myers and Sanibel. Just as his novels were inspired by the islands of Fort Myers, Randy opened Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille, inspired by the main character of most of his novels, known as a tropical adventurer. Travelers can visit locations in Fort Myers, Sanibel and Captiva, and dine at the famed restaurant today, allowing them to be transported right into their favorite mystery. For those searching for a new read, Gene’s Books in Sanibel is an independent bookstore with five different locations, two locations on Sanibel Island. The original storefront, the Mystery Cottage, is a vibrant blue and yellow clock tower filled to the brim with signature stacks of mysteries from around the world. The success of this book store led to the opening of the four other buildings, all separately categorized with books varying from American Fiction, World Literature and History, to Science Fiction & Fantasy.