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Let's Mellow Out This Weekend....

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       WEEKEND GETAWAYS - Friday, March 14, 2008   
    Make The Most Of Your Vacation - From Coast to Coast!   


Greetings Getaway Lover,   

This Weekend we're going to mellow out in Martha's   
Vineyard. A Little Romantic Getaway....   

The islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, as   
well as the entire Cape Cod peninsula, were formed   
by the slow movements of massive sheets of ice   
during the last great Ice Age. Starting about 2.5   
million years ago, great blocks of ice, some as much   
as 2 miles thick, descended from the frigid northern   
climes onto continental Europe and North America. As   
the ice slowly but inexorably gouged and plowed its   
way south, it pushed before it mounds of earth and   
rock. Here, in more temperate climes, and over   
thousands of millenniums, the glacial advance slowed   
and, some 20,000 years ago, began to recede. During   
this period, Martha's Vineyard, as well as Nantucket   
and the Elizabeth Islands, was connected to the   
mainland, and humans trekked to the area to establish   
settlements. As the ice melted, sea levels rose --   
some believe today's level is 400 ft higher than dur-   
ing glacial times -- and the islands' connection to   
the mainland disappeared under water. Receding   
glaciers also gouged large holes in the earth, which   
in turn fused with underground springs to become the   
streams, bogs, and freshwater ponds found throughout   
the Cape and islands.   

Happy Trails,   
Jan   

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--DESTINATION: Martha's Vineyard   

Far less developed than Cape Cod -- thanks to a few local   
conservation organizations -- yet more cosmopolitan than   
neighboring Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard is an island with   
a double life. From Memorial Day through Labor Day the   
quieter, some might say real, Vineyard quickens into a   
vibrant, star-studded place. Edgartown floods with people   
who come to wander narrow streets flanked with elegant   
boutiques, stately whaling captains' homes, and charming   
inns. The busy main port, Vineyard Haven, welcomes day-   
trippers fresh off ferries and private yachts to browse   
in its own array of shops. Oak Bluffs, where pizza and ice   
cream emporiums reign supreme, attracts diverse crowds   
with its boardwalk-town air and nightspots that cater to   
high-spirited, carefree youth.   

Summer regulars include a host of celebrities, among them   
William Styron, Art Buchwald, Walter Cronkite, Beverly   
Sills, Patricia Neal, Spike Lee, and Diane Sawyer. Former   
president Clinton and his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton,   
were frequent visitors during his terms in office.   
Concerts, theater, dance performances, and lecture series   
draw top talent to the island; a county agricultural fair,   
weekly farmers' markets, and miles of walking trails   
provide earthier pleasures.   

Most people know the Vineyard's summer persona, but in many   
ways its other self has even more appeal, for the off-season   
island is a place of peace and simple beauty. Drivers traver-   
sing country lanes through the agricultural center of the   
island find time to linger over pastoral and ocean vistas,   
without being pushed along by a throng of other cars,   
bicycles, and mopeds. In nature reserves, the voices of   
summer are gone, leaving only the sounds of birdsong and the   
crackle of leaves underfoot. Private beaches open to the   
public, and the water sparkles under crisp, blue skies.   

Locals are at their convivial best off-season. After the   
craziness of their short moneymaking months, they   
reestablish contact with friends and take up pastimes   
temporarily crowded out by work. The result for visitors --   
besides the extra dose of friendliness -- is that cultural,   
educational, and recreational events continue year-round.   
   
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--WHAT TO DO AND SEE:   

Aquinnah Lighthouse   
   
Nautical Site, Aquinnah   
   
Aquinnah Lighthouse, adjacent to the Aquinnah Cliffs over-   
look, is the largest of the Vineyard's five, precariously   
stationed atop the rapidly eroding cliffs. In 1799 a wooden   
lighthouse was built here -- the island's first -- to warn   
ships of Devil's Bridge, an area of shoals ¼ mi offshore.   
The current incarnation, built in 1856 of red brick,   
carries on with its alternating pattern of red and white   
flashes. Despite the light, the Vineyard's worst wreck   
occurred here in January 1884, when the City of Columbus   
sank, taking with it into the icy waters more than 100   
passengers and crew. The original Fresnel lens was removed   
when the lighthouse was automated in 1952, and it is   
preserved at the Vineyard Museum in Edgartown. The light-   
house is open to the public for sunsets Friday, Saturday,   
and Sunday in summer, weather permitting; private tours   
can also be arranged. COST: $3.   

Address: Lighthouse Rd., Aquinnah, MA, USA   
Phone: 508/627-4441   


Black Dog Bakery   

Restaurant, Vineyard Haven   
   
The delicious breads, pastries, and quick-lunch items   
at Black Dog Bakery are simply not to be missed -- it's   
a popular stop for good reason.   

Address: 11 Water St., Vineyard Haven, MA, USA   
Phone: 508/693-4786   

   
Cranberry Lands   

Viewpoint, Aquinnah   
   
A scenic route worth the trip is West Basin Road, which   
takes you along the Vineyard Sound shore of Menemsha   
Light and through the Cranberry Lands, an area of cran-   
berry bogs gone wild that is a popular nesting site for   
birds. No humans can nest here, but you can drive by and   
look. At the end of the road, with marshland on the right   
and low dunes, grasses, and the long blue arc of the   
bight on the left, you get a terrific view of the quiet   
fishing village of Menemsha, across the water. Lobsterville   
Road Beach here is public, but public parking is limited to   
three spots, so get here early if you want one of them.   

   
East Chop Lighthouse   
Nautical Site, Oak Bluffs   
   
The East Chop Lighthouse was built of cast iron in 1876   
to replace an 1828 tower -- used as part of a semaphore   
system of visual signaling between the island and Boston   
-- that burned down. The 40-foot structure stands high   
atop a 79-foot bluff with spectacular views of Nantucket   
Sound. East Chop is one of three island lighthouses open   
to the public. COST: $3. OPEN: Late June-mid Sept., 1 hr   
before sunset-1 hr after sunset, Sundays only.   

Address: E. Chop Dr., Oak Bluffs, MA, USA   
Phone: 508/627-4441   
   
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Other Places of Interest:   

Edgartown Lighthouse   
Nautical Site, Edgartown   
   
The Edgartown Lighthouse, surrounded by a public beach,   
provides a great view (but seaweedy bathing). The   
original light guarding the harbor was built in 1828   
and set on a little island made of granite blocks. The   
island was later connected to the mainland by a bridge.   
By the time the 1938 hurricane made a new light necessary,   
sand had filled in the gap between the island and the   
mainland. The current white cast-iron tower was floated by   
barge from Ipswich, Massachusetts, in 1938. At this area,   
called Starbuck's Neck, you can wander about and take in   
views of the ocean, harbor, a little bay, and moorland.   
OPEN: Closed to the public.   

Address: Off N. Water St., Edgartown, MA, USA   
   

Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary   
Nature Preserve, Edgartown   
   
The Vineyard's conservation areas are a good way to get   
acquainted with local flora and fauna. The 350-acre Felix   
Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, a Massachusetts Audubon Society   
preserve 3 mi out of Edgartown toward Oak Bluffs and   
Vineyard Haven, has 6 mi of hiking trails traversing   
marshland, fields, oak woods, seashore, and waterfowl and   
reptile ponds. Nesting ospreys and barn owls also call   
the sanctuary home. A full schedule of events unfolds   
throughout the year, including sunset hikes along the   
beach, explorations of the salt marsh, stargazing, snake   
or bird walks, snorkeling, canoeing, and more, all led by   
trained naturalists. An exhibit center has trail maps,   
aquariums, snake cages, and a gift shop. A bit of summer   
fun and learning experience combined, the sanctuary's   
Fern & Feather Day Camp is a great way for children to   
learn about wildlife, plants, and the stars. It runs one-   
or two-week summer sessions that include overnight camping   
expeditions. Early registration is advised and begins in   
February. COST: $4. OPEN: Center June-Sept., daily 8-4;   
Oct.-May, Tues.-Sun. 9-4. Trails daily sunrise-7 PM.   

Address: Off Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Rd., Edgartown, MA,   
USA Phone: 508/627-4850   

   
Flying Horses Carousel   
Carousel, Oak Bluffs   
   
A National Historic Landmark, the Flying Horses Carousel   
is the nation's oldest continuously operating carousel.   
Handcrafted in 1876 (the horses have real horse hair and   
glass eyes), the ride gives children a taste of entertain-   
ment from a TV-free era. On summer evenings or rainy days,   
however, the carousel can get crowded; you can avoid the   
crunch by going early in the day. While waiting in line   
(the wait is rarely longer than 20 minutes or so), you   
can munch on popcorn or cotton candy or slurp a slush.   
The waiting area has a number of arcade games. COST: Rides   
$1.50; $10 for a book of 8 tickets. OPEN: Late May-early   
Sept., daily 10-10; Easter-late May, weekends 10-5; early   
Sept.-mid-Oct., weekdays 11-4:30, weekends 10-5.   

Address: Oak Bluffs Ave., Oak Bluffs, MA, USA   
Phone: 508/693-9481   
   
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------------------------------------------------------------   

--WHERE TO SLEEP:   

Attleboro House   
Under $150, Oak Bluffs   
   
This guesthouse, part of the Methodist Association Camp   
Grounds, is across the street from bustling Oak Bluffs   
Harbor. The big 1874 gingerbread Victorian, an inn since   
its construction, has wraparound verandas on two floors   
and small, simple rooms with powder-blue walls, lacy   
white curtains, and a few antiques. Some rooms have sinks.   
Singles have three-quarter beds, and every room is   
provided linen exchange but no chambermaid service during   
a stay. The five shared baths are rustic and old but clean.   
11 rooms with shared bath. AE, D, MC, V. Closed Oct.-May.   
Continental breakfast.   

Address: 42 Lake Ave., Box 1564, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557,   
USA Phone: 508/693-4346   
   

Bayberry Bed and Breakfast   
Under $150 to $225, West Tisbury   
   
The farmhouse-style home in the bucolic Up-Island country-   
side sits on land once owned by Thomas Mayhew, the founder   
of the island. The rooms are decorated in a country   
Victorian style, with lots of blue highlights in the rugs,   
trim, and wallpapers. Two rooms on the first floor share a   
bath, and the three upstairs rooms have private or semi-   
private (designated for the room, but in the hall) baths.   
The common sitting room has comfy chairs, a fireplace, and   
a piano, but the heart of the inn is the big kitchen, which   
has a hearth and glass doors opening to a cherry tree-shaded   
brick patio. Don't miss owner Rosalie Powell's famous break-   
fast Dreamboat, a boat-shape pastry filled with fresh fruit,   
yogurt, honey, and granola. www.vineyard.net/biz/bayberry.   
5 rooms, 3 with bath. No kids under 12, no smoking. MC, V.   
Full breakfast.   

Address: 49 Old Courthouse Rd., Box 654, West Tisbury,   
MA 02575, USA   
Phone: 508/693-1984 or 800/693-9960   
   

Beach Plum Inn   
$225 to $450, Menemsha   
   
This mansard-roof inn, surrounded by 7 acres of lavish   
formal gardens and lush woodland, sits on a bluff over   
Menemsha Harbor. The floral-theme rooms -- five in the   
main house and four in cottages -- have gorgeous furnish-   
ings; in the Daffodil room, bathed in shades of yellow   
and blue, you'll find a hand-painted queen bed and a   
romantic balcony. A vaulted, beamed ceiling rises over   
the bedroom of the secluded Morning Glory Cottage. You   
will receive complimentary passes to a health club and   
free use of chairs, towels, and umbrellas to be taken to   
the two private beaches nearby. From many rooms, and also   
from the first-rate restaurant, you're treated to stunning   
harbor and ocean views. www.beachpluminn.com. 9 rooms.   
Some in-room hot tubs, refrigerators, cable TV, tennis   
court, concierge; no smoking. AE, D, MC, V. Closed Dec.-Apr.   
Full breakfast.   

Address: North Rd., Menemsha, MA 02552, USA   
Phone: 508/645-9454 or 877/645-7398   
   
--WHERE TO DINE:   

The Bite   
Seafood, Under $8 to $12, Menemsha   
   
Fried everything -- clams, fish-and-chips, you name it --   
is on the menu at this simple, roadside shack, where two   
outdoor picnic tables are the only seating options. Small,   
medium, and large are the three options: all of them are   
perfect if you're craving that classic seaside fried lunch.   
But don't come on a rainy day, unless you want to get wet   
-- the lines here can be long. To beat the crowds, try   
arriving between traditional mealtimes. The best advice,   
however, is be patient and don't arrive too hungry. The   
Bite is open 11 AM-3 PM in spring and fall and until 8:45   
PM in summer. No credit cards. Closed Oct.-late May.   

Address: Basin Rd., Menemsha, MA, USA   
Phone: 509/645-9239   
   

At the Cornerway   
American, $20 to Over $28, Chilmark   

Jamaican chef Deon Thomas brings cuisine rich in Jamaican   
flavors to this American-style bistro. Braised goat   
shoulder with prunes and pearl onions is on the menu for   
the adventurous; duck, lamb, venison or garlic-crusted   
snapper for those with less exotic tastes. Whichever   
pleases your palate, make sure to finish with either the   
coconut bread pudding or chocolate rum cake. If you want   
to hear what your dinner companions have to say, ask for   
a corner seat away from the atrium. The acoustics are   
terrible in this barnlike structure that once hosted   
square dances. AE, MC, V. BYOB.   

Address: Beetlebung Corner, Chilmark, MA, USA   
Phone: 508/645-9300   
   

Cafe Moxie   
American, $12 to Over $28, Vineyard Haven   
   
Open year-round, this classy restaurant has a handsome   
wooden bar (though it's a dry town) and island artists'   
work on the walls. A lunchtime favorite is Chef Austin   
Racine's mussels steamed in garlic and ginger served   
over noodles. Something fancier for dinner is duck   
breast wrapped in Swiss chard over a white bean and   
duck ragout. You can eat lunch here for under $15. D,   
MC, V. BYOB. Closed Mon. No lunch.   

Address: Main St. at Centre St., Vineyard Haven, MA, USA   
Phone: 508/693-1484   

Bar None   
Bar, Oak Bluffs   
   
At the far end of Circuit Ave., Bar None is the only club   
on the island with a pub-food menu that is served till   
midnight. The lighting is nice, the music's not too loud,   
and the service is friendly. It's a nice getaway from the   
craziness of the Oak Bluffs weekend bar scene.   

Address: 57 Circuit Ave., at Balance Restaurant, Oak Bluffs,   
MA, USA   
Phone: 508/696-3000   


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those offers clearly set apart from the text, none of the   
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