So you’ve come to the Vineyard to relax, do a little shopping, and catch a sunny day at the beach. Now you’re wondering how to begin your night out. Though only Edgartown and Oak Bluffs have late night hotspots, there is enough variety on the island to accommodate an evening out for anyone. This Week’s Nightlife Guide shows you where to find the best views, cocktails, and live music on Martha’s Vineyard. Best of all, each town’s destinations are within walking distance of one another allowing you to save your money for that cab fare at the end of the night. There are many convenient taxi companies on the island and as always we suggest that if you have been drinking: Don’t Drive.
Sometimes you step off the late boat and simply don’t want to waste any more time before starting your evening. Fortunately, you can leave the ferry and grab a seat at Lobsterville Grill without ever taking your eyes off the water. Lobsterville offers some of the freshest seafood on the island, no surprise since its backdoor is essentially touching the Oak Bluffs Harbor. You can sit at the Ship Wreck Bar and watch the local fishing boats come in with a fresh catch that could make it to your plate before the night is over. The Ship Wreck’s specialty cocktails are perfect companions for the busy waterfront.
Next door to Lobsterville is The Sand Bar and Grille, literally only a stumble away. The Sand Bar has an outdoor beach patio and one of the best atmospheres on the island. Where else can you dance to the music with sand between your toes and the stars above your head? Their huge outdoor dining area is packed all season long with people swaying to the DJs that spin all summer long at the Sand Bar. While you’re grooving on the dance floor you can peek up to the second floor deck at Nancy’s, your next stop on the harbor!
Over 50 years ago Nancy’s started as a small snack bar on the Oak Bluffs waterfront. The snack bar is still operates every summer but Nancy’s has expanded around it to become one of the biggest restaurants in Oak Bluffs. With multi-level seating both inside and outside, Nancy’s is a staple of island nightlife. Join the crowds on the deck to toss back frozen drinks with cool ocean breeze across your face.
Up the street from Nancy’s is the Dive Bar, a unique basement bar on the lower end of Circuit Avenue. The Dive Bar features live bands throughout the summer, many of which are from right here on the island. The hometown music tends to make this spot THE hangout for young Vineyarders and gives the Dive Bar a great local feel. Between songs you can shoot pool, play darts, or order one of Dive Bar’s famous mudslides! Jiggy Sundays go on all summer, where Dive Bar will be playing the best reggae in town long into the night. Don’t forget to join the Dive Bar Beer Club too! Beer Club meets every Monday night.
Above the Dive Bar is The Lampost, a three-tiered club with a huge stage and dance floor, upstairs lounge, and pool tables on the first floor. Lampost might be the best spot on the island to show off your dance moves and its huge floor space makes it a great place to meet the many locals and tourists that crowd through the doors each night of the summer. Another great spot for live music, the Lampost will be pulling DJs and cover bands in from the mainland all season long.
Next stop on Circuit Avenue is the Island Bar and Grille. The Island Bar is renowned for “Island Night” every Monday where they have cheap beer and awesome prize giveaways.
Seasons Eatery and Pub is a mandatory stop while you’re on the island. Seasons is one of the few bars open year round making it a popular spot for locals who come for the great food and to catch a Red Sox game on one of the 20 TV screens around the bar. Seasons features live music throughout the summer and if you feel like showing off your own talent behind the microphone you can stop by every Tuesday and Saturday for Season’s Karaoke Night. If singing the hits works up an appetite you’re in luck! Seasons serves food until 11 o’clock so you can recharge your batteries and get back out to enjoy the rest of the night!
If you’re looking for a great place to start your evening we suggest catching the sunset on the upstairs deck at the Seafood Shanty, located on the bottom of Dock Street right on the Harbor. You can take in the beautiful views and a cocktail while enjoying the Shanty’s great selection of fresh seafood and on some nights, live entertainment. Downstairs you’ll find more dining room seating and the Shanty’s amazing sushi/raw bar. Both floors sport enough plasmas screens to catch the game from every corner making the Shanty a difficult nightspot to move on from.
When you do move on, try the Wharf Pub and Restaurant just down the street on Main. The dark wooden walls elicit the feel of a harbor town pub and restaurant that has been rooted on this spot for almost 80 years! Open year round, the Wharf is a popular nightspot for locals and visitors alike. It features 3 bars in the summer and easily the most popular dance floor in Edgartown. The Wharf features nightly entertainment, live bands and DJs all summer long so make sure you don’t skip this Edgartown favorite.
Around the corner from the Wharf on North Water St. in the Kelly House Hotel you will find The Newes from America. Stepping in the door you might get the feeling that you have arrived in the pub in a time warp from the olde days when Edgartown was a Whaling community as you are met with ancient beams lining the ceiling and old exposed brick lending itself fully to the experience. The pub is a favorite place to dine but also a good spot for a speakeasy experience with locals and seasoned visitors alike. There is live music on weekends so stay tuned to this paper to see what’s up this year at The Newes From America.
A short walk up Main Street will take you to The Grill on Main, a great location for a quiet dinner or a few late night cocktails. Formerly of Feast in Chilmark, Chef Antonio Saccoccia has taken his talents into downtown Edgartown and now features fantastic New England cuisine just a short walk from the harbor. The Grille also boasts a wonderful prix fixe menu offering three courses for under $40. The bar is now open late so even if you skip dinner you can still enjoy the Grille’s great atmosphere long into the evening.