When Rachel Ray calls, you answer, right? Last week, we heard she was looking for special romantic breakfast recipes, and what’s more romantic than breakfast for two at the Woods Hole Inn?
So, close your eyes and imagine a perfect parfait of fresh cut berries, layered with thick greek yogurt, and house-made granola, the fragrance of savory bread pudding wafting from miniature cast iron pans, and a warm muffin dusted lightly with powdered sugar. How about the steam off a hot cup of coffee, served in a thick pottery mug that rests softly in the heart of your hand? Plus the smell of salt air fresh off the harbor? Hmm, now that sounds nice.
Open your eyes and look out over Woods Hole Harbor with ferryboats bustling and cumulous clouds floating over distant islands. Spend a moment dreaming about your perfect Cape Cod vacation day — sleeping late in your comfortable bed, walk to the beach, take a long swim, stroll along the harbor, savor a lobster dinner, sip a nightcap with your feet in the Atlantic. Cape Cod vacation perfected.
But how should we relate all this back to Rachel Ray? Enter Charlene, our world class breakfast chef. Her vegan “Tomato Soup” muffins are notorious up and down the East Coast, and we felt confident that Rachel Ray would be suitably impressed by her perfect breakfast spread.
Breakfast at the Woods Hole Inn – always a work of art.
Tags: Breakfast Chef, Cranberry Juice, Great Harbor, Rachel Ray, Savory Bread Pudding, Steamship Authority, Tomato Soup Cake, Woods Hole Harbor, Yogurt Parfait
Posted in B and B, In the News, Press, Woods Hole Inn News | 2 Comments »
Looking for something to do in Woods Hole? When in doubt, take a walk. I personally love walking anywhere, but walking around Woods Hole is especially rewarding.
Walk Around Eel Pond: The classic Woods Hole walk is “around the pond.” Start off where ever you can see Eel Pond (an inlet harbor and marina). I prefer heading down Water St. from the Woods Hole Inn to Ocean Park for a pause to check out the boats and ferries passing through “the Hole” (aka Woods Hole Passage).
Continue down MBL St. to the walkway in front of the modernist Swope Building checking out the array of summer boats filling Eel Pond. Bear right up Millfield St. and stop by the garden at the Bell Tower in front of St. Joseph’s Church. At the top of Millfield take a right on School St., back to the village center. The view of the Pond at the causeway makes a spectacular place to pause and take in the view. The circumnavigation is about a mile, a perfect way to start or end your day, especially when topped off with iced coffee or ice cream at one of several Woods Hole eateries. You’ve earned it!
Discover Nobska Lighthouse: The secret walk up the bike path to Church St. disproves the thought that Nobska Light House is only accessible by car. For those with a sense of adventure (and good walking shoes), start at the Steamship Authority Parking lot and make your way up the bike path past scenic Little Harbor on your right. Immediately after you go under a large overpass, look for a steep dirt path going up the hill to your right. Once on Church St, head left past gorgeous, older estates. Just around the corner, you’ll be greeted by Nobska Light and a great view of Vineyard Sound. Perfect spot for a selfie and a swim on Nobska Beach.
Explore Penzance Point: Want to have major house-envy? Stroll out to nearby Penzance Point — one of the most exclusive real estate spots in the world. Penzance Point is the final tip of the peninsula that is Woods Hole with water on both sides much of the entire walk. From the Inn, head to the end of Water Street, turn right onto Albatross. Take your first left onto Bar Neck Road. There is a guard house at the beginning of the road but walkers are welcome during daylight hours. Round trip from the Woods Hole Inn to the end of Penzance Point and back is about three miles.
Wherever you chose to take a stroll around Woods Hole, I guarantee that it will be great. What’s not refreshing about ocean views, lapping waves, magical garden vistas and fragrant sea air?
Sea-washed shingles, neatly trimmed cottages, cheerful flowerbeds, and a scenic harbor full of yachts and sailboats make Edgartown one of my favorite spots to visit on Martha’s Vineyard. Edgartown seems to emanate summer and relaxation, beckoning me back every year.
The easiest (and most economical) way to get there is to take the Woods Hole Steamship Authority ferry to either Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven, which is the perfect solution for finding Edgartown MA lodging. From either of these Vineyard towns, catch Martha’s Vineyard bus #1 or #13; they leave every fifteen minutes and cost a few dollars.
Once in Edgartown, I head immediately to Murdick’s Café for a perfectly brewed iced coffee and a taste of their homemade fudge. The chocolate peanut butter variety is decidedly indulgent, but who can argue with a recipe that dates back to 1887!
Likewise, Edgartown is arguably one of the best places for boutique shopping: luxuriant cashmere sweaters donning nautical patterns at 20 Main, sailboat-embroidered shorts at Island Outfitters, and uniquely Vineyard necklaces and bracelets at numerous fine jewelry shops. There are also preppy name-brand stores like Jack Wills, Lilly Pulitzer, and Vineyard Vines. My favorite store is Backwater Trading, featuring outerwear, fishing paraphernalia, and casual beach attire – summer anyone?
For classic Vineyard fare, wander down Dock St. to the Seafood Shanty. Their calamari is fresh and local and delicious and the rooftop dining provides spectacular views of the harbor and the Chappy Ferry’s “back and forth” between the Vineyard and Chappaquiddick Island, a 527 foot passage!
I discovered two new treasures this year in Edgartown: Edgartown Books and the Edgartown Lighthouse. The bookstore is located right downtown and was a welcomed oasis from the bustling town. Cozy seating areas tucked between aisles of this historic building brings browsing for the perfect beach read to a new level. And don’t miss the awesome stairs! After unwinding, I was ready for a trek to Edgartown Light, my first time to venture out to this totally picturesque lighthouse. Wandering past the historic Edgartown Public Library, stately seaside homes, and the gorgeous Harborview Hotel makes the trip even more worthwhile.
Before catching the bus to Oak Bluffs for the ferry and to complete my summer escapade, I grabbed a freshly made frozen “Arnold Palmer” from MacPhail’s Corner Café – refreshing! So, whether you want to walk along the harbor or spend the day browsing boutiques, Edgartown will become your summer pleasure. –Guest Blogger, Gwen Martin
Tags: 20 Main, Backwater Trading Company, Edgartown, Edgartown Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard, Murdick's Cafe, Oak Bluffs, Seafood Shanty, Steamship Authority, Woods Hole, Woods Hole Inn News
Posted in Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard | 2 Comments »
Did you know over a million people a summer take the Steamship Authority Ferry to the Vineyard from Woods Hole? Hard to imagine, until you live in Woods Hole and you watch the people streaming on and off the boats.
And while we spend the summer at the front desk advising people about how to navigate the island, you would be surprised how infrequently we actually have time to head over ourselves. So it was with some excitement that I boarded the Island Home this Saturday to explore.
Highlight of the trips are many, but it all starts with the ferry ride itself — bright sunshine, sparkling water over Vineyard Sound, seagulls following the boat, wind in your hair on a hot day. Fantastic.
On arrival, we walked the beachfront with the great expanse of ocean and sky to your left. Down on the sand below you, there are people, boats, towels, beach chairs and so much fun happening both in the water and out.
After our fill of the beach views, we strolled to the Methodist Camp often referred to as the “Gingerbread Cottages.” Built in circles surrounding an open air wooden gathering place from the 1880s, these historic landmark cottages are a sight to see all dressed in their Victorian finery, many colored facades and rocking-chair stuffed porches. The lucky occupants were sipping wine spritzers with their feet up on balconies, enjoying the promenade of people walking through and the sound of Wynton Marsalis playing under the glorious tabernacle.
From the Campgrounds, we returned to the hustle bustle of Circuit Avenue and jostled our way past pizza, donut, fudge and burger joints. We window shopped all the hangouts and chose the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company. I was dutifully impressed with their milky and authentic clam chowder — winner of this year’s Yankee Magazine Best Chowder in New England award! Yum.
The boat ride back was just as great as the way over, except now sunset over water and a lot cooler. I got some good snaps of the scenery — plus the Quicks Hole churros we enjoyed in Woods Hole at dusk — and I will share it all with you here. A fine summer’s day.
Tags: Gingerbread Cottages, Martha's Vineyard, MV Chowder Company, Oak Bluffs, Quicks Hole, Steamship Authority, Woods Hole, Wynton Marsalis
Posted in Beaches, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Things to Do in Woods Hole | Comments Off
Last week was unseasonably warm, daffodils sprouting overnight everywhere you looked. Last year at this time, I took a picture of the witch hazel blooming with snow all around it. As I drove around on errands yesterday, the car thermometer said 80 degrees. What a difference a year makes.
All week, an Atlantic fog hovered just off shore, drifting in to fill the village streets and float over the Eel Pond each evening as the sun set. In the mornings, I returned from my walks feeling as if I had marched through a cloud, eyebrows dripping with the thick humidity.
The construction is cruising along upstairs at the Woods Hole Inn. This week, the painters finished up on the first floor, and we followed behind them spring cleaning. Our guests return next weekend, so we are in the crazy push to get tidy — with the closets back in order, the breakfast recipes brushed up and the outdoor cushions on the porch.
Upstairs, the painters are done and the floors are finished. The rooms look really great, all spit-polished and shined. I am especially enamored of the floors. We saved the old hardwoods, and patched where the walls used to be so that the floor is a crazy quilt of old and new. It’s as if the bones of the old building are exposed, and along with the salvaged moldings, the vintage restored tubs and and the old-fashioned radiator system, I think it will make you feel that the heart of the place still beats with 1870’s joy.
Soon, exterior painting begins. I look forward as the pale shingles — looking a bit like band-aids randomly placed — turn to a rich saturated blue to match the rest. With that, the Woods Hole Inn will look much as it has since it was built over 130 years ago.
A sander on the raw floors where we intentionally left some paint in the crevices to celebrate the marriage of the old with the new.
A view of the final flooring, in the Nonamesset Room — a great spot to spend a few days with corner light, harbor views and your private deck. These rooms will be furnished and open for guests by the end of April if all goes as planned.
The ferry waits in the morning fog, its distinctive horns dancing and reverberating across Vineyard Sound.
Finally, sunset this week over Eel Pond as the fog rolled in. I am grateful for spring, especially this particular warm, foggy spring.
What are you grateful for?
It was 70 degrees and sunny last week when we hopped the noon ferry to Vineyard Haven to see the sights on the famous island of Martha’s Vineyard. We sat on the front deck of the ferry, which leaves just steps from the front door of the Woods Hole Inn, and watched the gulls soar over our heads. We munched our snacks from “Pie in the Sky” until it got too breezy, then moved into the inner part of the ferry where there are tables and a snack shop.
It takes about 45 delicious minutes to make the crossing. The views of Vineyard Sound and the islands are quite stunning especially with the perspective of being so high off the water. The kids loved making flattened pennies in the old-fashioned crank machine (fifty cents to ruin a penny but what the heck, you only live once:) It’s still the off season so the boat was filled with real Vineyarders returning to their island home.
When we pulled into Vineyard Haven, we got a little confused about exiting the ferry and ended up walking out where the cars come off — one of the stevedores yelled at us but it was really OK. I suggest following the crowd as the exit only happens on one side of the boat. As you walk off the ferry, you are smack in the best spot on the Harbor. Lovely houses stretch up the hill to your right, moorings and boats fill the harbor and the commercial street is just one block up.
We beelined it to the Black Dog Tavern, famously the first restaurant to operate year round on the island back in 1971. This place is an institution, fabulous ship timber decor and smack on the beach with a great view. We got a table right in front (nice benny of going off season — I hear the wait is crazy in summer) and were served a terrific lunch of chowders and salads.
With our bellies full, we walked up the hill to the main drag and explored the shops. There is a terrific independent bookstore called “Bunch of Grapes” where we bought a few kids books and the staff was really helpful. I loved “Midnight Farm” which is Carly Simon’s funky furniture and clothing store — think Anthropologie but better. I also enjoyed watching artist Kara Taylor painting in her gallery, and admired her abstract aerials of the Vineyard coastline. We drooled outside the window of Martha’s Fudge shop, but sadly they were not open yet for the season.
After exploring town, we briefly thought about taking a taxi to Oak Bluffs but settled on a walk along the sand instead. Our boys skipped stones across the flat harbor as my husband and I enjoyed watching the sloops and lobster boats swaying in the light breeze. We caught the 3.45 boat back to Woods Hole, home to the Inn by 4.30. It was another great Cape Cod day.
Any season. Especially summer! You DON’T want to miss that last ferry to the Vineyard.
You find yourself, cold-knuckling it on the last bus down from Boston (or up from NYC). Over the Bourne Bridge, through the rotaries on Route 28. You are glancing nervously at your watch…will I make the boat? You glide into Woods Hole, the distinctive curve of little Harbor and your first glimpse of water to the left. And there she is out on the horizon, your eyes on the prize… Martha’s Vineyard shimmering in the moonlight. You mutter to yourself, damn it that boat better still be there.
And then, the slip is empty! The dock deserted. The ticket window closed and dark. You have joined legions of travelers who over the years have missed the last boat.
So, when you miss the boat…don’t Miss The Boat. Walk 100 yards up Luscombe Ave and ring the doorbell at the Woods Hole Inn. If we have room, we will welcome you with open arms. Relax onto your pillow top mattress and dream about the morning ferry, the early one with your “New York Times” and a hot cup of Joe. The one where the bow of the ferry seems to separate the fog bank and the sleepy gulls drift after you looking for scraps. The one that gets you there with a great night’s sleep behind you.
The Woods Hole Inn. The place to go when you miss the boat.