💬 July's Ask Me Anything Roundup
Oversand Vehicle Permits, Nantucket, Live Music and Grocery Stores
A month has passed since our last AMA roundup, and we are loving your questions! As a reminder, you can always drop submissions on Instagram and through our Google Form - so each month we will roundup some unique questions and answer them here. Here are some rapid-fire answers short enough not to need a whole post, but definitely relevant to many!
Question: What beaches can you drive on if visiting?
Answer: Complicated answer. There are two beaches that allow this: Norton Point Beach (accessible from South Beach/Katama) and one on Chappaquiddick (accessible from Dike Bridge/Cape Poge). However, there are a very limited non-resident day passes available for this, and they can be expensive. The Trustees, who run this, can also shut the access to the beach when they are sold out for the day. During the height of the season, they can be sold out by 8:30 am.
Please be wary of the time of year you try this. There are these little birds called Piping Plovers and they hatch once a year on MV causing the beaches to be shut down to Over Sand Vehicle Permits. We never know when they will hatch, but just know that you may drive up to the beach and it will randomly be closed for the day due to Piping Plovers (they announce it beforehand here).
I also want to warn you about the type of vehicle you bring. You’ll need something with high clearance to get around in the sand - think Jeep or a pickup truck. You will need to deflate the tires to around 15-18psi. There is a complimentary air station at Norton Point that’ll allow you to “air up” right after you leave the beach. A great way to get access is to rent a Jeep on the island. Some of them already have an OSV season beach permit. Otherwise you can purchase a day pass for $60 to drive onto the beach at Norton Point or $30 for island-registered vehicles. However, the rental agencies will tell you “don’t drive it in the sand.”
I don’t mean to scare you! It IS possible. If you rent a jeep on island, show up at 8am to Norton Point, and on a weekend where the plovers haven’t hatched. Then you’re surely a lucky one!
Question: If I wanted to visit Nantucket during the summer, how?
Answer: Oh yeah, you can do that! The HyLine runs an inter-island ferry a few times a day in-season from Oak Bluffs Harbor between the two islands. It’s about ~$75 round trip.
Question: Where can I get a roundup of live music?
Answer: Not here! While I used to love including live music in our weekend updates, I realized that other people are doing it so I’m going to stay in my lane and go to bed early haha. You can check out the Vineyard Gazette Calendar for tons of great live music options! The desktop site is way better than the mobile for that, FYI. DineOutMV also does a roundup weekly you can subscribe to as well.
Question: Cheapest and/or best grocery store?
Answer: This is a tough one! The short answer: Edgartown Stop+Shop. This Stop+Shop has the most affordable groceries on-island, and has far more inventory and a more efficient operation than it’s Vineyard Haven counterpart. However - there are downsides - it is often out of items or they’re low in stock, it doesn’t support the local economy, and expiration dates have been known to be questionable at times.
So what are the alternatives? The first suggestion is to bring groceries with you if possible (or a majority of them if you can), or order the dry goods you’re getting to be delivered to where you are staying (we’ve sent diapers from Costco, meat from Butcher Box etc).
The second suggestion is to frequent the local markets - we LOVE Morning Glory Farm for produce, bakery items and grab+go meals. We love Edgartown Meat + Fish for meats and items we forgot for an easy in/out experience without going into town.
If you’re looking for pickup or delivery, Vineyard Grocer is your only bet there. Other markets people might reference include Cronigs (up + down-island locations) and Reliable Market (Oak Bluffs, known for their butcher). These are fine options if they’re more local to your stay, but have limited stock and are quite expensive.
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