How Safe Are Small Aircraft?

How Safe Are Small Aircraft?

Most of us of make certain assumptions about aircraft size, which usually come down to bigger (a widebody or even a B737) is better than smaller (a regional or commuter aircraft). It just seems reasonable to assume that a widebody is more resistant to being pushed around by weather, and that it has a deeper, more complicated suite of avionics—making it safer, especially in bad weather.

When it comes to the two aircraft in the Tradewind Aviation fleet—the Citation CJ3 (6-7 passengers) and the Pilatus PC12 (6-8 passengers)—however, it just ain't so.  

"There's nothing less safe about a smaller plane," says Adam Schaefer, Tradewind's Director of Operations and himself a pilot. (He flies both the Citation and Pilatus.)

This is primarily due to the avionics systems, the information displays, auto-pilot, and other automated cockpit elements that maximize pilot performance and safety.

For starters, both Tradewind models adhere to what's known as "the dark cockpit philosophy." That means that the instrument panel is designed to draw the pilot's attention only when needed. "There are no distracting lights," says Tradewind President Eric Zipkin, "unless something goes wrong." That frees the pilot from having to scan the instrument panel continually. "If there's a flashing light, it's something you have to pay attention to," says Schaefer. Such a design allows for what pilots call "more eyes-up time at the controls."

Paired with the dark cockpit is the built-in redundancy. On the CJ3, each pilot has their own flight display, which flank a center display with other information. If one of the pilot displays fails, that information can be moved to the central display without losing the information already there. Both planes also have collision-avoidance systems that meet international standards, meaning it doesn't just signal the dangerous proximity of another aircraft, but orders the pilot to climb or descend to avoid colliding with it.  

The Tradewind avionics systems are also about minimizing the effect of weather, especially turbulence—perhaps people's key anxiety about flying in smaller aircraft.

"Turbulence for a pilot is like driving on a gravel road," says Schaefer, meaning bumpy but no big deal. However, he acknowledges that passengers aren't nearly as blasé, so the first move a Tradewind pilot makes is to slow down to lessen the impact.  But the avionics in the PC-12 and CJ3 also allow the pilot to anticipate and avoid turbulence.

"The big thing to understand regarding weather is that we have the same capabilities as big airliners," says Schaefer. That includes satellite weather reception that allows PC-12 and CJ3 pilots to avoid strong winds (aka turbulence) and make plans to fly around storms farther along the route. There's also an on-board system that shows weather dead ahead to allow immediate course alternation—"for us to go 25 miles out of our way in the CJ3," says Schaefer, "adds only 4 minutes to the flying time"—or at least warn passengers that choppy air is coming up and to reassure them by revealing the expected duration.

Schaefer also points out that both planes, but especially the CJ3 with its maximum altitude of 46,000 feet, usually cruise above the weather. "We often see the line of thunderstorms way below us," he says. The Pilatus PC-12 has a ceiling of 30,000 feet, which means it can also fly over bad weather, but consider, too, that the plane was designed to fly in extreme environments (Arctic Canada, southern Africa) and weather that no Tradewind Aviation flight is going to experience. (Both planes also climb quickly, so on takeoff they pierce the bad-weather layer in a matter of minutes.)  

Of course, weather comes back into play upon landing, and here both the PC-12 and CJ3 have big-plane avionics. Schaefer cites the situation Tradewind pilots often encounter in summer when landing on Nantucket: Nothing but blue skies all the way from New York, though the island covered in a blanket of fog. But this doesn’t necessarily mean a trip back to New York. The advanced avionics will safely guide the plane down below the fog and in for landing.

 It’s all part of the advanced avionics capability making Tradewind’s flights just as safe as your typical experience on commercial airliners.

The Ten-Minute Rum Connoisseur

The Ten-Minute Rum Connoisseur

The Caribbean, one of Tradewind Aviation's two main markets, is the ground zero of rum production. More than 80% of all rum comes from here, although that's not always apparent on the label, as rum is often shipped to other countries to be bottled and branded.

Dave Russell, rum expert and master of the well-designed and written website The Rum Gallery, told me that calling the rum world "’the Wild West’ is a decent characterization," as rum is lightly regulated (except in one instance). That allows it to take so many forms that one sometimes thinks a sheriff is required.

Want proof? Just look at the island of Hispaniola. On the Dominican Republic side, rum is made in one style, on the Haitian side, in a completely different one.  The best response is "Vive la difference!"

In that spirit, here's a quick guide to the spirit, one that will give you the basics so that you can scan a rum list and make an informed choice.

What is rum?

A spirit, usually about 80 proof in the U.S., but sometimes stronger in the Caribbean. Rum is produced by fermenting sugarcane juice or a by-product of sugarcane production, usually molasses, and then distilling the resulting liquid.  To be called rum, the distillate must be aged at least one year in barrels, usually used bourbon or whiskey casks. It is sometimes infused with flavoring ingredients.

What does the name mean?

Good question. No solid answer. Etymologists offer up everything from the large drinking glasses used by Dutch seamen known as rummers, to the Romani word rum, meaning 'strong' or 'potent', and the last syllables in the Latin words for sugarcane, saccharum officinarum.

I love French wine and I understand the AOC system. Will that help me understand rum?

Not in the least. Except in two places, Martinique and Guadeloupe, where rum is labeled based on terroir. (See next question.) But otherwise getting an overview of rum is a bit like herding cats. "There's not an easy formula for it that's accurate," says Russell. You can look at it as anarchy or as opportunity.

"It's the most interesting spirit category because it can be made anywhere in the world," says St. John Frizell, proprietor of Sunken Harbor Club in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which has one of the city's top rum lists. (His favorite: English Harbor, which he says makes a great Old-Fashioned.)

What's the proper way to taste rum?

First, don't swirl it. (Like I just said, forget your wine training.) That just disperses the nose, according to Mark Theron, a rum importer based in Nevis. Instead, just tilt the glass slightly and sniff the top, letting the flavor notes come to you. Then take a sip.

I've seen bottles labeled 'Rhum.' What does that mean?

Very good question. Rhum indicates that the spirit came from Martinique or Guadeloupe. (You'll also see the term used on rums from other former French colonies, Haiti, the Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, and Tahiti, but forget about that for now.)  Martinique is unique in having the only AOC rules for rum in the world, which is why its rums are held in such esteem by many rum aficionados. If you go on YouTube, you will find the island's rum makers talking articulately about how the soil on one or the other side of Mt. Pelée affects the taste of the rum.

Okay, so outside of Martinique and Guadeloupe, how do I come to understand rum?

Dave Russell says that one should start by getting to know four basic styles.

Rhum Agricole: Rum from Martinique and Guadeloupe. It's made strictly from freshly pressed sugar cane that must be fermented within 24 hours, and it makes up only five per cent of the world's rum. "It's an acquired taste for most,” says Russell, who includes himself in that category. But he's a convert: see his review of Clement 70, a distillery revered by rum connoisseurs. Demoiselle XO from Martinique and Guadeloupe is, according Theron, "almost like a single malt." The two islands are great rum rivals—"the North and South of Rhum production," says Russell.

Light or Spanish Style: Rums from former Spanish colonies in the Caribbean and Central and South America. Most are made from molasses. Countries vary in additives allowed; caramel is often used to color the rum and sugar sometimes added to brighten flavor. These rums are lighter in style because they're made in a column still, as opposed to a pot still, which produces a rum with bolder flavors.

English or Heavy Style: From former British colonies: Those from Barbados and Jamaica are representative.  Often made in a pot still. Mount Gay on Barbados claims to be the oldest rum house in the world and its XO (meaning extra old), a blend of 12-15-year-old rums, is a good example of the style.

Photo credit: Nigav Pressbilder via Flickr

Photo credit: Nigav Pressbilder via Flickr

Demarara Style: From Guyana and named for the country's only surviving distillery. Dark, sweet, intense—like English, but one better. El Dorado, a 15-year rum is a good example: viscous, walnut-y, and with a long finish. It's Frizell's favorite.

Rum labels often specify an age. What exactly does that mean?

Not what you think. Rums are often a blend of spirits of different ages. In the U.S., the age on the label refers to the age of the youngest rum in the blend.  In the French Caribbean, the word "vieux" on the label means all the rum in the bottle has been aged at least three years. But age doesn't play the same role with rum as it does with wine. One of Theron's favorite rums is Havana Club 7-Year-Old. "Age statements don't mean very much," says Russell.  "It can also refer to the oldest rum in the blend."

Is there the rum equivalent of a wine route?

Yes. Martinique has the Route du Rhum, which will take you to 11 distilleries. Hiring a driver advised. One of the most famous, Habitation Clement, once hosted a summit meeting between French President Francois Mitterand and U.S. President George Bush.

What are the top selling rums?

According to Theron, in 2014 the five top brands were in order: Bacardi White and Silver, Tandauy (Phillipines), McDowells (India), Havana Club #7 (from Cuba), Captain Morgan Spice Gold "thanks to every student in the world," says Theron.

Can rum improve my golf game?

Maybe. Here's what Chi Chi Rodriguez once said: “The first time I played the Masters, I was so nervous I drank a bottle of rum before I teed off. I shot the happiest 83 of my life.”

 

A Beach Hopper’s Guide to the Caribbean

A Beach Hopper’s Guide to the Caribbean

There are countless beaches to be found among the Caribbean’s iconic islands, each with a singular personality, splendor, and charm. Some of our favorite hidden shorelines harbor beautiful rock formations and coral reefs brimming with sea life, while ethereal white sands and crystal clear waters are an ever-present throughout the islands.

It’s the ideal setup for beach hopping, and with Tradewind’s regularly scheduled Caribbean flights, you can hop in private charter style for the price of a single seat. Having visited our fair share of the Caribbean (and our fair share of beaches), we’ve put together a guide for visiting thirteen of the islands’ best shorelines along with local recommendations. And better yet, most of them are just an hour’s flight away from one another.

Your first destination? Antigua.

Jolly Beach, Antigua

On an island that claims to have 365 beaches (one for each day of the year), it may be difficult to choose which coast you will visit first. Rent a car or taxi down the west coast to Jolly Beach, where you will find swathes of white sand and turquoise waters straight from your Caribbean dreams. The stunning, one-mile long shoreline is perhaps the widest on the island, offering calm seas shallow enough for children to enjoy.

Locals’ Pick: Treat yourself to freshly caught lobster, coconut shrimp, and other island delicacies at The Nest Beach Bar and Restaurant.

Half Moon Bay, Antigua

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

Across the island, Half Moon Bay provides an isolated escape from the bustling beaches on Antigua’s west coast. If seclusion is your style, head toward FreeTown and keep driving east until you find the bay. Its natural, half-moon shape and protective reefs keep the rougher Atlantic surf away and also afford spectacular snorkeling opportunities—just make sure to bring your own mask and snorkel because there are no watersports outfitters on the private shoreline.

Locals’ Pick: You won’t find any true restaurants nearby, but there’s a locally owned food stand on the beach where you can purchase snacks and cool drinks.

St. Jean Beach, St. Barths

Photo credit: alljengi via Flickr

Photo credit: alljengi via Flickr

A quick plane ride brings us to one of the Caribbean’s most glamorous destinations, St. Barths. A playground for celebrities and weekend vacationers alike, the island is known for its magnificent white sand beaches, chic boutiques, and luxury boutique hotels. You will likely spot St. Jean Beach upon your arrival to the island, as the airport’s famously short runway is located just next to it. (You will actually fly over it.) Stylish restaurants, bars, and watersports outfitters line the popular beach’s crystalline waters, contributing to the lively ambiance, and at the beach’s center, a rock promontory known as Eden Rock splits the coast in two.

Locals’ Pick: La Plage is the place to enjoy French and Latin fusion cuisine and live entertainment with your toes still in the sand.

Saline Beach, St. Barths

A more private destination can be found on the southern end of the island at Saline Beach. Renowned for its feathery white sands and undeveloped shoreline, Saline offers magnificent swimming and snorkeling on calm days. The incredibly beautiful, natural location can be accessed by way of a winding sand path—just head southeast from St. Jean Beach until you reach the end of the road.

Colombier Beach, St. Barths

Set among lush green hills on the northwest coast of St. Barths, Colombier Beach is considered by many to be the best beach on the island. The secluded bay is breathtaking both above the water’s surface and below with bountiful marine life such as starfish, colorful schools of fish, and sea turtles inhabiting the right side of the bay. It is accessible only by foot or boat due to its remote location, and consequently, you should bring your own snorkel and provisions for the day. Hike the 30-minute trails or hop on a boat for the 15-minute cruise from Gustavia Harbor to get to Colombier Beach.

Magen’s Bay Beach, St. Thomas

It’s back to the airport for an under-an-hour flight to St. Thomas, where pristine beaches lined with coconut palms abound. Perhaps the most popular coastline on the island is Magen’s Bay Beach, located in the curve of the bay with the same name. It’s also the only beach in St. Thomas that charges an entry fee, but the cost is well worth it when you see the turquoise sea framed by rolling hills, ideal for children in the shallows and more suited for watersports activities further out.

Locals’ Pick: You don’t even have to leave the water to enjoy a Rum Punch from Magen’s Bay Beach Bar & Café—the bartenders will deliver it to you while you float.

Lindquist Beach, St. Thomas

Photo credit: nsipchannel via Youtube

Take a drive across the island to explore the unique formations of Lindquist Beach near Smith Bay. Part of 21 acres of protected park land, Lindquist offers white sand beaches with a touch of pink, calm waters perfect for swimming or snorkeling, and a shallow shelf of tidal pools just waiting to be explored. You will have ample space to relax under the coconut palms and sea grape trees during the week, and then on the weekends, prepare for a livelier atmosphere as the locals make their way to Lindquist.

Pinney’s Beach, Nevis

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

To get to the island of Nevis, you’ll want to pass through St. Barths again—perhaps stopping for a gelato or a walk along the harbor. Once you arrive in Nevis, make for Pinney’s Beach on the outskirts of Charlestown. Three miles of stunning shoreline lined with rustic restaurants and bars will offer quite a different atmosphere depending on the time of year. During cruise ship season, the crowds come in during the day, but for the rest of the year the beach is quite secluded. One thing is for sure—Nevis’ most popular destination is home to incredible sunsets all year long.

Locals’ Pick: Sunshine’s Beach Lounge is the place for delicious island barbecue, the famous Killer Bee rum punch, and lively nightlife just steps from the sea.

Herbert’s Beach, Nevis

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

Escape to the windward side of the island for an underwater experience unlike any other. The reefs of Herbert’s Beach are positively teeming with marine life, making the beach a favored spot for snorkelers and fishing pelicans alike (although the shore itself is often empty). You can watch the seabirds resting on rocks while you lounge beneath palms on shore, and make sure to take a walk along the waterline too because Herbert’s Beach is known for having beautiful conches and other shells wash ashore.

Condado Beach, San Juan

When you’re ready to enter a completely different atmosphere, hop on a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico. In many places, the vibrant city edges right up to the white sand beaches for an experience that is both relaxing and vivacious with casinos, shopping, and music just a few steps away. Trendy Condado Beach combines urban style with active pursuits like paddleboarding and kayaking, resulting in an exciting beach day that you won’t find anywhere else in the Caribbean.

Locals’ Pick: Locally sourced seafood and vibrant nightlife alike can be found at Oceano, a chic restaurant and lounge on the oceanfront.

Playita del Condado, San Juan

Close to Condado Beach, the family-friendly Playita del Condado (small beach of Condado) affords spectacular views of the city over the water. The calm ocean and quieter atmosphere is the perfect place for children or those searching for a break from city life, and the beach is easily accessible by way of Ashford Avenue. You’ll find many locals at Playita sitting in the shade of the trees lining the beach.

Locals’ Pick: The oceanfront Aqua Bar and Grill offers an array of fresh salads and delicious sandwiches large enough to share.

Shoal Bay East, Anguilla

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

Photo credit: TripAdvisor

It’s time to head to your final destination, the historic island of Anguilla. Two miles of stunning white sand beaches are beckoning at Shoal Bay East where the quiet island really comes alive. Regularly named as one of the world’s best beaches by the vacation experts, Shoal Bay is the place for snorkeling, beach bar hopping, and watersports. A point in the middle of the beach is bordered by reefs filled with marine life, and open-air restaurants and bars offer fresh seafood and good times just steps from the sand.

Locals’ Pick: Grouper curry, goat cheese salad, and fresh crayfish are a few of the delectable dishes awaiting you at Madeariman Bar & Restaurant.

Rendezvous Beach, Anguilla

Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

At the end of your journey, make a return to the classic Caribbean with breathtaking turquoise seas and secluded white sand beaches to match. Rendezvous Beach is located along a bay by the same name and looks across to the island of St. Martin. When you step onto the beach, you’ll have to decide whether you want to walk east alongside the old, historic hotels of Anguilla or west to the funky-but-cool beach bars and live music. Either way, Rendezvous Beach is the ideal place to wrap up your Caribbean journey.

Locals’ Pick: Some of the most succulent and tender fish in the Caribbean can be found at Sunshine Shack. Just know that the little eatery runs on island time—and you should too.

 

A Foodie’s Guide to Nantucket

A Foodie’s Guide to Nantucket

For an island of only 52.5 square miles—one-twentieth the size of Rhode Island—Nantucket punches above its size when it comes to dining, a reflection of the demand for quality food during the summer season.

From April through December, Tradewind offers as many as 25 flights per day to Nantucket, starting at 6:00 a.m. through 7:00 p.m., from the private terminals at two New York area airports. 

Here's the Tradewind aerial survey of the island's culinary offerings, organized by the sort of place you're craving upon landing.

Haute Nantucket: Topper's

Photo Courtesy of The Wauwinet

Photo Courtesy of The Wauwinet

This waterside restaurant, an arm of The Wauwinet—the island's most luxurious hotel—is a luxe enclave of New American cuisine. There's lobster, but it may come butter-basted and with carrot-truffle dumplings and a vanilla Lillet Nage—you get the idea, New England gone to culinary school. Even the Mac'n'Cheese is not exempt: it’s actually truffled Rigatoni with melted Gruyère, Gouda, and Pouligny Chèvre.

Echoes of Asia: The Pearl

Photo Courtesy of The Pearl

Photo Courtesy of The Pearl

Located in Nantucket town, this Asian-inflected—but locally sourced—menu is inspired by the travels of chef Seth Raynor. One example: Green Thai coconut curry with tofu and pineapple.

Breakfast Writ Large: The DownyFlake

Photo Courtesy of The DownyFlake

Photo Courtesy of The DownyFlake

The specialty: flaky housemade doughnuts, but don't overlook the crisp-edged pancakes. Otherwise, whatever breakfast you want, all day long. An institution—80 years old in a gray-shingled diner.

Tradition by Day, Hip by Night: The Galley

Photo Courtesy of Galley Beach

Photo Courtesy of Galley Beach

A Nantucket family-owned stalwart that originally started as a clam shack back in 1958. At lunch the rattan-furnished dining room, which looks out on the Cliffside Beach Club, draws Nantucket's old guard (it's been an anniversary spot for decades), but by night there's a trendier scene in the back room.  

Globe Spanner: LoLa 41°

Photo Courtesy of Lola 41°

Photo Courtesy of Lola 41°

A very chic waterside place just a block west from Children's Beach. The concept: a menu inspired by cuisine along the 41st parallel, which is not a bad line to toe as it takes in sushi, sake, Spanish and Greek cuisine, among others.

La Vida Loca Locavore: American Seasons

Photo Courtesy of American Seasons

Photo Courtesy of American Seasons

The menu's brilliance comes from chef Neil Ferguson's partnership with island farms and passion for the waters. The two come together beautifully in day-boat scallops with fried green tomatoes and lemon confit.

You're in the Hands of the Chef: Company of the Cauldron

Photo Courtesy of Company of the Cauldron

Photo Courtesy of Company of the Cauldron

Allen Kovalencik offers a fixed menu each evening (Monday's is all about lobster), so if you're the type who hates deciding, this is the spot, given the chef's deft hand with a spectrum of dishes (rosemary-skewered shrimp to Beef Wellington with a wild- mushroom duxelle). Lose control.

Dockside Reinvented: Straight Wharf

Photo Courtesy of Straight Wharf

Photo Courtesy of Straight Wharf

General Manager Christopher Sleeper and Executive Chef Mayumi Hattori gave this Nantucket institution a menu-lift without losing the atmosphere: hurricane lamps, butcher-paper tablecloths, and dish towels as napkins. The catch is local (do "harpooned local swordfish" meet your locavore standard?) and so are the crops. There's also traditional fun, the "swr clam bake".

Pizza: Pi Pizzeria

Photo Courtesy of Pi Pizzeria

Photo Courtesy of Pi Pizzeria

Nantucket's only wood-fired pizzeria owned by Evan and Maria Marley. Pies are wider and flatter than the classic Neapolitan, but otherwise in that style: super-thin middles, raised edge crust, San Marzano tomato sauce, small pools of mozzarella and prosciutto San Daniele on top.

Wine and Cheese on Landing: Table No. 1

Photo Courtesy of Table No. 1

Photo Courtesy of Table No. 1

Owner Sarah Powers brings beaucoup international experience—Krug Champagne, Cakebread Cellars, Johnny Walker Blue, and Wines of Chile—to this new venture on the wharf. "Small batch, high-quality, and hand-crafted" is her mantra. The place to provender a picnic or stock the house for the first night.

 

 

Commuting to Boston with Tradewind Regular Matthew Snyder

Commuting to Boston with Tradewind Regular Matthew Snyder

Tradewind Aviation sits down with ticket book holder Matthew Snyder to discuss his regular commuting patterns and experience with the scheduled private shuttle service.

………………………………

Early this morning I found out I needed to be in Boston today,” says Matthew Snyder, slowly sipping on a cup of coffee as he settles in aboard a Pilatus PC-12 departing White Plains, New York. “So I called up Tradewind at 7:30, booked the 9:30 departure, and will be returning this afternoon on the 2 o’clock.”

It’s become a familiar routine for Snyder, who lives in Westchester and runs a real estate investment/development company with several projects currently in Boston. “My business partner and I commute at least once every week,” he says. “Often twice.”

Which, as Snyder knows better than most, can quickly lose its appeal when commuting with less streamlined methods. “We’ve tried commuter trains, commercial shuttles from LaGuardia, automobile, you name it,” he admits. “Driving eventually became the most convenient, even though it’s much less productive.”

Thinking back to October of last year—when Tradewind introduced its scheduled private charters from New York to Boston—Snyder doesn’t hesitate: “Tradewind has clearly been the better solution for us.”

Asked to elaborate, “For me it’s a quick 12-minute drive to White Plains FBO, where I can arrive just 15 minutes before the flight,“ he explains. “Even for my partner who lives on Long Island; he will trade the hour-long drive to White Plains any day for [Tradewind’s] convenience, quick parking, and avoiding the hassle of LaGuardia.”

“But to be completely frank,” Snyder adds, “what I love about Tradewind is that I can have anybody who works for me fly on my tickets.” Snyder buys ticket books for well over 50 tickets at a time, so “it’s easy to get people up and back in a relatively economical way.”

“It works perfectly for me,” he says—a fitting segue into our follow-up question: Anything not so perfect?

“Well, people have a false sense of security on big planes,” he acknowledges, “which may make them a bit wary of small aircrafts like Tradewind’s.”

That said, “What commuters like me have come to find is that not only are these planes much more convenient, they’re also highly safe and operated by experienced pilots.”

“In fact, I actually recall flying down to Florida two weeks ago on a big plane, and feeling more comfortable on the small plane because I can see what’s going on.”

Much like in the present moment, as today’s pilots signal for initial descent into Boston—angling the plane towards the Massachusetts coastline for a quick and efficient landing at Boston Logan FBO.

Total flight time: a little under 50 minutes.

So much for the 4-hour drive. 

Past Meets Present on Modern-Day Nantucket

Past Meets Present on Modern-Day Nantucket

As you walk the cobblestoned streets of downtown Nantucket, passing beneath lofty elms and sycamores, it’s hard not to feel the island’s history all around you. Centuries-old homes and steepled churches stand alongside modern summer retreats, and the gently rolling landscape is dotted with idyllic lighthouses and an ancient, working windmill.

 The charming blend of old and new encourages a lifestyle of leisurely garden strolls, sailing, and cool dips in the sea, but this favored family getaway wasn’t always the go-to spot for vacationers. Nantucket’s rise to fame began more than 300 years ago in the pursuit of whale oil. Men would depart on whaling expeditions for years at a time (think Herman Melville’s Moby Dick), and with more than 150 whaling ships at its peak, the little island town quickly became one of the wealthiest communities in America.

 A series of unlucky events in the 1840s led to the swift downfall of the whaling industry, with the worst of them being an unstoppable fire in Nantucket’s commercial center and kerosene replacing whale oil as an illuminate worldwide. Nantucket was largely forgotten by the world until the late 1800s when summer vacations became a firmly established trend.

Today, the entire island of Nantucket is recognized as a historical landmark (one of first in the country), and the calm streets and bustling waterfront reflect the same feeling of the town from hundreds of years ago. The historic sites carrying on Nantucket’s stories are almost too many to name, but here are a few of our favorites that definitely deserve a visit:

Nantucket’s Lighthouses

Great Point Light

Great Point Light

Most visitors to Nantucket are already familiar with Brant Point Light (it’s the little lighthouse at the mouth of the harbor), but they may not know the much larger Sankaty Head Light perched high on a bluff in Siasconset. Both have been named by the National Register of Historic Places, and Brant Point Light is actually the second oldest lighthouse in America. (There is also a third, much newer lighthouse dubbed Great Point Light at the northernmost point of the island.) 

Nantucket Whaling Museum

Photo Credit: Nantucket Whaling Museum

A 46-foot sperm whale skeleton is the main attraction at the Nantucket Whaling Museum – or, at least, it’s the largest. Inside the museum, visitors can find a collection of whaling tools, maritime paintings, and other nautical paraphernalia. There’s also an observation deck on top of the museum that overlooks the glistening waters of Nantucket Harbor.

First Congregational Church

Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Photo Credit: TripAdvisor

Among the many beautiful churches in Nantucket, one steeple stands tall above the town. The First Congregational Church, built in 1834, has a 120-foot tall bell tower known for having the best view of Nantucket Harbor. There’s a definite splendor to the structure with its pristine white walls inside and out, vaulted ceilings, ornate chandelier, and surrounding gardens regularly in bloom.

The Old Mill

A hillside that was once spotted with mills has given way to just one. The Old Mill is the oldest functioning mill in the country – which is lucky considering it was once sold off as firewood for 20 dollars. The buyer later decided to restore the deteriorating mill to working condition, and it thereafter grinded corn for many years. Today, its red arms and smocked sails are a well-known sight on the island.

Quaker Meeting House

This simple building is dressed much like its congregation would have been – without ornament. The Quaker Meeting House was the place of worship for a sect of Quakers in Nantucket for more than 50 years while Quakerism was the dominant religion among Nantucket’s elite and a large number of residents. In present day, Quakers still meet there informally.

Restored Homes

While meandering through the beautifully restored homes of downtown Nantucket, it’s easy to forget what time we live in. Each seems to have its own character and style that attest to the time in which it was constructed.

Hadwen House

Hadwen House

The Oldest House, or the Jethro Coffin House, is the town’s sole surviving structure from the 17th century. Its simple design is a stark contrast to Hadwen House, a Greek revival mansion built in the height of whaling that has towering columns and an ionic portico. Then there is the eccentric Greater Light, a summer home and art studio built by two Quaker sisters. It has 12-foot tall wrought iron gates, magnificent stained glass windows, and six gold columns in the living area.

These homes and many more serve as daily reminders of Nantucket’s storied history, which—more than 370 years since settlement in 1641—is just getting started.

 

Featured Image Photo Credit: Bob P.B. via Flickr

A Taste of Martha’s Vineyard: Spotlight on Local Oysters

A Taste of Martha’s Vineyard: Spotlight on Local Oysters

The morning sun is still level with the crest of each wave, yet the waters around Martha’s Vineyard are already flourishing with activity. Amongst the many watermen beginning the day at sea is Ryan Smith, a seasoned oyster farmer who owns and operates Signature Oysters near Edgartown. Ryan is seated at the helm of his 24-foot Carolina Skiff, lifting bulky cages from the ocean’s floor so he can go through the bags of oysters inside and check for barnacles. 

“You have to be out here every single day, or you won’t get a good oyster,” Ryan says in his usual buoyant tone. “It’s like taking care of a giant garden – similar to anything else on the land.”

The son of a commercial fisherman, Ryan grew up on the island and couldn’t bear the thought of leaving. After a few years of working with fish, he started his own oyster farm in Katama Bay in 2006 and has since become an integral part of Martha’s Vineyard’s blossoming oyster production.

Photo Credit: Signature Oysters

Photo Credit: Signature Oysters

“Oysters are like wine,” Ryan says. “They taste different everywhere. The oysters from Katama Bay have nice, creamy meat inside of them and thick shells so they are easy to open. They taste delicious.” 

The reason, he says, has a lot to do with Martha’s Vineyard’s unique coastal setting. The bay is more exposed to the open sea than many other places along the coast, so the water is very clean and experiences tides that are crucial to growing a strong oyster. The floor of the bay is also firmer – a plus for oyster farmers who worry about mud getting into the shellfish.

 As most oyster lovers can attest, the taste (as well as look and texture) of the shellfish can vary greatly based on where they come from. Ryan’s primary buyer, Pangea Shellfish Company, actually carries 70 different varieties of oysters, many of which have a distinct flavor and appearance. Here on Martha’s Vineyard, the oysters are very sweet.

Photo Credit: Signature Oysters

Photo Credit: Signature Oysters

Ryan gets the oysters when each one is about the size of a grain of sand, so a million oyster seeds would only take up the space of a softball. After a few months in upwellers, the miniature oysters are placed inside bags (which don’t limit the water flow) and into wire cages that protect them from predators and keep them raised off of the ground. As they grow, they will have to be relocated to new cages because too many oysters in close proximity will impede water flow.

Fourteen months to two years later, the oysters each have a cup of about three or four inches and are ready to be sold, but Ryan prefers to wait a little longer until the shells thicken. The action of the waves in Katama Bay will actually toughen up the oysters and strengthen their muscles. 

Photo Credit: Signature Oysters

Photo Credit: Signature Oysters

“It’s really rewarding when you work on something and then go to pick it up and can’t believe how big it is,” Ryan says. “If you work hard, they look great, and I love it.” (Plus, he admits, “My office is out on the water, and I get to drive around in my boat all day.”)

There’s also a certain visual appeal to growing the oysters. The outside of an oyster shell tends to be gray, and the inside is a pearly white, but the conditions in which the oyster was raised can add different hues of brown, blue, and purple. The oysters that Ryan pulls from Katama Bay have gray and brown tones as well as a streak of solid black that tends to disappear as the bivalves mature.

When the oysters are all up to size, Ryan gathers them himself and places them in coolers of ice on the boat, then into a walk-in cooler, and the very next morning he hops the first ferry boat to the mainland in a refrigerated truck. The oysters are always cool during the brief journey so they are as fresh as possible when consumers pick them up at Pangea Shellfish Company in the Boston Seaport District.

Photo Credit: Signature Oysters

Photo Credit: Signature Oysters

But locals and visitors to Martha’s Vineyard can enjoy Signature Oysters right on the island too, and as Ryan says, there’s nothing like the buzz of summertime on Martha’s Vineyard. Whilst wandering the quaint streets and sandy stretches of beach, stop into Atria in downtown Edgartown or The Net Result fish market in Vineyard Haven. The plump Katama Bay oysters are pleasantly briny and a little sweet, and the result is… well, you’ll just have to try them.

 

Featured Image Courtesy of Pangea Shellfish Company

Born out of Passion: The Story of Nantucket’s Cisco Brewers

Born out of Passion: The Story of Nantucket’s Cisco Brewers

The more you talk to Jay Harman, the operations manager of Cisco Brewery on Nantucket, the more you feel that the company is a start-up that became a commune that grew into a business, but is somehow still a commune.  (The brewery is named after a nearby beach.) 

That explains why Cisco is one of the most popular gathering places on Nantucket. It makes its own wine (10-12 varietals), brews its own beers (14-15 on tap in summer), distills its own fruit vodkas (cranberry, strawberry, and raspberry), and grows the botanicals and herbs for its liquors (Blueberry Mint and Schnapps).  

"We do a lot with mint," says Harman, in his sincere deadpan voice.

"We do what we enjoy doing," he continues, referring to this harmony cell that produces the only East-Coast single-malt scotch whisky made in North America (Notch, an award-winner), a one-off oak-aged beer that actually sours the brew ("It's not for everyone," Harman admits), and a trio of rums called Storm Series named for an island tradition, storm parties. Cisco’s best-seller is Whale Tail Pale, its flagship beer. (Tradewind serves Whale Tale and Grey Lady, a Belgian Wit, on board on its flights from Teterboro and White Plains to Nantucket.) It also produces one-off beers such as a strawberry Hefeweizen, a wheat-based beer native to northern Germany, for the pub in summer and a Pumpkin Beer in fall.

The backstory, in short: Dean and Melissa Long bought the property in 1991, thinking they could grow grapes. Impossible on Nantucket, as it turned out. So they turned to sourcing grapes (from California, Oregon, and Washington) to make wine—and still do, producing two rosés, four whites, four reds, and four reserve reds (from the best single barrels).

The brewery entered the picture in 1995 when Randy and Wendy Hudson met Dean and Melissa. Dean and Melissa needed assistants, and Randy and Wendy needed a place to live, so they moved into the space above the winery and on the side pursued their interest in beer. That started when Wendy bought Randy a home-brewing kit. Randy had worked in a bakery on Nantucket, so he had a feel for yeast and grain. He soon threw away the instruction book, converted a pasta-rolling machine into a grain mill, and set off on his own brew-path. The result is Cisco’s line of 28 beers, many of them seasonal (lagers in summer, pumpkin in fall).

It was Dean who saw that distilled alcohol was the final piece of the puzzle in creating a triple-threat amusement park (fermenting, brewing, and distilling). Notch was an ambition—it was going to take five years to realize—but given the investment in a distillery, why not do something that would earn money in the meantime? That's how Triple Eight Vodka—made from organically grown corn, triple distilled, and blended with sand-filtered island water from well #888, a process that gives the vodka a silky palate and smooth finish—came about. Invent on the fly.

The liquers, too, came about on impulse. Cisco created an infusion bar that proved to be popular, leading them to launch the Triple Eight Infusion line.

Despite all the success, Cisco retains its bootstrap character. In the Boston area, the Triple 8 Vodka brand manager, Matt Lambo, still works out of a VW camper. "We fill up the bus and send him to Boston," says Harman.

As for Harman, he's all of a Cisco piece. He summered on the island courtesy of his girlfriend, then met Randy and Wendy, which subsequently induced him to do his senior thesis on developing a brewery on the island. He followed his love to Nantucket after graduation, got a job at Cisco in 1996, and the rest has been destiny.  

PS: They're still happily married.

 

*All Images Courtesy of Cisco Brewers 

 

A Shopper’s Guide to Martha’s Vineyard

A Shopper’s Guide to Martha’s Vineyard

Much like the island itself, shopping on Martha’s Vineyard is anything but ordinary. Freed from big-name brands and tiresome malls in favor of family-owned boutiques and quaint town streets, shoppers have a wealth of options for finding that one-of-a-kind Vineyard memento from jewelry to home décor to fashion.

Here are some of our favorite shops on the island, including specific items you don’t want to miss:

Home Décor: Bespoke Abode

Shopping at Bespoke Abode will accentuate your home with the distinct flavors of Martha’s Vineyard and coastal New England. Opened by Liz Stiving-Nichols as a stylish mix of reclaimed and refined, this Main Street favorite offers ocean-inspired home furnishings, custom accessories, and original wall art perfect for your beach home or as a memory from the Vineyard. Chic and charming, it’s a must-see for those with a soft spot for home décor.

Must See: A Nautical Compass Pillow

BATH AND BEAUTY: VINEYARD BATH CO.

Inspired to recreate the essence of Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown’s Vineyard Bath Co offers a dedicated scent for each of the island’s five main towns. The result is a locally sourced line of bath and beauty products allowing buyers to—quite literally—bring a piece of Martha’s Vineyard home with them. Family owned and operated, it’s the realization of a group of summer visitors who, like many of us, never want to leave this beachside paradise.

Must Try: Oak Bluff Body Butter with scents of sandalwood and carnation

Chocolate: Chilmark Chocolates

Set in a small house just beyond the main Chilmark store along 19 State Road, Chilmark Chocolates is not to be missed by sweet tooths visiting The Vineyard. Creamy, delicious, and available in dozens of flavors and combinations, all the chocolate is handmade in-house and reigns as a timeless favorite among candy connoisseurs living on the island. Stock up while you can, as this delightful shop doesn’t sell online and won’t ship outside Martha’s Vineyard.

Must Try: Milk Skip’s Chips Coconut Clusters

JEWELRY: CLAUDIA JEWELRY

Nestled on the corner of Main St and Summer St, Claudia Jewelry epitomizes the unique, handmade accessories unique throughout Martha’s Vineyard. From large statement jewelry to intricately designed rings and bracelets, here you’ll find exquisite works by local artisans and noted designers alike—including Alexis Bittar NYC, Seaman Schepps, Talisman, and many more. It’s been a local favorite since 1971 and definitely worth a stop.

Must See: Natural seashell earrings adorned with gems, by Seaman Schepps

Fashion: Mikel Hunter

From high-end clothing to contemporary accessories and art pieces, Mikel Hunter is Edgartown’s go-to destination for luxury style and apparel. Fashion by NYC designer Nellie Partow and opulent knit wear for men and women by Lars Andersson are juxtaposed by the fine art of painters Terry Rodgers, Tom Stephens, and Dan Vanlandingham just to name a few. There is also a wonderful array of jewelry, hats and accessories for all. This is the brick and mortar location for a thriving online store offering the latest in both men’s and women’s fashion. Many of the items on display are not available online, giving you extra incentive to swing by for a preview.   

Gifts: Rainy Day

A staple of Vineyard Haven since 1973, Rainy Day is the gift shop of choice for locals seeking elegant household accessories and unique presents inspired by the sea. Be it locally sourced sea salts, beachy ornaments, handcrafted glassware, or summer-fragranced incense, there’s no telling what you’ll find (and love) in this quintessential MV outlet tucked along Main Street.

Must See: Island Outline Wood Ornament by MacLeod Woodworking

Flowers: Morrice Florist

For a colorful bouquet to brighten up your beach house this summer, look no further than the island’s oldest flower shop: Morrice Florist, founded in 1940. Continuing the legacy of founder James Morrice—who grew all his flowers in a green house along State Road—current owner Emily Coulter offers a beautiful selection of floral arrangements available in every color imaginable. She also creates customized orders for events, from weddings to special occasions.  

Must See: The “Milk Bottle Romance” Bouquet

BOOKS: BUNCH OF GRAPES

Voted the best bookstore by Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, this independently owned collection not only carries quality reading material from a variety of writers—many of which are local—but also hosts several author events throughout the year. Located at the heart of Vineyard Haven, it’s the perfect place to gain some inspiration while vacationing, catch up on the latest releases, or discover a new read for the beach.

ACCESSORIES: PORTOBELLO ROAD

Inspired by London’s Portobello Road flea market, this quaint boutique in Edgartown offers a wide array of eclectic items from books and local artwork to signs, photos, and rustic antiques. It’s everything you never knew you needed, yet suddenly find yourself craving—especially if you’re on the prowl for a unique gift stamped Martha’s Vineyard.  

CANDY: GOOD SHIP LOLLIPOP

Named after the iconic Shirley Temple movie, this old-fashioned candy store is as sweet as they come. It’s located on Circuit Ave in Oak Bluffs and functions like a true French-inspired confiserie, with a giant selection of chocolates, fudge, confections, and, naturally, handcrafted lollipops. Store owner Marguerite Cook recently added a colorful section of toys and souvenirs, making it even harder to resist for families with children.

Anatomy of a Plane: The Pilatus PC-12

Anatomy of a Plane: The Pilatus PC-12

"It's the Swiss Army Knife of airplanes."

So says Eric Zipkin, President of Tradewind Aviation, about the Pilatus PC-12 turbo-prop—which makes up the core of the Tradewind fleet (the company operates 15 of them).

Zipkin and Tradewind chose the PC-12 for its combination of big aircraft features (30,000-foot service ceiling, which allows it to fly above weather when necessary; 300 mph cruise speed) and small aircraft advantages. The PC-12 is designed for short routes (fewer than 400 miles, perfect for the Tradewind route system), and to land and take off on short-fields, such as St. Barth (2,170-foot runway) and Nantucket (2,696 to 6,303-foot runways). The plane seats six to eight people, making it perfect for a family- or friends-charter, or getting to know people you've just met.

Zipkin says Tradewind had a lot of choices among aircraft when it started flying in 2002, but it went with Swiss company Pilatus—making the knife comparison even more apt.  Zipkin emphasizes that the core appeal of the Pilatus PC-12 was reliability and short-field capability. (Translation: You'll be on time and you can feel safe landing on a short runway.)

"It was a clean-sheet design," says Zipkin, using airline parlance to mean that the plane was designed from scratch. In particular, the cockpit avionics minimize distractions, allowing the pilot to concentrate on flying by freeing him/her from many standard management tasks.

The PC-12's workhorse reliability is a result of the market niche for which it was designed: remote locations (servicing oil rigs on the North Slope of Alaska, flying to remote game lodges in southern Africa), places where maintenance is spotty or non-existent. "The plane was designed for an extreme environment," Zipkin says. The Tradewind route system, by comparison, is a cakewalk.

The remote-airports market niche meant that the PC-12 had to be designed for single-pilot operation. Tradewind, by choice, uses two pilots. Zipkin says "It's the single best thing you can do to increase safety because the pilots cross-check each other." (It also allows the pilot not flying the route to service the cabin.)

The PC-12 is nimble because the wing was designed for short-field runways. "It's one uninterrupted expanse of wing," says Zipkin. "Two-thirds of each wing consists of flaps," which produce the lift on take-off. Increase the PC-12's take-off weight by 60% and the take-off distance required increases only 48%, thanks to the wing design. It is also very stable at low speeds; the PC-12 is designed to land at 70-80 mph. "Close to the ground, the PC-12 is operating at highway speeds," says Zipkin. 

That means Tradewind can fly to smaller, less congested airports, for example Chatham rather than Hyannis on Cape Cod—a big factor in the summer. It also means the plane's maneuverability is perfect for St. Barth, where the wind is often a considerable factor in landing. 

Quite simply, "It's the right plane for Tradewind's mission.” 

 

A Pilot’s Perspective: Landing on St. Barth

A Pilot’s Perspective: Landing on St. Barth

“Cool and unsafe are not the same, says Eric Zipkin, President of Tradewind Aviation. “Mutually exclusive in fact.”

He’s referring to the famed landing at the airport in St. Barth, a 650-meter (2100 foot) runway welcoming visitors to the island. "There's no doubt about it, it looks cool," he says. "It restores the romance of flying, something that has been lost in air travel. You're in a small plane, you can see the pilots, and there is a lot of flying going on in the last minutes of the day.

Yet contrary to all the chaff found on the Internet, he also says it’s just as safe as any other landing in the Caribbean, or the world for that matter. The reason: a versatile aircraft that’s truly perfect for the job.

Tradewind flies the Pilatus PC-12 to St. Barth, scheduled from San Juan, Puerto Rico, Antigua, St Thomas, and private from points farther away—"we eliminate the immigration rigmarole in St. Maarten," he says. (St. Maarten was traditionally considered the main gateway to St. Barth.)

"It's the plane for the mission," says Zipkin, referring to St. Barth's short-field runway and distinctive landing: A steep glide (the angle depends on the wind) in order to clear the notch in the 150-foot hill right behind the runway, a quick down-slope flight at about 10 feet above ground, then a sharp pull-up and touch down.

Zipkin trains Tradewind St. Barth pilots himself: two days of ground training and five-to-10 hours of flight training. "St. Barth is not a carrier landing," he says, contradicting a phrase common on the Internet.

The PC-12 is designed for just such challenges. In fact, it was designed for challenges far more taxing than landing on St. Barth—like North Slope oil fields and southern African game lodges, with all of their attendant drawbacks (extreme weather, maintenance hours away). In comparison, the Tradewind itinerary is a breeze.

What’s more, despite needing only one pilot on the PC-12, Tradewind uses two pilots on all of its flights. This not only allows pilots to cross-check each other, it also gives the pilot not flying the route a chance to service the cabin.

The PC-12 is equipped with a wing that produces a great deal of lift, meaning it is meant to land at low speeds, an advantage in St. Barth. "Close to the ground the PC-12 is operating at highway speeds," says Zipkin. It also gets off a short-field runway quickly.

"St. Barth does not take super-human flying skills," Zipkin says—referring to the sensationalist Internet videos about the landing—and says that one of the biggest challenges for a pilot is managing the distraction of tourists who gather on the hill crest to watch the landing. 

If you go, you'll probably end up on the hill at least once, too. It's part of the island's romance, and unlike almost everything else on St. Barth, the thrill is free.

Exploring Martha’s Vineyard on Two Wheels

Exploring Martha’s Vineyard on Two Wheels

From Ulysses S. Grant in 1874 to Barack Obama in 2016, few vacation spots have captured the hearts of America’s presidents quite like Martha’s Vineyard. With its historic streets and idyllic coastline, it’s easy to see why: set to the calls of sea gulls and breaking waves, this presidential favorite is truly the epitome of a New England hideaway.

For visitors who want to experience the island in all its glory, one of the best ways to do so is from the back of a scooter. Escape with that special someone, rent a two-wheeler from Sun & Fun Rentals, and “set sail” on a two-day journey through the east side of the island. Our suggestions:

Where to Sleep

The Winnetu Inn & Resort

Named Top 100 Resorts in the World, Top 25 in the USA, and Top 20 in New England by Conde Nast Traveler, Winnetu makes it easy to unwind after a day of exploring Martha’s Vineyard. The hotel offers elegant rooms, spacious suites, and family-friendly private residences, all available now for reservations during the 2016 season.

Harbor View Hotel

The historic Harbor View Hotel is rated one of the best in New England and feels more like a home away from home than an ordinary hotel. Located right in the heart of Edgartown, rooms at the hotel are light and open, reflecting the beachy atmosphere seen out the window.

DAY 1:

8:00 a.m. | Breakfast of Champions

After a lovely French press at Winnetu Inn, hop on your rented scooter and zip over to the quaint Art Cliff Diner for a quality breakfast spread. There are several items on the menu that get rave reviews, but we suggest the Corned Beef Hash 'n' Eggs and Spicy Chicken Hash guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds.

10:00 a.m. | Beach Days of Summer

The Vineyard’s sprawling beaches are perfect for swimming, or lounging in the sand with a good book for that matter. Today, you are going to savor the sun’s rays at Inkwell Beach in Oak Bluffs, where you’ll find shallow blue waters to take a dip. Lay out your blanket, apply some sunscreen, and soak in the beauty of the beach grasses swaying in the breeze.

1:00 p.m. | Lunchtime is Calling

A great spot to grab some equally great grub is the Offshore Ale Co. Open year round since 1997, Offshore serves satisfying bar food and a flavorful selection of brews to wash down your lunch. The Lobster Role is packed with the tender meat tossed with a small bit of mayonnaise.

3:00 p.m. | A Real-life Gingerbread House

A quick drive on your scooter takes you to Oak Bluffs, where you’ll find a fairytale land of gingerbread cottages. There are over 300 houses painted in an array of colors, a big tourist draw for photo opportunities. Each dainty house is adorned in detailed trimmings and embellishments seen around roofs and windows.

7:00 p.m. | Best Chowda Eva

With its creamy broth and tender—not chewy—clams, clam chowder is undoubtedly the state soup of Massachusetts, if there is such a thing. For the local answer to New Englanders’ eternal question—who has the best chowder?—look no further than Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Company. It’s rated best on the island among locals and tourists alike, and absolutely worth a visit.

9:30 p.m. | Late-night Cravings

Finish your day with arguably the best donuts you’ll ever taste at Gourmet Café and Bakery’s Back Door Donuts in Oak Bluffs. You might think, “aren’t donuts normally a breakfast treat?” Yes, but Back Door serves up their sugary confections from 7:30-12:58 a.m.

DAY 2:

8:00 a.m. | A Dose of Caffeine

Begin the day with a delectable coffee at Carol McManus’ Espresso Love in downtown Edgartown. Savor an assortment of scones, muffins, and croissants, or sink your teeth into the Church St. Bagel complete with an egg, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and an avocado.

10:00 a.m. | Beach Therapy

It’s Martha’s Vineyard, so of course you’re going to the beach two days in a row. This time, you’ll head over to South Beach in Edgartown. In 2013, Travel & Leisure named the beach one of the world’s best beaches and most vacationers would certainly agree.

1:30 p.m. | Relax & Refuel

By now you are going to need some flavorful energy to continue your island adventures. The Wharf Pub offers diners a pub atmosphere for a quick bite and a baseball game in the back, or family restaurant atmosphere in the front.

2:30 p.m. | Creatively Inspired

With landscapes like the ones you see in “The Vineyard,” chances are you’ll be feeling creatively inspired. Art galleries are peppered throughout the island, displaying detailed pieces of art, including the Old Sculpin Gallery—a once whale oil factory—and The Christina Gallery—a traditional, expressionist gallery.

6:30 | Wine Down

After a quick scooter ride back to your hotel to freshen up, a delicious dinner awaits. Détente isn’t your average casual seafood locale, but rather a fine dining bistro right down to the white table cloths. Sip on wines from around the world and dine on local modern fare.

8:30 | Sunset Views

Depending on how long you decide to dine, and what month you are visiting, a sunset at the Edgartown Lighthouse is not one to miss. The colors look as if they have been painted on the sky, almost too perfect to be real. Don’t forget your camera!