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Where to Go, What to Do in Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

GETTING THERE

US Airways has a one-stop flight from Reagan National to Martha's Vineyard, via New York's LaGuardia. Round-trip fares are about $348. By car, it's a 475-mile drive to Woods Hole, Mass., where a 45-minute ferry trip ($135 round trip per car, plus $15 per adult) takes you to the island.

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WHERE TO STAY

Mansion House (9 Main St., Vineyard Haven, 508-693-2200, http://www.mvmansionhouse.com). This hotel is just off the boat in Vineyard Haven. Owner Sherman Goldstein is a derby fisherman: Check out the striped bass on the wall in the restaurant. Rates start at about $200 in the fall.

Menemsha Inn and Cottages (12 Menemsha Rd., Chilmark, 508-645-2521, http://www.menemshainn.com). This scenic compound is at the other end of the island. Rates range from $295-$750 in the fall.

House rentals are discounted during September and October. Martha's Vineyard Online, http://www.mvol.com, is a good starting point in the search for accommodations.

WHERE TO EAT

Larsen's Fish Market (56 Basin Rd., Chilmark, 508-645-2680). This joint sits right on the dock in Menemsha and offers a takeout menu. The specialty is fresh lobster cooked to order, and the idea is to eat it right on the dock or at the nearby beach. Market prices.

Slice of Life (50 Circuit Ave., Oak Bluffs, 508-693-3838, http://www.sliceoflifemv.com). Cafe, bakery and restaurant serving three squares a day. Dinner menu features pizzas and paninis alongside such seafood specials as sea-scallop bruschetta and cod. Lunch entrees $7.50-$18; dinner up to $22.

Newes From America (23 Kelley St., Edgartown, 508-627-7900, ttp://www.kelley-house.com/dining_news_from_america.asp). A historic pub with a menu to match: bangers and mash, pub-rubbed ribs, curry fries, burgers and sandwiches. Entrees $10-$17.

WHAT TO DO

The Martha's Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby, http://www.mvderby.com, runs from Sept. 13 to Oct. 17. Register at derby headquarters, open 8-10 a.m. and 8-10 p.m. at the end of Main Street on the Edgartown waterfront, or at a tackle shop: Larry's (258 Upper Main St., Edgartown, 508-627-5088); Coop's (147 West Tisbury Rd., Edgartown, 508-627-3909); Dick's (108 New York Ave., Oak Bluffs, 508-693-7669); Capt. Porky's (13 Dock St., Edgartown, 508-627-7117); or the Menemsha Texaco (60 Basin Rd., Chilmark, 508-645-2641). The cost is $45, $20 for senior citizens.

For information about where to surf-cast, ask at the tackle shops or check out Larry's crib sheet: http://www.larrystackle.com/locations.aspx.

Booking a charter will improve your odds. Lev Wlodyka, http://www.Seaofsoul.com/lev/index.html, has won the derby six times. Buddy Vanderhoop, http://www.tomahawkcharters.com, won it in 2002 and has guided the likes of Keith Richards. Janet Messineo, http://www.vineyardsurfcaster.com, and Ron Domurat, http://www.larrystackle.com/charters.aspx, are veteran beach anglers. Guides can also be found through the tackle shops.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, http://www.mvy.com.

-- D.K.


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