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Eating Our Way Through St. Simons Island: Part 1

boats at St Simons

A couple of weeks ago, while you were reading about pools and outdoor showers here, my husband and I were spending some time on St. Simons Island, a barrier island off the coast of Georgia.  He had a conference to attend, and I tagged along.  I also accompanied him last year and told you about the houses, the villas, Coast Cottages, and sightseeing there.  What I didn’t get an opportunity to tell you about last year was… the food.  (I figured 4 posts on a topic was enough for you.:) )  So dining on St. Simons is to be our main topic of conversation here this year.  I hope you’re hungry!

On the day we arrived, our first stop was lunch at Gnat’s Landing.  The restaurant looks like an old home with a big porch and deck area – perfect for an eating place with a strong beach vibe.

Gnats Landing St Simons

We were seated on the porch with all those ceiling fans spinning to blow away some of the Georgia heat. Even if it is warm out there, I love the fun atmosphere!

Gnats Landing restaurant St. Simons Island

My husband and I were both in the mood for salads.  Their salad menu is absolute perfection!  I could eat a salad there for lunch every single day and not grow tired of them.

Gnats Landing salad 

I had the autumn salad, and my husband had the shrimp salad.
Here is a photo of his (minus a few bites before I remembered to pull out the camera!)
Gnats Landing shrimp salad

He said it was delicious, and mine was as well.  But salads aren’t all they serve at Gnats Landing.
There are also sandwiches….

Gnats Landing sandwich 

and many seafood dishes.

Gnats Landing

We left Gnats and headed to the conference hotel to check in.  It was in the same complex as last year…not on the ocean:(but at least our room faced the marsh.

marsh viewMy husband went to his first meeting while I unpacked our suitcases, ironed anything that was wrinkled, answered emails, and made reservations for dinner.  When he returned to the room, we drove over to the Red Fern Village to eat at Blackwater Grill.

Blackwater Grill exterior

Blackwater was featured on the Food Network a number of years ago in Diners, Drive-ins and Dives with Guy Fieri.

They are a little more upscale to me than some of the other places on the island.  To begin your meal they bring out flatbread sesame crackers and some of their cream cheese spread….addictive!

Blackwater Grill cheese spread

I had a vegetable plate, and my husband had their famous shrimp and grits.  The grits are cooked as a fried cake.

Blackwater Grill shrimp and grits

After our meal we strolled along the shops there in the village.  Cachettes was one I had not seen before. (Love those green shutters!)

Cachettes shop in St Simons Island

Then we hopped in the car and took a drive along the road to the beach….just so I could get my fill of gorgeous houses.:)  Care to see them? (A couple are repeats from last year..sorry.)

patriotic bunting on the porch rails

island home

A rerun from last year because it is one of my favorites.:)sailboat shutters

Here is the other rerun because it is my other favorite.  Notice the common color scheme?shingled house on St Simons Island

St Simons island house

Aren’t they all just simply beautiful?  Sigh..  After house viewing, we called it a night and went back to the hotel (no more food that evening.:))

The next day we went to my favorite restaurant on the island for lunch- Mallery Street Cafe. They are famous for their breakfast dishes, but I wasn’t after those. On our drive to St. Simons from home I had called them to find out which day they would be serving their Chicken Romano…I did not want to miss it! (It is a special served only once a week.) We went specifically for that dish.

chicken romano

And it was very good.  I do think they skimped a little on that lick-your-plate-delicious basil and cheese sauce, but then again, perhaps they had gone overboard with it the last time we were there. (It was swimming in it last year!) Wish I could find a recipe to make it at home.

For dinner that night we went to my husband’s favorite place – Iguanas in the Pier Village.


Go early.  That’s my advice to you.  Last year we went around 6:00 and had to wait for over an hour.  This year we were there at 5:00 and were immediately seated (at the table second from the left on the patio above.) While I could eat a salad every day from Gnats Landing, my husband could eat fried shrimp from Iguanas every single day.  He says it is the very best on the island…and he has been trying it out everywhere on St. Simons for quite a few years!  Here is his plate from that evening.

Iguanas fried shrimp

Darn that looked good!  Shellfish allergy girl here had a hamburger.

Iguanas hamburger

You can see their complete menu here.  After you finish your meal, you can help yourself to a serving of soft serve ice cream from their machine in the inside dining room.  (They even throw in free toppings!:))

To burn off some of those calories that we were quickly accumulating, we walked over to the pier.

St Simons island pier

We walked around there and took a look at the lighthouse.

St Simons Island lighthouseThen it was back to the hotel…with a stroll by the pool.

Sea Palms pool

Sea Palms cabanasAnd a little later….

Italian cream cakeOh yes…coffee and Italian Cream Cake from Wake Up Coffee.:)

Wake Up coffee St Simons

I do believe we have had enough to eat today, so I will save our next meal for another post.:) But before I go, let me tell you who won the Susan Branch books and Amazon gift card giveaway.  You would like to know, right?  Glory we had a looooooot of comments!  Here was the winning number…

winning number

And that number landed on this comment:

winning comment

Congratulations Vicky!!  If you see this before I contact you, please send me an email with your mailing address.

And just so all of you know, there will be another giveaway coming in August!  So please be sure you check back to find out about it here.:) Okay?

And that wraps up the first part of our St. Simons trip. I hope you will be here for part 2…more food and some gorgeous houses that we found on a side street.  You have to see them!:)

Until next time…

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Jeanne Bell - July 22, 2015 - 10:37 pm

I think I just gained 10 pounds. Thanks for taking us along. I also love looking at houses, even if we saw them last year, so keep it up!
It was not the place for a diet for sure! (My husband has been on one, but he abandoned it for this trip.) Glad you liked the houses!

Vicky Hunt - July 22, 2015 - 10:46 pm

Hi Kelly! I just sent you an e-mail, but I wanted to comment here as well! I am so excited to have won this sweet giveaway! It truly made my day….or night! LOL! Thank you so, so much for your kindness and generosity! I did notice I had a typo in my comment…oh dear! Now, on to this post…I have never visited this island, but it looks like a wonderful place. The hubby and I might have to go there someday. The food selections you made look absolutely delicious. I love Italian Cream Cake…yummy! The homes are just beautiful here. Is that sailboat cutouts in the green shutters on the third house? It’s all in the details! Love the aqua blue shutters on the next house too. That’s my favorite color. Thanks again! Have a lovely rest of the week!

Blessings, Vicky
I’m so glad it made your night Vicky! How fun!
Yes, you will need to make a trip to St. Simons. It feels more like a town than a beach place to me – if that makes sense. Those were indeed sailboat cut outs on the shutters. I loved them too. Great details!

Donnamae - July 22, 2015 - 11:25 pm

That sounds like a wonderful place to visit…and that food…oh my! Think I gained a few pounds just looking! 😉

Marianne in Mo. - July 22, 2015 - 11:43 pm

I so wish we lived closer to Georgia, every time I see pictures I melt with envy! The homes, the atmosphere, THE FOOD! On second thought, I better stay away from the food! 😉 But I agree, I could eat salads from almost any where, I don’t know why they can make them taste better than mine, but they do!
Looking forward to the rest of your trip, more awesome homes to see!
And congrats to Vicky, lucky gal!

LJ - July 23, 2015 - 12:11 am

I agree with Marianne in Mo….I so wish I lived in GA or closer to. If I had joined you and your husband I’d have wanted half order of shrimp and half burger….both looked yummy….and then there’s that Italian Cream Cake….all favs!
Congratulations, Vicky.

Gracia @ Gracious Offering - July 23, 2015 - 1:25 am

Kelly, Glad I read this post after eating dinner…I would have had to go looking for some shrimp to fry! Love, love, love shrimp in any form! Was fun to see a little of St Simmons Island…always wanted to go there after reading several books about the South. Those beach houses are so lovely! Thanks for sharing a bit of your getaway with us!

Bretty - July 23, 2015 - 7:17 am

We visit Epworth on St. Simons in the summer for a conference. We like Gnat’s Landing and always stop by the ice cream Shoppe. Also like Mullet Bay…

Arlene@Nanaland - July 23, 2015 - 8:09 am

I have always wanted to visit St Simon’s. Since the hubs is from Savannah, we stop there and never venture further down the coast. The food looked amazing. I am counting the days til we head to Gulf Shores in September. Nothing like the coast for refreshment and rest.

Kathy P. - July 23, 2015 - 10:01 am

That Chicken Romano looks out of this world BUT the salads look and sound scrumptious. Would love to visit st. Simons. Thanks for the tour – part one!!!

Julia - July 23, 2015 - 10:50 am

First – congratulations to Vicky! And thanks Kelly for the posts on Susan Branch and Martha’s Vineyard. It was a treat!

And I love this post on St. Simon’s Island!

Garden, Home and Party - July 23, 2015 - 12:11 pm

Oh my, it’s a good thing I don’t live near this resort…I would eat that Chicken Romano and top it off with the cake. So many yummy things to enjoy. The fried shrimp reminds me of a childhood shrimp place near where I grew up. it was called the Green Spot. My dad would stop by for take out sometimes twice a month. Best fried shrimp and fries. It resembled the dish your husband ordered. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. :-)

mona - July 23, 2015 - 1:13 pm

I loved your post. I lived on SSI for 5 years right near Redfern Village. your pictures bring back memories. I walked that pier many an evening with my children and husband…
loved it..
Glad you enjoyed your visit..

Love, Mona

Gina - July 23, 2015 - 1:55 pm

How fun to get to tag along with your husband!! I love eating at local dives/restaurants like this. The food looks delish especially that chicken romano and those crackers with cream cheese spread. :) What a shame to be at the beach and not be able to eat shell fish. I had two crab cake sandwiches last week. 😉

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - July 23, 2015 - 11:08 pm

I have my computer in bed with me now and thought I would turn in for the night, but now, for some reason . . . I’m starving!

What a fun trip!

kathy - July 23, 2015 - 11:11 pm

I forgot about your shellfish allergy, Kelly. I am sorry! Shrimp and grits are one of my favorite foods in the whole world! The foods, the houses and the restaurants on St. Simon’s all look so, so fun. My friend, Laney, grew up with a beach house on St. Simon’s so I have wanted to go forever. Her stories make it sound so inviting! I must go! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Kim - July 24, 2015 - 8:46 pm

Love St. Simons especially since I used to live there long long time ago. When my mom, sister and I visited a few months ago we shopped in Cahette”s. I bought two lamps there very reasonably priced. We ate lunch at Blackwater Grill. It was so good. It is such a pretty island and my mom did not want to move when we had to.

Tricia - July 25, 2015 - 9:43 am

Hi Kelly. I’ve got some catching up to do. It’s been a busy few weeks here. Lovely to read about your summer. Food is one of the best reasons for travel, in my opinion! I think I’d feel right at home in St Simons! Off to read part 2….

Dawn - July 25, 2015 - 1:19 pm


You always make the best of your trips! I love the green shutters on that shop as well and the your two favorite homes with the aqua shutters a very nice. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Take care.


Glo - August 20, 2015 - 7:03 pm

Where did you stay on St. Simon Island?

Talk of the Weekend #26

harbor view hotel bicycles marthas vineyardsource

Happy Weekend! Don’t you just love bicycles – especially those with baskets?  Maybe it’s because they look romantic or nostalgic…not quite sure why.  (I even have a Pinterest board dedicated to them!)  The lovely aqua one above is at the Harbor View Hotel. (Matches their rockers, right?)  Since we are wrapping up our Martha’s Vineyard week today, I thought the photo was perfect for this post.:)We are going to talk about some totally random things/places from the Vineyard  that I hope you will enjoy.  So let’s get started!

If you are going bike riding you are going to work up an appetite.  Here is a recipe for delicious chocolate chip cookies straight from… the Harbor View Hotel…yum!

Harbor View Hotel chocolate chip cookies

To add to our virtual trip at the hotel and to make it a little more realistic, you’ll want to watch this video:

And you won’t believe this….I was doing research to find a rental on Martha’s Vineyard to share with you, and I came across this house.

Edgartown home for rent

Do you recognize it?  Yes!  It’s the very house from the Then-and-Now post the other day! It is available for rent, (but you will need to take a pretty big crowd to share the cost of $18,000 per week.:( Ouch!)  Anyway, I learned that the room with the wrap around botanical prints is not a family room in the main house.  It is in the guest house on the property.  There are a number of extra photos of the interior on the vrbo site, so go on over there and drool over them! (And then come back.:))

And now I’ve got another rental I want you to see.  Do you remember Jaws? (Who could forget it?!)  The movie turned 40 years old last month. You probably already know that the fictitious Amity Island, the setting of the film, was actually Martha’s Vineyard.  The house that was used for much of the filming is available for rent.  It is appropriately called Little Jaws.

Little Jaws rental on Marthas Vineyard

Here is its charming living room.

Marthas Vineyard Little

When I saw it, I had another deja vu moment.
(There aren’t many curved blue floral sofas around these days.:))

Little Jaws living room

That’s the living room.  This home was featured in a book I bought a very long time ago.  I saw from some of the other photos on the rental  the great wall of china featured in the book is no longer in the living room.

New Country Style book

Here’s another spread from the book.

Little Jaws book article

Now for another hotel.  When I was young and planning my dream trip to the Vineyard, I wanted to stay in a specific place – The Outermost Inn  – owned by Jeanne and Hugh Taylor. (He is James Taylor’s brother.:)) The inn is located in Aquinnah, and the dining there is supposed to be unbelievably good.:)

Outermost Inn Hugh and Jeanne

Can you see the resemblance between Hugh and James?  Anyway, the inn’s very laid back look and its secluded location with an amazing view are what drew me to it years ago.  Take a look around it here.

the Outermost Inn Marthas

And now for another recipe.  Here is one straight from the Black Dog…quahog chowder.  (You can substitute clams if you don’t have quahogs.)  This will definitely give you a taste of the island!

quahog chowder from the Black Dog in Marthas

An interesting place to visit on Martha’s Vineyard is Oak Bluffs.  It was formerly named Cottage City and once the site of a good ‘ol Methodist church camp.:) The cottages there are a very ornate Carpenter Gothic style, and have been maintained beautifully over the years.  You can see a great slideshow of many of them here.

Oak Bluff cottages

The way the cottages above are lined up close together facing a green space reminds me of the Methodist church camp I attended in the mountains of North Georgia, but many many of the homes at Oak Bluff are nothing like them. Take for example this one…

Oak Bluffs

I’d have a hard time calling that a cottage. :)Wouldn’t you?

After researching so many homes on Martha’s Vineyard in the last week, I have finally found my two favorites.  If I had millions and millions of dollars, I would build a home that looks like either of them (and I say build because renting them at the going rate of $20,000 a week seems crazy to me.)

The first is the Ferry House…

Ferry House living

Ferry House

Ferry House

Just gorgeous, right?  And now here is the second one…the Captain Dexter House.

Captain Dexter House living

Captain Dexter House

Captain Dexter House

Aren’t both house simply beautiful? Wow.  Did you notice any similarities between the two of them?  The walls..the architectural trim…the paint color.. the choice of antique furnishings… the color schemes?  Well there is a good reason for this.  They were both old shingled houses sitting side by side on the Edgartown harbor. Twanette Tharp, an expert in home renovation,  purchased them together.  She had them taken apart, raised, and reassembled.  You can read the story here and see photos of the renovations here.

And finally, let’s end our armchair trip to the Vineyard with a relaxing video.  Just sit back and soak in a fall day on the island.  (Perhaps it will give you a break from all this heat!)

So farewell to Martha’s Vineyard.  I will leave you with one last chance to enter to win the Amazon gift card and the Susan Branch books that will always give you a taste of the island.:)

Talk of the House Susan Branch giveaway

To enter, just leave a comment on (not a reply on your email delivered post please) on any or all of the posts that have published between 7/13/2015 and midnight on Sunday 7/19/2015…only one comment per post.  I’ll do a random drawing from all the names and announce the winner in the next post after the closing time tonight.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Betty - July 19, 2015 - 10:42 am

I’m ready for a fabulous vacation! Thanks for the inspiration.

Shar - July 19, 2015 - 11:22 am

There is an old Methodist church camp in Petoskey, Michigan with the most beautiful wood-framed houses. We like to drive through & look at all the colorful gingerbread trim & the unusual house names (my favorite is the “Sleepin’ Inn!)

Sarah - July 19, 2015 - 11:25 am

Well, I’m ready to pack my bags and plan a trip to Martha’s Vineyard, now :-) Thank you for the armchair vacation this weekend!

Susan - July 19, 2015 - 11:25 am

Beautiful inspiring photos!! I have never been to Martha’s Vineyard but have added it to the top of my list. Thank you for another chance at the giveaway too!

Louvina - July 19, 2015 - 11:37 am

What a fabulous wrap up of MV! Makes one want to be there to breathe in the fresh salty air— ahh! I really want to try the 2 recipes. I need to go back now and check it out again and “drink” it ALL in– and that is my plan for this afternoon. I think the second house truly looks like the one that you would be happiest in and I can just see you there serving tea! Hope you are staying cool and wondering what the next trip you will be taking us on—PS I used to go to a Methodist Camp in WVA when I was a teen– wonderful times!:)

sharon - July 19, 2015 - 11:42 am

Wow! I think I can only dream of renting one of those beautiful homes for a week. For now I will enjoy them on your blog. Thanks for sharing.

Martha - July 19, 2015 - 11:47 am

Wow! Speechless…..I am loving these Martha’s Vineyard posts! As much as I want to go, I don’t think I can afford it.

Marianne in Mo. - July 19, 2015 - 12:06 pm

Oh to be rich! But truly, I would be happy with a tiny house, as long as it’s on the water! A bed,a bath, and a small porch is all I need at this stage of my life!
These water views are awesome!

Ann - July 19, 2015 - 12:11 pm

I lived in Pacific Grove, CA many years ago. It began as a Methodist summer community and the old part of town is full of beautiful little Victorian cottages that now sell for big $$$. Never been to the Vineyard, but would love to visit, especially after your post…Love Susan Branch as well and woud welcome her books to my library!

classic•casual•home - July 19, 2015 - 12:11 pm

What a beautiful post. Mini vacation :)

Elizabeth Duncan - July 19, 2015 - 12:12 pm

I am ready to pack and leave for vacation in Martha’s Vineyard-such charm and nostalgia -beautiful .

Susan W - July 19, 2015 - 12:22 pm

Great photos! I can almost feel the ocean breeze. Especially enjoyed the photo of the Corbin Norton house – what a spectacular home. Will be sending the Harbor View’s Chocolate Chip cookie recipe on to my sisters, as they are the CC cookie masters – they bake batches and batches of CC cookies and keep them in the freezer to give as gifts and have on hand for guests.

Cindy - July 19, 2015 - 12:22 pm

Just got home from our Bald Head Island vacation, miss it already.
This was our 10th year, good news is we are going back in October for 10 days. Thanks to generosity of one of our daughters. Martha Vineyard pictures gives me that same happy place feeling.
Thanks, Cindy

bev - July 19, 2015 - 12:30 pm

LOVE that living room with the Vera Thorton photo. Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful photos.

Sondra - July 19, 2015 - 12:30 pm

I want to visit there after seeing your photos.

Patty - July 19, 2015 - 12:36 pm

Love that you featured Martha’s Vineyard in your blog. Sure wish I were there instead of in HOT Atlanta!

Teresa W. - July 19, 2015 - 12:38 pm

I’ve enjoyed your tour of Martha’s Vineyard. I’ve always had a fascination with Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, but have never had the good fortune of visiting there yet. When I was thirteen, I had foot surgery and wore plaster casts up to my knees on both legs during a very hot summer. I wrote (no email back then) the Chamber of Commerce for Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod and received a lot of literature and maps and spent my summer reading about the area. Thanks for this beautiful post and have a wonderful week!

Melinda - July 19, 2015 - 12:41 pm

I love all your posts & am currently reading them in order from the first one!

Jill - July 19, 2015 - 12:49 pm

Thanks Kelly for this wonderful trip through the”Vineyard’ & the giveaway :)

ChrisTea - July 19, 2015 - 12:53 pm

How beautiful. I’d love to pack up and move there right now. All I need is money, right? hahaha Thanks for the visit. I really enjoyed it.

Carolyn - July 19, 2015 - 12:53 pm

Lots of wonderful eye candy. I’m definitely a cottage person. I just prefer those charming small spaces. Can’t imagine those rental prices, though. I,too, had that book and loved that wall of blue and white plates and the floral curved sofa. Who knew it was the Jaws house? Thanks for all the great links. When I went to Methodist Church camp, I only remember rough uncharming cabins, but at least we were in the mountains! I have to admit, though, that the water and undeveloped beaches at MV looked gorgeous. If you could have a house on the water, would it be the ocean, sound, river, or lake?

Robin M - July 19, 2015 - 1:07 pm

I have always wanted to visit Martha’s Vineyard! Thank you for this lovely post to see what life is like there.

Gail - July 19, 2015 - 1:47 pm

Makes me want to leave right now and head for Martha’s Vineyard.

Sharon Chapman - July 19, 2015 - 1:59 pm

The thought and detail you put into this wonderful post. I am saving it to my special file as there is so many things I wish to look at again and again. Thank you for your creative writing and sharing it with us.

Vanessa - July 19, 2015 - 2:07 pm

Wonderful blog post! Thank you for the delightful tour of Martha’s Vineyard.

Joan - July 19, 2015 - 2:22 pm

It is so refreshing to look at beautiful homes by the ocean or in the trees. Mmmmmm…..time for a nap.
Have a great Sunday, Kelly.

Vicki Crowe - July 19, 2015 - 2:36 pm

I really enjoyed these blogs of Martha’s Vinyard. It has really made me want to visit again. A wonderful idea for a blog post! Cannot wait to see where you take us next!

Kathleen - July 19, 2015 - 2:39 pm

It’s amazing you spot things you have seen and remember where you first saw them. Love the Captain Dexter house!

Charlene - July 19, 2015 - 3:02 pm

Love, love, love these posts about Martha’s Vineyard. As I’ve mentioned on a couple of my comment replies, my husband and I honeymooned there in 1989 and then went back 10 years later. Love it there. We stayed at an inn in Edgartown named the Captain Dexter House – is this different than the private rental that you feature here? If it is the same, it certainly looks a lot different now! Thank you for bringing the memories of this very special place back to me!

Paula Jolly - July 19, 2015 - 3:21 pm

Now I want to visit MV!! :)

The video was fun – maybe if I share it with my hubby, it will inspire him to take me there. I forgot to mention when I commented the other day that we visited the Beach Club at WDW: we didn’t stay there – it was the location of our character breakfast. If/when we go back… I want to stay there!!!

Debra - July 19, 2015 - 3:39 pm

Loved this post. Those rentals look wonderful. I just drool over the décor, let alone the thought of being able to rent one for a week, let alone live waterside… If anything, they are great inspiration if we ever dive into a second property on a lake. Dreams…. dreams.

Nancy Leachman - July 19, 2015 - 3:44 pm

Thank you for the wonderful tour of Martha’s Vineyard. Makes me want to go back this instant!

Lynne - July 19, 2015 - 4:14 pm

Thank you for these posts on the Vineyard…it’s my favorite place! Thank you for the wonderful Susan Branch cookbook giveaway. I enjoy her recipes and beautiful artwork!

Barbara Hinske - July 19, 2015 - 4:20 pm

Another lovely virtual vacation — thank you! And at those prices, I’ll need to be satisfied with virtual! Thank you.

Lou - July 19, 2015 - 4:28 pm

What beautiful pictures of places, I think everyone would like to visit.

Debbie w - July 19, 2015 - 4:28 pm

The Vineyards are on my bucket list! Thanks for sharing! Loved Little Jaws!

Maureen detwiler - July 19, 2015 - 5:35 pm

Love, love, love Martha’s Vineyard.

Kim C. - July 19, 2015 - 5:40 pm

I just love the pictures of the Vineyards! I would love to go there and vacation someday! Susan Branch is one of my favorites! I enjoy her recipes and have one of her calenders. Thank you!

kathy - July 19, 2015 - 5:42 pm

Beautiful! A tiny bit over my price range but it certainly was fun looking! Thanks for the tour!

Garden, Home and Party - July 19, 2015 - 6:29 pm

More Martha’s Vineyard beauty! I love your two favorite houses, in fact I can’t decide which one I’d actually buy, if I had millions! :-)
This has been a fun series, I know I really need to see Martha’s Vineyard someday!

Mary - July 19, 2015 - 6:59 pm

Makes me want to go to Martha’s Vineyard!

Lanita Anderson - July 19, 2015 - 7:21 pm

Loved the pictures from the Ferry House….beautiful!! Looking forward to the winner being revealed for the Susan Branch books.

Lonna Berridge - July 19, 2015 - 7:47 pm

Your post took me away! I have long been a fan of Susan Branch and adore her artwork and her outlook on life.

Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes - July 19, 2015 - 8:12 pm

Thanks for such a grand tour of Martha’s Vineyard, Kelly! It’s definitely on my list of special places to visit. Imagine watching the sea each time you peek out of your window! Susan Branch is so blessed to live on MV. It’s the perfect place for a ‘Fairy Tale Girl.’ ♡

HeatherB - July 19, 2015 - 8:49 pm

I do love bicycles…and chocolate chip cookies…and Cape Cod style:)

Holly - July 19, 2015 - 10:27 pm

Loved the tour, thanks for sharing, Kelly! Can hardly wait to start planning my trip, sigh…

Vicky Hunt - July 19, 2015 - 10:40 pm

The homes you have shared are absolutely gorgoeus! They look so welcoming and comfortable at the same time. The colorful cottages are so adorable. And, the two last ones you shared were so similar I had to scroll back up to make sure it wasn’t the same room. Thank you for this delightful week in Martha’s Vineyard! I know quite a bit more about this charming place than I did before. Think I’ll head on up there and rent that $18,000 per week house! LOL! I wish…no, not really. If I had that kind of money to throw around, I would donate it to those less fortunate who have no home to call their own. Anywho, thanks for the wonderful giveaway as well. Have a blessed and beautiful week!

julia walker in Cincy(from Va.) - July 19, 2015 - 10:52 pm

I feel like I’ve had a vacation the past several days after looking at your beautiful houses/hotels on Martha’s Vineyard. Thanks so much Kelly.

Sherry Myers - July 19, 2015 - 11:01 pm

This has been such an enjoyable series of posts, Kelly. I had to say, “So sweet,” when you began this post with the turquoise bike. My first bicycle was blue and yes, it had a basket. When my son was researching colleges, he considered a college in Vermont. We took a trip there and enjoyed the New England area so much. One of the places I wanted to go was Martha’s Vineyard, but we ran out of time. I still hope to go some day. Thank you for letting me dream about it again. I loved the Ferry House and the Captain Dexter. I had a deja vu moment when I looked at them. I thought about one of my oldie but goodie movies, Sabrina. When Linus convinced Sabrina to photograph a cottage his company owned on Martha’s Vineyard,I had to watch the scene a couple of times because I loved the cottage and decor.Now, after these great posts, I think I’ll have to watch it again! Thank you, Kelly, this was great! Enjoy your week!

Susan - July 19, 2015 - 11:49 pm

Kelly! Thank you so much for all the beautiful pictures of Martha’s Vineyard…always wanted to go there and now — I MUST go there!!! SOON!! So much fun to jus scroll through all the photos and dream of being there! Thanks so much for pure enjoyment!!

Ann - July 20, 2015 - 12:10 am

Have loved your “tour” of Martha’s Vineyard! Thanks :)

Kathy - July 20, 2015 - 12:25 am

Thanks for sharing the island of Martha’s Vineyard …. I’ve always wanted to know about it. Also thanks for the book giveaway!

Jan - July 20, 2015 - 8:00 am

Thank you for the beautiful posts. I have enjoyed them so much this week. Now I think I have to add Martha’s Vineyard to my bucket list!

Beth Rhamy - July 20, 2015 - 8:42 am

I love this post! Thanks for sharing such beautiful homes. One day I’ll get to visit this area.

Bonnie - July 20, 2015 - 12:38 pm

Thank you for taking us on this special tour of parts of Martha’s Vineyard. I’d love to see it sometime in person.

Bonnie - July 20, 2015 - 12:40 pm

Thank you for sharing some beautiful parts of Martha’s Vineyard. I would love to visit there someday.

Julia - July 20, 2015 - 3:26 pm

One day I will visit some of these places you post about!

Ann - July 20, 2015 - 3:57 pm

So many vacation spots. . So little time.

Gina - July 20, 2015 - 4:42 pm

Nothing like that Cape Cod style. I love it!! Hopefully I’ll make it there one day. 😉 I had to giggle at the cup labeled The Black Dog because we just came home from visiting our daughter and son-in-law in NoVa. On our way we stopped by Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, then ate at two “black” restaurants, Blackwall Hitch and Blackfinn so I joked if we had just gone in The Black Dog when we visited Annapolis one day we would have completed the cycle!! Now I am wishing we had crossed the street and gone to it. Haha, we were hungry and on a mission to find a place to eat. :)

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - July 21, 2015 - 10:28 am

All of these places are so “MV” charming! We stayed at the Kelley House in one of their guest cottages, The Chappy House. On a different trip, we stayed at a small hotel in Edgartown, and I can’t remember the name. Such fond memories of a beautiful place! Thanks for the tour.

theresalh - July 21, 2015 - 12:55 pm

The bike! I am riding a turquoise one this week in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida!

Paula B. - July 27, 2015 - 11:06 am

I’m a little late in reading all your most recent posts, but seeing as you were in my neck of the woods, I had to leave a comment here. Loving all the rooms/houses you featured, have to say that I am a bit more partial to the architecture and style of the homes on the Vineyard! Funny you should mention the movie, Jaws. The book was actually set on Long Island but as you know the iconic movie was filmed on MV. I had family friends who owned a home in Edgartown those many years ago and their young son got to be an extra in the movie. To this day, whenever I catch the film, I look for him in the crowd scenes on the beach. Can’t recommend enough a trip to both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket!

Karen - July 28, 2015 - 2:15 pm

Has anyone else tried the chocolate chip cookie recipe? I did yesterday and it was a total flop! I followed the recipe exactly, no additions or modification. What resulted was two cookie sheets of paper thin cookie dough that spread and ran into one huge mess, that looked awful and didn’t taste good. I was suspicious of the amount of flour called for, but have never used bread flour when baking chocolate chip cookies and thought that it must be the reason why only 1 cup of flour is used. The cookies pictured on the Harbor View Hotel website and what was produced in my kitchen yesterday look nothing the same. Very disappointed!
Oh no! How terrible! I wonder if anyone has written to them about it? They obviously did not write the correct amount of flour. So sorry yours turned out like that. :(

Martha’s Vineyard Week, the Harbor View Hotel, and another chance at the giveaway!

Harbor View Hotel exteriorsource

Happy Martha’s Vineyard Week again!  Wasn’t that house in the last post just beautiful?!  Once again I loved all your comments.:)(Thank you.)  Today I want us to take a look at a grand old hotel there on the Vineyard overlooking Edgartown Harbor – the Harbor View Hotel.  It opened in July, 1891 with a huge by-invitation-only party for guests of the hotel and 400 residents of the island.  It was built at a time when the island was having an economic crisis due to the end of the once profitable whaling industry there.  Investors were trying to change the island’s “industry” to tourism. That change – and this hotel – are what kept the island afloat financially. (Did you catch my pun? ha ha)

Historical photo Harbor View Hotel

The hotel has been bought and sold a dozen times over its 124 year history – the most recent being in 2006 by the Scout Real Estate Capital LLC of Nantucket.  (There is a good article about this here.) An entire book has been written about the history of the Harbor View Hotel and how it changed the island, and the book is filled with old photographs.

Harbor View Hotel book

Harbor View: The Hotel that Saved a Town

(My Amazon Affiliate link.)

When I was a teenager – planning my one-day-in-the-future-dream-trip to Martha’s Vineyard, I picked out another hotel on the island for my accommodations.  Back then the Harbor View was not what it is today, but I would definitely choose it today. The new investors have poured over $100 million into a renovation, expansion, and major upgrade of the hotel.  Here is the newly renovated lobby.  The boat in the glass case  – well really the entire hotel – reminds me of the place we last stayed at Disney – The Yacht Club. (Perhaps the Disney folks looked to Harbor View for inspiration.:))

Harbor View Hotel

There are now 3 restaurants at Harbor View.  This is the Lighthouse Grill.  (The hotel has a direct view of the Edgartown Lighthouse.)

Harbor View Hotel

And here is one of the rooms in the hotel that overlooks the water.  I will be honest with you.  This is a nice room, but it’s not among my favorites at the Harbor View.  They have much better.

Harbor View Hotel

You see, part of the expansion that the Scout investors added was a group of buildings that house their “cottages” – complete residences with a living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, bath, and laundry.  The first one was the Huxford Cottage, a building that had formerly been next door to the Old Whaling Church. Scout had it moved to an area behind the Harbor View.

Huxford Cottage Harbor View

These “cottages” were sold like condos – to individual owners who can use them at any time of the year and still enjoy all the amenities of the hotel.  (Many are still available as overnight accommodations for hotel guests.)The Huxford cottage proved so successful that Scout then began to add more.  This is the Captain Rowley Cottage. Aren’t they pretty buildings?!  (Just wait til you see the inside!)

Captain Rowley exterior  Harbor View

Okay… now we are getting to the rooms I want you to see.  This is the interior of the Captain Rowley cottage.
See, it’s just like a little home.:)

Captain Rowley Cottage Harbor View

Teeny tiny kitchenette.
(The microwave can also work as a convection oven.)

Captain Rowley Cottage kitchen Harbor View

This is the bedroom in the Captain Collins Cottage.  (Try saying that 3 times fast! ha)

Captain Collins Cottage bedroom Harbor View

And take a look at its bathroom!  Love those walls!

Captain Collins bathroom Harbor View

Now here is where I get a little confused.  I think this is how some of the rooms were decorated when the cottages were first built.  I remember seeing this room and several others that looked similar on their website a couple of years ago, but I do not see them now. (They just disappeared!)

Harbor View Hotel red check duvetsource

This was another one I saw two years ago.

Harbor View Marthas Vineyard guest roomsource

 I’ve read that they did a renovation of the cottages recently, so I guess the linens from above are gone.  Here is another of the newer room designs.  Some of these photos were taken by the talented Lisa Pyden.  You can see more of the cottages on her website here.

Harbor View Captains Cottages room photo by Lisa

There are lovely porches outside these cottages.
(Love those wicker chairs!)

Captain Luce

How about a stroll down their brick promenade?:)

Captains Cottages Harbor View Hotel

And Heaven knows I would love to jump in their pool!
(Soooo hot in Georgia right now.:()

Harbor View Hotel

And that is almost all of the Harbor View Hotel that I have for you today. Before I go, I wanted to remind you that you have another chance at the Susan Branch books that give you a taste of the Vineyard and a $25 Amazon gift card.

Talk of the House Susan Branch giveaway

You can read all the details on entering the giveaway at the bottom of the post here, or you can take a look at the gist of it below…

To enter, just leave a comment on (not a reply on your email delivered post please) on any or all of the posts that publish between 7/13/2015 and midnight on Sunday 7/19/2015…only one comment per post please.  I’ll do a random drawing from all the names and announce the winner in the next post after Sunday.

That’s all for today from hot Georgia.
I will leave you sitting in a rocker on the cool porch of the Harbor View Hotel…

Harbor View Hotel rockers


enjoying this view.:)

view from porch Harbor View Hotel

Until next time…

a signature

Helen - July 17, 2015 - 10:13 am

Love all the pictures and would love to have one of those rockers on my porch!

Juli - July 17, 2015 - 10:36 am

Oooooo all you ladies and friends who do these wonderful post that take the rest of us away on wonderful chair escapes, thank you thank you!! What beautiful places and writing!

How nice of you to do a Susan Branch give away! She is another amazing one! I love everything she does and I don’t know how you all do all that you do! I think I first discovered her in Country Living magazine and would tear out all her pages. I have a number of her books and have given more!

Thank you for all the gorgeous photos you post and trips you take us on!

Lisa K. - July 17, 2015 - 10:41 am

Beautiful Hotel! I love the bedroom with the red & white buffalo check duvet! Wow!

Heather B - July 17, 2015 - 10:45 am

I love the walls too and am a sucker for anything gingham.

Louvina - July 17, 2015 - 10:53 am

Love this hotel/cottages/getaway places!! Wondering what it all would cost?! May need to win the lottery! Checked prices on The Grand Hotel in Michigan– mercy– way out of range for my budget! But one can dream– can’t we? That is one thing your blog does for us “armchair” travelers! Takes us away– for at least a little while!!! Going now to sit on my little piece of “beach real estate!” Wish you could be here!! Going to be a hot couple of days up your way! Grab some lemonade or iced tea and find a cool spot! :)

karen - July 17, 2015 - 11:10 am

OH WOW….I could sit on that porch all day!

Kathleen - July 17, 2015 - 11:12 am

Captain Collins Cottage. Captain Collins Cottage. Captain Collins Cottage. I tried saying it three times fast, but I think it’s even harder to type. :-)

Arlene@Nanaland - July 17, 2015 - 11:14 am

Oh my those turquoise rocking chairs…how beautiful. One of the paintings I have in my home is Suppertime at Cape May ( I think that is the name….it is by Ray Ellis) is a print showing rocking chairs on a porch. My husband got it for me for my 40th bd so I have had it 20 years now and I still love it!!

annette - July 17, 2015 - 11:15 am

Hi,Kelly! Look forward to your beautiful posts each day. I,too, discovered Susan Branch when HEART of the HOME hit the bookstores way back then. I think the two of you are soul sisters! xo Annette in Northern Ca

Martha - July 17, 2015 - 11:31 am

Oh, this is beautiful. I would not change a thing in the bedrooms….don’t know how they can redecorate, I’d just have to build new rooms. Love the red buffalo checks….all the wood beds and the turquoise rocking chairs, divine!I’ve always said my dream vacation would be either Ireland or Martha’s Vineyard. You have really rekindled that desire…..although I think I could afford Ireland easier than the Vineyard.

Dawn Guidry Montz - July 17, 2015 - 11:43 am

What could be more synonymous. with summer. than spending time on Martha’s Vineyard? Thanks for. sharing, Kelly!

Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes - July 17, 2015 - 11:56 am

Kelly, I’m a brand new follower of your amazing blog! Martha’s Vineyard Week is such a delight. It has been so much fun to walk through the Harbor View Hotel with you! It’s truly breathtaking! ♡

Karin. M - July 17, 2015 - 12:14 pm

Love the info on Martha’s Vineyard and Susan Branch. I have purchased many of her books.

Garden, Home and Party - July 17, 2015 - 12:23 pm

there is something magical about that island and I love the idea of traveling there one day and staying in that grand old hotel. I loved the cottages too.

Julie in Asheville - July 17, 2015 - 12:49 pm

Love, love, love the headboard in Captain Collins room. Such lovely photos…I can only dream! Through a study of my maternal ancestors, found they were early settlers on Nantucket, so I’m very interested in this part of the country, having grown up in the Midwest. Always enjoy your website, Kelly. So beautiful.

Debra - July 17, 2015 - 12:53 pm

Oh Kelly, it looks like a wonderful place to stay. That last picture is divine!! You’ve got me dreaming of ocean breezes, sounds of seagulls and all that harbor goodness! Sigh!

Cheri - July 17, 2015 - 1:33 pm

This is some place I would love to visit…just gorgeous. And since I want to go to Maine (some day) I could stop at Martha’s Vineyard on the way up. Sounds like a plan to me.

Holly - July 17, 2015 - 1:34 pm

Just dreamy… The porch had me the minute I saw the turquoise rockers!

Cynthia - July 17, 2015 - 1:50 pm

I am so ready to get away to anyplace cooler than Oklahoma. Love the pictures!

Leslie Anne @ Fairhope Supply Co. - July 17, 2015 - 2:01 pm

We didn’t stay at this hotel, but we ate lunch there one day and it was beautiful. I didn’t know about those individual little cottages when we were there. Aren’t they charming??!!! Thanks for showing them to us, oh — by the way, I found out Jan Karon is coming to Fairhope in September!


Andrea - July 17, 2015 - 2:04 pm

I’m on the Gulf of Mexico….Florida and it’s hot as it can be…thankfully, it doesn’t matter when you are on the beach. You have me convinced…I must go to Martha’s vineyard. Nantucket has always been on my must list….but Martha’s vineyard certainly is too now.

ChrisTea - July 17, 2015 - 2:15 pm

Wow. That Hotel is HUGE. It looks like a very nice place to stay and enjoy the island. I wish I could go there right now!

Barbara Hinske - July 17, 2015 - 2:18 pm

So interesting! I would love to stay in any of those rooms! Thank you for this “virtual” vacation!

Shar - July 17, 2015 - 2:31 pm

It certainly does make you dream, even if it’s just from “Porch Island” (my father-in-law’s name for his front porch)! Our vacation to Michigan & the lake sure do seem a long time ago in this heat wave!

Marie - July 17, 2015 - 2:39 pm

Oh my goodness! I’d be booking my stay in the cottages for sure! Right up my alley. I too live in Georgia and it is way too hot here right now.

Lanita Anderson - July 17, 2015 - 2:53 pm

Love all of the great pictures from Martha’s Vineyard….so pretty! And great ideas for decorating, too! Thanks for the Susan Branch giveaway – hope I’m the lucky winner!
Enjoy the weekend,

Shannon - July 17, 2015 - 3:11 pm

That looks like an amazing place to stay. I’ll have to add it to my future dreams

Melodie H - July 17, 2015 - 3:24 pm

I love Martha’s Vineyard week, only second to your Christmas house! Thank you for all of the lovely design pics!!

Bonnie - July 17, 2015 - 3:35 pm

I would love to be in one of the chairs on the porch chairs at Harbor View…perusing through one of Susan’s books…with my cell phone turned off. Thank you for sharing another piece of Martha’s Vineyard.

Ellie - July 17, 2015 - 3:50 pm

What an amazing story. The hotel is beautiful. I live and work on Cape Cod and haven’t found time to get to the Vineyard in years. I need to remedy that!

Marianne in Mo. - July 17, 2015 - 4:00 pm

Love that bathroom with the horizontal planks. I so want to do this in my home. The views are awesome! So relaxing! Thanks for bringing this to us, as always, you find something awesome!
Hot Georgia must be pool-worthy. It’s heat advisory hot here in Mo., reaching 110 “feels like” temps for the next four days! Off to my daughter’s pool!

donna - July 17, 2015 - 4:23 pm

Beautiful photos! Would love to spend time at any one of those places. And yes, it sure is summer in Georgia!

Paula Jolly - July 17, 2015 - 4:47 pm

I absolutely love following your blog – it’s truly a joy to “visit” these places (& add them to my own ‘one-day-in-the-future-dream-trip’ list…)! :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

bev - July 17, 2015 - 4:53 pm

lovely…looks like a place I would love to visit.

Cheryl - July 17, 2015 - 5:05 pm

Thanks for sharing. I’m loving this tour of Martha’s Vineyard!

Nancy - July 17, 2015 - 6:07 pm

Love the Aqua rocking chairside! And LOVE your blog!

Vicky Hunt - July 17, 2015 - 6:14 pm

What a stunning place! Every room, the grounds, the porches are just gorgeous! My favorite is the porch with the aqua blue rockers. What bliss to sit in one of those chairs with a good book, a glass of sweet tea and not a care in the world! Thanks for sharing the Harbor View Hotel! Have a blessed and lovely weekend…:)

Peggy - July 17, 2015 - 6:44 pm

A visit to Martha’s Vineyard is on my bucket list! I’ve always wanted to go there. I’ve loved your posts about Martha’s Vineyard.

Jeanne Bell - July 17, 2015 - 7:20 pm

Every time I read your blog, my bucket list gets longer!

Carolyn - July 17, 2015 - 8:46 pm

Love those cottages. I wonder what the re-decorated rooms look like? I hadn’t seen those Susan Branch books. I think I have some of her illustrated articles/recipes from an old magazine – Victoria or Country Living, maybe? Though it got into the high 80’s in town today, it’s been cool up here on the mountaintop. Still haven’t had to turn on the A/C yet! My son is moving to Atlanta in a couple of weeks (graduate school at Emory), so I’m sure we’ll be feeling the heat in Georgia when we visit.

Vicki - July 17, 2015 - 9:04 pm

I would love to be sitting in one of those rockers soon!

Vanessa - July 17, 2015 - 9:38 pm

Lovely pictures. Looks like the perfect summer getaway!

Nancy - July 17, 2015 - 10:29 pm

What a beautiful hotel and location! I have never been to Martha’s Vineyard but have read about it every chance I’ve gotten. Thanks for sharing about Harbor View Hotel.

Sherry Myers - July 17, 2015 - 11:06 pm

Rooms, decor, views Divine!
Woodwork, lighthouse, harbor Sublime!
Cottages, restaurants, shades of Blue!
Porches, promenade, pool so Cool!
Rockers, dreams, the Vineyard’s Allure!
We thank you, Kelly, for this virtual Tour!

Pat Peele - July 18, 2015 - 3:05 am

So lovely , just waiting for a stay!

TracyK - July 18, 2015 - 5:48 am

What a beautiful hotel. I think one of those rockers is calling my name!

Charlene - July 18, 2015 - 8:35 am

Loved seeing this hotel! I didn’t know it was there – even after visiting Martha’s Vineyard twice! I absolutely love your blog. Learn about new places all the time!

Donnamae - July 18, 2015 - 8:41 am

I love the bed in the Captains Collins Cottage! Oh my…such a beautiful place. Thanks so much for the tours! 😉

Sarah - July 18, 2015 - 10:58 am

Wow, I really want to plan a trip to Martha’s Vineyard now! I love how they renovated the Harbor View Hotel (though I do like the linens pictured from a few years ago). And, I’d love to be rocking in one of those aqua blue rocking chairs looking at the harbor view. It feels like a relaxing place to be. Thanks for the post.

sharon - July 18, 2015 - 11:06 am

What beautiful rooms! I love them all, can’t really pick a favorite. I hope to stay in one of them in the future. Thanks for sharing.

Kathleen - July 18, 2015 - 11:42 am

Well you have sold me 😉 …Looking forward to a stay at the Harbor View Hotel …Martha’s Vineyard is on my Bucket List!

betty - July 18, 2015 - 12:54 pm

Love all your posts. Can’t wait for the new Susan Branch book.

Emily - July 18, 2015 - 6:06 pm

Love the cottages! It’s hot here in Alabama also! Sitting on one of those porches under a fan with a glass of lemonade would be so relaxing.

Susan W - July 18, 2015 - 6:45 pm

Loved your post Kelly. I enjoyed the tour. Looks like a great place to visit!

Kathy - July 18, 2015 - 6:49 pm

Ah, so pretty. I would love to visit. I like that the bedrooms look like they could be in your grandmother’s upstairs. I like the red and white buffalo check bedding, the porch rockers, the seashell print above that mantel, and that Shar’s father-in-law says “porch island”. Anything is better with the word island hooked to it.

Lynne - July 18, 2015 - 7:45 pm

Love your blog and all of your posts! Martha’s Vineyard is my family’s favorite summer getaway…such a beautiful, family friendly place to visit!

Carol Ann - July 18, 2015 - 8:09 pm

A lovely post. Love the Captain’s Cottage.

theresalh - July 18, 2015 - 8:52 pm

love the pics. one of my very favorite coffee table books is about martha’s vineyard. bucket list.

Monika - July 18, 2015 - 8:52 pm

My favorite bedroom is the one with the red and white Buffalo checks. Wouldn’t that also be your fav, Kelly?

Robin M - July 19, 2015 - 1:40 pm

Such a beautiful post of this hotel and cottages! I loved all of their decor. Thank you for the inspiration!

Joan - July 19, 2015 - 2:54 pm

I could swim in that pool for hours. The heat and humidity here is intense….but it is July….and then comes August….yikes!

Cindy - July 19, 2015 - 5:11 pm

Love the rockers!
Thanks, Cindy

Eileen Nieli - July 20, 2015 - 1:43 am

Loved reading all about Martha’s Vineyard. Thank you

Dawn - July 20, 2015 - 12:07 pm


The Harbor View hotel looks really nice. I would love to stay in one of the cottages, swim in the beautiful pool and relax in those cute rocking chairs at the end of a long day. What spectacular views they all have. Thanks for sharing it all with us.

Kristen - July 22, 2015 - 12:27 pm

Wow….I’d love to be enjoying that view right now!

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