Perhaps the most haughty Dock and Dine between Nantucket and Montauk, Edgartown has been one of my favorite Dock and Dine venues for over a decade.
As reported in my Seafood Shanty report, we actually came here via Oak Bluffs and the MV bus line for years before finally checking it out.
Without a doubt, the best Dock and Dine venue on the south coast is Edgartown town pier. It is right in the center of town, well protected from all winds, and very reasonably priced.
The Town Pier is located off your starboard side after you pass the Chappaquidick Ferries and the Mad Max dock — right before the Edgartown Yacht Club.
We never had a problem tying up The Mean Kitty, which was a big 33′ Center Console. We never even tried to get Tenacity in. She was a very big 37 (42′ LOA). On my first visit, I did make the mistake of backing Mean Kitty into the spot closest to the Yacht Club. It took many hands to walk it out!
No Room at the Pier!
With only 4 spots available at the Town Pier, you better get here early or you can get shut out. There are two other options. The most reasonably priced option is to get a “day mooring” through the harbormaster (508-637-4746 and Ch 74).
In the past, the town has maintained a number of “Blue Mooring” that were available on a first come, first served basis for free! Personally, I hate to see anything of value, with a limited supply, given away for free.
Invariably, folks would grab one of the blue moorings, tie up their dingy and then take off for the day in their big boat essentially holding it for the day and keeping me from using it for 3 hours to go to town.
I just spoke to Harbormaster’s office and learned that their are no more blue town markers in Edgartown. He said those wanting one overnight need to book it on Dockwa for $40/night, which is a bargain.
I ask him about folks who just want to tie up for a few hours, go to town, and grab lunch. He said the new procedure is to call the harbormaster once you arrive in the outer harbor and they’ll assign you a mooring which will also cost you $40 for the whole day.
Either way, you’ll need to call Old Town Launch Service on Ch. 68 for a lift into town. Last season they charged $4/person each way.
The Harborside is a little more reasonable — $25/hour and a $75 minimum. I have used them once or twice with a big group (8 people X $4/ride each way = $64 in launch fees). And now that the town is charging an extra $40 for the day mooring, I think $75 at The Harborside makes eminent sense.
Barry the dockmaster says he can’t take day dock reservations, but you can call him on the day of to give him a heads up and get a feel for likely availability. I do recall putting the $75 on a credit card and having Barry look at me and say “that doesn’t include a tip.” Perhaps I should have used cash…
The Perfect Day
Many would say that any day in Edgartown is a perfect one, but why not make it better? Once you’ve sorted out where you’re going to leave your boat and gotten to town, you’ll find lots of unique stores and shops.
The Vineyard Vines store offers lots of high end Vineyard clothing. I like it because they have a nice little Taylor Guitar hanging on the wall and I can take it down and play while Mrs. Horne shops.There are also a lot of less expensive places to by tee-shirts, etc.
The only place I ever eat in Edgartown is The Seafood Shanty, but there are plenty of great spots to choose from. I’m not much of a shopper, so if we get to town early, I’ll go to the general store, by a Herald and just sit at the Shanty bar while everyone heads out to shop.
After lunch, it’s always fun to visit Murdicks Fudge and watch the Jamaicans at their craft. You may be tempted to buy 3 blocks, but be advised it’s very easy to get sick on their super sweet fudge. Sometimes they’ll give you a sample, but if not, just buy what you’ll really eat.
Murdicks seems to have merged with the next door coffee shop where I love to get an afternoon Iced Americano.
Back on the water, you can treat your guests to a quick tour of Katama Bay. You’ll need to have a GPS because the depths aren’t obvious. The edges are deepest and the middle of the bay looks like you could run aground. Katama Bay is an oyster farm — home of the Katama Oyster.
On the way home back to Buzzards Bay, you can also stop at Hadley’s Harbor or Quisset to wait out the afternoon blow or just enjoy the scene.
Edgartown is about as far as most of us want to venture for a day trip (30 miles from Mattapoisett) and it’s hardly an inexpensive Dock and Dine, but if the wind is down and you’re looking for a special place to take your guests, it’s probably perfect…