INFO: http://www.SandpiperRealty.com - Beautiful homes set on rolling land. Rambling stone walls. Grazing sheep. One of the most beautiful of all Vineyard drives: Middle Road.
These are the trademarks of Chilmark – along with Chilmark Chocolates, made and sold in a small building just down from Beetlebung Corner. It is not unusual to encounter lines of customers spilling out into the parking lot, while those inside press their noses against the glass counters to make selections of their personal favorites (milk or dark? Nuts, or fruit?).
But Chilmark is about the sea as well as the land, even land as compelling as this.
At Menemsha, the last remnants of a fabled fishing fleet are tied up at the dock behind two fish markets where you can find the catch of the day. Here you can catch a bike ferry across to Lobsterville, take a catamaran trip to Cuttyhunk Island about an hour away, or climb out on the jetty to watch a spectacular sunset. Families bring folding chairs, and wine and cheese, and sit on the shore to do the same. The two fish markets pack up boiled lobsters for you to take down to the beach, complete with melted butter. An ice cream from The Galley, a tiny walk-up restaurant, completes the meal, if not the day.
Chilmark's small, rural community is located toward the western end of Martha's Vineyard. Most of its 10,639 (34 square miles) are devoted to residential and agricultural use – you can get fresh flowers at a Beetlebung Corner self-serve stand, Island-raised lamb at the Allen Farm and wool items knit from their own sheep, eggs from really free range chickens and bacon from local pigs.