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Martha's Vineyard Shopping

Alison Shaw Gallery
88 Dukes County Avenue
Oak Bluffs , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 696 7429

In this small converted fire station, just outside the center of Oak Bluffs, the island's personable star photographer, Alison Shaw, exhibits her dazzling images of island scenes in weekly revolving shows based on colors or other themes (food, for instance). Since her studio is right upstairs, she'll often come to the door to show you around herself.

Alley's General Store
State Road
West Tisbury , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 693 0088

The oldest operating retail business on Martha's Vineyard, this authentic New England general store occupies a restored 1858 building operated by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust. It's bursting with upscale foods to stock your cottage or your picnic basket. And even if you don't need a scrub brush or a book for the beach, stop in for a cup of coffee and take a seat on the porch. The crowded bulletin boards are the first place to look for notices about area events and activities.

CB Stark Jewelers
53A Main Street
Vineyard Haven , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 693 2284

This jewelry shop got the jump on the charm-bracelet craze—by about four decades. The glass cases here are filled with elegant gold and silver charms in island-themed shapes (scallop shells, starfish, sand dollars, beach umbrellas) and toggle-linked chains to hang them on. Guys can choose from natty cuff links shaped like lighthouses, bluefish, and ferryboats. There's also a small branch in Edgartown (27 North Water St.; 508-627-1260).

Edgartown Scrimshaw Gallery
43 Main Street
Edgartown , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 627 9439

The art of scrimshaw—etching delicate, highly detailed pictures onto pieces of ivory—was popularized by sailors looking for ways to while away the months at sea aboard 19th-century whaling ships. Despite the ban on ivory, artisans, like gallery owner Thomas DeMont keep the craft alive. DeMont's painstaking etchings of square-riggers and seascapes (all made on fossilized, decades-old ivory or bone) as well as works by other contemporary scrimshaw artists and a few antique pieces on sperm-whale teeth fill the showcases here.

Open May through December and occasional Saturdays in the off-season.

Granary Gallery
636 Old County Road
West Tisbury , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 693 0455

Housed in a restored grain-storage barn, the Granary Gallery displays a captivating collection of art by artists with connections to the island. There are signed black-and-white prints by Alfred Eisenstadt, the Life photographer who held his first commercial show here, and works by muralist and painter Thomas Hart Benton, who summered on the Vineyard as an adult. Among the others on display are island photographer Alison Shaw; summer resident and extraordinary super-realist Heather Nell; and Scott Terry, a commercial striped-bass fisherman, who paints brilliantly colored oils of Vineyard scenes. Prices range from $250 to $250,000, and the antiques that decorate the gallery are also for sale (as is a small selection of new handcrafted jewelry). Openings of new shows are held every other week in an open courtyard behind the barn (check the Web site for info). But what really sets the Granary apart are its owners, Chris and Sheila Morse, who are as friendly and unpretentious as they are knowledgeable, although the off-street parking helps too. The Morses also run the Field Gallery in West Tisbury, which has more contemporary art and sculpture than the Granary (1050 State Rd.; 508-693-5595;, and the North Water Gallery in Edgartown, with more traditional works (27 North Water St.; 508-627-6002;

Martha's Vineyard Glassworks
683 State Road
West Tisbury , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 693 6026

Watching glassblowers practicing their old-fashioned craft may take you back to elementary school field trips. But seeing the end result at Martha's Vineyard Glassworks will snap you out of it. The open studio anchors a gallery filled with vividly colored handblown glassware, from functional to sculptural, that's anything but old-fashioned.

Midnight Farm
18 Water-Cromwell Lane
Vineyard Haven , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 693 1997

Better known as Carly Simon's store (she's actually one of the partners; the owner is Tamara Weiss), Midnight Farm has all the multiculti charms of a more rarefied (and pricier) Anthropologie. The warehouse-like space is roughly divided into housewares and hippie-chick clothes. Look for shabby-chic couches in antique-looking prints, carved wooden salad bowls, lamps adorned with beading and seashells, Dosa silk jewel-toned dresses, Notify jeans, Frye boots, and hand-crocheted sweaters and mini-caftans for kids. There's also a selection of eco-friendly bath products, jewelry, art books, and world-music CDs—including, of course, Carly's latest.

6 Main Street
Vineyard Haven , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 693 8240

Vintage kitsch and eclectic modern gifts share floor space at Emily Milstein's funky boutique. If you're not in the market for a 1930s Brownie camera, a calico kitchen apron from the '50s, or a stack of the Golden Books you once read as a child, you can check out newer-wave wares like candy-colored porcelain tableware from Mud Australia and Gecko Traders' eco-totes, made from recycled Cambodian rice sacks. There are also such retro finds as Einstein's Energy Bars and Glee Natural Gum, along with vintage women's and new children's clothes and housewares.

Open Thursdays through Sundays April through December.

41 Main Street
Edgartown , Massachusetts
Tel: 508 627 5254

Even men who hate to shop will like to shop at Sundog. The hypermasculine two-story store—still run by two generations of the family that founded it in 1970—sells only clothing made of natural fibers, from madras sweaters and rugby shirts to oil-skinned British hunting jackets and comfortable shoes. If that doesn't reel them in, there also are display cases filled with quirky curiosities like buck knives. This isn't some shopping-mall marketing genius's idea of a men's store. It's the real thing.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.