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HGTV Dream Home 2 - Quicken Loans Zing BlogIf you followed the HGTV Dream Home Giveaway® 2015, you know that of more than 94 million entries, Kathy O’Dell of Huntsville, AL, was this year’s grand prize winner!

Quicken Loans was a proud sponsor of the giveaway, and we wanted to let our readers know about a TV special, airing on HGTV on May 29 at 1:00 p.m. ET, featuring the exciting moment when O’Dell and her husband were awarded this fabulous grand prize package:

  • A 3-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom, approximately 3,200-square-foot, Cape Cod-style home located on Martha’s Vineyard
  • Luxurious furnishings from Ethan Allen
  • A 2015 GMC® Acadia Denali
  • A $250,000 cash prize from Quicken Loans
  • Membership to the Field Club

If you’re part of the O’Dell family – or if you’re considering Martha’s Vineyard as a place to live or visit – here are some great places to eat, drink, explore and shop, as well as some events you should attend while you’re on the island.


Right Fork Diner

Just a half mile from your new home is this local favorite that allows you to watch biplanes take off and land as you eat. The food and milkshakes are delicious. Enjoy an unbelievable breakfast with an unbeatable atmosphere.

The Black Dog Tavern

A symbol of the island, The Black Dog Tavern in Vineyard Haven offers a delicious culinary experience right on the water. The icon has become so popular that The Black Dog is now an apparel line and the setting for ABC Family’s reality show, “The Vineyard.”


For upscale comfort food, try Atria in Edgartown, where the signature menu made up of local ingredients changes nightly. They also have the very popular Brick Cellar Bar in their basement, which is a staple for Vineyard regulars.

The Seafood Shanty

For the best seafood on the Vineyard (bold statement, I know), head to The Seafood Shanty in Edgartown! Sit on their deck that overlooks the harbor and indulge in fresh oysters, clams, lobster quesadillas or a lobster roll while taking in the incredible view.

Back Door Donuts

Every summer night from 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. at the back door of the Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Cafe & Bakery, people line up for the widely popular Back Door Donuts. Their legendary apple fritter is a local favorite, and did I mention it’s as big as your head? It’s quite the hotspot, so be prepared for a line that can be over an hour long!

Among the Flowers Cafe

A hidden gem in nearby Edgartown, Among the Flowers Cafe offers a wide variety of entrees in a great atmosphere. Enjoy a delicious pasta or fish meal on their patio.


Donovan’s Reef

If you only get one beverage while on the island, make it a Dirty Banana from this popular spot in Oak Bluffs. Check out my Vine video of Dirty Bananas being made!  

Espresso Love

Bound to be your go-to spot for a coffee date or a daily bagel run, downtown Edgartown’s Espresso Love features sunrise sandwiches, hot-from-the-oven blueberry scones and French roast coffee. 

Atlantic Fish & Chop House

Nestled right on the Edgartown Harbor, the Atlantic is an incredible place to eat and drink. As you enjoy a specialty cocktail or martini at the bar, you’ll find free bacon. Bacon? Yes, bacon is sitting on the bar at all times for your enjoyment and snacking purposes. 


Jump off the Bridge from “Jaws”

jumping off the bridge from jaws

As you probably already know, the movie “Jaws” was shot on the island. The iconic bridge from the movie is a tourist and local hotspot. Each summer thousands of people jump off the bridge into the water. Build up some courage and make the jump!

Paddleboard with Island Spirit Kayak


These guided tours will blow you away. My favorite tour was the sunset paddleboard tour with LED lights on the bottom. Island Spirit is the best place on the island for kayaking and paddleboarding. Be sure to get a guided tour from Chick or one of her highly trained guides!

Utilize the Field Club

Send your children to Kid’s Club each day and sit down by the pool. Relax in a cabana or at the poolside bar, play on the grass tennis court or work out in the fitness center. The Boathouse provides incredible amenities as well as boat tours, and a world-class, members-only restaurant in downtown Edgartown.


Catch a Sunset at Menemsha Beach


Once you’re settled into your new home, be sure to make it out to Menemsha Beach to watch the sunset. A large group gathers with blankets and drinks each night for the breathtaking event. If you’re lucky, you can even purchase fresh fish or lobster from local fishermen that are coming in from sea.

Head Out to Norton Point


A mile from your new home, you’ll find tire air pumps next to South Beach. Use those pumps to deflate the tires on your new 2015 GMC Acadia Denali and drive down the sandy path to Norton Point, where DJs and volleyball courts await and make for a perfect summer day.

The Black Dog Tall Ships

sail boat

If you’re looking for a unique way to get out on the water, head out on one of The Black Dog Tall Ships. They have two schooners in their fleet: the Alabama and the Shenandoah. Both ships are over 100 feet long and offer an extraordinary experience. They have kids’ cruises, day and sunset sails, private charters and even a sail school program.

The FARM Institute

Life on the farm? Yes, just a short distance from the HGTV Dream Home 2015 is the FARM Institute, an educational nonprofit that connects people of all ages to agriculture. They have many different programs and events for various ages, including Sheepapalooza, which is in mid-April.


Vineyard Vines

Vineyarders are notorious for wearing clothing with the famous pink whale on it. The pink whale is a symbol of the “good life” that Martha’s Vineyard offers. Vineyard Vines was started by brothers Shep and Ian Murray in 1998. They quit their corporate jobs in NYC and began selling homemade neckties on the Vineyard. Their ties, sold out of the back of their Jeep, soon turned into a symbol of Martha’s Vineyard and an international brand. Be sure to stop by the VV store in Edgartown or Oak Bluffs.

Katama General Store

Before you hit the sand, stop in to pick up supplies at Katama General Store. They have beach towels, hats and apparel for a day at the beach, breakfast to go or snacks and fixings for a picnic. Katama General Store has an active social media presence, so be sure to follow them for the latest specials, recipes and island news.

Morning Glory Farm

Morning Glory Farm started in 1975 and offers fresh produce, organic and specialty groceries, fresh baked goods and much more at their Edgartown farm stand. A good portion of MGF’s produce is grown on the island at their 120-acre farm.



Illumination Night

illumination night house

  • On the third Wednesday of August is the annual Illumination Night. The “gingerbread” cottages in Oak Bluffs are decorated with colorful Chinese and Japanese lanterns. The event also has a community singalong and band concert in the open-air Tabernacle band shell to kick things off each year. The Grand Illumination started over a century ago and continues to be a staple for islanders each summer.

Taste of the Vineyard

This is your chance to sample the Vineyard’s best food, wine and handcrafted beers, and to meet other Vineyarders. The grand, two-night affair is held annually in June and features the island’s finest restaurants, all for a great cause: the preservation of 20 historic landmark buildings on the island. 

Martha’s Vineyard Sharks Baseball

Take me out to the ball game! Yes, Martha’s Vineyard has a baseball team. The Martha’s Vineyard Sharks play in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL), and they were the league’s champs in 2013. The team is made up of players from many different collegiate baseball programs across the country. The Sharks play at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and are very active in the community. The games offer a great atmosphere for families.

As you can see, Martha’s Vineyard has much to offer. These recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg for a fun time on the vineyard. Be sure to explore on your own and add to my list!

Congratulations again to Kathy O’Dell, this year’s HGTV Dream Home winner! Enjoy your new home, and be sure to maximize your experience on the Vineyard.

Don’t forget to watch the reveal on May 29 at 1:00 p.m. ET on HGTV!


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I personally have tried so hard to win something for over 2 years. They tell me that I have won but it is not true. I guess feel urge to give up what is the use. Have a follower that steals my few rewards. He uses my name email address and shares with others. Little heart broken.

    1. Hi Penny:

      If that’s true, you need to report that to the authorities to get it rectified. It’s identity theft. I wish you good luck.

      Kevin Graham

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