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10 Best Things To Do In Martha’s Vineyard For 2024: Complete Guide

Best Things To Do In Martha Vineyard

10 Best Things To Do In Martha’s Vineyard For 2024: Complete Guide

Martha’s Vineyard, an island located off the coast of Massachusetts, is known for its picturesque landscapes, charming towns, and a variety of activities. Here are 10 of the best things to do in Martha’s Vineyard:

  1. Visit Oak Bluffs: Explore the vibrant town of Oak Bluffs, known for its colorful Victorian cottages, the historic Flying Horses Carousel, and the lively Circuit Avenue with shops and eateries.
  2. Aquinnah Cliffs: Head to Aquinnah to see the iconic Gay Head Cliffs, a stunning natural formation with colorful clay cliffs overlooking the ocean. The nearby Aquinnah Lighthouse offers panoramic views.
  3. Cycling the Island: Martha’s Vineyard offers beautiful cycling routes. Rent a bike and explore the island’s scenic paths, including the Vineyard’s State Forest and the Katama Airfield.
  4. Edgartown: Wander around Edgartown’s historic district, featuring well-preserved 19th-century homes, the Edgartown Lighthouse, and the charming shops and restaurants along Main Street.
  5. Chappaquiddick Island: Take a ferry to Chappaquiddick Island and visit Mytoi, a beautiful Japanese-style garden, or explore Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge with its pristine beaches and diverse ecosystems.
  6. Martha’s Vineyard Museum: Learn about the island’s history and culture at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, located in Vineyard Haven. The museum showcases exhibits on maritime history, whaling, and island life.
  7. Beach Day: Enjoy the island’s beaches, such as South Beach, Joseph Sylvia State Beach, or Katama Beach. Each beach offers a different experience, from surfing to sunbathing.
  8. Art Galleries and Studios: Martha’s Vineyard has a thriving arts scene. Explore art galleries and studios in towns like Vineyard Haven and Edgartown to discover local and regional artwork.
  9. Farmers’ Markets: Visit one of the island’s farmers’ markets, such as the West Tisbury Farmers’ Market, to experience local produce, handmade crafts, and regional delicacies.
  10. Sail or Kayak: Take advantage of the island’s maritime setting by going sailing or kayaking. Several companies offer guided tours or boat rentals for exploring the waters around Martha’s Vineyard.

10 Best Things To Do In Martha’s Vineyard For 2024: Complete Guide

Remember that the availability of activities may vary based on the season, so it’s advisable to check ahead and plan accordingly.

Martha’s Vineyard is over 260 square kilometers and is only accessible by sea or air. This is one of the most exclusive islands on the east coast of the United States.

It is a vacation destination for the Obamas, where they already have their own mansion, and that of other American presidents, Martha’s Vineyard is one of the most beautiful islands in the United States.

Therefore, in this post, we tell you everything you cannot miss about it and, above all, what makes it so unique. Discover the island where Obama has celebrated his 60th birthday.

Just a short ferry ride from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Martha’s Vineyard is an island paradise. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful sandy beaches, romantic sailboats, colorful gingerbread houses, old lighthouses, and farmers’ markets. 

Less crowded than Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, MA, is where you will share the beaches with the rich and famous, enjoy great food on the terrace at The Charlotte Inn, and explore the magical hills of Menemsha for an incredible variety of vegetables. Here are the best things to do at Martha’s Vineyard.

Where To Stay In Martha’s Vineyard?

As we said, Martha’s Vineyard is made up of six locations. So, depending on what you are looking for, you can stay in one or the other. For example, Edgartown is the best known for its leisure offer, and the spectacular views of the port make it a destination that cannot be said no.

If you are looking for more beach-focused tourism, you will have to stay in Oak Bluffs. And if you are looking for tranquillity, the best places are Chilmark, Aquinnah or West Tisbury. They are pretty small towns and perfect if you want to disconnect.

As you can imagine, the hotel offer is focused, above all, on Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. It’s easier to find cheap hotels on Martha’s Vineyard if you stay in these two towns. More than anything because, with more hotels, you have much more to choose from.

You can opt for large resorts or, for example, small boutique hotels that are perfect for couples. You have to be clear that it is not too cheap a destination, so do not expect to find anything that goes below 100 dollars a night.

Suppose you are in the area or want to find a beautiful place in the United States to disconnect, Martha’s Vineyard may be your best option. Every corner of the island will make you fall in love.

10 Best Things To Do In Martha’s Vineyard

1. Edgartown Lighthouse

One of the five lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard, Edgartown Harbor Light, is located in Edgartown at Katama Bay and Edgartown Harbor entrance. The first two-story wooden lighthouse was built in 1828 and served as the keeper’s home. It was replaced in 1939 by the existing cast-iron tower.

Originally located about a quarter of a mile offshore on a small artificial island, the stone causeway caused sand to accumulate, creating a beach connecting the lighthouse to land today.

Public access to the lighting room is limited due to the nearly vertical staircase that people have to climb to reach it. The lighthouse is an integral part of several community events, such as the July 4th fireworks.

Address: 121 North Water Street, Edgartown, Massachusetts 02539

2. Katama Beach, Martha’s Vineyard

Katama Beach (South Beach) is a magnificent three-mile-long public beach about four miles south of Edgartown. Surf-loving surfers are drawn to the sand barrier, and swimmers flock to its sheltered side of the salt pond.

It Located on the south side of the island; the beach is also called South Beach. Its delicate white sand contrasts very well with the crystal clear turquoise water.

The beach is well maintained and patrolled by lifeguards, but the beach is long, and they can’t be everywhere, so keep this in mind if you go swimming, the surf can get rough.

It is often possible to find a secluded spot away from the crowds and enjoy the serenity of the sea and surf. The beach is bordered by vast dunes covered with sparse grass.

Address: Katama Road, Edgartown, Massachusetts 02539

3. Menemsha Hills

As you climb the 308 Prospect Hill hill atop the Menemsha Hills, the view exploding in front of you will take your breath away.

The view stretches from the rugged coastline with the cliffs of Aquinnah across Vineyard Sound to the timeless and ancient Elizabeth and Normal Islands, shaped by thousands of years of nature’s ongoing work. Along the way to the top, you’ll pass holly and blueberries, which love wet, sandy soils.

Menemsha Hills is a 211-acre nature preserve just outside the small town of Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard, protected by its diverse plant habitats, including wetlands, woodlands, and low, swampy areas where you can see red maples, beeches, reds, whites.

And black oaks, dunes, pines, goldenrods, and beach plums. It is a beautiful place for a quiet walk, a picnic, fishing, or enjoying the beauty in silence.

Address: N Rd, Chilmark, Massachusetts 02535

4. Aquinnah Cliffs, Martha’s Vineyard

Aquinnah Cliffs is a mile-long stretch of brightly colored cliffs on the edge of the small town of Aquinnah, at the western end of Martha’s Vineyard Island. 

The cliffs are made up of complex layers of gravel, sand, and clay of all colors and shades resulting from centuries-old nature’s work. Glaciers, sea, and land have twisted layers of land into colorful, undulating bands that rise above the sea.

Erosion continues to expose layers underneath, coloring the seared and often revealing past secrets, such as fossils of great sharks, clams, and crabs from the ancient sea, camels, wild horses, and whales. The cliffs are protected today, and due to severe erosion, it is forbidden to climb and remove the clay.

The cliffs have a terrible reputation for posing great danger to seafarers and have witnessed many shipwrecks. One of the first rotating American lighthouses was built in 1799 on the cliffs.

Address: State Rd, Aquinnah, Massachusetts 02535

5. Martha’s Vineyard Museum

Martha’s Vineyard Museum began life as the Dukes County Historical Society in 1922 with a small collection of documents from the revolutionary era.

After several names and address changes, in 2006, the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society decided to change the name to the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.

The new name accurately reflects the mission and accumulated holdings, such as objects, documents, photographs, historical books, and paintings.

The museum aims to inspire people to understand, explore and discover the heritage of their island. The museum has several permanent exhibits ranging from Thomas Cooke’s home and historic herb garden to the hands-on history lab and Enchanted Island:

The Story of Martha’s Vineyard. The museum is the administrator of three lighthouses on the island: The East Chop, Gay Head, and Edgartown.

Address: 59 School St, Edgartown, Massachusetts 02539

6. Lucy Vincent Beach

Lucy Vincent Beach is not on the radar of many tourists, but it is one of the most beautiful and picturesque beaches on Martha’s Vineyard Island. To access, you need to buy a pass from the Town Hall and then head to the village of Chilmark. The fine sand is dotted with several large rocks that are scattered around.

The surf hits the rocks, and the bottom of small cliffs shades the beach. As it is so isolated and less known, this beautiful beach is often not crowded. It is also one of the rare places where people can bathe or sunbathe naked.

Address: Chilmark, Massachusetts 02535

7. Gay Head Lighthouse

Gay Head Lighthouse is a historic landmark located on the northwest shore of Martha’s Vineyard. The lighthouse was commissioned in 1796, making it the first lighthouse built on the island. In its 200+ year history, the lighthouse has been improved, rebuilt, and relocated multiple times from the changing shoreline.

In the 1980s, Congress saved it from destruction at the request of the people of Martha’s Vineyard. The lighthouse is now open for daily tours from July to October. Residents and tourists can also gather to watch the sunset on the lighthouse grounds in summer.

Address: 65 State Road, Aquinnah, Massachusetts 02535

8. Chappaquiddick Island

Sometimes an island, sometimes a peninsula; Chappaquiddick Island is the vacation destination with an ever-changing coastline. “Chappy,” as it is called by the 179 locals who live there year-round, contains 18 square miles of beautiful beaches, salt marshes, and coastal inlets.

This small, secluded part of Edgartown is the perfect place for a low-key, relaxing beach vacation. Even travelers who want a more active vacation will find plenty to do here, such as hiking trails, fishing, bird watching, and kayaking tours. Ferry service from the mainland is available year-round, weather permitting.

9. Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Felix Neck Sanctuary is a nature lover’s paradise. It contains 194 acres of protected beaches, salt marshes, grasslands, forests, and 4 miles of walking trails. Here, guests can learn about the native birds, plants, and animals of the Massachusetts coastline.

The Sanctuary offers classes and activities for all ages, including Fern and Feather Summer Camp for children. Guests can take a kayak tour of Sengekontacket Pond, explore the island’s walking trails, bird watching, or enjoy a picnic in one of the island’s dedicated eating areas. Admission is only $ 4 for adults and $ 3 for seniors or children 12 and under.

Address: 100 Felix Neck Drive, Edgartown, Massachusetts 02539

10. Polly Hill Arboretum, Martha’s Vineyard

Developed in 1958 by resident horticulturist Polly Hill, the Polly Hill Arboretum is an island landmark. The property consists of 20 acres of land cultivated with shrubs, trees, and flowers worldwide.

Another 40 acres are preserved as a nature reserve. The greenhouse displays rhododendrons, hollies, crabapples, and magnolias found in beautifully landscaped meadows and fields.

Self-guided tours are available year-round, and guided tours of the grounds are offered each morning in July and August. The nursery also offers educational classes for children and adults and a plant search database to help gardeners find the best plants for their land.

Address: 809 State Road, West Tisbury, MA 0257

Frequently Asked Questions: Best Things To Do In Martha’s Vineyard

What is the friendliest town in Martha’s Vineyard?

Vineyard Haven Martha’s Vineyard

Vineyard Haven is the most practical of the towns on Martha’s Vineyard. It has a year-round ferry service and so the home of many year-round residents. There’s a charming Main Street with boutiques, restaurants, and galleries.

What’s cool about Martha’s Vineyard?

Martha’s Vineyard is said to have more lighthouses in more diverse styles nearby than anywhere else in the country. And for a good reason: The island has long been known for treacherous tides, rocky shores, sandy shoals, and the underwater reefs dubbed the Devil’s Bridge off Aquinnah.

What makes Martha’s Vineyard so unique?

One word to describe Martha’s Vineyard: QUAINT, Boutique shops, great dining, gorgeous beach (couldn’t believe how pretty the beach was), and a very cheap economical shuttle to take you from one little town to the next.

Why is Martha’s Vineyard so expensive?

The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce estimates that during the winter, 15,000 people are living on the island and 115,000 during the summer. Running a business is expensive because taxes, rent, and utilities have to be paid for 12 months a year, even if customers don’t show up for 9 of those months.

What is the wealthiest part of Martha’s Vineyard?

Vineyard Haven, a community on Martha’s Vineyard, came out on top with home prices higher than one of the nation’s largest cities. The median home price in the community is $699,500, while the median household income for year-round residents is $71,811.

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