Best Things To Do in Martha's Vineyard
Stretching out on Moshup and Menemsha beaches are must-dos of course, but there's more to experience here besides working on your tan. The Aquinnah Cliffs and the satellite island of Chappaquiddick are full of hidden wonders for nature lovers. And the gingerbread cottages and old-fashioned carousel in Oak Bluffs are fun for families. Or just rent a bike and explore the smaller island's hamlets at your leisure; it's a classic way to catch the Vineyard at its best.
- #1View all PhotosfreeBeaches#1 in Martha's VineyardBeaches, Recreation, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Recreation, FreeTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
You'll have your pick of beaches on Martha's Vineyard. From the protected, shallow surf on the northern and eastern coasts of the island to the big waves crashing on the south side, the Vineyard's various shorelines offer a little something for everyone.
- #2View all PhotosfreeAquinnah Cliffs#2 in Martha's VineyardNatural Wonders, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDNatural Wonders, Sightseeing, FreeTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
The Aquinnah Cliffs — formerly known as Gay Head — is one of Martha's Vineyard's most-visited tourist spots, with bus and bike tours congesting the paved roads in the peak summer season. But the epic clay cliffs — carved by glaciers millions of years ago — are worth the trek. Visitors can explore the lower beach paths to see the cliffs up close and stretch along the sands at Moshup Beach. Or take the upper trails to the top of the cliffs to catch a glimpse of Gay Head Light and nearby Elizabeth Islands.
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These extravagantly decorated summer cottages offer a quaint peek into the island's past. The grounds were originally occupied by 19th-century Methodists, who would retreat here in the summer to camp and worship. Visitors soon became residents, replacing their temporary canvas tents with Gothic-design cottages, painted in colorful hues.
- #4View all PhotosfreeChappaquiddick#4 in Martha's VineyardParks and Gardens, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDParks and Gardens, Free, Neighborhood/AreaTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
Chappaquiddick became infamous for all the wrong reasons. In July 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy was driving a young woman named Mary Jo Kopechne home from a party in Chappaquiddick when the vehicle went off the side of the Dike Bridge. Kopechne was killed, but Kennedy survived.
- #5View all Photos#5 in Martha's VineyardMuseums, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDMuseums, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
For its relatively small size (100 square miles), Martha's Vineyard has its fair share of lighthouses. But of the five dotting the northern side of the island, visitors and travel experts continually recommend making a stop at the Edgartown Lighthouse.
- #6View all Photos#6 in Martha's VineyardZoos and AquariumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDZoos and AquariumsTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND...Read More »
One of the more unique attractions on Martha's Vineyard, Island Alpaca is a hit with recent visitors for its friendly animals and well-stocked gift shop. Spread across 19 acres, the farm features a herd of 72 Huacaya alpacas and one llama. When you're not petting or interacting with these gentle creatures, take a self-guided walking tour of the farm. The barn that's located on the premises is a centuries-old reclaimed hand-hewn oak, post and beam barn that was exported from Pennsylvania.
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Built in 1876, the Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in the country. The hand-painted horses, housed in a big red barn, have been carefully preserved; most of the original steeds still have horse-hair manes and tails. Kids — and the young at heart — love to ride this carousel. Riders can also play the brass ring game. Collect as many rings as you can as you ride by the metal ring dispenser — one dispenser is placed within reach of the outside row and another in reach of the inside row. The lucky rider who catches the brass ring scores a free ride.
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