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Beaches picture in Martha's Vineyard
Courtesy of Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce

Details

  • Beaches, Recreation Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.8
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

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.

But of all the places to stake a spot in the sand, recent visitors said South Beach (also known as Katama Beach) is one of the best. Situated in Edgartown, South Beach stretches for 3 miles and offers a rumbling surf and rolling dunes. You'll find ample parking here, but most travelers were happy to bike from Edgartown on a path that leads straight to the sand.

If you're on Chappaquiddick, consider making a stop at East Beach on the Wasque Reservation. It's a bit of a trek to the eastern shore of Chappaquiddick from where the Chappy Ferry drops you off, so not many travelers make the trip. Because of its location, this stretch of sand is relatively empty, making it a great spot to observe the birds that call this area home.

Certain beaches on the island are better suited for kids than others: Lobsterville Beach and Joseph Sylvia State Beach are two that boast warm, gentle waters ideal for new swimmers.

And if you're looking for a spot to catch a spectacular sunset, you should head straight to Menemsha Beach, according to recent visitors. Sitting pretty in Chilmark, Menemsha is popular for evening picnics: grab a blanket and a bottle of wine and watch pink and purple hues light up the sky.

Most beaches offer changing rooms and on-duty lifeguards from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the peak summer season. Some also charge for parking. Check with the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce for more information.

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More Best Things to Do in Martha's Vineyard

Beaches picture in Martha's Vineyard
Beaches, Recreation Type
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Aquinnah Cliffs picture in Martha's Vineyard
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#1 Beaches 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 ... Read more » Courtesy of Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce

#2 Aquinnah Cliffs 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 ... Read more » DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

#3 Oak Bluff Campground 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 ... Read more » Kenneth Wiedemann / Getty Images

#4 Chappaquiddick 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 ... Read more » D Allen / Flickr

#5 Edgartown Lighthouse 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 ... Read more » William Britten / Getty Images

#6 Island Alpaca Company of Martha's Vineyard 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 ... Read more » mgstanton / Flickr

#7 Flying Horses Carousel, Oak Bluffs 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 ... Read more » MV Preservation Society

Beaches picture in Martha's Vineyard
Aquinnah Cliffs picture in Martha's Vineyard
Oak Bluff Campground picture in Martha's Vineyard
Chappaquiddick  picture in Martha's Vineyard
Edgartown Lighthouse picture in Martha's Vineyard
Island Alpaca picture in Martha's Vineyard
Flying Horses Carousel picture in Martha's Vineyard
Beaches picture in Martha's Vineyard
Aquinnah Cliffs picture in Martha's Vineyard
Oak Bluff Campground picture in Martha's Vineyard
Chappaquiddick  picture in Martha's Vineyard
Edgartown Lighthouse picture in Martha's Vineyard
Island Alpaca picture in Martha's Vineyard
Flying Horses Carousel picture in 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. Courtesy of Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce

The Aquinnah Cliffs, a National Historic Landmark, are made up of green sands, white quartz, black organic soil and other colorful clays.  DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

These colorful cottages were modeled after the elaborate tents, crafted by 19th-century campers. Kenneth Wiedemann / Getty Images

Recent visitors highly recommended taking a day, or at least a few hours, to explore the island of Chappaquiddick, located just a five-minute ferry ride from Edgartown. D Allen / Flickr

Originally constructed for Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts, this 1800s-era lighthouse was relocated to the Vineyard in 1938. William Britten / Getty Images

Spread across 19 acres, Island Alpaca features a herd of 72 Huacaya alpacas and one llama. mgstanton / Flickr

The Flying Horses Carousel originally entertained children and families in New York's Coney Island before being transplanted to Oak Bluffs in 1884. MV Preservation Society

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