Attractions & Things to Do

Public Golf Courses

  • Farm Neck Golf Club Farm Neck Way, Oak Bluffs, Reservations (508) 693-3057 Club House (508) 693-2504 Sengekontacket Pond and the beach provide a stunning backdrop for this 18-hole, par 72 championship course, considered to be among the best in New England. The club, open from mid-April to mid-December, offers a driving range, rental equipment and pro shop. Reservations are accepted; however tee times cannot be scheduled more than 48 hours in advance.
  • Mink Meadows Golf Club -- Golf Club Road, Off Franklin Street, Vineyard Haven (508) 693-0600 If you can't decide between spending time on the greens or time at the ocean, this club is for you. Magnificent ocean views follow you throughout this nine-hole course open April through October. The club also features a driving range and pro shop.
  • Island Cove Mini Golf -- (508) 693-2611

Historical Sites

  • Old Schoolhouse Museum 110 Main Street, Vineyard Haven, (508) 693-3860 The Island's first schoolhouse, now owned by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust, dates to 1829. In 1776, the British threatened to take down a Liberty Pole residents had erected on the schoolhouse grounds and use it as a spar on one of their warships. To prevent their patriotic symbol from falling into enemy hands, three teenage girls from Vineyard Haven inserted gunpowder into the pole and blew it up. In 1898, a new pole was erected to commemorate their daring act of patriotism
  • African-American Heritage Trail P.O. Box 626, Oak Bluffs (508) 693-2729 African-American people have been part of Martha's Vineyard history since before the American Revolution. Their experience has embraced all aspects of Island Life. As early as 1703, estates included enslaved persons and there is evidence of an African-American history from that time until the present day. Records show their work as seamen, preachers, wise women and even sea captains. Remnants of buildings include churches, homes and social clubs. Methodism is believed to have been brought to the Island by John Saunders and his wife. They were formerly enslaved people who purchased their freedom in Virginia and traveled to Holmes Hole. They arrived on the Island in 1787 and John being an exhorter preached occasionally to the people of color at Farm Neck" There is a rock in the Farm Neck area known as Pulpit Rock where the preacher stood to exhort and spread the word of God
  • Seamen's Bethel Museum 15 Beach Street, Vineyard Haven, (508) 693-9317 For over a century, local and travelling sailors have visited this bethel. Today, the building serves as a museum for maritime artifacts, including early photographs of Vineyard Haven.
  • West Chop Lighthouse Western End Of Main Street, Vineyard Haven The island&
  • William Street Historic District Vineyard Haven: In 1883, a devastating fire destroyed 60 buildings, much of the town's waterfront era. However, the houses on this street were remarkably spared. Today, many of the grand homes built by sea captains are part of the town's historic district. Note the Richard G. Luce house at the corner of William and Spring Streets. During three decades at sea, the former whaling captain never lost a crew member or ship.
  • Association Hall and Cemetery Spring Street, Vineyard Haven In 1844, Congregationalists erected this neoclassical building. Later, it became the home of the Unitarian Church, then the town hall. Today, this architectural gem known as "Association Hall" serves as a municipal building and houses the Katherine Cornell Memorial Theatre. A tour of the cemetery reveals stones dating to the 18th century. Historical Sites
  • Flying Horses Carousel Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs, (508) 693-9481 This National Historic Landmark, managed by the Martha's Vineyard Historic Trust, is distinguished as the oldest operating platform carousel in the country. It was constructed in 1876 in New York and transported to Oak Bluffs in 1884. Today, visitors can still ride one of the 20 wooden horses with glass eyes and real horse hair and grab for the brass ring.
  • Tabernacle Trinity Park Oak Bluffs In the summer of 1835, Methodist church groups transformed the Island's pastures and groves into camps for all day gospel sessions. Two decades later, more than 12,000 people attended these religious retreats. This magnificent tabernacle, erected in 1879, was designed to resemble the Methodist's original meeting tent. During the late 19th century, colorful "gingerbread" houses replaced the original family tents which had surrounded the tabernacle.
  • The Cottage Museum One Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs Tour this 1867 cottage, representative of the 300 other Carpenter's Gothic style homes sprinkled throughout this 30-acre compound.
  • East Chop Lighthouse Oak Bluffs: Around 1850, Captain Silas Daggett and a group of supporters financed and erected this privately owned beacon overlooking Nantucket Sound to relay signals from the Island, neighboring Nantucket and the mainland. In 1875, the United States government purchased the lighthouse and land for $6000 and replaced the original structure with the current cast-iron beacon. For years, the reddish-brown landmark was commonly called the "Chocolate Lighthouse." However in 1988, it was painted white. Its green light distinguishes it from the red light at West Chop Lighthouse.
  • Old Whaling Church 89 Main Street, Edgartown, (508) 627-4442 (for events) This magnificent structure, erected in 1843, is a wonderful example of Greek Revival architecture. It features massive wooden columns, a dramatic clock tower with four pointed spires and 50 hand hewn pine beams joined with wooden pegs. Today, the building, owned by the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust, serves as a 500-seat performing arts center. Tours include the Dr. Daniel Fisher House and Vincent House Museum.
  • Dr. Daniel Fisher House 99 Main Street, Edgartown In 1840, Dr. Daniel Fisher spared no expense building this wonderfully preserved residence. While Fisher served as a physician, he is also distinguished as a whaling mogul, and successful merchant, miller and banker. In fact, he founded the Martha's Vineyard National Bank. Today, the home serves as the headquarters for the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust. Tours include the Old Whaling Church and Vincent House Museum.
  • Vincent House Museum Off Main Street (behind the Old Whaling Church), Edgartown This full-Cape, dating to 1672, is considered to be the oldest residence on the Island. Until donating it to the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust in 1977, descendants of the original owners occupied the home. Visitors can marvel at the home's original brickwork, woodwork and hardware, along with furnishings from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Tours include the Old Whaling Church and Dr. Daniel Fisher House.
  • Edgartown Lighthouse End of North Water Street, Edgartown The town's first lighthouse was erected in 1828 on a small man-made island in the harbor, accessible only by boat. Later, funds were allocated for a foot bridge to the beacon. Because whalers often brought their wives and girlfriends here before departing on a long voyage, the structure was often called the Bridge of Sighs. In 1938, a new light was rafted from Ipswich to replace the original structure. Although it was erected on the same site, shifting sands over the years have connected the former island to the mainland.
  • Vineyard Museum & Duke's County Historical Society School and Cook Streets, Edgartown, (508) 627-4441 Several buildings house various historical exhibits. The Thomas Cooke House, a 1765 Colonial home, showcases antique furniture, ship models, scrimshaw and equipment used by whalemen and farmers. The original 1854 Fresnal lens from the lighthouse at Gay Head is among the exhibits at the Francis Foster Maritime Gallery. An herb garden, reproduction of a whaleship's try works, whaleboat and a Native American Gallery are also part of the historical complex.
  • Pagoda Tree South Water Street, Edgartown During the mid 19th century, Captain Thomas Milton brought a Pagoda seedling in a flowerpot back from China. Today, this lovely tree is among the oldest and largest of its kind in America.
  • Mayhew Chapel and Indian Burying Ground Christiantown Road Off Indian Hill Road, West Tisbury View a small chapel, memorial to the Wampanoag Indians who first converted to Christianity and an early burial ground.
  • Menemsha Fishing Village North Street, Menemsha Steven Spielberg immortalized this classic fishing village in his unforgettable movie, "Jaws."
  • Aquinnah Cliffs State Road Aquinnah In 1602, Explorer Bartholomew Gosnold named this landmark overlooking Noman's and the Elizabeth Islands the "Dover Cliffs." Formed during the ice age, the colorful clay peaks stand about 150-feet high. Early islanders made paint and bricks from the rich clay. In an effort to protect them from erosion, the cliffs are now a national landmark.
  • Aquinnah Lighthouse & Aquinnah Cliffs President John Quincy Adams authorized the construction of the original light which stood on these cliffs two centuries ago. In 1844, the wooden structure was replaced by the current red-brick beacon. In 1856, a 1,009 prism Fresnal lens, which was exhibited at the World&
  • Trustees of the Reservation Tours -- (508)693-7392, wildlife discovery; (508) 627-3599, all other tours.

Beach Guide

Martha's Vineyard Beach Guide

About the Water...

  • Harbors: Warmer water, small waves (ideal for small children)
  • Nantucket Sound: Cooler water, medium waves Atlantic
  • Ocean: Coldest water, large waves. Beware of rips and undertows.


Tisbury
Lake Tashmoo Beach
End of Herring Cove Road East
Shellfishing, No lifeguards
Tisbury Town Beach
West Chop Road to Owen Little Way
Lifeguards, Bathhouse, Concessions, Swimming Lessons
Owen Park Beach
Off Main St., Vineyard Haven
Lifeguards, Bathhouse, Concessions
Lagoon Bridge Park
Vineyard Haven side of Lagoon Bridge
Boating

Oak Bluffs
Eastville Point Beach
Beach Road
Great little beach. Right turn just before drawbridge to Tisbury
Oak Bluffs Town Beach
Seaview Ave.
Lifeguards, Swimming Lessons, Bathhouse, Concessions
Joseph A. Sylvia State Beach
Beach Road
Accessible from bike path, Lifeguards

Edgartown
Bend-In-The-Road Beach Shallow water, lessons, guards
Lighthouse Beach
Access from N. Water Street
Boating
Chappy Point
Take Ferry to Chappaquiddick
-
East Beach, Chappaquiddick
Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge/Wasque Reservation
-
Wasque Point
Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge/Wasque Reservation
great for fishing, but beware of dangerous rip
Katama or South Beach
Katama Road
Great surfing, Shuttle from town, Lifeguards, Bathhouses. Beware of undertow.

West Tisbury
Long Point Wildlife Refuge
Off Edgartown-W. Tisbury Road
Admission/parking fee. Walking trails nearby
Uncle Seth's Pond
Lambert's Cove Road
Limited parking; take shuttle from MV Charter School Lot on State Road

Chilmark
Menemsha Public Beach
Next to harbor
Lifeguards, nearby restrooms, concessions. Great Sunsets
Chilmark Pond Preserve Ocean beach accessible only by canoe or kayak

Aquinnah
Lobsterville Beach
Lobsterville Road
Street parking limited. Good fishing
West Basin
End of Lobsterville Beach and West Jetty
Good fishing
Moshup Beach
Off Moshup Trail
Parking at Town Lot $$; beach 10 minute walk from lot. Tricky surf

Biking on The Vineyard

Biking on The Vineyard

Without question, the best ways to see the prettiest spots on the island are on foot, bicycle - or a combination of the two. Because Island terrain is varied, cycling to destinations is challenging and fun. For a small fee, visitors can bring their own bikes to the Island aboard the ferry.

However, there are a variety of places to rent bicycles -and mopeds- in each of the Island's towns. For clear directions to interesting destinations, we recommend Lee Sinai's book, "Exploring Martha's Vineyard on Bike and Foot"; (Harvard Common Press, ISBN # 1-55832-057-1). If you follow her itineraries, you'll discover the Island's best places to fish, swim, picnic and get close to nature.

Main Bicycle Trails
Use the following chart to tailor the length of your cycling tour:

From Vineyard Haven To:
Oak Bluffs (shore route) 3.4 miles
Airport 5 miles
West Tisbury 7 miles
Edgartown (inland road) 8 miles
Edgartown (shore route) 9 miles
Chilmark Center 12 miles
Aquinnah 19 miles

From Oak Bluffs To:
Edgartown (shore route) 5.5 miles
South Beach at Katama 9 miles
Chilmark (via Airport road) 16 miles
Aquinnah 20 miles

From West Tisbury To:
Chilmark Center 5.4 miles
Aquinnah 10.5 miles

From North Tisbury To:
Lambert's Cove Road off State Rd 4.5 miles
Vineyard Haven (State Road) 6.5 miles

From Edgartown To:
South Beach at Katama 3 miles
Cape Pogue and Wasque Beach
On Chappaquiddick
3 miles
Airport 4.5 miles
West Tisbury 8.5 miles

From Chilmark Center To:
Menemsha 2 miles
Aquinnah 6 miles
Menemsha to N. Tisbury via North Road 6.5 miles

Bicycle Safety
State Law Requires:

  1. State law requires all cyclists to ride single file on the right-hand side of road
  2. State law requires that all children 12 and under wear protective head gear; we strongly recommend all cyclists wear helmets.
  3. State law requires the use of hand singles: left hand extended straight for left turn; left hand raised for a right turn; left hand extended and held low for slowing or stopping.
  4. State law requires the following equipment for night cycling: headlight, red rear reflector, pedal reflectors and reflectors on each side of bicycle.
  5. Motorized vehicles (including mopeds) are not allowed on bicycle trails.

Safety Tips:

  1. Keep to a reasonable speed.
  2. When passing, alert those ahead of you by calling out "Passing on your left."
  3. Obey all STOP signs and dismount. Trails intersect driveways and side roads. Do not assume cars emerging will notice you and yield. Use extreme caution.
  4. Sand is everywhere on the island. Be cautious of skidding.
  5. Keep to the bike trails as often as possible. When you do have to continue on the road, be on the lookout for cars, mopeds, pedestrians - and deer!

Important Reminders:

  1. Bikes and mopeds are not allowed in the town centers.
  2. Bike racks abound. Be sure to lock up bicycles and mopeds.
  3. Mopeds are NOT allowed on the bike paths.

Bike Rentals

  • Martha's Bike Rentals -- Reserve your bike now, toll free 866-306-5351, (508) 693-6593, (508) 627-8456 -- Best bike rental prices and bike selection on the Island. We will deliver to your Inn or house. Mention our website and receive a discount on a weekly rental. Servicing Martha's Vineyard since 1989.
  • West Tisbury Bikes -- (508) 693-5495
  • Beach Road Rentals, Vineyard Haven -- (508) 693-3793
  • Cutler RW Bikes, Edgartown -- (508) 627-4052
  • Cycle Works, Vineyard Haven -- (508) 693-6966
  • Edgartown Bicycles, Edgartown -- (508) 627-9008
  • Anderson's Bike Rentals, Oak Bluffs -- (508) 693-9346
  • MV Strictly Bikes, Vineyard Haven -- (508) 693-0782
  • Wheel Happy, Edgartown -- (508) 627-6928

Moped Rentals

  • Harbor Rentals, Oak Bluffs -- (508) 693-1300
  • King's Rental, Oak Bluffs -- (508) 693-1887
  • Ride-on Mopeds and Bikes, Oak Bluffs -- (508) 693-2076

In-Line Skate Rentals

  • Island InLine Skating, Oak Bluffs -- (508) 693-2772

Walking Trails

Martha's Vineyard Walking Trails

Miles of breathtaking shoreline and acres of unspoiled land create a stunning backdrop for exploring the Island on foot. Together, the Trustees of Reservations, the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the Land Bank Commission and other supporters have helped preserve vast stretches of land for public enjoyment.

Stand atop the 150-foot cliffs at Aquinnah, cast your pole in one of the Island's best fishing holes, climb into the fissure a lightening bolt cut through Waskosim's rock. Pick huckleberries in the woods, watch an Osprey dive for fish, or slip a canoe into a quiet waterway off the beaten path. So, lace up your hiking boots--adventure's afoot!

  • Waskosim's Rock Reservation, Chilmark. Stand atop one of the highest peaks on the Island, travel alongside a pretty brook and trek across foothills and valleys on this 184-acre preserve. Waskosim's Rock, atop a ridge with dramatic water views, is a remnant of glacier activity. A lightning bolt created the interesting fissure down the center. Many think the landmark resembles a breaching whale. Access: Follow North Road up island past the Chilmark-West Tisbury line. The reservation is on the left before the Tea Lane intersection.

  • Sepiessa Point Reservation, West Tisbury. Walking and horseback riding trails span this 164-acre preserve with stunning frontage on Tisbury Great Pond, Tiah's Cove and Tississa Cove. The Chilmark hills and a barrier beach on the Atlantic Ocean are also part of the gorgeous scenery. Sailing, canoeing, swimming, picnicking, shellfishing and bicycling opportunities abound. Access: Follow Edgartown Road to New Lane. Continue 1.2 miles down New Lane, which becomes Tiah's Cove Road, until you reach the on the right.

  • Cedar Creek Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, West Tisbury. Miles of trails lead you over hills, alongside brooks and bogs and to a wonderful rocky beach on Vineyard Sound overlooking the Elizabeth Islands. Access: Follow State Road up-Island. Turn onto Indian Hill Road and continue about 1.3 miles to Obed Daggett Road.

  • Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, Edgartown. Plants, birds and animals inhabit this 200-acre preserve, featuring woodlands, grasslands, marshlands and fresh and saltwater ponds. The Sanctuary, run by the Massachusetts Audubon Society, features an exhibition center and offers various programs throughout the season. There is a nominal admission fee. Access: Follow the Edgartown/Vineyard Haven Road to the Felix Neck Signs.

  • Menemsha Hills Reservation, Chilmark. Follow this trail over Prospect Hill, where you'll be treated to dramatic views of the north and south coasts from the top of Great Sand Cliff. Avid hikers can also follow the trail down to the beach. Access: Off the north side of North Road, one mile east of Menemsha.

  • Wasque Reservation, Chappaquiddick. A wooden walkway leading to Wasque Point, one of the island's best fishing holes, is part of this lovely 200-acre preserve, surrounded by water on three sides. Miles of barrier beach, dramatic surf and the lovely Katama Bay, a great spot for clamming and windsurfing, make this a popular destination. The adjacent Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge features an additional 500 acres for birding, exploring and picnicking. Access: Take the ferry from Edgartown Chappaquiddick. Follow the paved road from the dock. It becomes a dirt road, leading to the reservation.

  • Long Point Wildlife Refuge, West Tisbury. Although the bumpy and sandy road leading to this 633-acre preserve provides a bit of a challenge, once there the lush grassland, heathland, forests and secluded beach don't disappoint. Trails lead to Long Cove Pond, home to river otters and South Beach, a terrific place to cool off with a swim. Access: Off Waldon's Bottoms Road.

  • Manuel E. Correllus State Forest. Paved bike, nature, horse and hiking trails meander through this 5,146-acre preserve in the middle of the Island. Access: Airport Road.

  • Aquinnah Cliffs and Beach. A spectacular view awaits at the top of these 150-foot cliffs, while miles of shoreline below invite walkers. Access: Take South Road west through town.

  • Fulling Mill Brook Preserve, Chilmark. Hike through woodlands brimming with blueberry and huckleberry bushes to one of the Island's highest peaks on this 46-acre preserve. Fulling Mill Brook is one of the best trout streams on the Island. Access: Middle Road toward Beetlebung Corner. The property is on the left, a half mile past the Tabor House Road intersection.

  • Christiantown Woods Preserve, West Tisbury. A charming chapel, old Indian burying ground and crumbling stone walls and foundations are sights along this lovely wooded trail. Access: Follow State Road to Indian Hill Road, where you'll see a sign for Christiantown about a half mile down on your right.

  • Sheriff's Meadow Sanctuary, Edgartown. A diverse flora and fauna accent this 17-acre sanctuary, featuring marshland, fresh and saltwater ponds, meadows and woodland. Access: From Main Street (near Cannonball Park), turn onto Pease's Point Way. Continue to Planting Field Way. The sanctuary is about .02 miles on the right.

  • Caroline Tuthill Wildlife Preserve, Edgartown. This often overlooked preserve along Sengekontacket Pond is an excellent place for birdwatching and berry picking. Access: From the Triangle Intersection, take the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road about a half mile west.

  • Chappy Five Corners Preserve, Chappaquiddick. Flora and fauna of the forest and wetlands are part of this 27-acre preserve. Access: From the ferry dock, travel 3.3 miles on Chappaquiddeck Road to the intersection of School, Wasque and Litchfield Roads.

  • Mytoi, Chappaquiddick. This striking Japanese Garden features 14 acres of Japanese maple, holly and sweet gum and flowering beauties, such as azalea, rhododendron and wild roses. The creek-fed pool with koi and goldfish is an added bonus. Access: From the ferry dock, follow Chappaquiddick Road for about 2.5 miles. At the bend in the road, continue straight on Dyke Road.

  • Poucha Pond Reservation, Chappaquiddick. Because of the large pond filled with fish and crustaceans, birds love this 99-acre reservation. Access: From ferry dock, follow Chappaquiddick Road for about 3.8 miles. At Wasque Road, turn left.

  • Tisbury Meadow, Wompesket and Ripley's Field Preserves, Tisbury. Trails connect these three preserves with trails over 150 acres of woodland, marshland, meadows and grasslands. Access: Tisbury Meadow Preserve is located off State Road, about 1.5 miles from the Steamship Authority Wharf. Reach Wompesket from the Mai Fane house on the Tisbury Meadow Preserve. Ripley's Field is on John Hoft Road.

  • Pecoy Point Preserve, Oak Bluffs. This 14.3 acre preserve includes 1,000 feet of frontage on Sengekontacket Pond. Access: Located directly across from Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary.