Martha’s Vineyard Beaches are the perfect summer destination for a family vacation or a getaway from the mundane routines of daily lives. Located in Dukes County, Massachusetts, Martha’s Vineyard is the 3rd largest island off the United States East Coast and spans approximately 100 square miles or a gorgeous 64000 acres. It is an expanse of all beautifully unique towns, each having its own beach to offer a new experience at every corner of the island.
Often referred to as ‘The Vineyard,’ Martha’s Vineyard is a popular spot for bikers, people who adore nature and look for places to be surrounded by it, beach-goers, and for anyone looking for an escape to what feels like serenity. The feeling of having a getaway when one arrives on the island is exemplified by the fact that it is accessible only via plane or boat, which makes it feel like you are flying to your own part of the island.
The pristine beaches are the main attractions of the various towns at Martha’s Vineyard. They provide a sort of backyard activity for the residents or summer visitors of the island. Each of the towns has multiple beaches of their own, and there is a beach fit for all kinds of relaxation among Martha’s Vineyard beaches!
Martha’s Vineyard Beaches: The 6 Thrilling Escapes
Each corner of the island has beaches fit for different preferences. Calming, playful waves can be found on the eastern and western sides of the island, which are usually preferred by families with young children who would like to play around in the sea. A similar kind of setting can be found on the northern and protected, shallow, clear-water stretches and breathtaking sunsets.
On the other hand, people who look for a higher tide and waves that are a bit more powerful will find the perfect beaches on the southern side of the island: this may be more preferred by those who like to go out to sea and find the perfect waves to keep their surfboards afloat.
Occupying the island by their variety, there are mainly 3 categories of Martha’s Vineyard beaches: public beaches, perfect for anyone visiting the island or even wishing to spend some time at one of its beaches; Town Resident Only beaches, which are only accessible to the residents of the town where the beach is located; and private beaches, which may be owned by certain residents.
Here are the various towns of the Vineyard and some of Martha’s Vineyard beaches that make for some of the most popular spots on the East Coast.
1.1. Gay Head Cliffs and Beach
Being home to a national landmark, the Gay Head Cliffs and Beach, and completely off-limits to visitors. The Cliffs have been kept off-limits because they suffer rapid erosion and are extremely endangered.
1.2. Aquinnah Public Beach (Moshup Beach)
Located towards the east of the Gay Head Cliffs and on the south of the island, Aquinnah Public Beach is accessible to everyone who wishes to visit Martha’s Vineyard beaches and gives them a beautiful view of the national landmark that is otherwise off-limits.
It is a spot that the surfers would especially love to spend time at because it offers fairly larger waves and faces the ocean. It is managed and owned by Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission.
1.3. Lobsterville Beach
A 2-mile stretch offering calm and shallow waters to its visitors, Lobsterville Beach is a favorite fishing spot among Martha’s Vineyard beaches and ideal for children. It includes a nesting area for gull and fern past dunes and is a perfect spot for bikers to catch a breath before finding a ferry to Menemsha.
The calm waters make this beach a convenient spot for swimming, whether you are a beginner or a pro at it. Beach-walkers can also have a long stroll along the Vineyard Sound landscape. The beach is located along the Menemsha Pond and at the end of Lobsterville Road, where parking is prohibited. Additionally, the parking lot here is only for residents and not visitors. The Town of Aquinnah manages it.
2.1. Lucy Vincent Beach
Located on the Chilmark section of the island’s south shore, Lucy Vincent Beach faces the Atlantic Ocean and has waves normally heavy and particularly fit for a surfer’s liking. It has a small swimming area in the Upper Chilmark Pond, about a third of a mile eastward along the beach. It is open to the town residents and renters only and is managed by the Town of Chilmark.
2.2. Menemsha Public Beach
As the name suggests, this is another one of Martha’s Vineyard beaches, open to all. This beach is adjacent to Dutcher dock, right next to Menemsha Harbor, and is most loved by families. During summer, colorful umbrellas and beach toys can be found scattered across the beach, and it is also the perfect beach on the island to sit and admire the sunset.
Managed by the Town of Chilmark, Menemsha Public Beach is particularly suitable for picnics as well, as it is a rather calm and gentle beach with beautiful bright and clear water.
It is located on the north shore of the island and includes food vendors making available various Coastal and American favorites to its visitors. Suppose one may feel the need for a great meal while at the beach, there is also the famous Home Port Restaurant right next door. The light, warm waves call out to beach lovers of absolutely all ages.
3. Oak Bluffs
3.1. Oak Bluffs Town Beach
Featuring calm, shallow water, and smooth sand, Oak Bluffs Town Beach is one of the most popular Martha’s Vineyard beaches. It is a beautiful expanse of water that begins near the Steamship Authority Dock and ends close to the first jetty that goes towards Edgartown before continuing its flow into the Sengekontacket Pond and ending at the Joseph Sylvia State Beach. Open to the public and located near downtown Oak Bluffs, it makes for the perfect beach for families having younger children.
3.2. Joseph Sylvia State Beach
This gorgeous body of water spans over 2 miles and gives its visitors a beautiful view of Cape Cod and Nantucket Sound. It is most known for its gentle and warm waves, making it absolutely perfect for a quick swim. Located along Beach Road between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, this one is one of the most popular of Martha’s Vineyard beaches and is packed as soon as the summer kicks in.
It falls on the eastern shore of the Vineyard, so its waters are rarely rough. A gradually sloping shoreline also makes it a prime fishing spot during warmer months of the year. Its Edgartown end is known as Bend-in-the-Road Beach, and it was the main filming location for the 1975 blockbuster ‘The Jaws.’ The beach is overseen by the Massachusetts Department Of Conservation and Recreation, while the County of Dukes County manages it.
4. Vineyard Haven
A beach that is open to all visitors at the Vineyard, Lake Tashmoo Town Beach is the only place on the island where a lake meets the ocean. It is located at Herring Creek on Lake Tashmoo and gives its visitors a choice between the placid lake beach’s calmer waters or the mild surf of the Vineyard Sound beach. It is owned by the Town of Tisbury and County of Dukes County and managed by the Town of Tisbury.
4.2. Tisbury Town Beach
Also known as the Owen Little Way Beach, this beautiful expanse of water is located next to the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club and on the Vineyard Haven Outer Harbor’s western shore. It falls on the end of Owen Little Way, which also gives it its nickname.
5. West Tisbury
Located on the northern shore of the Vineyard, Lambert’s Cove Beach is considered by many people to have the finest sand and the clearest water of all Martha’s Vineyard beaches. It is accessible to West Tisbury residents and renters only. However, the general public can pay a visit after 5 p.m. It is also owned and managed by the Town of West Tisbury.
5.2. Long Point Wildlife Refuge
Fronting the Atlantic Ocean and a freshwater pond, the Long Point Beach at Wildlife Refuge is one of the island’s most popular family-friendly beaches and swimming points. It offers its visitors a swim in the Long Point Pond and the South Beach, located on the southern shore. It also features a trail that explores the forested areas such as Long Cove, Middle Point, and Tisbury Great Ponds.
With an admission fee, it is accessible to all who wish to visit Martha’s Vineyard beaches. Kayaks are offered to use in-season, while picnic tables and bike racks are offered for visitors. The beach is subject to the regulations of the Trustees of Reservations.
6.1. East Beach
Open to the public and located on Chappaquiddick Island, the Vineyard takes pride in stating that East Beach is one of their very best. It stands to be one of the best-kept secrets of the Vineyard as not too many people actually bother to travel on the island to visit it. This gives its visitors all the privacy that they desire. The quietness, paired with the sound of crashing waves due to the rough surf of the beach, makes for a perfect afternoon adventure.
This one of Martha’s Vineyard beaches also gives its visitors a beautiful view of the historic Lighthouse built over 2 centuries ago and is still operated by the United States Coast Guard. Admirers of nature can also find 14 miles of moderate hiking trails to spend time wandering along the beach.
6.2. Fuller Street Beach
A fairly small beach near downtown Edgartown, Fuller Street Beach is located at the end of Fuller Street and near Lighthouse Beach. It faces the Martha’s Vineyard Sound and offers its visitors rather calm waves while being a walkable distance from the town’s downtown area. The Town of Edgartown manages it.
6.3. Katama Beach (South Beach)
Spread over 3 miles on the south shore of the island, the Katama Beach or South Beach is located at the end of Katama Road. It is open to the public and offers its visitors a great surf on one end of the best, with protected salt-pond waves on the other end. This is possible because of a breach caused by a spring storm in 2007, opening up Katama Bay to the gloriously powerful Atlantic Ocean. It is advisable for people looking for a quick swim to consult with the lifeguards regarding swimming conditions.
Another one of Martha’s Vineyard beaches that are open to the public, the Lighthouse Beach, is comparatively less populated than other public beaches. It is connected to Fuller Street Beach and offers the same view of the historic Lighthouse, with calm water. It is within walking distance from the center of town and is located at Starbuck’s Neck, off NorthWater Street.
Watch a video to know more about Martha’s Vineyard: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwWEeBo6jhw
Take your pick out of the various lovely Martha’s Vineyard beaches, and make your next summer adventure one that you will always remember!