Martha’s Vineyard Sightseeing Guide: Top 10 Scenic Spots

Martha’s Vineyard Sightseeing Guide: Top 10 Scenic Spots

Rich in history, and bountiful with natural attractions and things to do with the whole family or just by yourself, Martha's Vineyard is such a wonderful getaway vacation with arguably some of the best views in New England. Some people book the Vineyard as a day trip, but to get the most out of it, a full week is recommended.

Are you planning your itinerary for Martha's Vineyard sightseeing for your trip to Massachusetts? This guide will walk you through the top ten most scenic locations on the island that you just have to consider.

1. The Gay Head Cliffs

The cliffs of Gay Head are gorgeous and are not to be missed when making a trip to the island. On top of the steep rocky cliffs is the only (out of 5) working lighthouse in Martha's Vineyard.

This northwest end of the island is no longer known as Gay Head, it is now called Aquinnah. The locals may still refer to it as Gay Head, as they are asking to have the name changed back after 20 + years.

You cant rent out this lighthouse and grounds for weddings, parties, and special occasions. Your guests will be impressed by the 170" tall lighthouse and Vineyard Sound in the background.

This striking red brick structure was built in 1856 and is surrounded by bright green grass. Pictures taken at Aquinnah/Gay Head are breathtaking.

Did you know that Martha's Vineyard had a nude beach? Under the Aquinnah Cliffs is the island's only nude beach called Moshup Beach, and you will see signs warning you of nudity possibly being present.

2. Alpaca Farm

If you are looking for the quietest beach on Martha's Vineyard, East Beach on Tom's Neck is just the spot for you. The views here are overlooking the Nantucket Sound, and are perfect for catching sunrises.

The soft sand is ideal for sunbathing or building sandcastles with your family. If you time your trip right, you may be lucky enough to see a random whale cruising through the waters.

Tom's Neck is accessible from Cape Cod by a ferry that is in service May-October. If you are already on the main island of Martha's Vineyard you can take a short ferry ride or rent a boat or kayak to take to Chappaquiddick Island.

Chappy (as it is known by the locals) is just over 6 sq miles. So, if you plan to go to the east side where Tom's Neck and East Beach is you might want to bring your bike.

No bicycle? You can catch a rideshare service that is available on the island.

3. Menemsha Hills

Ask any local where their favorite place to watch the sunset and they will say the best views are at Menemsha. Either from the beach or the top of the hill or one of the trails you can see much of the coastline.

Covering 211 acres of the island, Menemsha is protected land in the town of Chilmark. While you are there, take a walk around the harbor and make a stop at the Menemsha Fish Market for some local shellfish, fish fillets, or a New England classic- the lobster.

The Fish Market will cook your lobster right there for you. This makes for a messy but delightful picnic item and will be tough to beat with any future picnics.

Rent a fishing charter in the harbor and go out to catch your own seafood feast!

4. Gingerbread Cottages

Built in 1870 this charming historic neighborhood makes the top ten list because it is simply a wonderland worth visiting. Even though this list is comprised of outdoor nature activities, the gardens, brightly colored homes, and charm is a lovely way to spend an afternoon in Martha's Vineyard.

Grab an iced coffee and put on your walking shoes, because you will want to see all 318 of these adorable Gingerbread Cottages. And, make sure your phone is fully charged as this is easily one of the most picturesque neighborhoods on the island.

If you are looking to move to Martha's Vineyard, keep your eyes peeled on the local real estate market. Every once in a while one of the Gingerbread Cottages goes up for sale, but they go quickly.

5. Flying Horses

After a walk through the iconic dunes of Edgartown, you will reach the most eastern point on the main island. The dunes are rippled and reflect the waves, it is super soft and warm when the sun is out.

Edgartown is one of the original towns the settlers founded in 1671, so there is a ton of history here. The Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse is one of five lighthouses on the island and stands 45 feet tall and is open throughout the year for tours, yet hours of operation do vary.

If you are interested in touring this lighthouse, it is recommended to make a reservation with the number of people in your party and the time slot you are interested in. You can cancel up to 24 hours before your reservation for a full refund.

Combine the lighthouse with the warm sand and beautiful dunes and what you have is a wonderful place for just hanging out, or having a picnic with the family. Edgartown Harbor is also great for engagements and celebrations.

6. Lambert's Cove Beach

Exclusive to Martha's Vineyard residents and renters, Lambert's Cove Beach requires beach passes and stickers on the cars for parking. Accessible only by one of two roads, which makes it feel like a private oasis.

Tall grasses grow on the dunes which surround the beach, giving it a cove-like experience. On the north end of the island in Tisbury, beachgoers can enjoy sunbathing on one of the island's 19 beaches and taking a dip in the Vineyard Sound.

Lambert's Cove is split up into upper and lower Lambert's Cove. The entire cove is worth exploring. Even the view from the beach is worth the trip due to the crystal clear water and sight of the birds swooping down to catch fish.

7. Great Rock Bight Preserve

Martha's Vineyard residents think of Great Rock's Bight Preserve as this area as one of the island's best-kept secrets. This 28-acre space holds some of the best hiking trails, and views of the seaside cliffs.

The preserve is open to the public and parking is free, though many people ride their bikes out to the northwest end of the Vineyard. There is a steep cliff to get to the water, so for that reason, it is not accessible to everyone.

Great Rock Bight Preserve is named for this massive boulder landmark in the middle of the beach. The great rock is often covered in a variety of birds watching for fish.

Take a hike, enjoy the beach, watch the wildlife, or catch a sunset because of the western-facing view.

8. Mass Audobon's Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Edgartown is home to Mass Audobon's Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. With just over four miles of trails through salt marshes, past ponds, and meadows.

For bird watchers, Felix Neck is a real treasure. You'll also see water life like fish, turtles, and frogs in the ponds, and squirrels and chipmunks running around.

Family-friendly, the trails are flat and easy to navigate. Young children can have plenty of space to run off their energy and after four miles they will take a hearty nap.

9. Cape Poge Wildlife Rescue

On the most northwest point of Martha's Vineyard is Cape Poge Wildlife Rescue. Located at the top tip of Chappaquiddick Island in Edgartown.

Not only is Cape Poge an incredible wildlife sanctuary, but it is also home to Cape Poge Lighthouse. Walk a few minutes through the soft sand and you will reach the lighthouse.

Enjoy 14 miles of dog-friendly sandy trails on this 7-mile long inlet, beautiful beaches, and protected space with wildlife like birds and crabs amongst the red cedars. Fishing is permitted here, so bring your rods, bait, and tackle.

10. South Beach State Park

If you are vacationing on the island with your furry friends, looking for pet-friendly spots is essential. Dog friendly after sunset in summer, South Beach State Park is a dog owner's favorite.

Check-in with the current rules regarding dogs, though. Seasonal rules change all the time.

Good surf makes the surfers in the family happy, and dogs love it, too. Waves are described at South Beach as very strong, so it may not be the best beach for young children who are not experienced with surfing.

Keep in mind that this is a state park, therefore alcohol is not permitted. When we are on vacation in a place like this we might forget that there are rules surrounding alcohol consumption.

The Best Of Martha's Vineyard Sightseeing

There are so many things that make Martha's Vineyard the very place that keeps vacationers back year after year. From the beautiful beaches with cliffs and surf to the trails and wildlife watching, Martha's Vineyard sightseeing will make memories for years to come.

Island Collection Martha's Vineyard has all of the information and guidance that you need to make your vacation one to remember.



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