Cross over on the boat from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and in no time, you will arrive on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. If you’ve spent any time in New England or watched TV, chances are you’ve heard of this famous island. The island has long been a summer destination for the rich and famous, and it’s not difficult to see why so many people love visiting this spot.
From the Aquinnah Cliffs to cute gingerbread cottages, Martha’s Vineyard is cute, characterful and full of things to see and do. Though it’s a relatively small island, you can easily spend anywhere from a long weekend to a whole week exploring. Check out these things to do in Martha’s Vineyard for your next weekend away or longer visit.
- Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
- Top Tours
- 20 Things To Do In Martha’s Vineyard
- 1- Explore Joseph Sylvia State Beach
- 2- Stock Up On Organic Goods At Morning Glory Farm
- 3- Hike Aquinnah Cliffs
- 4- Go Sailing Around Vineyard Sound
- 5- Admire The Mytoi Japanese Garden
- 6- Shop In Edgartown
- 7- Explore Edgartown Lighthouse
- 8- Step Back In History At Vincent House Museum
- 9- Discover Nature in Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
- 10- Be Enchanted By Gingerbread Cottages
- 11- Enjoy The Long Point Wildlife Refuge
- 12- See The Old Whaling Church
- 13- Go Walking At Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
- 14- Go Surfing At Katama Beach
- 15- Ride The Flying Horse Carousel
- 16- Bike Around The Island
- 17- See East Chop Lighthouse
- 18- Pay A Round At Farm Neck Golf Club
- 19- Martha’s Vineyard Museum
- 20- Do Yoga On Inkwell Beach
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
20 Things To Do In Martha’s Vineyard
1- Explore Joseph Sylvia State Beach
When visiting an island, you must head straight to the coast.
Joseph Sylvia State Beach shot to fame as it was used as the filming location for the 1975 movie Jaws.
This two-mile stretch of sandy beach is perfect for enjoying in summer or even taking a brisk walk in winter.
If you are visiting Martha’s Vineyard with family, this is an excellent beach due to the safe swimming conditions and calm shallow waters.
If you enjoy a spot of fishing, you can also head to Joseph Sylvia.
During the warmer summer months, you are likely to be able to catch a lot of striped bass.
This beach does get popular in summer, so if you want to secure a prime spot, arrive early in the day.
Sylvia State Beach at 267-125 Seaview Avenue, Edgartown, MA 02539.
2- Stock Up On Organic Goods At Morning Glory Farm
If you are searching for an activity with a countryside feel, head to Morning Glory Farm.
This 60-acre farm is located in Edgartown and has produced excellent fruit and vegetables since 1975.
As well as fruit and vegetables, they also have an excellent herb garden and fresh-cut flowers.
They claim that their produce is “morganic”, Morning Glory Organic!
If you are staying in self-catered accommodation on Martha’s Vineyard, this is a lovely place to visit to stock up on fresh supplies for your evening meals.
Morning Glory Farm is at 120 Meshacket Road, GPS: 290 West Tisbury Rd, Edgartown, MA 02539.
3- Hike Aquinnah Cliffs
The Aquinnah Cliffs, also known as Gay Head, are a must-see Martha’s Vineyard attraction.
These brightly coloured cliffs are a mile long and extend from the small town of Aquinnah on the island’s western tip.
These gravel, clay, and sandy cliffs create these beautiful colourful hues formed by glaciers millions of years ago and look spectacular in various lights.
If you visit during the peak summer season, you should head to the Aquinnah Cliffs early morning and during the week.
By the time the weekend comes around, the cliff footpaths a filled with hikers.
The Aquinnah Cliffs are at 31 Aquinnah Cir, Aquinnah, MA 02535.
4- Go Sailing Around Vineyard Sound
If you’re visiting Martha’s Vineyard, you probably like the sea.
Sailing around Vineyard Sound is an excellent activity to add to your island itinerary.
Vineyard Sound is a stretch of the Atlantic Ocean that separates the southwest of Cape Cod and the Elizabeth Islands from Martha’s Vineyard.
There are a few sailing charter companies to choose from.
Catboat Charters, Sail the Vineyard, and Island Sailing Tours offer daily summer tours.
Sailing on Vineyard Sound makes for the perfect romantic date idea or an excellent activity to enjoy with friends.
5- Admire The Mytoi Japanese Garden
Mytoi Japanese Garden is on Chappaquiddick Island, which is part of the town of Edgartown.
This adorable and secluded Japanese garden is peaceful and would interest any gardening enthusiast.
The garden was created by Hugh Jones, who painstakingly planned and landscaped the garden.
The garden is home to both native and non-native plants, both of which attract a ton of local wildlife.
Wander around the garden’s footpaths, exploring and learning about the different flora.
There is also a lovely Zen area that you can use for meditation.
Mytoi Japanese Garden is at 41 Dike Rd, Edgartown, MA 02539.
6- Shop In Edgartown
If you’re keen on retail therapy while on Martha’s Vineyard, then head to Edgartown.
Edgartown is known for its quaint stores that litter the downtown area.
There are plenty of places to keep you interested, from boutiques selling jewellery and clothes to art galleries, home decor shops and candy stores.
There are also several bookstores and souvenir shops to get your Martha’s Vineyard gifts for your family back home.
Be sure to get an ice cream and wander around the peaceful streets enjoying the sunshine.
7- Explore Edgartown Lighthouse
While in Edgartown, you cannot pass up the opportunity to see the Edgartown Lighthouse.
There are five lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard, but Edgartown’s Harbor Light is at Katama Bay and Edgartown Harbour.
The lighthouse was first constructed in 1828, with the cast iron tower replacing the original wood in 1939.
The Edgartown Lighthouse is the perfect place to watch a beautiful sunset.
The Edgartown Lighthouse is at 121 N Water St, Edgartown, MA 02539.
8- Step Back In History At Vincent House Museum
The Vincent House Museum & Gardens is a beautiful place to visit in Edgartown.
The house was built for William and Susanna Vincent in 1672.
The Vincent House was constructed using materials and techniques used in English architecture at the time.
This house is known to be Martha’s Vineyard’s oldest surviving residence.
In 1977 the house was donated to the Trust and is now a museum depicting life on the island over the last 400 years.
The Vincent House Museum is at 99 Main St, Edgartown, MA 02539.
9- Discover Nature in Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
Right in the middle of Martha’s Vineyard sits the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest.
This state forest is a 5,300-acre (2144 ha) preserve defined by its grasslands, barrens and woodlands.
This is an excellent spot to connect with nature. Enjoy a variety of plants and wildlife while exploring the many trails.
The park is dedicated to conserving the local ecosystem and restoring nature.
You can enjoy several activities at the state forest, including hiking, horse riding and cycling.
If you visit during winter, you can even explore the forest’s 14 miles of trails while cross-country skiing.
Manuel F. Correllus State Forest is at Barnes Road, Edgartown, MA 02539.
10- Be Enchanted By Gingerbread Cottages
These cottages are seriously charming and epitomise Martha’s Vineyard.
The so-called gingerbread cottages are 19th-century Gothic designed houses that are painted in an array of colours.
These Oak Bluffs houses are exclusively rented out as summer cottages.
The area was even called Cottage City before becoming Oak Bluffs in 1880.
This is the place to come and take photographs and marvel at the bold colour choices and Victorian-era architecture.
11- Enjoy The Long Point Wildlife Refuge
The Long Point Wildlife Refuge is a publicly accessible property showcasing the prairie’s remains formed during the last ice age.
During the 18th century, the area was developed into farmland and people began hunting and fishing on the coastal pond areas.
By the 20th century, the residents who lived in the area established popular waterfowl and hunting clubs.
Today you will find the refuge is home to rare plants and wildlife that, over time, have adapted to the coastal ponds, sandy beaches and dry landscape.
While at the refuge, you can go swimming, relax by the water and walk along the two miles of trails that lead you through savannah and oak forest.
You can also rent paddleboards and kayaks from nearby vendors in July and August.
Hit the water and explore Long Cove Pond while marvelling at the surrounding greenery.
Long Point Wildlife Refuge is at Scrubby Neck Rd, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
12- See The Old Whaling Church
This vibrantly white church is a prime example of Greek Revival New England architecture.
The church was built in 1843 by rich Methodist whaling captains (hence the name) and designed by Fredrick Baylies Jr, who created these domineering white columns that stand at the entrance to the church.
Enter the church, and you’ll see original whale oil lamps and a mural by Carl Wendte.
Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust bought the church in 1989, and it’s now used to host town meetings, lectures and weddings.
The Old Whaling Church is at 89 Main St, Edgartown, MA 02539.
13- Go Walking At Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary
If you love nature, add the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary to your Martha’s Vineyard itinerary.
This wildlife sanctuary is home to 194 acres of beaches, meadowlands, woodlands, and salt marshes.
Go walking, check out their four-mile-long woodland hiking trail or attend the sanctuary’s guided tours.
Visit during summer, and you’ll find lots of activities for the kids, too, such as young explorers’ programs, nature play areas, and summer camps.
Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary is at 100 Felix Neck Drive, Edgartown, MA 02539.
14- Go Surfing At Katama Beach
Another of Martha’s Vineyard’s excellent beaches is Katama Beach, four miles (6.4 km) south of Edgartown.
This three-mile stretch of soft white sand is the spot to take the family.
The beach is also backed by beautiful sweeping sand dunes covered in bursts of green grass.
It is an excellent place for those who want to surf, as the barrier slip of sand makes for some excellent conditions.
You may also notice that this beach is referred to as South Beach because of its location on the south side of Martha’s Vineyard.
If you’re visiting during the peak summer months, there’s a lifeguard on duty but arrive early to get a good spot as this is a super popular beach.
Katama Beach is at 555 Katama Road, Edgartown, MA 02539.
15- Ride The Flying Horse Carousel
The flying horse carousel is the oldest operating carousel in the entire United States.
Built in 1876, the hand-painted horses and large red barn have been meticulously preserved.
Although this carousel is steeped in history, you are still able to take a ride on the famous horses.
Located along Oak Bluffs Avenue, this is an excellent place to take the kids.
As well as the carousel there are brass ring games to enjoy with the family.
Whether you are visiting for fun or history, riding the flying horse carousel is one of the iconic things to do in Martha’s Vineyard.
The Flying Horse Carousel is at 15 Oak Bluffs Avenue, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.
16- Bike Around The Island
Martha’s Vineyard is a spectacularly beautiful island, and it’s fun to rent a bike and explore.
There are bike rental shops by the Oak Bluffs and the Vineyard Haven ferries.
For a 6-mile trail, start at Oak Bluffs and cycle to Edgartown.
This gorgeous ride crosses over Jaws Bridge and takes in the beautiful coastal scenery.
Head to East Chop in the northern part of Martha’s Vineyard, where you marvel at the quaint cottages and the East Chop Lighthouse.
17- See East Chop Lighthouse
So, you’ve hopped on your bike and arrived at East Chop Lighthouse.
This cute white lighthouse with a black beacon was built in 1878 and overlooks the town of Oak Bluffs.
In the early 1980s, the lighthouse was set to be destroyed when local citizens gathered together to appeal to Congress.
Luckily for all visitors to Martha’s Vineyard today, the lighthouse was saved.
It now holds a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
You can head inside the lighthouse on Sunday evenings between June and September.
East Chop Lighthouse is at 229 E Chop Dr, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
18- Pay A Round At Farm Neck Golf Club
Head to the luxury rural island of Martha’s Vineyard and playing a round of golf seems like a good idea.
Whether you are a regular golfer or a complete novice, the Farm Neck Golf Club in Oak Bluffs is a fabulous place to relax.
The course leads you through woodlands, salt marshes and right next to the ocean.
The golf course is open between April and December. The golf club also offers lessons and clinics to perfect your technique.
You can also check out their six tennis courts and, after a morning of exercise, grab lunch at Farm Neck Café.
Farm Neck Golf Club is at 1 Farm Neck Way, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.
19- Martha’s Vineyard Museum
The Martha’s Vineyard Museum started as the Dukes County Historical Society in 1922.
Back then, the society just had a small collection of documents from the revolutionary era.
Today the museum has several documents, photographs, historical books, prints and objects related to the island and its heritage.
The museum also looks after three of the island’s lighthouses: East Chop, Gay Head and Edgartown.
The Martha’s Vineyard Museum is at 151 Lagoon Pond Rd, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
20- Do Yoga On Inkwell Beach
Inkwell Beach is one of Martha’s Vineyard’s most popular beaches.
During summer, crowds flock to this beach to enjoy the soft golden sand and calm waters.
As well as sunbathing and swimming, you can head out onto the water with kayaking, jet skis, surfboards and boats.
There are also yoga classes held on the beach that will leave you relaxed and ready to start your day exploring the island.