Amazing Things to Do in Martha’s Vineyard: Top 12 Attractions to Visit

by Jen
Amazing Things to Do in Martha’s Vineyard
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Looking to visit Martha’s Vineyard anytime soon? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Martha’s Vineyard. These idyllic sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Welcome to Martha’s Vineyard, an island paradise awaiting your footprints. The name alone conjures up images of sun-kissed beaches, charming gingerbread cottages, and the scent of fresh seafood wafting through the air. Nestled just a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of mainland Cape Cod, this idyllic island is a sanctuary for those yearning for a slice of New England paradise. And of course, there are countless things to do in Martha’s Vineyard, making it a delightful destination.

Ever wanted to rub elbows with celebrities while enjoying your summer vacay? Well, you’re in luck. This island is a well-known retreat for the rich and famous. So, who knows? You might just bump into someone noteworthy while you’re sipping on your artisanal coffee or exploring the local art galleries.

So, grab your camera and let’s set sail to discover the amazing things to do in Martha’s Vineyard. Trust me, by the end of this guide, you’ll be itching to book your next trip here. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Martha’s Vineyard.

The amazing places to visit in Martha's Vineyard right now
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Best Places to Visit in Martha’s Vineyard

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Martha’s Vineyard? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this enchanting vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Martha’s Vineyard places to visit.

Are you looking forward to relaxing on pristine beaches, exploring picturesque lighthouses and experiencing historic sites? Or would you prefer a tranquil getaway in nature? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Martha’s Vineyard can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Martha’s Vineyard that you should know about.

1. Aquinnah Cliffs

Picture this: towering cliffs adorned with multi-colored layers of clay, overlooking the endless expanse of the Atlantic Ocean. Welcome to Aquinnah Cliffs, one of the must-see in Martha’s Vineyard. This geological wonder isn’t just a feast for the eyes; it’s a journey through time, with each layer of clay representing a different era in Earth’s history.

As you make your way to the viewpoint, you’ll pass through the Wampanoag tribal lands, adding a cultural layer to your adventure. The cliffs themselves are a protected landmark, so no climbing is allowed, but the views from the top are nothing short of breathtaking.

Now, if you’re an aspiring photographer or artist, this is your moment. The cliffs offer a kaleidoscope of colors that change with the light, providing endless inspiration for your next masterpiece. And let’s not forget the iconic Gay Head Lighthouse, standing tall as a guardian of these ancient cliffs.

So, what’s the ideal way to experience this marvel? Take a guided tour to learn about the geological and cultural significance of the area. It’s one of those best things to do in Martha’s Vineyard that you simply can’t miss, offering both educational and awe-inspiring moments.

Aquinnah Cliffs is one of the amazing things to do in Martha's Vineyard.
Visit Aquinnah Cliffs, a must-see with its stunning geological wonder and layers of history overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

2. Scenic Bike Trails

Ready to explore Martha’s Vineyard on two wheels? Cycling is not just a mode of transportation here; it’s a lifestyle. With miles of scenic bike trails that meander through lush forests, along rugged coastlines, and into charming towns, it’s no wonder that cycling is one of the coolest activities in Martha’s Vineyard.

Start your journey at the Edgartown Lighthouse, where the trail begins. As you pedal through, you’ll pass by iconic landmarks like the West Tisbury Farmer’s Market, where you can grab some fresh produce for a picnic. Don’t forget to stop at South Beach for a quick dip or a moment of sunbathing.

What sets this cycling adventure apart from the other destinations? The diversity of landscapes you’ll encounter. One moment you’re cruising through a dense forest, and the next, you’re greeted by the expansive views of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a visual and sensory feast that you won’t soon forget.

And if you’re wondering where to go in Martha’s Vineyard for the best cycling routes, consider taking the loop that goes around the entire island. It’s a full-day commitment but trust me, the panoramic views and the sense of accomplishment are worth every pedal stroke.

Don't forget to stop at South Beach for a quick dip or a moment of sunbathing.
Don’t forget to stop at South Beach for a quick dip or a moment of sunbathing.

3. Menemsha Beach

Ah, Menemsha Beach—a place where the sky turns into a canvas of fiery oranges, soft pinks, and deep purples as the sun dips below the horizon. This is the spot where you’ll want to roll out your beach blanket, set up your camera, and prepare for a spectacle that will leave you speechless.

Unlike other beaches that are crowded with tourists, Menemsha offers a more tranquil experience. It’s the perfect setting for couples looking for a romantic getaway or artists seeking inspiration from Mother Nature herself.

Grab a basket of local seafood from nearby vendors, find your perfect spot on the sandy shores, and let the colors of the sky wash over you. It’s not just a sunset; it’s a moment of pure magic that you’ll cherish forever.

And hey, if you’re a fan of fishing, the adjacent Menemsha Harbor is a hub for local fishermen. So, after the sun sets, why not try your hand at some twilight fishing? It’s one of those unique things to do in Martha’s Vineyard that you won’t want to miss.

Experience the stunning sunsets at Menemsha Beach, where the sky transforms into a canvas of fiery colors over the horizon.
Experience the stunning sunsets at Menemsha Beach, where the sky transforms into a canvas of fiery colors over the horizon.

4. Sailing Adventures

If you’ve ever dreamed of feeling the wind in your hair and the salt on your skin while navigating the open sea, then sailing is one of those Martha’s Vineyard things to do that you absolutely must experience. Picture yourself at the helm of a sailboat, the iconic Edgartown Harbor Light fading into the distance as you venture into the great blue yonder.

The island offers various sailing options, from private charters to group excursions. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a complete novice, there’s a nautical adventure waiting for you. And let’s not forget the incredible wildlife you might encounter—dolphins, seals, and even the occasional whale make their home in these waters.

But the real magic happens as the sun begins to set. The sky transforms into a canvas of oranges and purples, reflecting off the calm waters below. It’s a moment of serenity that captures the essence of what Martha’s Vineyard places to visit are all about.

So, ready to hoist the sails and embark on an unforgettable journey? Go on sailing adventures for an experience like no other.

Experience the thrill of sailing in Martha's Vineyard, where you can set sail from Edgartown Harbor and embrace the open sea.
Experience the thrill of sailing in Martha’s Vineyard, where you can set sail from Edgartown Harbor and embrace the open sea.

5. Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery

Ever wondered what to do in Martha’s Vineyard when you’re not beach-hopping or sightseeing? How about a delightful afternoon of wine tasting at Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery? Situated in the heart of Edgartown, this charming vineyard offers a cozy, rustic atmosphere that’s perfect for unwinding after a day of island exploration.

As you step inside, you’re greeted by the aroma of fermenting grapes and the friendly smiles of the staff. They’re more than happy to guide you through a curated selection of local wines, each with its own distinctive character and story. From crisp whites to robust reds, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

But it’s not just about the wine. The vineyard also features a beautiful garden where you can relax and enjoy your chosen vintages. Picture yourself sitting under a pergola, glass in hand, as you take in the views of the surrounding vineyards. It’s one of those best places to go in Martha’s Vineyard when you’re looking to escape the usual tourist traps.

Discover a delightful wine tasting experience at Bad Martha Farmer's Brewery in the heart of Edgartown.
Discover a delightful wine tasting experience at Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery in the heart of Edgartown.

6. Lobsterville Beach

If you’re a fishing enthusiast or simply someone who enjoys the tranquility of casting a line into the ocean, then Lobsterville Beach is your go-to spot. This secluded beach is a hidden gem and offers some of the most amazing fishing opportunities on the island.

The beach is particularly famous for its striped bass and bluefish. This makes it a popular destination for both novice and experienced anglers. And don’t worry if you’re not an expert; local fishing guides are available to help you get the most out of your experience.

Imagine standing on the sandy shore, rod in hand, as the sun sets over the water, casting its golden glow on everything it touches. It’s a serene experience that’s as rewarding for the soul as it is for your fishing skills.

But that’s not all. The beach is also a fantastic spot for bird-watching, with frequent sightings of ospreys and other seabirds. So, if you’re compiling a list of coolest things to do in Martha’s Vineyard, make sure Lobsterville Beach is on it. Whether you catch the big one or simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, it’s a day well spent.

Enjoy tranquil fishing at Lobsterville Beach, a hidden gem with amazing angling opportunities on Martha's Vineyard.
Enjoy tranquil fishing at Lobsterville Beach, a hidden gem with amazing angling opportunities on Martha’s Vineyard. | Source: https://beachsearcher.com/

7. Polly Hill Arboretum

Nestled in the heart of West Tisbury, Polly Hill Arboretum is a botanical sanctuary that offers a peaceful escape from the more touristy spots on the island. If you’re wondering where to visit in Martha’s Vineyard for a serene and educational experience, look no further.

The arboretum is home to a diverse collection of trees, shrubs, and flowering plants, many of which are rare or endangered. As you wander through the winding paths, you’ll encounter everything from exotic azaleas to towering magnolias. Each plant is meticulously labeled, offering a mini botany lesson as you go.

The real magic happens in the spring and summer when the arboretum bursts into a riot of colors. It’s a photographer’s dream and a nature lover’s paradise. Whether you’re an avid gardener or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of the natural world, Polly Hill Arboretum offers a feast for the senses.

And if you’re traveling with kids, they’ll love the scavenger hunts and educational programs designed to make learning about plants fun and engaging. It’s one of those Martha’s Vineyard attractions that offers something for everyone. This makes it a must-visit on any island itinerary. Is this one of the top things to do in Martha’s Vineyard? You bet!

Polly Hill Arboretum is one of the amazing things to do in Martha's Vineyard.
Discover serenity and education at Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury, Martha’s Vineyard’s tranquil botanical sanctuary.

8. Vineyard Haven

Ah, Vineyard Haven! Known for its bustling harbor and scenic beauty, this charming town also offers a shopping experience that’s second to none. For those who love to shop till they drop, Vineyard Haven is one of the best places to go in Martha’s Vineyard.

The town is a treasure trove of distinctive boutiques, art galleries, and specialty stores. Whether you’re in the market for handcrafted jewelry, local artwork, or nautical-themed home decor, you’ll find it here. And let’s not forget the numerous bookstores that invite you to lose yourself in a good read.

Many of the shops feature products made right here on the island, giving you the chance to take home a piece of Martha’s Vineyard. It’s a shopper’s paradise that offers more than just merchandise; it offers a slice of island culture.

So, if you’re compiling a list of unique places in Martha’s Vineyard, make sure to carve out some time for a shopping spree in Vineyard Haven. It’s not just retail therapy; it’s an experience that captures the essence of the island.

Shop till you drop in charming Vineyard Haven, renowned for its bustling harbor and scenic beauty.
Shop till you drop in charming Vineyard Haven, renowned for its bustling harbor and scenic beauty.

9. Oak Bluffs Arts District

Oak Bluffs Arts District is not just another spot on the map; it’s a vibrant community that celebrates creativity in all its forms. If you’re searching for unique things to do in Martha’s Vineyard, this is a must-see.

The district is a kaleidoscope of color, filled with galleries that showcase local artists, from painters and sculptors to jewelers and textile designers. Each gallery has its own distinct vibe. This makes it a fascinating journey through the island’s diverse artistic landscape.

It also hosts regular events like art walks, live music, and craft fairs. These gatherings transform the area into a lively hub where locals and tourists alike can engage with the arts.

Many of the artists are island residents, offering you a special opportunity to connect with the local culture. It’s one of those Martha’s Vineyard places to visit that enriches your soul as much as it delights your senses.

The Oak Bluffs Arts District is a feast for the eyes and a balm for the soul. This makes it a must-add to any island itinerary.

"Experience the vibrant creativity of Oak Bluffs Arts District, a must-see for unique Martha's Vineyard activities.
“Experience the vibrant creativity of Oak Bluffs Arts District, a must-see for unique Martha’s Vineyard activities.

10. Island Alpaca

If you’re on the hunt for coolest activities in Martha’s Vineyard, then a visit to Island Alpaca is a must. This isn’t your typical farm; it’s a haven for these adorable, fuzzy creatures that will steal your heart the moment you see them.

Located in Vineyard Haven, Island Alpaca is home to over 50 of these charming animals. The farm offers guided tours where you can learn all about alpaca care, their one-of-a-kind personalities, and even their luxurious fleece. It’s an educational experience that’s also heaps of fun.

And what’s the highlight? That would be the alpaca yoga sessions. Yes, you read that right. Imagine striking a yoga pose while these gentle animals roam around you, adding a layer of calm and joy to your practice. It’s an exceptional blend of relaxation and cuteness that you won’t find anywhere else.

Curious about what to do in Martha’s Vineyard that’s a bit out of the ordinary, Alpaca should be on your list. Whether you’re traveling with family or looking for an exceptional date idea, this fuzzy adventure is sure to leave you smiling from ear to ear.

Discover the coolest activity in Martha's Vineyard at Island Alpaca, a haven for adorable and fuzzy creatures that steal your heart.
Discover the coolest activity in Martha’s Vineyard at Island Alpaca, a haven for adorable and fuzzy creatures that steal your heart. | Source: https://www.islandalpaca.com/

11. Farm-to-Table Dining at The Grey Barn

The joy of a meal that not only tantalizes your taste buds but also connects you to the land! If you’re compiling a list of best things to do  in Martha’s Vineyard, a visit to the Grey Barn should be a top contender. This isn’t just a restaurant; it’s a culinary journey that starts in the farm’s own fields.

Nestled in the heart of Chilmark, The Grey Barn offers an authentic farm-to-table experience. You’ll dine on organic produce, ethically-raised meats, and artisanal cheeses—all sourced directly from their farm. It’s a gastronomic delight that’s as ethical as it is delicious.

The ambiance: Imagine yourself dining under a canopy of twinkling fairy lights, surrounded by the lush greenery of the farm. It’s a setting that turns a meal into a magical experience.

Thinking of where to visit in Martha’s Vineyard for an unforgettable culinary adventure?lLook no further. The Grey Barn offers a feast for all your senses, making it a must-visit for foodies and romantics alike.

Experience a culinary journey at the Grey Barn, where farm-to-table excellence begins in their own fields.
Experience a culinary journey at the Grey Barn, where farm-to-table excellence begins in their own fields.

12. Edgartown Lighthouse Beach

If you’re on the hunt for Martha’s Vineyard attractions that encapsulate the island’s coastal charm, Edgartown Lighthouse Beach is your go-to. Imagine the sun dipping below the horizon as you stroll along the shoreline, the iconic Edgartown Lighthouse casting its guiding light across the waters.

Located at the entrance of Edgartown Harbor, this beach is a haven for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle. Whether you’re building sandcastles with the kids or diving into a gripping novel, the serene atmosphere here is a balm for the soul.

What elevates this beach to be among the best places in Martha’s Vineyard is its proximity to the charming town of Edgartown. After a day of sun and surf, you can easily wander into town for a seafood dinner or a bit of boutique shopping.

So, if you’re mapping out cool destinations in Martha’s Vineyard, don’t overlook Edgartown Lighthouse Beach. It’s a place where the island’s natural beauty and cultural richness converge, offering a truly unforgettable experience.

Experience coastal charm at Edgartown Lighthouse Beach, with its iconic lighthouse and scenic shoreline
Experience coastal charm at Edgartown Lighthouse Beach, with its iconic lighthouse and scenic shoreline

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Amazing Things to Do in Martha’s Vineyard

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Martha’s Vineyard? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Martha’s Vineyard:

What’s the best time to visit Martha’s Vineyard?

The best time to visit Martha’s Vineyard is during the late spring to early fall, roughly from May to September. This period offers pleasant weather for outdoor activities, blooming flora, and lively events. While the summer months are peak tourist season, late spring and early fall provide a quieter and equally enjoyable experience.

How do I get to Martha’s Vineyard?

To reach Martha’s Vineyard, you can take a ferry from mainland Massachusetts, specifically from ports like Woods Hole, Falmouth, or Hyannis. Alternatively, you can fly into Martha’s Vineyard Airport (MVY) from various cities on the U.S. East Coast. On the island, transportation options include rental cars, taxis, buses, and bikes.

Is Martha’s Vineyard family-friendly?

Absolutely! With a plethora of coolest activities in Martha’s Vineyard, there’s something for everyone in the family to enjoy. What are the must-see attractions?

From the iconic Edgartown Lighthouse to the bustling streets of Oak Bluffs, there are numerous Martha’s Vineyard places to visit that you won’t want to miss.

People enjoying the beach at Martha's Vineyard.
People enjoying the beach at Martha’s Vineyard.

Why do celebrities go to Martha’s Vineyard?

Celebrities flock to Martha’s Vineyard for its perfect blend of seclusion and luxury. The island offers a tranquil escape from the spotlight, with private beaches and upscale amenities. Yet, it’s also a vibrant cultural hub, making it an ideal setting for both relaxation and inspiration. It’s the ultimate VIP getaway.

How many days should I spend at Martha’s Vineyard?

The ideal duration for a visit to Martha’s Vineyard depends on what you want to experience, but for most visitors, 3 to 5 days allows for a comprehensive exploration of the island. Here’s a general breakdown:

1-2 Days:

  • Explore one or two of the main towns, such as Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, or Vineyard Haven.
  • Visit a beach, like South Beach or Menemsha Beach.
  • Take a stroll around the iconic gingerbread cottages in Oak Bluffs.
  • Dine at a local restaurant and enjoy fresh seafood.

3-4 Days (adding to the above):

  • Explore all the main towns, including the more up-island areas like Chilmark and Aquinnah.
  • Visit the Aquinnah Cliffs and the Gay Head Lighthouse.
  • Spend more time at different beaches or engage in water activities like kayaking or paddleboarding.
  • Take a bike ride or hike on some of the island’s trails.
  • Explore some of the island’s farms and enjoy local produce.
  • Attend a local event or festival if your visit coincides with one.

5+ Days (adding to the above):

  • Dedicate a day to a specific activity, such as fishing or a guided tour.
  • Explore more off-the-beaten-path areas and hidden beaches.
  • Visit art galleries, museums, and cultural sites.
  • Take leisurely strolls, relax on the beach, and truly soak in the island’s laid-back vibe.
  • Consider day trips to nearby places, like Chappaquiddick Island.

What is Martha’s Vineyard best known for?

  1. Presidential Retreat: The island has been a favorite summer vacation spot for several U.S. presidents, including Ulysses S. Grant, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
  2. Beaches: Martha’s Vineyard boasts some beautiful beaches, such as South Beach in Edgartown, Menemsha Beach in Chilmark, and Joseph Sylvia State Beach between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown.
  3. Historic Towns: The island is home to several charming towns, each with its own unique character. Edgartown is known for its historic homes and elegant vibe, Oak Bluffs for its colorful gingerbread cottages and lively atmosphere, and Vineyard Haven (Tisbury) as a main port and shopping area.
  4. Aquinnah Cliffs: These stunning clay cliffs, located in the town of Aquinnah, are a natural wonder and a popular tourist attraction.
  5. Fishing: The island has a rich fishing heritage, with Menemsha being one of the last working fishing villages in New England. The annual Martha’s Vineyard Striped Bass & Bluefish Derby attracts anglers from all over.
  6. Festivals and Events: Martha’s Vineyard hosts various events throughout the year, including the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, the Agricultural Fair, and the Food & Wine Festival.
  7. Celebrities: Beyond presidents, the island has long been a retreat for celebrities, artists, writers, and other notable figures seeking a quiet and scenic getaway.

Is it worth it to go to Martha’s Vineyard?

Absolutely, Martha’s Vineyard is a must-visit destination that offers something for everyone. From its stunning beaches and scenic bike trails to its rich history and vibrant arts scene, the island provides a distinctive blend of relaxation and adventure. It’s a trip that promises lasting memories and is worth every penny.

Final Thoughts on Exploring Martha’s Vineyard

So, there you have it, wanderlusters! A comprehensive guide to the best places in Martha’s Vineyard that will make your trip an unforgettable escapade. Whether you’re a beach bum, a history buff, or a foodie, Martha’s Vineyard offers a smorgasbord of experiences that cater to all kinds of travelers.

As you plan your itinerary, remember that the island’s magic lies not just in its unique places in Martha’s Vineyard, but also in the simple joys—like the salty sea breeze, the laughter of families, and the taste of fresh seafood.

So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to explore Martha’s Vineyard attractions that will steal your heart and ignite your wanderlust. Trust me, once you set foot on this island, you’ll understand why it’s a destination that keeps people coming back for more.

The amazing things to do in Martha's Vineyard for all types of travelers
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