How to Visit Martha’s Vineyard

Visiting Martha’s Vineyard, a charming island located south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, involves several steps.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you plan your trip:

1. Choose Your Travel Dates

Decide when you want to visit. Summer (June to August) is the peak season with the best weather and most activities, but it can be crowded. Spring (April to May) and fall (September to October) offer milder weather and fewer tourists.

2. Getting to Martha’s Vineyard

By Ferry:

Steamship Authority: Offers year-round service from Woods Hole, MA. This is the only ferry that can transport vehicles, though reservations are necessary for cars.

Hy-Line Cruises: Provides seasonal service from Hyannis, MA.

Island Queen: Offers seasonal service from Falmouth, MA.

SeaStreak: Runs seasonal ferries from New Bedford, MA, and New York City.

By Air:

Martha’s Vineyard Airport (MVY): Receives flights from major cities like Boston, New York, and Washington D.C. Airlines include Cape Air, JetBlue, and American Airlines.

By Bus/Car:

Drive or take a bus to one of the ferry terminals. Major bus lines like Peter Pan and Plymouth & Brockton offer service to Woods Hole and Hyannis.

3. Accommodations

Hotels and Inns: Many options are available in towns like Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown.

Vacation Rentals: Websites like Airbnb and VRBO offer numerous rental properties.

Bed and Breakfasts: Quaint and charming B&Bs are scattered across the island.

4. Getting Around the Island

Bikes: Renting a bike is a popular way to explore.

Public Transportation: The Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) offers bus services across the island.

Car Rentals: Available but limited. Book in advance if you plan to bring or rent a car.

Taxis and Ride Shares: Services are available but may be less frequent than in urban areas.

5. Activities and Attractions

Beaches: Visit famous beaches like South Beach, State Beach, and Lambert’s Cove Beach.

Lighthouses: Explore scenic lighthouses such as Edgartown Lighthouse, Gay Head Lighthouse, and East Chop Lighthouse.

Shopping and Dining: Enjoy boutique shopping and a variety of dining options in towns like Edgartown and Oak Bluffs.

Outdoor Activities: Engage in sailing, kayaking, hiking, and golf.

Cultural Sites: Visit the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, the Aquinnah Cliffs, and the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs.

6. Dining

Martha’s Vineyard offers a variety of dining experiences, from casual seafood shacks to fine dining restaurants. Local seafood, particularly lobster and clams, is a highlight.

7. Events and Festivals

The island hosts numerous events and festivals, such as the Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, the Agricultural Fair, and various arts and music festivals.

8. Packing Tips

Pack for the season. Even in summer, evenings can be cool. Bring layers, comfortable walking shoes, beachwear, and sun protection.

9. Travel Tips

Book in Advance: Especially during peak season, book ferries, accommodations, and activities well ahead of time.

Check Schedules: Ferry and bus schedules can change, especially in the off-season.

Plan Activities: Some activities and attractions may require reservations.

With this guide, you should be well-prepared for an enjoyable visit to Martha’s Vineyard.

If you want to visit more islands near Cape Cod, check out this article on how to visit Nantucket.

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About William Briscoe

William Briscoe is a seasoned travel blogger and adventurer based in Massachusetts. With a passion for exploring hidden gems and sharing his travel experiences, Briscoe's website, "Mass Attractions," has become a go-to resource for those seeking seasonal attractions in Massachusetts. William enjoys exploring the scenic beauty of New England, spending time with his family and two rescue dogs, and experimenting with classical New England recipes in his kitchen. He holds a degree in English Literature from Boston University, which he believes laid the foundation for his writing skills.

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