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getting to Marthas Vineyard

If you’re like us, you’ve been getting to Martha’s Vineyard on the Steamship Authority ferry for years. It’s an affordable, scenic ride, and it’s the only ferry service that’ll take us year-round islanders to the mainland through January’s frigid waters and July’s heat waves alike. It’s also the only way to bring a vehicle on-island. Let’s say you don’t need to bring your car, though—most people who bring cars the first time realize they’re better off without them—and you’re looking to try something new. Maybe you’ve seen a Martha’s Vineyard fast ferry down at the wharf and wondered what it’s all about, or maybe the thought of Friday night’s long haul to Woods Hole from New York City is dragging on your work week. Whether you’re looking to fly or float, we’ve got Martha’s Vineyard transportation options to fit both your schedule and your budget.

 

getting to Martha's Vineyard on the fast ferry - view of the wake from the back of the boat

The Falmouth-Edgartown Ferry

Stroll down to Edgartown Memorial Wharf during the months of June, July, or August, and there’s a good chance you’ll see the 72-foot MV Pied Piper docked there. This luxury fast ferry is the only operation that’ll drop you off right here in Edgartown, just a couple blocks down Kelly Street from Vineyard Square. At one hour, the trip takes about 15 minutes longer than the Steamship Authority ride from Woods Hole, but on peak summer travel days, you’ll easily make that time back by skipping the traffic you’d hit on the ride over from Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs. The Falmouth-Edgartown Ferry allows leashed pets and you can pay a small extra fee to bring your bike—just remember, no cars.

 

Getting to Martha’s Vineyard from New York City and New Jersey

Over the last few years, Seastreak’s luxury ferry service has really been catching on with the NYC crowd. Plush seating, satellite TV, and a full cash bar make the five-hour ride fly by. Seastreak’s high-end catamarans have both indoor and outdoor seating, so you can lounge in the sun instead of stewing in I-95 traffic. Compared to the hassle of flying or the long drive to another ferry, this just might be the fastest and most convenient way to get to Martha’s Vineyard from Manhattan. Assuming you get around New York without a car, you’re also skipping the $20-30 daily parking fee most other ferry services charge.

 

Cape Air turboprop plane
Photo: Tomás Del Coro via Flickr

Want to fly to Martha’s Vineyard? Cape Air is the obvious go-to with daily flights from White Plains to MVY during peak season. This is a great option for folks who live north of the city, and you can also bundle a train ride to Penn Station with any flight. Did you know the major airlines service the island in the summer, too? Delta and JetBlue both fly direct from JFK, and American from LaGuardia.

 

Martha’s Vineyard Fast Ferry from Rhode Island

Rhode Island Fast Ferry runs luxury boats—think similar high-end amenities to Seastreak above—out of Quonset Point in North Kingstown, RI. One of our co-owners here at Vineyard Square commutes from Rhode Island often and swears by this service. Unlike other ferries, their parking lot is directly at the dock, so you can just pull in and hop on. You’ll arrive on-island in about an hour and forty minutes.

 

More Martha’s Vineyard Fast Ferry Options

Hy-line Cruises runs fast ferries out of Hyannis, which is especially convenient if you’re linking your Martha’s Vineyard trip with a visit to the Cape Cod mainland. Island Queen is another great option from Falmouth, with only a half-hour trip time.

 

Still unsure about the best way to get to Martha’s Vineyard for your needs? Remember that when you call us at Vineyard Square, you’re getting through to an on-island expert right here at our front desk in downtown Edgartown. We’d be more than happy to help with your arrangements and to recommend the perfect room or suite, too.

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
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Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown

After months of planning and waiting, it’s finally that time of year again. You’re on your way to your Martha’s Vineyard vacation and nothing can stop you now — well…except for that pesky Woods Hole ferry. Even with the best of intentions, we’ve all missed the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard once or twice. Luckily, your vacation doesn’t have to wait for the next ferry. Jump start your Vineyard vacation with these engaging things to do in Woods Hole.

 

Things to do in Woods Hole Massachusetts
Flickr/Doug Kerr/CC BY 2.0)

Things To Do In Woods Hole, Massachusetts

Embrace the Ocean

Settled over 300 years ago as a fishing and farming community, Woods Hole is internationally known as a center for marine, biomedical, and environmental science. Ocean lovers of all shapes and sizes should head straight for the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, the oldest operating aquarium in the United States. Press your nose against the glass tanks and watch over 140 species of fish waves their tails and flap their fins. Plus, you may even get to graze your fingers across the backs of lobsters, quahogs, spider crabs, horseshoe crabs, hermit crabs, and starfish in the touch tanks — just don’t let the experience turn you off of eating seafood.

 

Nobska Light Woods Hole
Flickr/Mass Travel/CC BY 2.0)

Walk To Nobska Point

Take the long view on your Martha’s Vineyard vacation with a walk down to Nobska Point. Just over a mile away from the Woods Hole Steamship Authority, this gorgeous spot boasts a stunning lighthouse that you may have spotted from the ferry once or twice. Climb to the top of Nobska Point Lighthouse and enjoy panoramic views of Vineyard Harbor and Martha’s Vineyard. Keep an eye on your time though — we wouldn’t want you missing a second ferry, would we?

 

Grab a Snack

If you ask us, one of the best things to do in Woods Hole is to chow down on a delicious snack. Looking to satisfy a deep hunger? Stop into Wood Hole’s favorite pirate bar, the Captain Kidd. Decked out in nautical pirate flair, this spot will get you in the maritime spirit with its decor and decadent fresh seafood. A mere five minutes from the Woods Hole ferry, you’ll find Candy Go Nuts, an old fashion sweets store with a mouthwatering selection. We highly recommend their any of their penny candies for a classic candy store experience. The best part? After all this candy, your kids (and maybe you, too) will crash and nap during your Martha’s Vineyard ferry ride.

 

Take the Shining Sea Bike Path

Bringing your bikes to the island? Scrounge up your helmets and unpack your bikes for a quick trek along the Shining Sea Bike Path. Built along an old railway path, this bike path begins in Woods Hole and extends 11 miles to Falmouth. Unless you’re a very speedy biker (or you’re looking to miss another ferry), we suggest just getting your feet wet, biking along the Cape Cod shore and stopping at the region’s beautiful beaches for a quick dip.

 

With all the quiet corners and maritime gems to discover in Woods Hole, your hour to wait will no longer be wasted. Don’t dilly dally, though. The folks at Vineyard Square are eager to welcome you to your island home.

Plan a Visit to the Martha’s Vineyard Food and Wine Festival
Where to Get the Best Pizza on Martha’s Vineyard Near Edgartown
Explore Memorable Things to Do & See in West Tisbury
Spend a Day at the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest
See the Next Big Thing at a Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival
A Guide on How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard
A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
Celebrate the Season | A Guide to Christmas in Edgartown