As we look towards the seemingly endless beach days of summer, we can’t help but revel in the wonder of Martha’s Vineyard. Most days, this island is truly paradise — a paradise that should be enjoyed by each and every one of the Vineyard’s visitors. Here at Vineyard Square, accessibility is a priority and we are committed to ensuring all our guests a comfortable stay. With this guide to everything handicapped accessible on Martha’s Vineyard, discover all the ways the island is open for all the enjoy.
Get in the spirit of the island aboard Martha’s Vineyard’s ferry boats. All passenger decks of all four of the Steamship Authority’s traditional passenger and vehicle ferries (the M/V Eagle, the M/V Island Home, the M/V Martha’s Vineyard and the M/V Nantucket) are fully accessible. As each ferry is equipped with an elevator between floors, you don’t have to miss those first gorgeous views of the island as you pull into port. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the hassle of getting to the ferry — each of the Steamship Authority’s terminals has a number of on-site parking spaces reserved for individuals with disabilities.
To really appreciate the scope and history of our little island, sometimes you’ve got to go for a ride. Led by a third-generation islander, HomeGrown Tours will whisk you into the past of Martha’s Vineyard aboard a 17-passenger, handicapped accessible van. Head out on a shark hunt and spot the iconic filming locations from the film Jaws or embark on an African-American Heritage tour and visit the farm of Rebecca Amos, one of Martha’s Vineyard’s first known slaves. Better yet, talk to one of their tour guides to create a fully-customized tour of the island, perfectly aligned to your tastes.
Additionally, with a little advance notice, HomeGrown Tours vans and the Vineyard Transit Authority can head to the ferry terminal or airport to pick you up and give you a quick tour as you make your way to your island home.
What To Do:
Hit the Beach
What’s a trip to Martha’s Vineyard without a day at the beach? Formerly named Joseph Sylvia State Beach, State Beach is two miles of clear, mild beach between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. With lifeguards in season and wooden ramps running down to the beach, this handicapped accessible stretch of the island is open to all and equipped with ample handicapped parking. As of summer 2016, Pay Beach and Inkwell Beach are also handicapped accessible with new paths leading down to the water.
Of course, no discussion of handicapped accessible activities on Martha’s Vineyard would be complete without mentioning Camp Jabberwocky. Founded in 1953, Camp Jabberwocky is a summer camp for children and adults with disabilities in Vineyard Haven. Spend an expertly planned four weeks participating in yoga, dances, cook-outs, boat trips, and much, much more on the island.
Discover Martha’s Vineyard’s Handicapped Accessible Shops and Restaurants
Along the beautiful shorelines of the island, you’ll find a number of charming towns to explore. Edgartown’s flat streets and wide sidewalks make it easily accessible for most individuals. Wander amongst the historic homes along North Water Street or head to a local favorite eatery like Espresso Love or the Edgartown Diner, located just minutes from the heart of Edgartown. If you prefer to venture further afield, head up to Oak Bluffs where all of their sidewalks are fully handicapped accessible. This waterfront town has invested in a wheelchair accessible pier and dock, perfect for fishing or just enjoying the water.
Where To Stay:
After a long day exploring the island, return to Edgartown and rest your head at Vineyard Square Hotel and Suites. We have a handicapped accessible lift to take you up to our spacious ADA compliant rooms on in our Main Wing. Located right in the heart of Edgartown, our hotel puts the island right at your fingertips. Plus, with Chesca’s Restaurant, Eisenhauer Gallery, and Mikel Hunter on-site, you don’t even need to leave to soak in the pleasures of vacation.