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Martha's Vineyard beaches

When the weather is nice enough to merit a visit to the beach, prepare yourself for a vast number of choices:  this island has over 125 miles of coastline. Don’t let the sheer amount of options leave you feeling underwater, though.  When it comes to Martha’s Vineyard beaches, there’s plenty to go around and lots of different atmospheres to enjoy.

 

South Beach, Martha's Vineyard
South Beach on Martha’s Vineyard | Photo: Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism via flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

 

South Beach (Edgartown)

If you enjoy people watching and don’t mind being around a crowd, South Beach is sure to please. This slice of sandy paradise is on the Atlantic coast, just south of Edgartown (it’s also our main beach).  Lifeguards are on duty July and August, but caution is always advised as the surf can be quite rough and take you by surprise (especially important to remember for kiddos in tow).  South Beach is popular with younger visitors and residents of the Island, so if you’re under 30, this is the place to hang (or if you’re over 30 and want to pretend, that works too).  If people watching isn’t your thing, there’s always sandcastle building! South Beach is such a great spot for constructing architectural masterpieces that the Edgartown Board of Trade now sponsors a Sand Sculpting contest each August, so grab a pail and shovel and get practicing!

 

State Beach (Edgartown/Oak Bluffs)

For a quieter pace, with lifeguards and excellent swimming, head to State Beach. It’s accessible by bike path and located between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. It’s a great choice for family visits, as there’s always kids building sandcastles, splashing, and generally raising a ruckus.  The water here is calm enough that the local kids even have their swimming lessons here.

 

Lighthouse Beach (Edgartown)

Edgartown Lighthouse - Martha's Vineyard
Lighthouse Beach in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard

If you want to hunker down and read in peace and quiet, bring your bookish bundle to Lighthouse Beach in Edgartown.  As the name suggests, it’s just beside the lighthouse.  The fact that there is very little parking means that this beach is generally quite quiet and it’s really nice to watch the sailboats glide in and out of the harbor. It’s only a few minutes walk from our front door, so it is very convenient but remarkably underused.

 

Chappaquiddick Beaches

Get your steps in and experience true peace and quiet on a journey to our neighboring island of Chappaquiddick.  The beaches here are pristine but require a bit more legwork than the average sandy spot. Just make sure you prepare in advance — there are no stores over on Chappy, so pack a lunch to enjoy on-the-go!

 

Can’t decide which Martha’s Vineyard beaches to visit during your trip? Don’t be shy — swing by our front desk and we’ll tell you all about the up-Island gems and down-Island coves.

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A Look at the History of Our Edgartown Hotel
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This probably doesn’t come as a surprise, but our internal compasses are pretty much always pointed towards the beach. Few things are as craveable or satisfying as warming your skin in the hot sun or letting your feet sink deeper and deeper beneath the surface of the sand. No matter what the season, a Martha’s Vineyard beach getaway should always be on the schedule.

 

Martha's Vineyard Beach Vacation

 

5 Martha’s Vineyard Beaches To Explore

South Beach

Known also as Katama Beach, this gorgeous three-mile stretch of sand and ocean is located just three miles away from the Square. Hop aboard your bike or take a stroll down to the water — you’ll find continuous paths the entire length of your journey. Plus, if you travel with your surfboard, ride Katama’s rough waves into surfing glory. Maybe we’re biased because it’s our neighborhood beach, but if you can only hit the sand at one spot on the island, be sure to stop at South Beach on your Martha’s Vineyard beach getaway.

 

Wasque Beach & East Beach

Though our neighboring island, Chappaquiddick, is only a few miles away, it feels like it’s a world apart. Take your bikes or your car across the ferry to Chappy and head to Wasque Beach, located in the Wasque Reservation. Relatively uncrowded and easily accessible, you can enjoy gorgeous, unobstructed views of sand, sea, and sky. Looking for a little more privacy? Make the trek to East Beach, only accessible by bike, hike, or car with four-wheel drive (or minivans with a lot of heart).

 

Menemsha Beach Fish MarketMenemsha Beach

It’s not a Martha’s Vineyard beach vacation without a lobster roll on the beach (and a good, solid sunburn). Just steps from Menemsha Beach, you’ll find food vendors in tiny grey houses selling everything from ice cream to shrimp cocktail. Menemsha just happens to be a working fishing village, so, trust us, you’re in for a treat no matter which vendor you visit. Take your spoils down to the beach during sunset and soak in the colors of the island at this family-friendly spot.

 

Joseph A. Sylvia State Beach

Conquering the island via bike? Joseph A. Sylvia State Beach (aka State Beach) just happens to run along the paved bike path between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. Ditch the car and pedal to this popular stretch of Martha’s Vineyard beach (some would argue it’s too popular, but trust us, it’s a dream in the shoulder seasons). With smooth waters and (relatively) warm waters, State Beach makes an ideal stop when you’re craving a dip in the ocean. Plus, if you happen to be a movie buff, you can jump off of Jaws Bridge and swim in the Great White’s waters (if you dare).

 

Vineyard Square Beach EquipmentLobsterville Beach

This Aquinnah Beach certainly lives up to its name — a quiet, two-mile stretch of Martha’s Vineyard beach, this spot boasts ample wildlife from sea critters to birds. There’s no parking available on-site, so while it’s not ideal for every Martha’s Vineyard beach-goer, it makes a lovely end to a bike ride or hike to its shores. Wade into the shallow, calm waters of Lobsterville Beach and take in the rainbow colored cliffs of Aquinnah.

 

Your Martha’s Vineyard beach vacation shouldn’t be just sand and surf. After a day warming yourself in the sun, breathing in the salt air, and swimming in the island’s crisp waters, take shelter and relax inside Vineyard Square Hotel. Recharge in your room and then head out for another day of beach fun with our complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas in tow.

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
Where to Get the Best Lunch in Edgartown
Go Exploring with the Best Martha’s Vineyard Tours
Treat Yourself to Fine Dining at the Top Edgartown Spots