The contents of your luggage may shift with changes in fashion, technology, and time of year, but one staple stays at the top of every island packing list. Whether your camera has multiple lenses and gets its own bag or fits in your pocket and also makes phone calls, it’s a must-have from the moment you board the ferry till you’re in the car driving home. With so much scenery around the Vineyard, you can snap a pretty photo practically anywhere, but for a truly iconic island image, these are, in our opinion, the best spots to take Martha’s Vineyard pictures.
The queen of all Martha’s Vineyard pictures may very well be the classic sunset shot, and the island’s go-to spot for it is Menemsha. This beach town on our west coast offers a true unobstructed ocean horizon. It’s also home to an array of walk-up seafood shacks where you can pick up a fresh lobster dinner to take to the beach. As one of the top romantic things to do on Martha’s Vineyard, this classic sunset scene is no secret — in the summer, plan on sharing the beach with fellow photographers.
If you’re willing to compromise on that water view just a little, we think you can find just-as-spectacular sunsets around the island without heading all the way to Menemsha. Another favorite is East Chop Lighthouse, from which you can watch the sun go down over Vineyard Haven Harbor. If your timing is impeccable, you can even stop here on your way to the ferry, then catch the last boat back to the mainland. If you’re staying at The Square, stop by our front desk for a few more tips and “secret” sunset spots.
We’ll wager that you’re not planning on swimming to the island, and if you’re also not flying, this Martha’s Vineyard photo op is a gimme. Don’t bother burying your camera deep underneath clothes and toiletries — you won’t be able to resist digging it out on the ferry. As long as the weather’s nice, you’ll get the best photos from outside on the top deck.
For more floating photo subjects, take a stroll down to Edgartown Harbor. The pavilion roof next to the Chappy Ferry gives an unobstructed panoramic view stretching from Edgartown Lighthouse to Chappaquiddick to the small water ferries heading back and forth between docks and larger boats. Vineyard Square guests can also take pictures of Edgartown Harbor from our fourth-floor porch.
You really can’t go wrong taking Martha’s Vineyard pictures at any of the five island lighthouses. Along with the sunset at East Chop, Edgartown Lighthouse is another favorite. It’s just a short stroll down North Water Street and offers another panoramic view of the harbor.
The most iconic of all Martha’s Vineyard photos come from the clay cliffs of Aquinnah, where Gay Head Lighthouse stands tall. Even if you don’t take a tour of the structure itself, be sure to walk around the grounds and try taking pictures from more than one angle — you might be surprised at the variety you find here.
If you’re one to fill frames with history and architecture, you’re in luck. 19th-century buildings like Edgartown’s Old Whaling Church have been preserved all over the island. The famous gingerbread cottages in Oak Bluffs, now privately owned, evolved from a “tent city” that hosted religious revivals a hundred years ago.
Even though we spend our days in the heart of Edgartown here at Vineyard Square, we never get tired of great Martha’s Vineyard pictures. Our General Manager, Wes, has been known to explore the island with his DSLR, and our whole team stays at the ready to snap something special. If you capture an island photo that’s dear to your heart, tag us on Instagram at @vineyardsquare for a chance to have it featured on our page!