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 (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)
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.
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.