A Complete Guide to the Martha’s Vineyard Beaches

Moshup Beach and the Aquinnah Cliffs in Aquinnah Marthas Vineyard Massachusetts

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Looking for the best beaches on Martha’s Vineyard for an upcoming trip? This picturesque island off the southeastern coast of Massachusetts regularly attracts visitors as prominent as US presidents and Hollywood celebrities. But you don’t have to be a multi-millionaire to enjoy the beauty of the Vineyard!

Note that not all beaches are public; the ones down-island around more populated towns tend to be, but check each beach for public versus private details.

Here’s a helpful guide to the towns in Martha’s Vineyard so you know your up-island versus your down-island towns.

As you plan your visit, check out these hotels on Martha’s Vineyard and these vacation rentals, too.

Best Beaches in Martha’s Vineyard

Beaches in Aquinnah

Aquinnah Public Beach (Moshup Beach)

Aquinnah Beach in Martha’s Vineyard is in the western area of Aquinnah (formerly known as Gay Head), about 6 miles from Menemsha. 

This part of the island is traditional Wampanoag land; visit the Aquinnah Cultural Center to understand the significance of the Aquinnah Cliffs and the name of Moshup Beach.

This is one of the most popular beaches on Martha’s Vineyard and is a great spot for swimming, surfing, bodyboarding, fishing, and sunsets.

Moshup Beach and the Aquinnah Cliffs in Aquinnah Marthas Vineyard Massachusetts

How to get there: 

Limited parking is available near the Aquinnah Cliffs Lookout Point.

The walk down to the beach will take 10-15 minutes, so be prepared.

Once there, you’ll be rewarded with an extensive stretch of beach that’s perfect for swimming and surfing.

This is also a fantastic spot for sunsets.

The jaw-dropping Aquinnah Cliffs behind you are just as fascinating as the crashing waves in front.

Note that there’s an unofficial nude beach on Martha’s Vineyard if you walk further along Aquinnah Beach.

Lobsterville Beach

Located on the northwestern shore, Lobsterville Beach on Martha’s Vineyard offers an excellent swimming beach with great bird-watching opportunities.

It’s also a popular spot for fishing.

Parking is only available for residents.

Instead, take the bike ferry from Menemsha, where you can leave your car more easily.

Beaches in Chilmark

Menemsha Beach

Menemsha Beach on Martha’s Vineyard is a public beach known for its gorgeous sunset views.

It also boasts plenty of amenities, making it a favorite family-friendly destination on the Vineyard.

Bring an umbrella and plenty of sand toys and you can stay here all day long.

Ice cream and hot dog carts are available, as are higher-end seafood options.

Menemsha is a small, still-active fishing village, so take advantage of the freshest catch!

Lifeguards are on duty all summer and Menemsha Beach is known as a great swimming beach for all ages.

Check out our guide for more things to do on Martha’s Vineyard, including the best spot to grab fresh seafood in Menemsha!

Menemsha Beach sunset in Menemsha Chilmark Marthas Vineyard Massachusetts

Lucy Vincent Beach

Lucy Vincent Beach is located in the town of Chilmark on the south shore.

Parking is only available to residents or renters in Chilmark during the summer, so be sure to obtain a pass if you’ll be renting there. 

How to get there: 

The easiest way to get here is by car; parking is still limited even for only residents and renters. 

Once there, you can enjoy the beautiful bluffs and rock formations, plus some great surf.

Since it’s not a public beach, this is also one of the quieter beaches on Martha’s Vineyard.

Sunset against large rock formations on Lucy Vincent Beach on Martha's Vineyard

West Tisbury Beaches

Long Point Beach

Long Point Beach on Martha’s Vineyard is set within the Long Point Wildlife Refuge and is a popular family-friendly beach.

On one side, you have the crashing waves of the Atlantic; on the other side is a calm pond with kayaks and stand-up paddleboard rentals available.

Choose whichever spot suits your interests and enjoy a full day at Long Point.

How to get there: 

Long Point Beach is about a 25-minute drive from Vineyard Haven.

Parking is available in the lot at the end of the road, though it is a long road to get to the parking area.

It’s a trek to the beach from there, so bring everything you’ll want for the day.

Note that advance passes are required from the Trustees of Reservations.

The beach is wheelchair accessible with waterproof wheelchairs available from the Trustees.

If you get tired of the water and sand, head out for a hike in the Refuge instead.

Lambert’s Cove Beach

Lambert’s Cove Beach is located in West Tisbury and is a private beach for West Tisbury residents only. 

The clear water and soft sand are a huge draw for this beach, so try to get a renter pass if you’re staying in the area!

It’s a bit of a walk from the parking area to the beach, so be prepared.

Outside of peak hours in the summer season, you can enjoy Lambert’s Cove Beach for sunsets and long strolls.

Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months. 

Beaches in Tisbury

Lake Tashmoo Town Beach

Lake Tashmoo Town Beach is a public beach on Martha’s Vineyard, but it can be a little difficult to find.

Head to the end of Herring Creek Road, which can be a rough ride.

You’ll be rewarded with Lake Tashmoo to one side and the north shore on Vineyard Sound on the other.

There are no facilities or amenities here; it’s a quiet escape from the busier beaches on the island.

Lifeguards are on duty during the summer.

There is limited parking right at the beach.

Tisbury Town Beach

Right in the heart of Vineyard Haven, you’ll find Vineyard Haven Town Beach (also interchangeably called Tisbury Town Beach).

This small, quiet beach is right by the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club about a mile from downtown Vineyard Haven.

You can walk or bike there; if you drive, street parking is available.

Owen Park Beach

Owen Park Beach is another public Vineyard Haven beach offering incredible convenience paired with very calm waters that are perfect for little ones learning to swim.

You can enjoy watching the boats coming in and out and the kids will love splashing around in this little sanctuary.

Owen Park Beach is located right in Vineyard Haven off Main Street, just down the road from the ferry terminal on the harbor.

There is limited parking; it’s ideal if you are staying in Vineyard Haven and can walk to the beach.

There are beach wheelchairs available.

Note that part of the beach is private, so take heed of the signage.

Beaches in Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs Town Beach

Located on the northeastern side of the island, just north of Edgartown, you’ll find Oak Bluffs Town Beach.

This is a local and visitor family favorite for its gentle waves and shallow waters.

It’s also very convenient for day-trippers!

There are plenty of amenities around, from plenty of restaurants to many shops.

How to get there: 

Oak Bluffs is where the Woods Hole, Hyannis, and Nantucket ferries all dock.

Within very easy walking distance is Oak Bluffs Town Beach, from where you can watch the ferries coming in and out all day long.

If you’re staying elsewhere on the Vineyard, parking can be a challenge but the shuttle bus will drop you from Edgartown or Vineyard Haven.

There are restrooms by the Steamship Authority dock.

Oak Bluffs Beach Marthas Vineyard Massachusetts Depositphotos_12589571_L

Inkwell Beach

Inkwell is a beautiful beach nestled between the towns of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, on the eastern side of Martha’s Vineyard. 

It’s a favorite spot to go swimming, especially during the summer months.

It’s also known as being the first desegregated beach where Black residents and visitors were welcomed.

How to get there: 

Inkwell Beach begins at the end of Oak Bluffs Town Beach at the jetty.

There are lifeguards on duty during the swimming season (Memorial Day through Labor Day). 

There are also restrooms and changing facilities near the parking lot.

Joseph Sylvia State Beach

If you’re looking for the perfect beach on Martha’s Vineyard, you can’t go wrong with Joseph Sylvia State Beach (also just called State Beach).

At two miles long and facing Nantucket Sound, this is an ideal spot for swimming and sunbathing.

This stretch sits between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown on the eastern side of the Vineyard. 

The beach is most famous for its appearance in the 1975 film Jaws; you can also jump off the Jaws Bridge as other visitors and many locals do.

How to get there: 

Head out of Oak Bluffs toward Edgartown along Seaview Ave; a bike path also follows this route and offers an alternative to finding parking.

There is parking available along the road, including handicap spots.

State Beach is wheelchair-accessible. 

There are no restrooms or amenities here, so plan ahead.

Note that dogs are not permitted from April 1 to August 31 to protect nesting birds.

No jumping or diving sign at the Jaws bridge Oak Bluffs Edgartown Marthas Vineyard Massachusetts

Bend In The Road Beach

As you cross into Edgartown, you’ll reach Bend-in-the-Road Beach, which is really an extension of Joseph Sylvia State Beach.

This is the only section of this beach where lifeguards are on duty (in peak season only).

There are no restrooms, however.

Parking is available at the beach, though you’ll want to arrive early on summer weekends and holidays. 

There are limited nearby amenities like restaurants and shops—for full services, head into Edgartown or Oak Bluffs.

The water is shallow for a long way out into the sea, making it a good choice for families with small children who want to swim. 

Edgartown Beaches

Lighthouse Beach

Did you even go on vacation in New England if you didn’t see a lighthouse?

Head to Edgartown’s Lighthouse Beach to enjoy the iconic coastal view and a sandy stretch.

Parking can be extra difficult here.

Walk or ride a bike from Edgartown instead.

View of Lighthouse Beach from Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse in Edgartown Marthas Vineyard Massachusetts

Katama Beach/South Beach

Four miles south of Edgartown, you’ll find Katama Beach — also known as South Beach.

South Beach in Martha’s Vineyard is one of the most popular beaches on the whole island — and it’s easy to see why.

With three miles of sand, gorgeous dunes, and big waves, this is the iconic New England beach experience everyone craves.

It’s also one of the best spots for sunsets on the Vineyard.

Parking is available, but it fills up quickly so arrive early if you want to drive.

Alternatively, follow the bike path to the beach. 

Some restrooms are available, but there are limited other amenities. 

Lifeguards are only stationed here during the summer months.

This beach is known for its surfing, with plenty of big waves for more experienced surfers to enjoy.

Swimming should only be done in areas where lifeguards are present; the currents can be swift here.

This is still a great beach for families to enjoy, however, with plenty of perfect sand for building castles or burying siblings; just keep a close eye on the kiddos if they want to swim.

Families tend to head to the left upon arrival, while young adults head to the right for a lively scene.

South Beach is one of the best beaches in Massachusetts — check out the others across the state.

Vibrant sunset colors at South Beach on Martha's Vineyard (also known as Katama Beach)

Norton Point Beach

If you continue along South Beach heading eastward, you’ll get to Norton Point Beach.

Note that four-wheel-drive vehicles are allowed on this beach, with a permit.

The area is populated with dunes, so there are some steep hills to navigate on foot or on a bike. 

You can rent a bike from one of the many rental locations in Oak Bluffs or Edgartown and ride it over on a paved path alongside Norton Point Beach. 

You can park for free along the road leading to the beach if you’re driving over.

The beach is accessible for strollers but not for wheelchairs. 

There are no bathrooms or changing facilities nearby, so you’ll want to pack all your supplies if you’re planning a day trip out here.

In the summer months, there are lifeguards stationed at Norton Point Beach. 

The water is typically warm and calm enough for swimming, bodyboarding, and surfing—surfers have been known to spend time there.

Chappaquiddick Beaches

East Beach

Take the Chappy Ferry from Edgartown across to the island of Chappaquiddick.

Famous for several Jaws scenes and infamous as the location of a terrible car accident involving a Kennedy, this island is a small world unto itself.

To completely escape the crowds and feel like you’re on your own private beach, head to East Beach.

The surf is rough in this exposed part of the Vineyard, but the beauty makes it all worthwhile.

Birdwatching is great here, as is walking with just the sound of the sea for company.

There are no amenities or facilities out here, so bring what you need and bring it all back out with you when you go.

Final Words

We hope this helps you plan which Martha’s Vineyard beaches to visit! If you want to share your experiences with other beach lovers, feel free to drop more information in the comments below.

Check out our Martha’s Vineyard beaches map for easy reference.

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