Martha's Vineyard

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Beaches are one of the island’s main draws. Although the waters here tend to be calm (especially compared to places like California and Hawaii), there is surfing along the south side. The Northern and Eastern ends of the island tend to be calmer, shallower, and more family-friendly. Although many of the strands are private, there are a number of worthy public stretches – find the best listed below. Summer water temperatures in the low 70s make for pleasant swimming.

Martha's Vineyard Beaches


The peaceful islet of Chappaquiddick received some unfortunate national attention thanks to the Kennedy scandal of 1969. As a quiet escape, however, it remains blissfully under the radar. Quiet East Beach and the Japanese Mytoi Garden (508-627-7689) are the highlights.

25 minutes on the Chappaquiddick Ferry from Edgartown, MA,
Tags: beach | family | outdoors | day trip | swimming

Joseph Sylvia State Beach

You’ll have to bike to get here, but the picturesque two-mile stretch is worth it. The calm waves are attractive to those who like to take it easy.

Oak Bluffs, MA,
Tags: beach | family | outdoors | swimming

Katama Beach

Sometimes referred to as “South Beach,” this three-mile stretch has two sides – wave-seekers love the open-ocean edge, while families with small children prefer the calm waters of the protected pond on the other side.

Edgartown, MA,
Tags: beach | family | outdoors | swimming

Long Point Wildlife Refuge Beach

Relaxing and pristine, this half-mile sandy southern gem is ideal for surfers and those seeking a quiet escape from the down-island activity.

West Tisbury, MA,
Tags: beach | surfing | outdoors | swimming

Menemsha Public Beach

This calm, northern beach offers spectacular sunsets and clear waters. Don’t make the trip across the island for the beach alone, but if you’re in the area and itching to stroll the sand this is the place to go.

Menemsha, MA,
Tags: beach | family | outdoors | swimming

Moshup Beach

Also known as Gay Head Public Beach, this surf-friendly stretch is located near the infamous cliffs and just off of Moshup Trail.

Aquinnah, MA,
Tags: beach | surfing | outdoors | swimming

Tisbury Town Beach

This short, well-maintained strand abuts the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club. It’s perfect for those who are staying nearby, but the beaches in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown are better.

Tisbury, MA,
Tags: beach | family | outdoors | swimming

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