Things to do in Martha's Vineyard
If you're looking for things to do in Martha's Vineyard, our Edgartown hotel is located in the heart of it all! Whether you're looking for a cozy, romantic getaway or the quintessential beach excursion, Martha's Vineyard offers all that and more. Edgartown itself was a major whaling port in the 1800’s. Picturesque and buzzing with activity, it's the perfect home base for your Martha's Vineyard vacation. Looking for exclusive travel to the island? Check out Linear Air or Cape Air for unique air shuttle options. Here are our suggestions for exploring Edgartown and beyond:
Beaches for Every Occasion
Lighthouse Beach/Fuller Street Beach is a quick 10 minute stroll from the hotel. Plop down and watch the boats cruise in and out of the harbor or hunt for a quieter spot further down. At Joseph Sylvia State Beach, calm waters and plenty of sand space make this a gathering spot for many visitors—call on your inner movie buff and join the crowds jumping off Jaws Bridge or search for sea glass along the water line. A bit further afield, South Beach is expansive and sprawling Atlantic Ocean stretch that's all about volleyball, romping in the tide, and summer fun. Be careful in the water as the waves can get large and undertows are common.
Island Sightseeing Tour
Hit Martha's Vineyard's major highlights and learn a lot of island lore on the Martha’s Vineyard Sightseeing bus. The company offers a 2½-hour tour with a ½-hour stop at the Aquinnah Cliffs and Gay Head Lighthouse. The cliffs are a protected National Historic Landmark and clay bricks excavated from the site were used in constructing the lighthouse. We highly recommend this tour for first time visitors to Martha's Vineyard.
Kayaking & Kiteboarding
Rent from Island Spirit Kayak and paddle your way through the island’s rich wildlife. Spy shellfish beds, ospreys and their nests and small islands inhabited by rare Piping Plovers. Or, paddle into the calm waters of Sengekontacket Pond to watch the kiteboarders lift off the water into flight. (Or for the really adventurous, try kiteboarding lessons yourself with Skyhigh Kiteboarding.)
Biking and Hiking
Miles of biking and hiking trails all over the Island are perfect when you're looking for things to do in Martha's Vineyard. Hop on a bike (there are a few great rentals within a block of our Edgartown hotel) and peddle the 5-1/2 mile round-trip journey to South Beach or the 14 mile round-trip route to Oak Bluffs. Both are mostly flat and offer lovely rides along the water. For hiking, trek through the stunning scenery of the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank, Sheriff's Meadow, or Mass Audubon's Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. We'll give you directions and tips.
Start your morning out with a hot power yoga flow at Vineyard Vinyasa. State of the art heated ceiling panels are a clean heating source for this newer boutique Edgartown studio and the incredible instructors will have you leaving feeling sweaty, grounded, and empowered. With both smaller and private classes, Vineyard Vinyasa offers something for everyone, allowing all the opportunity to increase their awareness and presence both physically, mentally, and spiritually. Did we mention it's within walking distance of our boutique hotel?
Stroll left out our front door, meander through town and on through the neighborhood of historic captain's homes to Edgartown Lighthouse. You'll love the beach scene surrounding the structure, but for the best experience, pay for a tour and climb to the top for panoramic views of Edgartown Harbor.
Historic Oak Bluffs Gingerbread Cottages
Bold and brightly colored, these richly painted, ornately carved cottages were built by Methodist Church campers during the mid 1800’s. The Martha's Vineyard Camp Meeting Association offers tours of the Campground every Tuesday and Thursday in July and August. The central Tabernacle is on the National Register of Historic Places and is still home to weekly church services and a host of cultural events throughout the summer.
Edgartown Art Galleries
Don’t miss these distinctive art galleries, all located just a short stroll away.
- Christina Gallery—Traditional art, including impressionism and expressionism, has been displayed at Christina Gallery for 34 years. Sailing buffs will enjoy the collection of antique maps and nautical charts.
- North Water Gallery—Talented local and national artists have a creative home on the walls of North Water Gallery, including island favorite Ray Ellis.
- Eisenhauer Gallery—With a focus on bold expressionism, the exceptional Eisenhauer Gallery features a diverse body of work from more than 50 artists.
Mytoi Japanese Gardens in Chappaquiddick
As the locals say, take the "on time ferry to Chappy" and discover the Mytoi Japanese Gardens. Winding footpaths guide you through a birch walk, camellia dell, stone garden, and hillside garden. A rustic shelter offers a broad view of this garden of exotic and native plantings that encircle a serene pond full of turtles, frogs, and goldfish.
Polly Hill Arboretum
Located in picture-perfect West Tisbury, this horticultural and botanical landmark features trees and shrubs from around the world set among stone walls, meadows, and fields. Developed by legendary horticulturist Polly Hill (1907-2007) the arboretum displays trees, scrubs and flowers, such as Polly’s famous North Tisbury azaleas, the national stewartia collection, camellias, hollies, rhododendrons, crabapples, conifers, and magnolias.
Martha's Vineyard Theater Foundation
Let's go to the movies! Take a cinematic trip back in time with a visit to The Strand in Oak Bluffs and The Capawock in Vineyard Haven, operated by the Martha's Vineyard Theater Foundation. Built in the early 20th century as "places for amusement," both single screen theaters have undergone extensive renovations while retaining their historical island charm. The theaters are seasonal (mid-May to mid-October) and offer nightly showings of blockbusters, classics-in-the-making, engaging documentaries, and local film festival presentations.
Fishing and Boating Excursions
- Saltmarsh's Boat Rentals—Offering a small variety of Boston Whaler's (17' to 22'), this rental company offers the perfect boat for whatever adventure you're looking to tackle. From a day spent fishing a fun-filled afternoon of tubing and wakeboarding to a casual sunset cruise, Saltmarsh's will get you equipped with everything you need.
- Plan Sea—Embark on a daytime cruise, set out to sea as the sun sets over the horizon, enjoy a one-of-a-kind bachelorette party, or witness a 4th of July fireworks show you’ll never forget. With the capacity for up to 22 passengers, this sea vessel offers indoor and outdoor seating, plus a wet bar and is sure you to leave you with memories of a lifetime.
- Magic Carpet—Sailing daily (in season) from Memorial Wharf, the Magic Carpet is a gorgeous, classic 56’ wooden yawl. True sailing at its best, you'll feel the splash of the sea as this beautiful boat comes about.
- Mad Max—This massive catamaran offers two-hour smooth and graceful cruises around the harbor. Enjoy the party atmosphere on board even more with a gourmet snack basket from our sister property's restaurant, l'etoile.
- Skipper—For an ocean fishing expedition on the protected waters of Vineyard Sound, we recommend the Skipper out of Oak Bluffs harbor.
And, there is so much more on the island to explore! Ask us about:
- Horseback riding
- Moped/Jeep Rentals
- Golf Courses
- Up Island, Menemsha, Chilmark
For Vineyard events, virtual tours, live web cams and blogs, be sure to consult the Martha’s Vineyard Online or the Chamber of Commerce websites. For ideas on the perfect Martha’s Vineyard weekend getaway, consider this New York Times advice from Danielle Pergament’s 36 Hours on Martha’s Vineyard.