The Island Beaches on Martha's Vineyard
Legend has it that Bartholomew Gosnold, an English explorer, came upon this beautiful Island where he found a profusion of wild grapes growing and he named the island for these grapes and his infant daughter, Martha.
With several exceptions, the Island's public beaches are free and are maintained and operated by town officials and financed with town funds. Others are owned by Conservation organizations such as The Trustees of Reservations and still other require a beach pass proving residency or tenancy.
1. Gay Head Cliffs and Beach: Off-limits. The Gay Head
Cliffs are a National Landmark and are seriously endangered by climbing
on the cliffs and removal of clay (both prohibited by law).
2. Gay Head Public Beach (Moshup Beach): Surf beach off Moshup Trail open to public. Extends from Philbin Beach to just before the cliffs. The beach is approximately a ten-minute walk from the parking lot on a cleared trail. There is a $15 parking fee in summer.
3. Lobsterville Beach: Two miles of beautiful Vineyard Sound beach and dune land along Lobsterville Road. Includes a seagull nesting area, and is a favorite fishing spot. Open to all, but parking is prohibited on Lobsterville Road.
4. Philbin Beach: Surf beach off Moshup Trail. Gay Head residents and tenants only with permit.
1. Lucy Vincent Beach: Chilmark section of South Shore with 2300 feet of ocean beachfront with surf. Chilmark residents and tenants with permits only.
2. Menemsha Public Beach: Next to Menemsha Harbor good for swimming and fishing. A gentle 16 acre beach with the clear, bright water that is typical of the North Shore. Open to all.
3. Squibnocket Beach: Chilmark section of South Shore. A surf beach. Chilmark residents and tenants with permits only.
1. East Beach and Wasque (Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge and Wasque Reservation): Located on Chappaquiddick Island. One of our best. Open to all;
however, subject to regulations and charges of The Trustees of
Reservations. Beach passes and memberships to The Trustees available,
2. Fuller Street Beach: At the end of Fuller St. - connects to Lighthouse Beach. Open to all.
3. Katama Beach (South Beach): Three miles of barrier beach on the South Shore at the end of Katama Road. Fine surf on one side, protected salt-pond on the other. Open to all. Vehicles with permits allowed on marked trails.
4. Lighthouse Beach: A harbor beach at Starbuck's Neck, off North Water St. near the center of town. Open to all.
1. Eastville Beach: At the bridge between Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven. Open to all. Popular fishing spot.
2. Oak Bluffs Town Beach: Calm, shallow water. The beach begins near the Steamship Authority dock. It terminates at the first jetty heading towards Edgartown, located at the end of the breakwater and marked by a fence. The beach continues again about one mile southeast of the small inlet flowing into Sengekontacket Pond, and ends at the state beach (next listing). Open to all.
3. Joseph Sylvia State Beach: Two miles of clear, mild beach along Beach Road between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. (The section in Edgartown is called Bend-in-the-Road Beach.) Accessible by bicycle path. Edgartown end has life guard. Open to all.
1. Lake Tashmoo Town Beach: At Herring Creek on Lake Tashmoo. Open to all.
2. Owen Park Beach: A small harbor beach off Main St., near the center of town. Open to all.
3. Tisbury Town Beach: End of Owen Little Way, next to the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club. Open to all.
1. Lambert's Cove Beach: Considered by many to have the
finest sand and clearest water on the North Shore. West Tisbury
residents or tenants only with permit.
2. The Trustees of Reservations, Long Point Wildlife Refuge: Surf and solitude. Open to all 9-5 year 'round. Parking fee in summer. Beach passes and memberships to The Trustees available, call 508-693-3678.