Beaches, Open Land and Lighthouses

     The West Chop Lighthouse 

     The Island's last manned lighthouse, was built in 1817, and in 1838 the wooden building was replaced by the present brick structure. It was moved back from the edge of the 60-foot-high bluff in 1848 and again in 1891.  In recent times, the small caretaker's cottage at the foot of the lighthouse, has been occupied by Coast Guard personnel.

Vineyard Haven Harbor

      Has been recognized as a port of protection since 1645, and for 300 years it was one of the most important ports on the Atlantic coast. Originally called  "Holmes Hole," it acquired the name Vineyard Haven in 1871. For information regarding marina and mooring services, please contact the Harbormaster at 508-6964249 or 508-696-4200. Monitors channel 9; and working channel 69.

Hillman’s Point Preserve

      The swimming beach is on a sandy spit projecting into the normally calm waters of Lake Tashmoo.  Owned and managed by Land Bank.  

Lake Tashmoo Town Beach

     (Herring Creek Beach) 2.5 acres, small town beach at Tashmoo jetties, fronts on Vineyard Sound and the channel into Lake Tashmoo. Waves are normally small and the currents can be quite strong in the channel, lifeguard is posted in season. Fishing and shell fishing with permit. Located at end of Herring Creek Road, a dirt road off of Daggett Avenue.   

 Lake Street Beach

      This small beach is at the end of Lake Street next to the town docks near the southern end of Lake Tashmoo. 

 Owen Park Beach 

     1.2 acre, hillside park overlooking harbor with a town beach and pier, located on the protected waters of Vineyard Haven Harbor, adjacent to the town dock.  Close to downtown Vineyard Haven, off Main Street.   

Tisbury Town Beach

(Owen Little Way Town Beach) has 80 feet of shorefront, sand beach and swimming. This small beach is on the western shore of Vineyard Haven Outer Harbor at the end of Owen Little Way, adjacent to Vineyard Haven Yacht Club. Limited parking is available.   

Wilfred’s Pond Reserve

     3.4 acres, offering scenic view of both coastal pond and ocean front barrier beach. The swimming beach is on the usually calm waters of Vineyard Sound (not on the fresh-water coastal pond adjacent to the property). The beach is accessed via a short hiking trail from the parking spaces at the end of the road. Limited parking and access, visitors may have to be turned away. Owned and managed by Land Bank.  

Bare Hill Preserve

      3.5 acres, owned by Land Bank

Brightwood Park.

      Woodland path from Shellfish Hatchery leads to 9 acres nature preserve/sanctuary, trails circle ravine. Accessed via the Land Bank’s Ramble Trail Preserve, located at the end of Weaver Lane on Hines Point.  Owned by Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation

Carpenter Woods

      8 acres abutting Mink Meadows Golf course, includes trails, limited parking,  access via Bigelow Road. Town owned and managed.   

Cranberry Acres

     22 acres of conservation land, walking trails around ponds and old cranberry bog.  It’s the home of the Wakeman Conservation Center.  Owned and managed by Vineyard Open Land Foundation.   

Lagoon Bridge Park

     5.6 acres south side of drawbridge, with native plants and walking paths, abuts town landing and boat ramp.  

 Lake Street

      5 acres of upland woods, town’s boat ramp, pier, and moorings at Lake Tashmoo.   

Ramble Trail

6 acres, property offers a birds-eye view of the entirety of the Lagoon Pond at its  highest point, abuts Brightwood Park. Owned and managed by Land Bank.   

Ripley’s Field

56.1 acres with a large open meadow and oak-pine woodland. Uses include birding,  hiking, horseback riding, and picnicking.  Entrance off Lambert’s Cove Road. Owned and managed by Land Bank.   

Shellfish Hatchery

Off Winyah Lane, headquarters of four town marine culture program (research and  propagation).  Limited parking, steep stairs to Lagoon and dock. 

Tashmoo Springs and Overlook 

25 acres, includes a scenic overlook at State Road, woodland trails, outdoor amphitheater. Managed by Tisbury Water Department.   

Tisbury Meadow Preserve 

83 acres includes paths for walking, biking, horseback riding as well as birding and picnicking.  Entrance 0.4 miles past the Lake Tashmoo Overlook on State Road on the left. Owned and managed  by Land Bank.   

War Veterans Memorial Park 

10 acres with athletic fields, picnic areas, and playground. Access and parking off Lagoon Pond Road or Causeway Road, town owned and managed.  

 West Chop Woods

 90 acres nature preserve, includes hiking and horseback riding trails. Parking lot off Franklin Street, bike rack off Main Street. Owned by Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation.   


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).

 Gay Head Public Beach (Moshup Beach)

 Surf beach off Moshup Trail. 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.

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 during the shoulder season, but parking is prohibited on Lobsterville Road.

Philbin Beach

 Surf beach off Moshup Trail.
Gay Head residents only.


Lucy Vincent Beach

Chilmark section of South Shore. Surf, bluffs.
Chilmark residents only.

Menemsha Public Beach

 Next to Menemsha Harbor. A gentle beach with the clear, bright water that is typical of the North Shore.
Open to all.

Squibnocket Beach

Chilmark section of South Shore. A surf beach.
Chilmark residents only.


East Beach
(Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge and Wasque Reservation)

 Located on Chappa-quiddick Island. One of our best.
Open to all; however, subject to regulations of The Trustees of Reservations.

Fuller Street Beach

At the end of Fuller St. near Lighthouse Beach.
Open to all.

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.

Lighthouse Beach

 A harbor beach at Star-buck\'s Neck, off North Water St. near the center of town.
Open to all.

Norton Point Beach (Permit20).

Connecting Left Fork Beach with Wasque and Chappaquiddick, Norton Point Beach is the only island beach permitting oversand driving. Islanders know how to beat the Chappy Ferry line. Get your oversand permits here.

Oak Bluffs

Eastville Beach

At the bridge between Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven.
Open to all.

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.

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.
Open to all.

West Tisbury

Lambert's Cove Beach

 Considered by many to have the finest sand and clearest water on the North Shore.
West Tisbury residents only.

Long Point Wildlife Refuge beach

 Located on the South Shore. The best.
Open to all; however, subject to regulations of The Trustees of Reservations.

Beaches, Open Space & Lighthouses

Martha’s Vineyard Beaches, Open Land and Lighthouses   

        The natural beauty of Martha's Vineyard beaches are world renowned and vary from the gentle, calm waters of the north and eastern area of the Island to the pounding rough surf along the southern portion. There are a number of beaches open to the public, while others are reserved for town residents (parking and/or beach permit is required. A number of Land Bank & Trustees of the Reservation properties include access to beautiful conservation beaches. These locations often limit use by offering only a small number of parking spaces and may charge entrance fees.
       The conservation agencies work individually and together to preserve the beauty and open space of Martha's Vineyard. Many of these lands are open to the public for enjoyment. Be sure to take time to explore the beauty of our conservation lands during your visit while observing the guidelines and rules.   
     The five lighthouses on the Island of Martha's Vineyard represent the most diverse group in a small, contained area in the country, according to lighthouse buffs. All of the lighthouses are on the north side of the Island: they look out over Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound, and over the entrance to Edgartown Harbor and Cape Poge. The Gay Head, East Chop, and Edgartown Lighthouses are maintained by the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society under a 30-year lease with the United States Coast Guard. All of the Island's lighthouses, except the Cape Poge Lighthouse, are easily accessible by road.     
     Marina and mooring services are available in the harbors at Edgartown, Menemsha, Oak Bluffs, and Vineyard Haven.  Please contact the local harbormaster within each town, for additional information.  The marinas’ are conveniently located to each town, providing easy access to shops, restaurants and services.