The town of Aquinnah is a wonderful place to escape to if you are looking to get away from the crowds during your Martha's Vineyard vacation. Formerly known as Gay Head, Aquinnah Massachusetts is found on the far western end of Martha's Vineyard, and this area is known for its quiet appeal. It is also known for its Native American history, inviting beaches, and historic lighthouse, and if nothing else, dropping by to admire the seaside cliffs can be a rewarding pursuit.
The Wampanoag were the Native American people that inhabited Aquinnah before the arrival of English colonists. Today, their descendants, the Aquinnah Indians, make up many of the approximately 345 town members. They also control the town's tribal lands, and these lands include the famed Aquinnah Cliffs. Thanks to the fact that these cliffs are comprised of layers of clay, sand, and gravel, they are multicolored, and the overall scene is only accentuated by the aqua color of the Atlantic Ocean waters. You can find a wonderful beach near the base of the Aquinnah Cliffs, known as Moshup Beach. When you're not relaxing at Moshup Beach during your visit to Aquinnah Martha's Vineyard, you might check out the town's other strips of sand. Aquinnah has four total beaches, and all but one are open to the public.
Taking a good look at the historic Gay Head Lighthouse is also recommended when in Aquinnah. The Gay Head Light, as the Aquinnah lighthouse is officially known, has sat atop the Aquinnah Cliffs since 1856, though the original station was established back in 1799. It is now a small museum more than anything, and you can drop by for a tour. These tours are offered around sunset time on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, but only from mid-June to mid-September. Seeing the sunset from the observation deck of the 51-feet-high Gay Head Light is quite a treat.
Aquinnah can be an excellent day trip destination when looking for things to do during your Martha's Vineyard vacation. It can also be a wonderful place to spend more than a day, especially for those who prefer low key atmospheres. There aren't a lot of Aquinnah hotels to choose from, but you should have little trouble finding a good place to stay, especially if you book in advance.
As for getting to Aquinnah Martha's Vineyard, there are no direct links from mainland Massachusetts. The Martha's Vineyard Airport isn't very far from town, however, and those who are arriving to the island by way of ferry will be happy to know that the main ferry terminal is less than twenty miles from Aquinnah. Another town of interest in the area is Chilmark, so you might keep that in mind when planning your Aquinnah Martha's Vineyard getaway. This town boasts the charming fishing village of Menemsha, where you can get some fresh-cooked seafood and book fun boating adventures of various kinds.