The Martha's Vineyard beaches are among the most highly sought after beaches in New England. This is especially true during the peak summer season. One of the things that makes the beaches of this island so enticing is the fact that they offer a lot in the way of variety. They are also picturesque, which doesn't hurt matters, and you can do more than just swim and play in the sand at most. Fishing is just one activity that can be enjoyed at some. Not all Martha's Vineyard beaches are public, though there are more than enough that are open to everyone.
Many of the Martha's Vineyard beaches are privately owned, but there are also plenty that are open to the public. One of the most popular public beaches on the island is Joseph A. Sylvia State Beach, and this has a lot to do with its accessibility and its usually gentle surf. You can find State Beach, as this beach is also known, about halfway between the towns of Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. It stretches for approximately two miles, and running along it is a bike path. The gentle surf is related to the fact that State Beach sits on Nantucket Sound, and you might be interested to know that it is possible to see Cape Cod on the horizon. There aren't a lot of facilities at Joseph A. Sylvia State Beach, but the excellent swimming and the opportunity to jump off the landmark drawbridge are enough to bring in the crowds during the summer season.
Martha's Vineyard Beaches
Another popular Martha's Vineyard Massachusetts Beach that you might look to include on the itinerary is South Beach, or Katama Beach as it is also known. Found just four miles south of Edgartown, this three-mile barrier beach has the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a protected saltwater pond on the other. The surf on the ocean side is often good, which is music to the ears of surfing enthusiasts, and if you prefer more tranquil waters, the pond is poised to accommodate. Unlike some of the other Martha's Vineyard beaches, South Beach has ample parking. It also features restroom facilities and lifeguards, which can also be missing at some of the island's other beaches.
Some of the public beaches in Martha's Vineyard are relatively isolated and often less crowded than the more popular ones. Good examples of beaches like these are Moshup Beach and East Beach. Moshup Beach is found on the far western side of Martha's Vineyard near Aquinnah. Serving as its backdrop are the renowned Aquinnah Cliffs, and while the hike down from the pay parking area takes a bit of effort, it is certainly worth it. Rarely crowded, Moshup Beach caters to all kinds, including nudists, who tend to congregate in specific areas.
As for East Beach, it calls the eastern end of Chappaquiddick Island home. Since most Martha's Vineyard tourists don't venture this far out, East Beach offers an elevated level of peace and quiet. Couples might consider this beach for a romantic picnic, and if you want to enjoy a fun biking adventure, you can ride out along the dirt trails on a mountain bike. While it is a public beach, there is a small fee to access East Beach, and since the summer season vehicle passes are expensive, most visitors park at the landmark Dyke Bridge and walk from there. It's only about a 200-yard walk. There are no facilities at East Beach, in which case Chappaquiddick visitors who prefer such comforts might head instead to Wasque Beach. This beach has restrooms, lifeguards, and ample parking, and it is also easy to get to. Once again, there is a small fee to access Wasque Beach, and should you be interested, you can pay for a special permit that allows you to drive your vehicle onto the sand.
You might consider beaches such as Menemsha Beach and Inkwell Beach. Both are popular with families, and the fact that they are found in towns means that visitors don't have to go far to get something to eat or drink. An excellent restaurant is found on one end of Menemsha Beach and there are various food vendors close by, for example, and Inkwell Beach is close to everything that the lively city of Oak Bluffs has to offer.
Some of the best Martha's Vineyard beaches are for town residents only, but you can enjoy these private strips of sand if you go about things the proper way. As long as you are staying at a vacation rental that is found in a town with a private beach, you can purchase a special beach permit at the Town Hall. Some local hotels give private beach passes to guests, too. One such hotel is the Beach Plum Inn, which can be found near wonderful Lucy Vincent Beach.
Finding a Martha's Vineyard Massachusetts beach that suits your wants and needs shouldn't be hard. There are plenty to choose from, and each offers its own kind of experience. The more popular beaches can get very crowded in the summer, however, so arriving early in the day is a good idea if you want to find a place to park or a good spot in the sand. It is possible to walk or bike to many of the public beaches, so you might leave the car behind. Also, some of the best strips of sand are served by shuttle buses, so you can rely on public transportation as well.