Photo by Susan Safford
The beaches of Martha's Vineyard offer something for everyone. The following is a list of beaches open to the public. Not included are beaches owned by individual towns that are restricted to short- or long-term residents of those communities.
1. Lake Tashmoo Beach: Follow Herring Creek Road to the end, off Daggett Avenue. The road is dirt and very rough. Parking is limited. The beach is adjacent to the Lake Tashmoo entrance and its protective jetty. Beach and clamming on Lake Tashmoo or swim in Vineyard Sound (small waves). Lifeguard on duty. No restrooms.
2. Owen Park Beach: On Vineyard Haven harbor just a short walk from downtown Vineyard Haven. Clean sand, small waves, harbor views. Limited parking off Main Street. Lifeguard on duty. Restrooms available.
3. Eastville Point Beach: A county-owned beach on Vineyard Haven harbor adjacent to the Lagoon Pond drawbridge in Oak Bluffs. Calm waves with views of Vineyard Haven harbor. A small beach also fronts on the channel that runs under the bridge into the Lagoon. Not recommended for swimming due to boat traffic and strong currents. No lifeguard. No restrooms.
4. Oak Bluffs Town Beach: A popular beach stretching from the Oak Bluffs harbor entrance to the ferry dock, and continuing to the end of Waban Park along Seaview Avenue. Nearby restroom facilities. No lifeguards.
5. Joseph A. Sylvia State Beach: A great family beach located between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown off Beach Road. The beach divides Sengekontacket Pond to the west from Nantucket Sound to the east. Calm waves and easy to reach on the bike paths. Parking on pavement along roadway. Lifeguards and picnic tables are located at the southern section known as "Bend-in-the-road-beach" in Edgartown.
6. Bend-in-the-Road Beach: A section of the Joseph A. Sylvia State Beach. Shallow water, small waves, clean sand, beautiful view of Nantucket Sound. A popular beach for families. Lifeguard on duty. No restrooms.
7. Lighthouse Beach: The harbor beach at Starbuck Neck, across from Harbor View Hotel. A lovely spot with calm water and scenes of sailboats, the Chappy ferry, and fishing boats. Seldom crowded and a short walk from North Water Street. Not recommended for swimming due to currents and boat traffic.
8. East Beach on Chappaquiddick: A long, beautiful, and relatively empty place, managed by The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) at the end of Dike Road. Popular with fishermen and swimmers. Admission for walkovers (seasonal admission: adults, $3; children under 15, free). Restroom facilities available. No lifeguards. TTOR also provides off-road vehicle access to more than six miles of beach. Vehicle permits are available at the TTOR gatehouse and at the Vineyard Haven office; and at Coop's Bait and Tackle in Edgartown.
9. Wasque Point Reservation: A TTOR property that provides access to Wasque Rip, a spot famous for fishing. Swimming is prohibited. The south side beach where swimming is allowed may be reached by the boardwalk from the parking area. TTOR admissions and permits apply (see East Beach, above).
10. Katama or South Beach: About a one-mile stretch of beach between the end of Katama Road and Herring Creek Roads in Edgartown. A long, popular south shore beach with fine surf. Lifeguards on duty. Restroom facilities available.
11. Norton Point Beach: A two-mile county-owned stretch of barrier beach between South Beach and Wasque Reservation that divides Katama Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. TTOR manages the beach for the county. Accessible by off-road vehicle with permit. A breach in the beach that occurred in 2007 has created dangerous swimming conditions. TTOR has closed the Chappy side to swimming until further notice.
12. Long Point Beach: Open to non-residents who purchase stickers from TTOR's office near the beach: adults, $3; children under 15, free; parking, $10 per vehicle. Beautiful, isolated, good surf. Follow nature trails to discover Tisbury Great Pond (brackish water) and the wide ocean shore. Limited parking; spaces fill early. Restroom facilities. No lifeguards.
13. Uncle Seth's Pond: Small freshwater pond off Lambert's Cove Road. Small beach very close to road. In the summer Vineyard Transit Authority buses pick up and drop off at the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School for transportation to Uncle Seth's. No lifeguards. No restroom facilities.
14. Menemsha Public Beach: Next to colorful Menemsha harbor. Fun, safe for kids. Sunsets are spectacular. Lifeguard on duty. Restroom facilities available.
15. Chilmark Pond Preserve: A Martha's Vineyard Land Bank-owned property with access to Chilmark Pond. Use a kayak or canoe to reach a small, dramatic, isolated south shore ocean beach. Very limited parking.
16. Great Rock Bight Preserve: Off North Road. Another M.V. Land Bank-owned property with swimming permissible at its 1,300 feet of Vineyard Sound beach. The trail to the beach is long, steep, and has stairs. Secluded sandy cove and views from the seaside bluff.
17. Lobsterville Beach: On Lobsterville Road. A calm north shore beach with good shells and sea glass. Pleasant and protected. Very limited parking. No lifeguards and no restrooms.
18. West Basin: At the end of Lobsterville Road. A north shore beach with small waves and good beachcombing. Parking along West Basin Road is limited.
19. Moshup Beach: A M.V. Land Bank property located near Gay Head Cliffs. A prime south beach for bathing and sunning. Drop-off area at the beach and town parking just up the hill from the start of Moshup Trail (seasonal admission: $15/day). Restroom facilities available.