From the fictitious beaches stalked by a certain shark in the classic movie "Jaws", to the real-life ones covering the island, if there’s one thing Martha’s Vineyard is known for it's the array of incredible beaches that come to life in the summer months. Some folks might think “a beach is a beach” but there is so much variety across the numerous beaches waiting for you on Martha’s Vineyard, and you’ll have a much better time on some beaches depending on what you’re looking for in a visit by the sea. Today we’re going to run down five must-see beaches when you visit Martha’s Vineyard in the summer, so let’s jump in!
Oak Bluffs Town Beach
The Oak Bluffs Town Beach is probably the least “picturesque” of the beaches on this list, but it's still better looking than just about any beach on the Jersey Shore! Big waves and amazing views aren’t the reasons you visit this beach - the Oak Bluffs Town Beach shines because of its proximity to downtown. Are the kiddos getting hungry and you didn’t pack a sandwich? You’re a 5-minute walk from a dozen restaurants. Had a few drinks with your friends on a hot day and want to cool off in the ocean? The Oak Bluffs Town Beach is just a short stroll away.
Menemsha Public Beach
Looking for some epic views on your trip to the beach? Well, then you have to visit the Menemsha Public Beach in the afternoon and stay until the sunset! This is the beach where everyone flocks for the perfect skyline view of the sunset. The skies light up many different shades of orange and pink as the sun makes its descent, and you’re close to a handful of good seafood spots in the summer months. The Menemsha Public Beach is a bit out of the way if you’re staying in Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, or Edgartown but if you come on a day with clear skies you won’t regret it!
South Beach spans a massive amount of the southernmost end of Martha’s Vineyard. This is a big wave beach so bring your boogie board and ride them in! It's best known for attracting a large number of families and group beachgoers with its large waves and volleyball courts. Even though erosion has worn down areas of South Beach, this is the ideal spot if you’re looking to spend a long time at the beach with your family or friends. Unlike the other beaches we talked about above, South Beach is far away from all but one restaurant so make sure to have lunches packed and a cooler full of water before you make the journey.
Edgartown Lighthouse Beach
The appeal of this beach is just as much about the journey to get there as it is the experience of relaxing on the beach itself! You’ll enter this beach from the top of a hill with the iconic Edgartown Lighthouse in full view, and take a relaxing walk down some winding sandy paths. After a brief stroll you’ve got a wide open beach beside the lighthouse, perfect for a photo op with your vacation crew. This is a shallow shore for most times of the day, so the water is very warm and perfect for younger ones to sit and splash in the sand and water.
Joseph Sylvia State Beach
If you can only visit one beach on your stay to Martha’s Vineyard, this is the one to see. Spanning the entirety of the gorgeous stretch of beach road that connects Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, State Beach blends South Beach’s expansive feel and “stay all day” vibes with the more relaxed waters of the Oak Bluffs Town Beach that makes the ocean perfect for younger kids to play in (while supervised). There are tons of different areas to setup across State Beach, but the go-to spot is by the Jaws bridge or “second” bridge that was famously featured in the classic horror flick. The bridge has gotten some updates since the time of Jaws and is still a great place to setup for some sun and swimming!
That’s our list of five must see beaches on Martha’s Vineyard. When you visit this summer, one of them is sure to be your new favorite! If you’re looking for a place to stay when you visit the island, be sure to check out our rental properties or reach out to us directly on our website.