More About Aquinnah
Aquinnah, formerly called Gay Head, is the western most area of Martha's Vineyard. Aquinnah, West Tisbury, and Chilmark are often referred to as "up-island." This region is rural and unspoiled, with stone walls, farms, and vineyards.
The native Wampanoag tribe is credited with providing this area with much history. One of the few Indian townships in Massachusetts, Aquinnah means "land beneath the hill."
The Aquinnah cliffs are a national landmark and one of the most popular places to visit on the Island. Due to increasing erosion, the cliffs are a protected landmark. The clay-colored cliffs and beautiful beaches below present a dramatic setting that is widely photographed. While there, tour the Gay Head Lighthouse, built in 1856.
Aquinnah Public Beach, also known as Moshup Beach, is located at the base of the Aquinnah cliffs and is ranked one of the top U.S. beaches. Philbin Beach is another popular town beach.
Lobsterville Beach is a family-friendly beach with calm, shallow water ideal for children. This is also a favorite bird watching area. The Wampanoag Tribal Center on Black Brook Road provides details of the native tribe, their settlement on Martha's Vineyard, and their relationship with the Pilgrims at Plymouth on the mainland.
Aquinnah residents and renters only are allowed access to Menemsha Pond, where there is warm, shallow, salt water that is ideal for children, as well as deeper water for boats. A major attraction is the access for kayaks (many are beached there), small sailboats like Sunfishes and canoes, and windsurfer launching. The pond is a mile square, leads into two other small, beautiful ponds, and empties into the Vineyard Sound next to Menemsha Harbor. There is a passenger- and bicycle-ferry that provides a five-minute ride across the pond's channel into the charming fishing village of Menemsha, which is in the town of Chilmark and also borders the pond.
Ferry service to Martha's Vineyard:
Service from Woods Hole, Hyannis, Nantucket and New Bedford daily year-round. Steamship Authority boats dock in the town of Vineyard Haven in the winter, and both Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs in the summer. This is the only line that accommodates cars and trucks. Island Queen
Seasonal daily walk-on passenger-only service from Falmouth to Oak Bluffs. Hy-Line Cruises
Year-round high-speed service from Hyannis to Oak Bluffs in 50 minutes. Traditional service from Hyannis and Nantucket to Oak Bluffs seasonally. Passengers only. Seastreak / MV Express Ferry
Year round daily passenger-only express service from New Bedford to Martha's Vineyard. One hour trip to Oak Bluffs in summer / Vineyard Haven in winter. New York and New Jersey transportation added in the summer. Reservations recommended. Vineyard Fast Ferry (Rhode Island)
Seasonal fast service from Quonset Point, Rhode Island, to Oak Bluffs aboard a 400 passenger high-speed catamaran. Ferry is 15 min. away from the Providence (PVD) Airport or 20 min. from Amtrak (KIN). Offers first-class amenities, advance reservations & dockside parking. May-Oct. with 2 to 3 round-trips daily.