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Aquinnah Cliffs | © Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism / Flickr
Aquinnah Cliffs | © Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism / Flickr
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The Top 10 Things to See And Do in Martha's Vineyard

Picture of Natasha Chang
Updated: 8 February 2018
Sitting just seven miles off the coast of Cape Cod, lies the idyllic island of Martha’s Vineyard. The largest island off the Massachusetts coast is only accessible by boat or air. With its laid-back elegance, picturesque charms and diverse landscape, check out these top 10 things you can do to enjoy your weekend getaway.
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See the Gingerbread Houses of Oak Bluff

A scene right out of a fairytale is situated in Oak Bluffs. A strip of houses slathered with sugar-saturated candy colors interwoven with whimsical details in an array of shapes punctuates this beach-side town. It’s no wonder that it’s named The Gingerbread Houses. Don’t miss the chance to snap a picture here for a sweet memory to take home.

Gingerbread Houses, Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association, 80 Trinity Park, Oak Bluffs, MA, USA +1 508 693 0525

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Take a ride on the Flying Horse Carousel

Built in 1876, this historic landmark is the longest continually running carousel in the country. Both kids and adults alike can partake in one of the most nostalgics things to do on Martha’s Vineyard, beloved by generations of islands and summer visitors. Try to grab a brass ring as an extra challenge and earn yourself a free ride.

Flying Horse Carousel, 15 Oak Bluffs Ave, Oak Bluffs, MA, USA +1 508 693 9481

Have the Martha’s Vineyard “Picnic”

If you don’t eat steamed lobster while watching the sunset on the Menemsha beach, did you even travel to Martha’s Vineyard? Make sure to call ahead and reserve your sunset lobsters and clam chowder before making yourself comfortable on the sandy shores. Indulge yourself in an evening that can’t be beaten, with an unforgettable sunset experience.

Menemsha Sunset | © Jennifer Rotner/ Flickr
Menemsha Sunset | © Jennifer Rotner/ Flickr

Experience the Gay Head Cliffs of Aquinnah

The Gay Head Cliffs, or Aquinnah Cliffs, are a must-see when stopping by the town of Aquinnah. The multicolored clay cliffs, carved by glaciers millions of years ago, are one of the top attractions. You can take the upper trails to the top of the cliffs to spot Gay Head Lighthouse or explore the lower beach paths, the ideal place to sit and watch the sunset and to experience the cliffs up close.

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Rent A Bike

The best way to explore the six little towns that make up Martha’s Vineyard is on two wheels. You can rent bikes, jeeps and mopeds from the many rental spots scattered around the island. Make sure you park your bike once you hit “Jaws Bridge,” the dividing line between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. This is the infamous landmark where some of the most vicious shark attack scenes were filmed. Whether you jump, flip or belly flop into the water from this bridge, this serves as a “summer rite of passage” for many tourists.

Jaws Bridge, Edgartown Oak Bluffs Rd, Edgartown, MA, USA

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Meet the Island Alpacas

You don’t have to travel all the way to South America to get up close and personal with these fascinating creatures. The Island Alpaca Company has more than 50 alpacas and focuses on breeding those with the highest quality fleece. A fun outing the entire family can enjoy.

Island Alpaca Company, 1 Head of the Pond Rd, Vineyard Haven, MA, USA +1 508 693 5554

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Visit the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

The Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary is a birder-watcher’s paradise. With four miles of hiking trails through marshlands, reptile ponds and seashores, this habitat harbors a variety of winged creatures. Bring your binoculars and keep your eyes out for oystercatchers, ospreys, and red-tailed hawks. Sunset hikes, stargazing, canoeing, and snake or bird walks are also offered, so why not spend a day enjoying the unspoiled nature of the island?

Mass Audubon’s Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, 100 Felix Neck Dr, Edgartown, MA, USA +1 508 627 4850

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Marvel at the Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse

Give yourself a moment to catch a breath and make an obligatory stop at Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse. This lighthouse marks the harbor’s entrance between Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick. The views of the water and Edgartown should not be missed.

Edgartown Harbor Lighthouse, 121 North Water Street, Edgartown, MA, USA

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Discover Mytoi Japanese Garden on Chappaquiddick

Hop on the Chappa Ferry 527 to the protected hideaway of Chappaquiddick, a historic little island tucked away behind Edgartown Harbor. You’ll find secluded beaches and the beautiful Mytoi Japanese Garden. Pack a picnic and pick a spot anywhere in the 14 acres of land which include walking trails, flower gardens and the Poucha Pond for a relaxing getaway.

Mytoi Japanese Garden, 41 Dike Rd, Edgartown, MA, USA

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Eat at Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Café & Bakery

Before tucking yourself into bed after a long day of exploration, head over to Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Café & Bakery (also known as Back Door Donuts after the sun sets). Between 7 pm and 1am, you can grab fresh pastries straight from the oven. The quaint bakery draws crowds, so go prepare to stand in line for a taste of their cinnamon rolls, croissants and donuts.

Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Café & Bakery, 5 Post Office Square, Oak Bluffs, MA, USA +1 508 693 3688