Get the skinny on MV well-ahead of the summer season, check out the MVOL.com’s FAQs File – Just about everything you need to know about visiting Martha’s Vineyard!
How do I get to MV from the mainland?
Because MV is an Island you will need to fly or take a ferry. Most people take a ferry, of which there are several:
Steamship Authority (aka SSA) Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven & Oak Bluffs (45 min)
Runs throughout the year to VH; transports cars etc.
Falmouth Ferry, Falmouth to Edgartown
Seasonal; passenger only (1 hr)
Hyline, Hyannis to Oak Bluffs
Seasonal; passenger only (55 min & 1:35 hr services)
Island Queen, Falmouth to Oak Bluffs
Seasonal; passenger only (35 min)
NE Fast Ferry, Passengers only
New Bedford to VH & OB (1 hr); wkends July -Labor Day NY/NJ-OB (@6hrs)
MV Fast Ferry, Quonset Pt. RI to Oak Bluffs
Seasonal; passenger only (11/2 hr)
>more on ferry service<
Is there public transportation on Island (do I need a car)?
You can get around Martha’s Vineyard’s 100 sq miles easily using Vineyard Transit Authority buses, cabs, pedicabs (seasonal), bikes or mopeds (your own or rentals). Sightseeing buses are also available June through September.
> more on transportation<
How far ahead do I need to book a place to stay?
This depends on how flexible you are and when you are coming. Summer vacations, particularly those in July & August, should be planned asap. That said, the Island has so many beautiful locations that suitable accommodations and rentals can almost always be found. But if you have a particular town and property in mind and your time frame is limited, it’s best to book early. Be aware though that in high season, cancellation policies can be strict. Make sure you understand these before booking.
>more on accommodations<
What’s to do besides the beaches?
Where to begin?! Art galleries, concerts, coffee houses, dance clubs, dance theater, comedy, plays, movies – Hollywood, indie and oldies, star-studded gala fundraisers, water sports of all sorts, fishing, sales and sails, walking tours, wine-tastings, BBQ’s, fireworks, fairs, farmer’s markets, crafts shows and open studios, book signings, yoga classes, community sings, bird watching, kayak quests, camps for kids, potlucks, clambakes, garden lectures, house tours, lectures, ice-cream socials, sandcastle contests…Want more?… See MVOL’s calendar of events.
Are Martha’s Vineyard’s Lighthouses accessible to the public?
Some but not all of Martha’s Vineyard Lighthouses are open to the public, generally between June -September. But even those that are not able to be entered can be visited and their scenic surroundings enjoyed. The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce hosts its Annual Lighthouse Challenge in early June to encourage visits to each of the Island’s five Lighthouses. For more information click here.
I hear MV is expensive; can I visit on a budget?
Of course! Whether you come for a day or longer enjoying MV is easy, even on a budget. For economy accommodations check out the Island Youth Hostel—space is limited so plan ahead. The MV Family Campgrounds is also a good option. If your planning on staying for a week or more, consider renting: a 3-bedroom $1600/week rental shared between 3 couples comes to only about $75 per day per couple. Having a house at your disposal saves on meals too!
Or consider coming in the shoulder season. Prices go down, the Island empties and the beaches are still beautiful.
For things to do in any season check MVOL.com’s Calendar of Events. You’ll be amazed at how many low or no $$$ options there are!
I’m visiting Boston. Can I visit MV as a day trip?
Yes! Take the Bonanza/Peter Pan bus from either Logan Airport or Boston’s South Station to Woods Hole. The (approx.) 2 hour trip will end directly across from the SSA ferry which you’ll board for a ¾ hour crossing to the Island. Here you’ll find both tour and route buses to take you to the beach or any of the Island’s six towns. Bike and moped rentals are also nearby. All three Island ports, Oak Bluffs, Edgartown and Vineyard Haven, are within walking distance of town beaches, great shopping and cafes and restaurants to refresh you while you linger.>more on Island towns<
Is there anything to do on Martha’s Vineyard when summer’s over?
See #4. Though not as many options exist in each category, Martha’s Vineyard has lots to do in any season. And, in December, Christmas in Edgartown and Tisbury’s Home for the Holidays, transform the Island into a holiday wonderland.
Where can I clean my clothes while on Island?
Though most rentals and even some hotels provide washer/driers for their guests, there is always the exception. Boaters too will find this info useful:
The Airport Laundromat on the MV Airport Entrance Road Call 508.693.5005 for hours and other info.
In Oak Bluffs – Wash Ashore at 7 Circuit Ave. They are open daily. 508.696.6999 for hours and other info.
Related services on Island include:
Vineyard Cleaners at 8 Merchant Mart off State Road, VH.-508-693-7389
Lapels Dry Cleaning at 395 State Rd., VH. 508-338-2827.
Send in your questions!
We’ll get back to you asap with an answer and, if we use your question to enhance our FAQs File, we’ll thank you with an MVOL.com beach ball! Send your questions to [email protected]