Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket beaches offer excellent sand, swimming and water sports

Cape Poge-credit-trustees of reservations

Wasque Road Edgartown (Chappaquiddick Island, near the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA, 02539 Phone: 508-627-7689

One-half mile of over-sand vehicle trails and 4.5 miles of walking trails and sandy roads in upland area. Bird watchers can observe many species, including ospreys. Facilities include public restrooms, picnic tables, bike rack, soda machine at Wasque Gatehouse. Fresh water by hand pump in the parking area. Limited handicapped-accessible transportation; call 508-627-3255 for details. Natural history tours are offered by expert guides.
The almost 1,000 acres of preserved land here – encompassing Wasque, Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge and Norton Point Beach – offer plenty of places to explore on one’s own, or with family and friends, year-round.
Aquinnah cliffs on martha's vineyard
Aquinnah Beach (also known as Moshup Beach or Gay Head Beach)

Off Moshup Trail Aquinnah (on the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA, 02535 Phone:

Surf beach off Moshup Trail. The beach is approximately a ten-minute walk from the parking lot on a cleared trail. There is a $15 parking fee in summer. Climbing on cliffs is not allowed.
Norton Point

end of Katama Road Edgartown (on Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone: 508-627-7689

This 2.5-mile-long strip of sand and dunes linked Martha's Vineyard and the island of Chappaquiddick until 2007, when a storm breached in the barrier beach. This beach provides opportunities for shellfishing, swimming, bird watching, and picnicking. In the autumn, the sandflats are used by migrating shorebirds. There are 1.8 miles of oversand-vehicle trails and 4.5 miles of walking trails and sandy roads in the upland area.
Due to strong currents and riptides, swimming at Norton Point Beach can be hazardous. Use caution at all times. The breach can be particularly dangerous. Stay at least 10 feet away from the edge of the breach and obey all posted signs.
Open year-round, daily. Dogs must be kept on a leash. Free access for pedestrians.
Lake Tashmoo Town Beach (Herring Creek Beach)

End of Herring Creek Road Vineyard Haven (on Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone:

You won't have to battle the crowds at this small sandy beach (just 2.5 acres), overlooking the Vineyard Sound. Take Franklin Street to Daggett Avenue and turn left. Follow the road to the end of Herring Creek Road.
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Brant Point Beach (on the island of Nantucket)

Easton Street Nantucket, MA Phone:

Located right at the Brant Point Lighthouse, this is not really a beach for swimming. There is some sand but the currents are very strong with lots of boat traffic and there are no lifeguards or restrooms. This is a nice place to sit and watch the boats go by or the artists painting the lighthouse, but swimming is not recommended.
Beach vehicle permit fees range from $50 to $200 for the season. See Nantucket Beach Vehicle Permit Fees.
Eastville Beach

Beach Road Vineyard Haven (on the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA, 02568 Phone:

At the bridge between Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven is this small beach area, just about a half-mile outside of Oak Bluffs downtown area. It's good for swimming or fishing.
Siasconset Beach

East Shore Nantucket (on Nantucket), MA Phone:

Scionset, on the eastern shore of the island, is a beautiful beach (especially for early risers who catch the sunrise). It often has rougher waves because it faces out into the open Atlantic. Lifeguards watch over the beach; this are not food concessions or restrooms. Bus service to the beach in summer.
Beach vehicle permit fees range from $50 to $200 for the season. See Nantucket Beach Vehicle Permit Fees.
Fuller Street Beach

End of Fuller Street near Lighthouse Beach Edgartown (on the island of Martha's vineyard), MA Phone:

At the end of Fuller Street near Lighthouse Beach. Open to all.
Oak Bluffs Town Beach

Town wharf and Steamship Authority dock Oak Bluffs (on Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone:

Calm, shallow water. The beach begins near the Steamship Authority dock and terminates at the first jetty heading toward Edgartown, at the end of the breakwater, marked by a fence. The beach continues again about one mile southeast of the small inlet flowing into Sengekontacket Pond, and ends at Joseph Sylvia State Beach. Open to all.
Katama Beach (also known as South Beach)

Katama Road and Atlantic Avenue Edgartown (on the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA, 02539 Phone:

This is a stretch of three miles of barrier beach on the South Shore at the end of Katama Road. Fine surf with strong waves on one side and a sheltered salt pond on the other. Open to all. Vehicles with permits allowed on marked trails.
Dogs are allowed during the summer, only after 5 p.m. From mid-September to mid-April, dogs are allowed all day. Dogs must be leashed and people need to clean up after their pets.
Dionis Beach

Eel Point Road Nantucket (on the island of Nantucket), MA Phone:

This beach is three miles from town by bike on the north side of Eel Point Road off Madaket Road. Look for the boulder marked “Dionis.”  Lifeguard (in season), restrooms, and parking. Good seashell hunting. Sheltered by dunes, calm waters for swimming, safe for children. There is no food concession. Beachgoers can take NRTA shuttle bus to Eel Point Road stop and walk.
Tisbury Town Beach (Owen Little Way Town Beach)

Owen Little Way Vineyard Haven (on Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone:

Just moments away from Vineyard Haven, this small stretch of shorefront is nice for swimming and sunbathing. There's limited parking, but it's right next to town, with access from Main Street. Located next to the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club.
Some beaches are open to the general public while others are reserved for residents and summer visitors in the towns where the beaches are located. A parking and/or beach permit is required at town beaches. 
Children's Beach (or Harbor Beach)

Harbor View Way Nantucket, MA Phone:

Harbor Beach, an easy walk from town down South Beach Street and off Harbor View Way. Flotation devices are not permitted within the guarded area. Ideal for small children; park, playground, and bandstand; lifeguard, restrooms, showers, food service, picnic tables. Food, playground, and rest room are all accessible. Activities sponsored by Park & Recreation Commission are often held at this beach during the summer.
Madaket Beach

Madaket Road Nantucket (on Nantucket), MA Phone:

As far west as you can go on Martha's Vineyard, Madaket is a popular beach, especially for watching sunsets. Madaket Beach is accessible by bike via a 5.5 mile paved bike path, or take the NRTA shuttle bus (seasonal). Heavy surf, lifeguard, restrooms. Famous for its incredible sunsets.The western most tip of the beach is accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicle. Smith's Point is at the very end of Madakat and reachable only by four-wheel drive vehicles, permit required. Sometimes the point is breached by waves to create Esther Island.
Beach vehicle permit fees range from $50 to $200 for the season. See Nantucket Beach Vehicle Permit Fees.
Surfside Beach

Surfside Road Nantucket, MA, 02554 Phone:

Surfside is one of the most popular beaches for families and children, but note that the surf can get heavy at times. People often picnic, fly kites, build sandcastles, and surf cast for fish on this beach. Surfcasting is allowed after 5 p.m. Amenities include lifeguards, restrooms, showers, a food shack, equipment rentals, parking. Beach is accessible for people with disabilities.
The beach can be reached via a two-mile ride on paved bike path or by the NRTA Shuttle in summer only. Kite flying west of Surfside Beach is acceptable; for safety reasons, please do not fly kites east of Surfside toward the airport.
Beach vehicle permit fees range from $50 to $200 for the season. See Nantucket Beach Vehicle Permit Fees.
Joseph Sylvia State Beach (also called Bend in the Road Beach)

Seaview Avenue Edgartown (on Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone: 508-627-6145

Two miles of mild beach along Beach Road between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. Gentle waves and sandy bottom. Popular with families and young children. The Edgartown end of this beach is known as Bend-in-the-Road Beach. Lifeguards in season.
Lighthouse Beach

Starbuck’s Neck Road, off North Water Street Edgartown (on Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone:

A lovely spot with calm water and scenes of sailboats, the Chappy ferry, and fishing boats. Gentle waves on the outer part of the beach are safer for small children. Seldom crowded and a short walk from North Water Street. Just a short distance from downtown, offers pleasant swimming conditions and a view of the harbor and lighthouse. Take North Water Street to Starbuck's Neck.
Francis Street Beach

Francis Street Nantucket (on the island of Nantucket), MA, 02554 Phone:

Five-minute walk from Main Street. Calm harbor waters for swimming; no lifeguard. Jungle gym, kayak rentals, bathroom.
Owen Park and Beach

Owen Park Way Vineyard Haven (on the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone:

This harbor beach also offers quick access to Vineyard Haven. Situated at Owen Park. Off Main Street, near the center of town. Open to all.
Menemsha Public Beach

Next to Dutcher’s Dock, Menemsha Harbor Chilmark (on Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone:

Has a nice sandy beach on the North side of Martha's Vineyard. There is limited public parking, and public restrooms with showers. There is gas and fuel available for both car and marine use. The harbormaster's office, a small market, shops, a couple of fishmarkets, fishing shacks, thriving fishing charters, restaurants, deli and transient boat docking make Menemsha a popular summer destination.
Cisco Beach

Hummock Pond Road Nantucket (on the island of Nantucket), MA Phone:

Four-mile bike ride to the end of Hummock Pond Road. Heavy surf. Lifeguard are on duty, and parking is available.
Beach vehicle permit fees range from $50 to $200 for the season. See Nantucket Beach Vehicle Permit Fees.
Chappy Point Beach

Chappaquiddick Road Chappaquiddick (adjacent to the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA, 02539 Phone:

Just across the harbor from Edgartown is a small beach with 705 feet of sand and splendid views of the harbor on Chappaquiddick. There are two beaches; one faces the inner harbor, the other looks out toward the outer harbor and Nantucket Sound. Both offer small lapping waves. Not suitable for swimming due to harbor traffic. Take the Chappaquiddick ferry to gain access to the beach.
Squibnocket Beach

Squibnocket Road Martha's Vineyard, MA Phone:

Squibnocket faces the Atlantic and is known for heavy surf. In fact, it may have the most consistently powerful surf of all the Martha's Vineyard beaches. A well-established local surf spot, the beach if fairly rocky. A Town of Chilmark residential permit is required here for beach access during the summer season. No public parking is available. Directions: Located in Chlmark, Squibnocket is accessible via seasonal shuttle bus service.
Lobsterville Beach

Lobsterville Road Aquinnah (on the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone:

A calm north shore beach with good shells and sea glass. Includes a seagull nesting area, and is a favorite fishing spot. Pleasant and protected. Open to all, but parking is very limited.
Miacomet Beach

End of Miacomet Road, South Shore Nantucket (on Nantucket), MA Phone:

At the end of Miacomet Road. Surf and rip currents can be dangerous. Parking. No facilities or food service. Families with very young children may prefer the fresh-water Miacomet Pond. At the pond there is parking; no lifeguard, no facilities. Watch out for snapping turtles.
Long Point Wildlife Refuge

Off Long Point Road West Tisbury (on the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone: 508-693-7662

At more than 600 acres, Long Point is one of the largest publicly accessible properties on Martha's Vineyard. It encompasses beach, dune, and woodland. Popular in summer, the property is also an off-season treasure, especially for birders and other nature-watchers. The property has 2.1 miles of flat trails through woods and open areas, plus beachfront. Easy walking. Hours: Mid-June to mid-September, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (gate closes at 6 p.m.). Mid-September to mid-June, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of two hours. Facilities: Public restrooms. Picnic tables. Bike rack. Small visitor center.
Jetties Beach

Bathing Beach Road Nantucket (on the island of Nantucket), MA, 02554 Phone:

Easy bike ride from town or take the NRTA shuttle bus in summer. The water is calm and warm, perfect for swimming. There are volleyball nets, tennis courts, a skateboard park, and a playground. Windsurfing, sailboat, and kayak lessons and rentals available. Beach accessible wheelchairs are available. Parking is available.
Lifeguards, changing rooms, restrooms, showers, public phones, restaurant and take-out food service (in season). Concession and restrooms are handicap accessible; boardwalk to the beach. Swimming lessons for children age 6 and up offered by the Parks and Recreation Commission; call for dates and times.
Bend-in-the-Road Beach (Joseph Sylvia State Beach)

Beach Road Edgartown (on the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone:

Here you’ll find two miles of calm beach along Beach Road between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. This is a very popular beach, so parking can be tough. There are lifeguards at the beach in season (from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend). This is an excellent beach for families. Accessible by bicycle path. Open to all. Dogs are permitted onthe beach from October 1 to March 31. Learn more.
Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge

Wauwinet Road Wauwinet (on the island of Nantucket), MA, 02554 Phone: 508-228-5646

Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge is known for its historic lighthouse, white sand beaches, and world-class fishing. Rolling maritime dunes cover more than 200 acres. Refuge includes 16 miles of over-sand vehicle and walking trails and beach front. Gray and harbor seals feed in the Great Point riptide. Facilities include public restrooms between the Wauwinet Gatehouse and Great Point Lighthouse and at the lighthouse. Both are open May 1 to October 31. Bike rack at the Wauwinet Gatehouse. Seasonal tours of the Great Point Lighthouse and the natural wonders of the refuge. Hours: Year-round, daily, 24 hours (10 p.m.-5 a.m. - fishing access only). Cost: Free to all pedestrians and boaters.
Gay Head Public Beach (also called Moshup Beach or Aquinnah Beach)

off Moshup Trail Aquinnah (on the island of Martha's Vineyard), MA Phone:

See entry on this page for Aquinnah Beach