You can fly into MV but I'm guessing that most of its visitors go to Woods Hole and hop on ferry like we did. We took a car on board which cost each of the 3 of us $60 for a the round-trip. What a steal.
It's a 45 minute trip and you can sit on one of the top outdoor levels and soak in the sea air, like we did. You can also sit inside, on a bench or in a booth, get a snack, or have a beer. You have options.
When traveling from the Cape to the Vineyard, the ferries operated by Hy-Line Cruises are a great way to get there. The Cape-Vineyard route runs from Hyannis to Oak Bluffs. Options include the high-speed ferry (55 minutes each way) or the traditional ferry (1 hour 35 minutes each way). If you have the time to spare, and the weather is good, take the traditional ferry; it's cheaper and more fun.
The "Lady Martha" ferry is clean, comfortable, and runs on time. Snacks and beverages available for purchase on board.
Book a reservation in advance in the summer season, especially on the weekends.
The ferries run year-round, but check the Hy-Line website for rates and schedules, as they vary greatly by season. Also, plan to pay an $5-$15 per overnight to park your car in one of their parking lots in Hyannis.
Most of the Island folk hate mopeds. The narrow roads plus many ignorant mopeds riders make it tough sometimes. If you do rent a moped, please beware of your surroundings. The Island has no capacity to expand the roads, so we all need to get along. That said, it's a fantastic way to see the Island.
Being an island, the easiest way to get there is by ferry service.
We parked at Woods Hole and hopped on one of the many ferry services offered to Martha's Vineyard. On the island you can rent a car, take the bus, walk or ride a bicycle.
A pleasant toursity island to refresh and recharge or do nothing, strolling down Vineyard Haven, Edgartown. Or you can bare it all at the lcoal "unofficial nudist" beach.
Great ferry ride out to Martha's Vineyard...runs out of Woods Hole on Cape Cod...or you can take a ferry out of New Bedford during the summer months. The ferry ride is a wonderful finishing touch at the end of your visit.
We are pictured going home after the "kids" treated us to a day on the vineyard for our anniversary. Great day.
We took the ferry to MV from Woods Hole, MA. It is completely ridiculuous that there is no parking at the Ferry and you have to turn around and drive 4 miles back to a place where they shuttle you back to where you came from! The sign for the ferry parking is parallell to the road you are driving so you can't see it!
We took the bike to MV on Aug 8th, a wednesday. We took our bikes and biked from M. Haven to Oaks bluff. This "bike path" constituted a very narrow strip next to the road. THere was so much traffic that we simply could not relax as the truckloads of tourists bombed it past our 7yr old in their SUV's and trucks.
Once we got to OAks bluff it was more relaxing and the ride from there along Beach road was much quieter and there was a dedicated bike path.
Way too busy. NExt time I'm going in Autumn.
Rent a car? A moped? A bicycle? All are options on the Vineyard, but it all depends on how long you plan to stay and what you want to do. If you're here for a day trip, and you just plan to explore one of the Vineyard's towns, walking by foot, or exploring by bicycle is probably your best bet. If you're here for a day trip and want to see more than one town, reserve a car as the towns are pretty far apart. If you're staying a few days, a moped is a great way to get around the island at a leisurely pace.
In the early 50s, we used to watch the ferries cross the "Hole" - an area of violent currents caused by different tidal states between Buzzard's Bay and Nantucket Sound. In those days, the Nantucket ferries had a pointed bow while Martha's Vineyard ferries were the round-ended car ferries.
When we visited Cape Cod in 1971, one of the things I took a picture of was the Martha's Vineyard ferry. This picture may be of the Islander which according to the Steamship Authority site,
".. was the first diesel-powered vessel built specifically for the Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven route. Delivery was taken in 1950 from Maryland Dry Dock Co. in Baltimore... The Islander is 201’ long x 58’ beam. Her modest 11.5-knot speed is offset by her ability, as a “double-ender”, to always head into a slip, avoiding the necessity to turn around. She is no-frills, simple and reliable. Now on her third set of engines and into her second half-century, The Islander... is the beloved symbol of transportation to Martha’s Vineyard."
Ferries sail from 4 Massachusetts ports, other than Woods Hole: Falmouth, Hyannis, New Bedford (year round), and Nantucket (another Island) and also seasonally from Quonset Rhode Island.
Woods Hole operates year round and is the only ferry that takes cars. Reservations for cars are recommended in the low-season and required in the high-season.
The ferries from Falmouth and Hyannis carry passengers only, and operate during the spring, summer, and fall. Passenger ferries to and from Nantucket run only during the summer months.
Approximate voyage times
From Woods Hole: 45 minutes
From Falmouth: 40 minutes
From Hyannis: 1 hour and 45 minutes
From New Bedford: 1 hour
From Nantucket: (another Island) 2 hours and 15 minutes
From Quonset, Rhode Island: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Adults $6.00 One-Way
Child 5-12 or Active Military $3.25 One-Way
Rates for a passenger car which do NOT include the driver or passengers are:
Jan 1, 2005-Apr 30, 2005 $35.00 One-Way
May 1, 2005-Oct 31, 2005 $57.00 One-Way
There are a number of ferry services that go to Martha's Vineyard from Rhode Island and from New Bedford, Woods Hole, and Hyannis in MAssachusetts. If you are coming from New York or Connecticut, the ferry from Rhode Island is the fastest, because it lets you avoid the Cape Cod traffic. There is also a ferry service between Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. The ferry docks on Martha's Vineyard are located in the towns of Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven. Some ferries carry cars and some do not. If you want to bring your car on the ferry, you generally need to reserve a space in advance.
The Oak Bluffs harbor welcomes visitors several times daily via three different ferry lines carrying passengers and cars from Woods Hole and passengers only from Falmouth and Hyannis. A ferry to Nantucket departs from Oak Bluffs each morning, providing a connective link between the islands.
We took the Ferry from Woods Hole.
Bus service by Martha's Vineyard Transit Authority is very convenient, cheap and fast. We were able to visit 3 different villages in one afternoon using only the bus and our feet to get around. An all-day pass costs only $5, or you can pay just $1 to hop from one town to another. See the VTA website for additional information:
Park the car in Woods Hole and take the ferry. You can ferry your car over, but it's quite expensive and you can't park it anywhere over there anyway.
The Woods Hole, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority has been shuffling people between the islands and the mainland for some time now, and they know how to do it right. The complimentary bus ride from their vast parking lot on Palmer Avenue to the dock/ticket office is about a 10 minute ride. I suppose in the summertime, the lines at the ticket office must get quite long at times, but in October, we walked in and bought our tickets right away. One-way fares are as follows:
Chidren 5-12: $2.75
Children under 5: Free
Please see the Steamship Authority's web site for schedules and other information:
The Island Queen sails out of Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts to take you to Martha's Vineyard. Summer schedule is more complete, with about 8 departures daily. Boat sails into Oak Bluffs. Spring & Fall schedule is lighter. You can ck. the schedule on line or call Chamber of Commerce for a schedule. (508) 548-8500. Adult fare is $8.00 Round Trip. Bicycle $5.00
Once on-Island, you can rent a car, hire a limousine, take the local bus, or rent a bike or moped to see the many sights the Island has to offer.
Once we got off the bus tho, we walked!
Ride On Mopeds & Bikes rentals. Check the web site below for bicycle rentals anywhere in Massachusetts. Just walking around we saw a number of places just in Oak Bluffs.