Things To Do In Martha's Vineyard
Activities, Sightseeing, Tours

These things to do in Martha's Vineyard are suggestions for people visiting for a few hours or a half day. If you will have more time, check out our Top 10 list of Martha's Vineyard attractions and also browse through the items on the left side of our site.

If you visit the Vineyard for a half day, you most likely will come on a ferry and arrive in Oak Bluffs or Vineyard Haven. If you have about four hours and want a relaxing visit, we recommend limiting your sightseeing to the two towns of Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven. You will be able to spend 4 hours in either town, or, you may choose to spend a couple of hours in each town but, in our opinion, that would feel rushed.

If you arrive by ferry in Oak Bluffs and plan to limit your visit to Oak Bluffs, here are some suggestions for sights and activities:

  • Flying Horses Carousel - The Oak Bluffs Flying Horse Carousel is the oldest operating carousel in the country and is great fun for kids and adults. Learn more about the Oak Bluffs Flying Horse Carousel

  • Browse Circuit Ave - this is the main shopping and tourist street in Oak Bluffs. There are at least 40-50 or more small gift shops, snack shops and restaurants along this street. You'll find a Black Dog store, Mad Martha's Ice Cream, Murdick's Fudge, a kids game arcade, many t-shirt shops and more.

  • Gingerbread Cottages - these famous, historical homes are located near the harbor, along the Ocean Park and near Circuit Ave. They feature very unique architecture with bright colors and ornate trim and are an unique sight to see.

  • Oak Bluffs Harbor Area - the harbor area features a nice boardwalk and a few great seafood restaurants and bars. Of course, there is also the scenery of many large boats at slips and moorings.

  • Dining & Snacks - there are MANY options for meals and snacks in Oak Bluffs. Some snack options include ice cream at Mad Martha's, fudge at Murdick's Fudge, and pizza at Giordano's. Options for meals include family style Italian at Giordano's, seafood at Nancy's, seafood at Lookout Tavern.

If you arrive by ferry in Vineyard Haven and plan to limit your visit to Vineyard Haven, here are some suggestions for sights and activities:

  • Black Dog Bakery and Tavern - the original Black Dog Tavern is here in Vineyard Haven (the stores in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown are "branches"). You can eat at or visit the original tavern as well as a mini-compound featuring the Black Dog Bakery and 2 or 3 other gift stores.

  • Menemsha Blues - similar to the Black Dog, this store has hats, t-shirts and other clothing sporting their signature alternative to the Black Dog for tourist items. Learn about the charming fishing village Menemsha, where the main store is located.

  • Peter Simon Gallery - this gallery on the main street, showcases the artist's photographs of the's a great way to "see" other parts of the Vineyard if you are limited in time.

  • Mad Martha's Ice Cream - a wonderful place to get your cookie dough, chocolate, mocha chip, peppermint...well you get the idea....yum !

  • Beadniks Bead Shop - has a HUGE variety of beads from around the world. Also features silver and gold pieces for adults. Choose your pieces and create a unique bracelet or necklace. Located a block up the hill from the other shops on the main street. See our photos of Beadniks Vineyard Haven

See the rest of the Island

While 4 hours is not alot of time, there are some tour companies that may be able to fit a narrated tour of the island into that schedule. Our "shot in the dark" guess is that many folks that come over on the ferry for a few hours do not venture beyond Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven. While those towns offer a taste of the Vineyard, it's a shame to miss exploring the rest of the island. It's possible to visit Edgartown within a 4 hour timeframe and a trip to Aquinnah (Gay Head) to see the incredible clay cliffs is not out of reach either. Travelling to either of these spots on the Vineyard will give you a taste of the beautiful scenery and lifestyle on the rest of the island...

marthas vineyard clay cliffs

See our photos of Oak Bluffs

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