From Boston to Martha's Vineyard: 6 Best Ways to Get There | PlanetWare (2023)

Written by Lavanya Sunkara and Lura Seavey
Updated May 26, 2022

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The quintessential New England retreat of Martha's Vineyard, situated seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts in the Atlantic Ocean, has no bridges or tunnels connecting it to the mainland and is only accessible by ferry or air. If you are traveling from Boston, you will have several ferry options, as well as a few flight choices.

Long before being popularized by the film, Jaws, this charming summer destination located south of Cape Cod has been attracting vacationers to its pristine beaches, quaint villages, fresh seafood, and recreational activities.

While you may end up taking all manner of transportation to reach the ferry or airport to get to the island, once you are here, all your cares will melt away. Fresh air, leisurely walks along the harbor, picturesque lighthouses, and cozy seaside inns, are just some of the delights awaiting your visit.

On This Page:

  • From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Organized Tour
  • From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Ferry
  • From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Car
  • From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Bus
  • From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Train
  • From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Plane
(Video) Traveling to Martha's Vineyard - What are the options for Ferry Service and Airplane Service

1. From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Organized Tour

From Boston to Martha's Vineyard: 6 Best Ways to Get There | PlanetWare (1)

On this popular Boston to Martha's Vineyard Day Trip Tour on Viator, you can avoid the hassle of driving and planning, and have a care-free day enjoying the island's beaches, dining, shopping and more.

Travel in an air-conditioned mini coach to Cape Cod, then ferry across the Vineyard Sound either on The Steamship Authority or Island Queen Ferry (depending on the season) to Martha's Vineyard to explore all six of its distinct towns, including Vineyard Haven and Aquinnah. If weather conditions allow, the bus will also stop at the Nobska Lighthouse in Falmouth, Cape Cod.

Other activities include a drive through the downtown of Falmouth and along the Cape Cod Canal in Cape Cod. The tour also provides discounted admission to the new Martha's Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haven from the end of June 27 to mid-October. With an Island Tour upgrade, you can explore the historic village of Edgartown, and the Gay Head cliffs and lighthouse of Aquinnah. There is also an Island tour add-on available, which includes a three-hour guided bus tour of Martha's Vineyard, a 50-minute stop in the historic village of Edgartown, and a stop to view the Gay Head cliffs.

Pickup and drop-off are included at select hotels in Boston, and the coach departs from Boston Marriott Long Wharf. You will have six blissful hours on Martha's Vineyard. The package includes bottled water, snacks, and guidebooks to Martha's Vineyard, as well as narration by a guide during the coach ride to and from Cape Cod.

2. From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Ferry

From Boston to Martha's Vineyard: 6 Best Ways to Get There | PlanetWare (2)
(Video) This is how you spend one day on Marthas Vineyard exploring the Island & how to use the bus & save $

Enjoy the scenic Vineyard Sound on a relaxing ferry ride from Cape Cod to Martha's Vineyard on either The Steamship Authority or the Island Queen Ferry. The former is run by the state of Massachusetts and departs from Woods Hole in Cape Cod to Vineyard Haven all year-round, and Oak Bluffs seasonally. It is the only ferry that can transport cars.

Keep in mind that you need a reservation to bring your vehicle onto the ferry; otherwise, you may go for an impromptu day trip to Martha's Vineyard on the ferry by choosing any one of the several daily crossings. It takes 40 minutes on the ferry to reach the island.

From May to October, you have the option of cruising with the privately-owned Island Queen Ferry, which goes from Falmouth to Oak Bluffs. Another private company, Hy-Line Cruises, offers transportation onboard high-speed catamarans from Cape Cod's Hyannis to Oak Bluffs. For an additional fee, you may bring your bikes onboard any of these ferries.

Those traveling with pets are welcome to bring their furry companions onboard the Steamship Authority and private ferries, as long as they are leashed or crated.

3. From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Car

From Boston to Martha's Vineyard: 6 Best Ways to Get There | PlanetWare (3)

There is no direct road connecting Boston to the island of Martha's Vineyard, so your easiest option is to drive to Cape Cod's ferry terminals. Woods Hole, the main port for the Steamship Authority passenger ferry, is 75 miles south of Boston, and you may bring your rental car or personal car onto the ferry with advance reservation.

(Video) Day Trip to Martha's Vineyard - Ferry & Island Tour | Oak Bluffs, Edgartown, Vineyard Haven

Travel time on the road is anywhere from an hour-and-a-half to two hours, depending on traffic.

Keep in mind that during the summer months, the parking lot at the Steamship Authority ferry terminal is almost always full. The nearby towns of Falmouth and Bourne have off-site parking lots that have transfers on shuttle buses to the ports.

4. From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Bus

From Boston to Martha's Vineyard: 6 Best Ways to Get There | PlanetWare (4)

If you'd rather not deal with the hassle of driving and finding parking, you have the option of taking the bus from Boston to Cape Cod to catch the ferry. Peter Pan Bus Line has regular service from the Boston Logan International Airport and South Station transportation terminal in Downtown to the Steamship Authority terminal at Woods Hole, Cape Cod.

To reach Hyannis for Hy-Line cruises, Plymouth & Brockton Bus is a good year-round choice. The bus ride takes approximately two-and-a-half hours from Logan Airport (BOS) and two hours from South Station in favorable traffic.

5. From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Train

From Boston to Martha's Vineyard: 6 Best Ways to Get There | PlanetWare (5)
(Video) Road trip Boston to Martha's Vineyard - Tesla Model Y Takes Car Ferry to Martha's Vineyard

From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the passenger train of CapeFLYER of the MBTA (Boston's public transportation system) runs from South Station to Hyannis on weekends. Ride the train in comfort, enjoy onboard concessions and free Wi-Fi. Passengers can also bring their pets at no extra charge, and there is an entire car dedicated to bicycles that includes free facilities for minor repairs and tire inflation.

The train doesn't require advanced reservations, and it makes six stops in Massachusetts along the way. Buses are available at Hyannis for a free transfer to the port of your choice. Seniors get 50 percent off their fares, and kids under 11 ride free.

6. From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Plane

From Boston to Martha's Vineyard: 6 Best Ways to Get There | PlanetWare (6)

Traveling by plane is perhaps the most efficient and easiest way to get to Martha's Vineyard from Boston, especially if you tend to get seasick. Cape Air has daily departures all year-round between Boston's Logan International Airport (BOS) and Martha's Vineyard Airport (MVY), and flight time is approximately 40 minutes. Cape Air also operates direct flights to and from New Bedford Regional airport (EWB), as well as service from the Hyannis Airport (HYA) and Nantucket (ACK).

JetBlue also offers seasonal nonstop flights from the Logan airport to Martha's Vineyard. The airport is located in the middle of the island, three miles south of Vineyard Haven. Tourists can also get direct nonstop flights that leave from New York City (both JFK and LGA) on both JetBlue and Delta Airlines. Direct flights from other East Coast destinations are available seasonally, June through September. American Airlines offers service direct from Chicago (ORD), Charlotte (CLT), and Philadelphia (PHL), and from May through October, both American Airlines and Jet Blue offer nonstop service from Washington D.C. (DCA).

Travelers who want to arrive on the island in style can also find scheduled nonstop service on Tradewind airlines from select locations or book a private charter flight from almost any location.

(Video) 5 Things to Do on Martha's Vineyard - Before You Go

FAQs

What is the best way to get from Boston to Martha's Vineyard? ›

The fastest way to travel to Martha's Vineyard is by plane. Cape Air operates several flights a day year-round from Boston's Logan International Airport. Note that though the flight only takes around 40 minutes, you will need to arrive at the airport an hour or two before taking off to allow for check-in and security.

What is the easiest way to get to Martha's Vineyard? ›

There are NO bridges or tunnels connecting Martha's Vineyard to the mainland. The most common method of transportation is by ferry. For those who want to bring a car, the only option is the Steamship Authority ferry, which has service multiple times a day from the village of Woods Hole, Mass., on Cape Cod's elbow.

How long is ferry from Boston to Martha's Vineyard? ›

From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Ferry

Keep in mind that you need a reservation to bring your vehicle onto the ferry; otherwise, you may go for an impromptu day trip to Martha's Vineyard on the ferry by choosing any one of the several daily crossings. It takes 40 minutes on the ferry to reach the island.

How far is it from Boston to Martha's Vineyard by boat? ›

The Steamship Authority ferry terminal in Woods Hole is about 75 miles south of Boston via MA-3 and MA-28. Remember, if you want to take your car with you to Martha's Vineyard, then the Steamship Authority ferries are your only option.

What is the most popular way to reach Martha's Vineyard? ›

Arrive by ferry

Traveling by way of sea is the most popular way to get to Martha's Vineyard. There are both car ferries and passenger ferries available. If you are traveling by way of car or bus, you most likely will catch the ferry from Woods Hole, in the town of Falmouth on Cape Cod.

What is the best month to visit Martha's Vineyard? ›

The Best Time to Visit Martha's Vineyard

Repeat visitors may find that the shoulder-season months — April and September — are the best time to experience all of the island's charm, without the chaos of high-season crowds.

What is the nicest town in Martha's Vineyard? ›

The Best Town On Martha's Vineyard
  • Vineyard Haven (aka Tisbury) One town, one Zip code but two names? ...
  • Oak Bluffs. Fun central. ...
  • Edgartown. This is the prettiest of the towns and has a quintessential New England Main Street. ...
  • Chilmark. ...
  • West Tisbury. ...
  • Aquinnah.
31 May 2022

Is one day enough for Martha's Vineyard? ›

A day trip to Martha's Vineyard will allow to you experience the many distinctive towns and areas this island offers. Martha's Vineyard transit authority runs buses, so there's no need for a car. For $7, a day pass will take you throughout the island on varying routes, and you can hop on and off as you please.

Do I need to book Martha's Vineyard ferry in advance? ›

Please note: passenger reservations are not needed for our traditional ferries to Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. Passengers traveling without a vehicle may purchase tickets at our terminals on the day of sailing. Our online reservation system makes it easy to book vehicle reservations to Martha's Vineyard.

Is there a shuttle from Boston to Martha's Vineyard? ›

CapeBus provides express luxury bus service between Logan International Airport, Boston, and Martha's Vineyard via our Hyannis Stop Location. This stop is located conveniently steps away from Steamship Authority and Hy-Line ferry terminals.

What is the best town to stay in Martha's Vineyard? ›

Edgartown and Oak Bluffs are the most popular options for where to stay on Martha's Vineyard. In the two eastern towns you find a quintessential vibe and several great Martha's Vineyard hotels. Other alternatives for where to stay when visiting Martha's Vineyard are Vineyard Haven and the quieter Up-Island.

How many days do you need on Martha's Vineyard? ›

Anywhere between 3-7 days is a great sweet spot for how long to visit Martha's Vineyard. If you can manage to stay for a week, you absolutely should. There's plenty to do on the island for a whole week, while still allowing you some down time to hang out at the beach if you'd like to.

Where do you catch the ferry to Martha's Vineyard from Boston? ›

Both regular and high-speed passenger ferries can take you from Boston to Provincetown (seasonally) and to the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard year-round. Ferries depart from Falmouth Harbor, Woods Hole and Hyannis Harbor to Martha's Vineyard, and ferries to Nantucket depart from Hyannis Harbor.

Where is the best place to catch the ferry to Martha's Vineyard? ›

Most visitors take the ferry service connecting the Vineyard and the mainland. If you're traveling via car or bus, you will most likely catch the ferry from Woods Hole, in the town of Falmouth, on Cape Cod; however, boats do run from Falmouth Inner Harbor, Hyannis, New Bedford, Rhode Island, and Nantucket.

Is it worth it to go to Martha's Vineyard? ›

Yes, Martha's Vinyard is very nice indeed. Of course early June won't be beach season, but this also means less crowds. Martha's Vinyard in a nutshell: Vinyard Haven is the commercial center, Oak Bluffs is lively and interesting, Edgartown is very quaint and upscale.

Can you walk everywhere in Martha's Vineyard? ›

All three of the main port towns (Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs, and Edgartown) are easily walkable. And since both Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs have ferries that service the towns May - October (Vineyard Haven, year round), your own two feet might just be all the transportation you need for your visit!

What is the busiest time on Martha's Vineyard? ›

July and August are the height of the tourist season, with August being the busiest month. July Fourth and Labor Day bring the biggest weekend crowds.

Which is better Edgartown or Oak Bluffs? ›

Truly, you can't go wrong with either setting. Both offer unique experiences in picturesque settings. If you're looking for relaxation, perhaps head to Edgartown. If you're looking for a beautiful setting, mixed with an active nightlife, head to Oak Bluffs.

Can you see the Northern Lights from Martha's Vineyard? ›

Martha's Vineyard is right on the edge of the predicted viewing region, and the Aurora Borealis phenomenon is unpredictable, so a sighting is far from a sure thing. Typically, Northern Lights are most visible between 10 pm and 2 am, but could occur anytime after dark.

What is off season on Marthas Vineyard? ›

Every year come September, the majority of Martha's Vineyard closes up shop. This may leave most to assume that there's no good reason to head there after the summer, yet many a Vineyard regular will tell you that the 87-square-mile island is in fact quite an off season paradise.

What should I wear on a day trip to Martha's Vineyard? ›

As you have already planned out your day tours and night outs, here are Martha's Vineyard clothes that you need to pack.
...
Essential Basics
  • Linen and cotton clothes.
  • Blue and white color combo.
  • Striped clothes.
  • Cork on your shoes for strolling.
  • Wicker or straw bags or hats.
26 May 2022

Do any celebrities live in Martha's Vineyard? ›

Celebrities like Bill Murray, Meg Ryan, Reese Witherspoon, Mike Wallace, and even Princess Diana have all regularly visited. A number of them, such as Michael J Fox, have called the Vineyard their home. The low-key vibe is just one of the reasons the rich and famous make Martha's Vineyard part of their summer circuit.

Where do celebrities stay on Martha's Vineyard? ›

🤩 Where do the celebrities stay in Martha's Vineyard? Celebrities like Oprah Winfrey have been spotted at Harbor View Hotel and Blue Heron Farm.

What percent of Martha's Vineyard is white? ›

2015-16 Class Size by Race/Ethnicity - All
Race/EthnicitySchoolState
White %78.862.1
Native American %2.30.2
Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander %0.20.1
Multi-Race, Non-Hispanic %4.23.3
6 more rows

What is the wealthiest town in Martha's Vineyard? ›

Vineyard Haven, a community on Martha's Vineyard, came out on top with home prices more expensive than one of the nation's largest cities. The median home price in the community is $699,500, while the median household income for year-round residents is $71,811.

How much does it cost to rent a car on Martha's Vineyard for a day? ›

How much does it cost to rent a car in Martha's Vineyard? On average a rental car in Martha's Vineyard costs $139 per day.

Which is a better day trip Marthas Vineyard or Nantucket? ›

Generally speaking, Nantucket is the better island for a day trip, but that doesn't mean you can't do a day trip to Martha's Vineyard. Nantucket is simply more concentrated, and once you arrive by ferry, you're literally a few steps away from the main town area the minute you disembark.

How early should I get to the ferry? ›

Checking in

You'll need to arrive between an hour and 30 minutes before your scheduled sailing time.

How early should I get to ferry without reservation? ›

If you are still on the waitlist on the day you want to travel, we recommend you try arriving at the terminal a minimum of three hours prior to the scheduled departure time. If customers with confirmed spots don't arrive for the sailing, we fill their spots with waitlisted customers.

Is it cheaper to buy ferry tickets in advance? ›

Tips For Cheaper Ferry Tickets

Book in advance - Generally, the lowest fares are available when you book in advance. So book as early as possible before your travel date.

Does Uber service Martha's Vineyard? ›

Ride to and from Martha's Vineyard Airport with Uber. Instead of waiting for the MVY shuttle or taxi, you can request a ride directly in the app and be on your way.

How much is uber on Martha's Vineyard? ›

Uber rides have already been available on the Vineyard for the past few weeks. The company said the Vineyard cost for an UberX ride is a $2.50 base fare plus 25 cents per minute and $1.90 per mile.

Can I go to Marthas Vineyard without a car? ›

If you're only planning a day trip bringing your car is generally not necessary. You can easily fill a day walking around one of the town centers during the summer months, or take a bus or a cab to another town.

Which is better Oak Bluff or Vineyard Haven? ›

Definitely Oak Bluffs. Can't even get a beer or glass of wine with lunch in Vineyard Haven, plus there is more to see/do in OB. Inkwell or bus to State Beach for beaching, Victorian architecture around Ocean Park and the Campgrounds. Plenty of retail in Oak Bluffs as well.

What are the three major towns in Martha's Vineyard? ›

The “down island” towns of Vineyard Haven, Oak Bluffs and Edgartown are three distinctly different towns.

What is the main town on Martha's Vineyard? ›

Tisbury is the only Island town with two common names – it's also known almost interchangeably as Vineyard Haven. Tisbury is the official town name, but even the library and post office use Vineyard Haven.

What is so special about Martha's Vineyard? ›

While the downtown areas are great with amazing shopping and dining options, what Martha's Vineyard is truly known for is its natural beauty. With cliffs, pristine beaches, marshland, and two wildlife sanctuaries there is so much to explore.

How long is the ferry ride from Martha's Vineyard? ›

High-speed passenger reservations are recommended and can be booked online, by calling (508) 495-FAST, or in person at the Hyannis and Nantucket terminals. Or take a leisurely 2 hour and 15 minute ride on one of our traditional ferries.

Do you need passport for Marthas Vineyard? ›

Virtually every air traveler entering the U.S. is required to show a passport. All persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda are required to present a valid passport.

Is there food on the ferry to Martha's Vineyard? ›

On-Board Beverage and Snack Bar

Our Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard high-speed ferry snack bars offer freshly made, high-quality sandwiches, wraps, salads, and appetizer plates; as well as a wide variety of snacks and sweets, and soft drinks (many locally made).

How long is the ferry ride to Martha's Vineyard from Boston? ›

From Boston to Martha's Vineyard by Ferry

Keep in mind that you need a reservation to bring your vehicle onto the ferry; otherwise, you may go for an impromptu day trip to Martha's Vineyard on the ferry by choosing any one of the several daily crossings. It takes 40 minutes on the ferry to reach the island.

What is the shortest ferry ride to Martha's Vineyard? ›

  • Ferry: STEAMSHIP AUTHORITY. Travel Time: 45 minutes.
  • Ferry: SEASTREAK. Travel Time: 50 minutes.
  • Ferry: FALMOUTH-EDGARTOWN FERRY. Travel Time: 1 hour​
  • Ferry: ISLAND QUEEN. Travel Time: 35 minutes.
  • Ferry: VINEYARD FAST FERRY. Travel Time: 1 hour 45 minutes.

How do you get to Martha's Vineyard without a car? ›

Getting There in Martha's Vineyard
  1. Most visitors take the ferry service connecting the Vineyard and the mainland. ...
  2. Car Ferries. ...
  3. Passengers without cars can ride the car ferry from Woods Hole. ...
  4. From Hyannis, the traditional Hy-Line ferry runs daily from Ocean Street Dock (tel.

Is there a ferry that goes from Boston to Martha's Vineyard? ›

Both regular and high-speed passenger ferries can take you from Boston to Provincetown (seasonally) and to the islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard year-round.

Is a day trip to Martha's Vineyard worth it? ›

Martha's Vineyard is worth a day trip to experience the charming gingerbread cottages and towns, the stunning views of the Aquinnah cliffs, the beautiful beaches and the scenic drives.

How many days should you spend in Martha's Vineyard? ›

Anywhere between 3-7 days is a great sweet spot for how long to visit Martha's Vineyard. If you can manage to stay for a week, you absolutely should. There's plenty to do on the island for a whole week, while still allowing you some down time to hang out at the beach if you'd like to.

How much is put the car on the ferry to Martha's Vineyard? ›

To take your car:

The cost is $180.00 or higher (depends on the size of the vehicle) round trip to travel from Woods Hole to the Vineyard. Additional charges per person will apply for any passengers over 2 ($17.00 rt). Also, you must have a reservation for your car during the high season.

How long is the ferry ride to Martha Vineyard? ›

If you are traveling to Martha's Vineyard, the trip takes only 45 minutes from Woods Hole.

How long does it take to get to Martha's Vineyard on the fast ferry? ›

Martha's Vineyard Fast Ferry from Rhode Island

Unlike other ferries, their parking lot is directly at the dock, so you can just pull in and hop on. You'll arrive on-island in about an hour and forty minutes.

Where do you catch the Martha's Vineyard ferry? ›

In the summer season, passenger-only ferry service is available from the ports of Falmouth and Hyannis on the Cape and traveling to Oak Bluffs on Martha's Vineyard. Fast ferry service, also for passengers only, is available from New York, NY, Quonset Point, RI and New Bedford, MA.

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