What to Do

Martha’s Vineyard

Only seven miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard feels like a different world. Here the past is very much alive, and the present offers something for everyone.

The Island of Martha’s Vineyard is New England’s largest island. Legend has it that the Vineyard was given its name in 1602 by Bartholomew Gosnold who named it for one of his daughters and the wild grapes he found there. The Island is nine miles wide and 23 miles long at its farthest points. The total land area is approximately 100 square miles with a total of 124.6 miles of tidal shoreline.

Martha’s Vineyard is home to six distinctive towns separated into “Up-Island” and “Down-Island”. Up-Island, the western area, consists of the rural towns of Aquinnah, Chilmark and West Tisbury. Down-Island, the eastern portion, is home to the larger historic villages of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven.

In the many years that the Steamship Authority has provided ferry service to Martha’s Vineyard, we’ve come to know this captivating island quite well. To give you a sense of the charms of the Island, here are a few of the not-to-be-missed things to do:

  • Get an overview of the six island towns with the MV Sightseeing Tour. Tickets can be purchased at the Steamship Authority’s Woods Hole, Vineyard Haven, or Oak Bluffs Terminals.
  • See the colorful gingerbread cottages located in Oak Bluffs, within walking distance of our Oak Bluffs ferry dock.
  • View the majestic red clay Aquinnah Cliffs with panoramic ocean views.
  • Explore 40 miles of bike trails, from well-maintained paths and long stretches of road to challenging terrain bordered by island landscapes and breathtaking ocean views.
  • Visit Edgartown, with its historic mansions, boutique shopping, dining and scenic harbor views.
  • Experience some of the events that entice visitors to Martha’s Vineyard year-round, including the International Film Festival and the Food & Wine Festival.

Activities for Every Interest

There’s so much to do and enjoy on the Island. To learn more, contact the Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce or call (508) 693-0085 or toll-free (800) 505-4815.

Before your trip to Martha's Vineyard, consider exploring our mainland port of Falmouth and Woods Hole. Visit the Falmouth Chamber of Commerce for more information.



MV Beach

From barrier beaches with crashing surf to calm, pristine waters perfect for swimming, to places where the kids can play in the sand, Martha Vineyard offers a wide array of scenic beaches.


Each of the Vineyard’s six towns has its own distinctive shops, where you can buy everything from handcrafted jewelry and clothing to special Martha’s Vineyard merchandise and souvenirs. For even more local atmosphere, check out one of the farmers’ markets or flea markets.


mv icecream

Whether you want to sample the finest in local cuisine or are looking for some simple seaside fare, there’s Vineyard dining to satisfy every taste, including plenty of places where you can put together a picnic to go.


Visit the spectacular Moi Toi Gardens or the Polly Hill Arboretum. Or get out and explore the Vineyard’s state forests, wildlife refuges, walking trails, and harbors. At every turn, Martha’s Vineyard has awe-inspiring natural sites to enjoy.

Bikers - MV

Sporting Activities

Whether your idea of fun is getting out on the water in a kayak, sailboat, or fishing craft, heading off to the links, or biking or hiking around the Island, you’ll find lots of ways to have the time of your life.

Family Fun

Flying Horses

Take a tour of a historic lighthouse. Ride the flying horses at the oldest operating carousel in America. Meet some amazing sea creatures at the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary. Enjoy a getaway where the whole family can create memories that last a lifetime.


Visit the Oak Bluffs Campground, with its gingerbread cottages, or admire the sea captains’ houses in Edgartown. To learn more about the Island’s culture and history, check out the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society in Edgartown and the Wampanoag Tribal Center in Aquinnah.


Built in 1904, the Carnegie is the former home of the Edgartown Free Public Library and was completely restored to its original grandeur. The Carnegie serves as a community gathering space, contains a small artisan gift shop featuring goods made by island residents, and has an exhibition (Living Landmarks) focusing on the history of the island. A starting point for guided walking tours featuring many historic properties located in the center of Edgartown, The Carnegie is also the site of a variety of programs throughout the summer including artist presentations, craft workshops and outdoor concerts.

Island Sightseeing Tours

Martha's Vineyard - Sightseeing Tours

 Acquinna Cliffs

There are several sightseeing tours available on island so that you can see all the natural beauty and historical sites located on Martha's Vineyard. Visit http://www.mvy.com/Sightseeing-Tours for more details.

Car Rentals in Falmouth

For our customer's convenience, we offer car rental service at our Palmer Avenue Parking Lot located in Falmouth. Please visit the Avis/Budget Rent a Car website to reserve your car in Falmouth.


Nantucket, derived from the Indian word meaning “faraway land”, offers an enchanting blend of history, natural beauty and sophisticated charm. Located 26 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, this former whaling capital of the world celebrates its 17th century heritage, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966. The Island is approximately 14 miles long and 3.5 miles wide.

From vast beaches on the Atlantic, to quiet coves and scenic harbors, Nantucket’s coastline is perfect for swimming, boating, kayaking and simply watching the magnificent yachts glide in and out of the harbor.

In the many years that the Steamship Authority has been providing ferry service to Nantucket, we’ve come to know this picturesque island quite well. To give you a sense of the charms of the Island, we’ve compiled a list of not-to-be-missed things to do here.

  • Enjoy an island-wide sightseeing tour with pick-up right at our Nantucket docks. Tour tickets are available for purchase at the Hyannis and Nantucket Ticket Offices.
  • Visit the Nantucket Whaling Museum for a fascinating look into Nantucket’s whaling history, just minutes from the Steamship Authority dock. Tickets available for purchase at the Steamship Authority Ticket Offices.
  • Take a leisurely stroll along the cobblestone streets of Nantucket town, with its magnificent architecture and distinctive shops, dining establishments, museums and art galleries—all within walking distance to the Steamship Authority dock.
  • Take part in year-round events that are uniquely Nantucket, including the famous Daffodil Festival, Wine Festival, Arts Festival and the Christmas Stroll.

Activities for Every Interest

There’s so much to do and enjoy on the Island. To learn more, contact the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce at (508) 228-1700.

Before your trip to Nantucket, we invite you to explore the mainland port of Hyannis. For more information visit the Hyannis Area Chamber of Commerce.


Nantucket is famous for its pristine, scenic beaches. Whether you’re in search of calm waters for swimming, an easy bike ride or walk from town, spectacular sunsets, or crashing surf, you’ll find the beach of your dreams here.


Nantucket is a shopper’s delight. There are art galleries, antique stores, bookstores, boutiques selling everything from T-shirts to designer clothes and shops displaying island arts and crafts. There’s even a ship’s chandlery. Best of all, for day trippers, everything is just a short stroll from the Nantucket Terminal.



Whether you’re hungry for elegant harbor side dining, a sunset clambake on the beach, or some fresh-baked Portuguese bread, Nantucket will delight your appetite. You’ll find abundant seafood, fresh from local waters—plus corn, tomatoes and other seasonal produce direct from local farms, served up by some of the finest, most creative chefs in the world.  It’s a taste of island life you won’t want to miss.


With 80 miles of beaches, there are plenty of opportunities to get away from it all and commune with nature. Explore sand dunes, coastal forests, salt marshes and tidal ponds at the Trustees of the Reservation’s 1,117 acre Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Refuge. Or go bird watching at Mass Audubon’s Sesachacha Heathlands Wildlife Sanctuary.

Sporting Activities

Go biking on one of the Island’s 10 biking paths. Play a few sets of tennis or a round of golf. Hike to Altar Rock or along the Burchell-Miacomet trails. Get out on the water and go sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, or deep sea fishing—or take a romantic sunset harbor cruise.

Family Fun

Take the kids beachcombing for shells, sea glass, or mermaids’ purses. Gaze at the stars from the Loines Observatory. Visit the children’s wing at the Nantucket Athenaeum Library. Head out to sea and watch for whales or seals, or stay ashore and watch a movie at Children’s Beach. Nantucket getaways have been creating magical family memories for generations. 


From the historic fishing village of Menemsha to the Federalist homes on cobblestoned streets, history lives on Nantucket. The Island has many museums that celebrate the ties to the past including the Whaling Museum, the African American Meeting House, the Maria Mitchell Natural Science Museum, the Nantucket Lightship and Shipwreck Museum and more. 

Island Sightseeing Tours

Sightseeing Tours

From walking, hiking and sailing  to birding, biking and buses, an impressive range of sightseeing tours will guide you in exploring this small, yet diverse island.  Small and mid-size vans—and a larger bus—provide 1 ½-hour tours of the entire island with historic commentary and photo ops.  Natural history tours--led by knowledgeable guides representing various on-island organizations—are informative and hands-on, allowing you to learn more about rare species, flora and fauna, as well as the island’s  rich maritime history. Or, if you’d rather take a self-guided walking tour of the historic district, informative pamphlets marking the route—including details about Nantucket’s diverse architectural heritage—are available at the Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

There are several guided sightseeing tours available on Nantucket. https://www.nantucketchamber.org/members/category/tours-sightseeing-422


Car Rentals at Hyannis Terminal

For our customer's convenience we offer car rental service at our Hyannis Terminal. Please visit the Avis/Budget Rent a Car website to reserve your car in Hyannis