Category Archives: West Chop

The Must-See Lighthouses of Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard has many charms to offer those who come here to visit throughout the year. Although many come for the beach, nice weather and amazing seafood, Martha’s Vineyard has a rich and detailed history behind its beauty. One of the most telling of historical monuments here on the island is its lighthouses. All of the lighthouses on the island have their own unique story and character. Here are five of the lighthouses that you must see during your Martha’s Vineyard vacation!


West Chop Lighthouse: Located in Vineyard Haven
West Chop Lighthouse

Originally built wooden in 1817, and rebuilt in 1838 of bricks. It is the only lighthouse on the island that does not offer access to the public. This lighthouse does host and houses some of the Coast Guard on the island. The area where the lighthouse sits used to be a sheep Pasture and is situated just minutes away from the downtown area of Vineyard Haven. Downtown Vineyard Haven was one of the major whaling ports on the island, is now where travelers and tourists near and far travel aboard the Steamship Authority to Martha’s Vineyard.


East Chop Lighthouse: Located on Telegraph Hill in Oak Bluffs
East Chop Lighthouse

Originally built in 1828. This particular lighthouse used to receive signals from the island of Nantucket and transmit them to the rest of the island, and Cape coastal towns like Woods Hole. The Coast Guard took over the lighthouse in the Early 1930’s and the keeper’s house was removed in 1933 and never re-built. In the summer season, you will find many people and/or events take place near the lighthouse enjoying the sunset.


Edgartown Lighthouse: Located in Edgartown
Edgartown Lighthouse

Originally built in 1828 it was a ¼ mile from shore, and the only way to reach the light was by boat. Over years the lighthouse has had some structural damage from storms and the current lighthouse (built in 1938) sits on mainland surrounded by a beautiful beach. This beach sees a lot of weddings year round, as well as family picnics. The lighthouse offers tours throughout the summer season. With a 360 degree view at the top glance Chappaquiddick, the harbor, and surrounding Captain’s houses on Water St.


Cape Pogue Lighthouse: Located on the island of Chappaquiddick (part of Edgartown)
Cape Pogue Lighthouse

The original structure was built in 1801, and this building has sure taken a beating over the years. Being situated on the cliffs close to the edge of the island, it has been destroyed and rebuilt at least 5 times. The current lighthouse was built in 1922 and has been moved more recently to avoid having to rebuild again. The lighthouse is part of the Cape Pogue Wildlife Refuge, run by the Trustees, and in season offers tours. It is a bit of a walk to get to, but a wonderful reward when you get there.


Gay Head Lighthouse: Located in Aquinnah
Gay Head Lighthouse

Originally built of wood in 1799, and had to be moved in 1844 from erosion of the cliffs. In 1856 the structure was rebuilt after a terrible storm and did so with bricks. Gay Head light is located on top of the clay cliffs, which over time and with major storms has taken a beating. This lighthouse has moved several more times since it’s rebuilding, most recently just a few years ago. In season they do offer tours of the lighthouse, and at the top, you really can’t beat the view. You can see along the coast to “up island” and take in the breathtaking view of the islands beauty. From below the area offers a viewing station to enjoy the view of the cliffs up close.

Visiting the Lighthouses of Martha’s Vineyard is a must for vacationers. We look forward to welcoming you this summer!

Enjoy the Beautiful Views of the West Chop Lighthouse

west chop lighthouse
Photo Credit: hfrankWI/iStock/Thinkstock

There are many sights to see when you come to Martha’s Vineyard. The island’s lighthouses are always popular sightseeing destinations. One of the lighthouses that you should make time to see is West Chop Lighthouse. This landmark is in the town of Tisbury near Vineyard Haven. West Chop Lighthouse needs to be on your list of things to see when you visit Martha’s Vineyard.

About West Chop Lighthouse

West Chop Lighthouse, or West Chop Light Station was established in 1817. Along with East Chop Lighthouse, it marks the entrance to the harbor at Vineyard Haven. Chop is a term that is used to not the entrance to a channel. West Chop is just a couple of miles away from the village of Vineyard Haven. The first rubblestone lighthouse was 25 feet tall. The lighthouse and the accompanying dwelling were built in 1817. Because of beach erosion, the light was moved in 1830 and again in 1846.  Today the tower is made of brick and measures 45 feet tall. The present tower and it’s dwelling were built in 1891.

Where to Go to View West Chop Lighthouse

While West Chop Lighthouse is closed to the public, there are still ways to see it. If you go to West Chop Rd. you can view the light from the street. Another great way to see West Chop Lighthouse is by water. If you take a ferry or boat ride in Vineyard Haven Harbor, you can view the lighthouse on the shore. There are a number of boat tours out of Vineyard Haven, including sailing tours on Witch of Endor Sailing Charters. There is no better way to spend the day than to go out on the water, enjoying the sea breeze and gentle movement of the ocean as you view the island’s landmarks on shore.  It’s a truly special Martha’s Vineyard experience that you don’t want to miss out.

Other Activities Near West Chop Lighthouse

When you’re going to view West Chop Lighthouse you should take advantage of being near Vineyard Haven. There are a number of activities to take part in in Vineyard Haven. Martha’s Vineyard Film Center is in Vineyard Haven and you won’t find a better place on the island to see great films. Also nearby is Tisbury Town Beach, which is ideal for a relaxing stroll as you take in the beautiful views of the harbor.  Or take a tour of the island with Martha’s Vineyard Tours and Excursions, which is based out of Vineyard Haven.

When you’re making plans to view West Chop Lighthouse, don’t forget to make your accommodations with Sandpiper Rentals. Our Martha’s Vineyard vacation rentals are ideal for relaxing and unwinding in between all of the great activities you can participate during your time on the island. Our rental properties are located all over Martha’s Vineyard, so you can choose to stay on your favorite part of the island. Whether you want to be right in town or more isolated, we have the perfect rental for you. Our homes are all unique, yet they all offer comfortable accommodations and luxurious amenities.

Photo: Armstrong White via Flickr

4th of July on Martha’s Vineyard

EBOT-DG-3-sm1With the 4th of July, just over a week away, I can’t help but to start to get excited! There is so many things happening on island, and it’s never too late to start making your plans. Whether it is a big family bbq, a day spent lazily on the beach, or taking part in the traditional 4th of july activities, there’s something for everyone. Below you’ll find some information on two of the biggest events on Martha’s Vineyard.

4TH OF JULY IN EDGARTOWN A tradition that has lasted several decades, the annual 4th of July parade starts promptly at 5 pm. The parade begins at the intersection of West Tisbury Road and Pinehurst Road. Next it takes a right onto Main Street and then a left onto Pease’s Point Way (next to the monument). It follows Pease’s Point Way and then takes a right onto Morse Street, a left onto Fuller Street and a right onto Thayer Street. At the end of Thayer it takes a right onto North Water Street. Next it takes a right up Main Street and pauses in front of the reviewing stand (in front of the Whaling Church). It continues up Main Street and then takes a left onto the West Tisbury Road and finishes at the Edgartown School. The fireworks typically start as soon as it is dark (typically 9 pm)

STARS AND STRIPES FESTIVAL Considered one of the most exciting shows of the summer, the 4th annual Stars and Stripes Festival is a rocking music festival that takes place at Flatbread Company near the airport. Tickets are $30 In advance / $35 Day of Show, 21+ Show ID.  First 100 guests to arrive receive a door prize! All Proceeds Benefit the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard



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