Tag Archives: State Beach

Vineyard Beaches ~ State Beach

Island Map - State Beach

One of the things I love about State Beach is that any given moment you could see people tubing, kite surfing, jumping off second “Jaws” bridge, kayaking, wading in the calm shallow water, boats rafting up together,  a friendly game of paddle ball, and much more. State Beach is known for its calm, shallow waters that makes it ideal for water sports and families with small children. On the other side of the three mile long beach is Sengekontacket Pond (pronounced Singe-a-con-tack-it Pond) where you can swim, kayak, kite surf, and even go clamming if you purchase a permit by going to the town hall of either Oak Bluffs or Edgartown depending on what side of the pond you are (Insider factoid: “Jaws Bridge” is the dividing line between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown).

Insider Tips:

  • Get here early in the day because parking is hard to find, especially near the coveted Jaws bridge. Parking spots fill up around 10:30 am, so plan on getting there before that.
  • Can’t make it early? Try coming after three pm; people tend to  leave the beach between three and four to get ready for their evening activities. you still get in a couple of hours of beach time.
  • Check the tide schedule. The island has had a lot of erosion this year due to storms. Time your arrival for the end of high tide. This gives you plenty of time with a lot more space on the beach then if you came at the end of low tide.
  • Don’t be afraid to set up camp on Sengekontacket pond. You’ll have a lot more space, and easy access to the state beach as well.
  • Pack your own food and drinks. There is a food stand, but if you’re not right next to second bridge it’s a bit of a walk to reach it.




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Village Spotlight: Edgartown

Image courtesy of asterix611

Before Martha’s Vineyard was an extraordinary summer vacation destination, it was a whaling industry mecca. And, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, Edgartown was the whaling hub.

Built around the whaling trade, hundreds of whaling captains constructed beautiful, stately homes in the center of town – along with the picturesque Whaling Church – and today they provide the refined and historical look of the town.

Mainstreet and the close-knit downtown area is full of boutiques, cafes, restaurants, movie theater – along old brick sidewalks. True to the Vineyard, you won’t find any box stores or chains – this is shopping at its one-of-a kind best.

Make sure you make your way down to the harbor…full of beautiful boats and one of the most gorgeous lighthouses I’ve ever seen, the Edgartown Lighthouse, of course.

But, on those sunny days, I suggest you hightail it out of town and head to the beach. You have a few to choose from, but my top picks are:

  • South Beach (surf side) for great waves out in Katama (pronounced Kuh-TAY-muh). Katama is part of Edgartown and it features its own bay and a super beachy feel.
  • State Beach (sound side) is a great kids beach because you can wade right in without worrying about big waves. Also, the trip from car to towel is pretty short which I know is important when you’ve got little ones.

The bike path goes right through town, out to the beach or lets you explore miles of the island through towns and the state forest. Oh, and if you head up-island on the bike trail, make sure to stop at Morning Glory Farm – a wonderful local farm filled with just picked produce, salads, soups and luscious baked goods.

Edgartown is also home to some huge fundraising galas every summer – a great place to really get to know the community and give back to this special island. The most famous, perhaps, is the Possible Dreams Auction where incredible dreams are donated and auctioned off to the highest bidder – all to benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

Edgartown has the best of both worlds – the hustle and bustle of town and the soulful quiet of the waterfront…

Best Kid-Friendly Beaches on Martha’s Vineyard

Beaches are certainly the main attraction on Martha’s Vineyard in the summer. Some of them have big waves, some don’t. Some of them are pure sand, some are rocky where the waves break. This is your guide to the best kid beaches on the Vineyard. Don’t forget sunscreen, drinks, umbrella or tent, chairs, towels, toys and boogie boards! Here are my favorite kid beaches:

  • Lambert’s Cove Beach is located in West Tisbury. You need a sticker to park your car here or a walk-on pass to enter. Lambert’s Cove  is located on the Vineyard Sound so the water is warm and calm and there’s lots of great rock and shell hunting! Dogs are allowed on the beach in the morning and evening and life guards are on duty until 5 pm.
  • State Beach is found along the border of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, this picturesque public beach is a wonderful place for swimming, building sandcastles and making new friends. Parking is plentiful and it’s an easy walk over the dunes and onto the beach. Your kids will want to stay here all day!
  • Menemsha Beach rests at the end of the main road in Menemsha, one of the last working fishing villages in New England, this stretch of public beach is a favorite for families. No fee or stickers are required and the water is calm and clear. There are also many great spots to grab lunch so leave the picnic baskets at home.
  • Long Point is in West Tisbury on a beautiful wildlife refuge, Long Point is a wonderful experience for the whole family. Arrive early during the height of the season as parking lots fill up quickly.
  • South Beach is the happening beach in Edgartown with some big Atlantic swells, beach volleyball and tons of families. The walk isn’t too bad from the car with various entry points along the road, and the beach is public so you’ll have easy access. There’s a great bike path from town through Katama to the beach.