A Family Tradition – Home on the Vineyard

Families Martha's Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard plus your family is the stuff that traditions are made of, which is pretty much why the majority of the families on island come back year after year. It’s the quintessential spot to get your family’s summer on.  The Vineyard is known to be a laid-back coastal island, and is packed with activities. No summer camp this year?  No problem.  Beaches, parks, gingerbread houses, history, ice cream shops and even alpaca farms fill the Massachusetts island, making it a place where relaxation meets family fun for all.

The Highlights

Let’s start with the most obvious thing to do with kids on Martha’s Vineyard: the beach. There’s a beach for just about everyone here, and certain beaches are better suited to families than others. Joseph Sylvia State Beach, located on the border between the towns of Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, is a kid-friendly public beach perfect for all-day fun in the sun. You can catch a lot of action in South Beach, another picturesque public beach located in Edgartown, full of families and sandy shores. Menemsha Beach, located in (you guessed it) Menemsha, is known for its calm waves and cute lunch spots just walking distance from the shore. Bring your towels, sunscreen and all the tools to build your best sand castle of the summer at one of these scenic beaches. We guarantee you’ll never want to leave these sun-kissed shores, and neither will your kids.


If Martha’s Vineyard had an official logo, it would undoubtedly be a lighthouse, so visiting a few is a must for all Vineyard vacationers. There are five lighthouses in total, and each has its own unique charm and history. While your kids might want to skip taking a tour to hear the history behind these monuments, the overwhelming size and character of these lighthouses will definitely amuse them. Edgartown Lighthouse and East Chop Light are two of the most beautiful to visit. While West Chop Light is not open to the public, you can still pack a picnic and take in views of it during sunset for a fun evening out with the family.


And there’s still plenty more to explore. Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs is a well-known park that’s particularly great for kite flying, picnics, and the famous Flying Horses Carousel. While you’re in Oak Bluffs, don’t forget to stop at the Gingerbread Cottages, a well-preserved community of colorful Victorian houses. Each is more colorful than the next, looking like something straight out of a children’s book. Oak Bluffs’ buzzing town center is just footsteps away, where you’ll find lots of action and more importantly, lots of ice cream. Mad Martha’s is a must-visit Vineyard staple, but don’t rule out Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium either. And if the kids are craving a sweet treat while strolling through Edgartown, Scoop Shack is your spot.


Martha’s Vineyard is all about the farm-to-table life, which means there are a lot of farms to explore. Edgartown’s Morning Glory Farm has a farm stand with organic produce, fresh baked goods, and homemade food. There’s a kid’s play area in the back too, which makes it ideal for a visit with the fam. But if you’re really looking for something that will excite the kids like nothing else, visit Island Alpaca Farm. This well-kept alpaca farm holds educational tours, pettings and (sure to be memorable) feedings. And for some good old-fashioned family bike riding, visit Martha’s Vineyard Bike Rentals on Main Street in Edgartown and head to the Land Bank trails.

What to Know

There’s a lot to explore on this vast island. Just keep in mind that if you don’t have a car, you’ll be taking Ubers quite a bit since sites outside the towns are not always within walking distance. The nightlife vibe is pretty quiet for a beach town, so strolling with the family after dinner is never an issue. As always, remember to reapply your sunblock and enjoy your seaside surroundings with your loved ones.


Beaches: Map & information

Lighthouse Tour: Map & information

Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluff’s Gingerbread Cottages

Ice Cream Shops:

Bike Riding: Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Trails map & information

Island Alpaca Farm

Farm Stands: Morning Glory Farm

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