Generally regarded as the birthplace of the modern United States, New England is a region that definitely deserves to be visited. Filled with charming coastal towns, fascinating historic sites, beautiful rocky and sandy beaches, superb seafood restaurants, lovely lighthouses, and so much more, New England is an idyllic vacation destination for families, groups of friends, couples, and more.
Many travelers heading to New England tend to base themselves in Boston. The biggest city in the region by far, Boston is a great place to really engage with New England’s heritage and history. The city is home to some of the most iconic landmarks in the entire region and played a key role in the development of New England and the rest of the United States. It’s also a great location to set off on New England day trips.
One of the best day trips from Boston you can do is to Martha’s Vineyard. A charming little island out in the Atlantic Ocean, Martha's Vineyard is located just a short distance south of Cape Cod. It's been a popular summer retreat for New Englanders for many generations, filled with pretty little houses, sandy beaches, interesting landmarks, and beautiful lighthouses too. Here’s how to plan the perfect day trip from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard.
Getting to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston
There are several different travel options available for anyone planning a day trip from Boston to Martha's Vineyard, and the option you choose will depend on your budget and needs. You can get to Martha's Vineyard from Boston by plane, car, or public transport.
Getting to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston by Plane
Flights leave direct from Boston Logan International Airport to Martha's Vineyard Airport. When booked in advance, these flights can be quite affordable and represent the fastest way to get to the island, but you do have to factor in the time needed to get to and from the airports and to pass through check-in and security.
In total, the flight from BOS to MVY airport takes around 40 minutes, so it's a very quick flight. Flights run from early in the morning through to late in the evening each day, especially in the summer, so you can organize a full day trip to Martha's Vineyard from Boston relying solely on air travel to get there and back.
Getting to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston by Car
Those wishing to take their own vehicle or a rental car to Martha's Vineyard will first need to drive to Cape Cod and arrive at Falmouth. Falmouth is about 78 miles away from Boston, so you can get there in around an hour and a half or less, depending on the traffic and conditions.
Once you arrive at Falmouth, you can catch the ferry over to Martha's Vineyard. Ferry services to this island also depart from Hyannis, but the journey is shorter if traveling via Falmouth on the Woods Hole - Vineyard Haven Ferry.
Getting to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston by Public Transport
Those relying on public transport to get to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston will be following a similar journey to those who choose to drive. In the summer, the CapeFLYER train runs at weekends from Boston's South Station down to Hyannis and offers a lot of comfort and conveniences on-board, including free Wi-Fi.
There are also year-round buses running from both the South Station terminal and Boston Logan International Airport direct to the Woods Hole ferry terminal. Whether you choose to take the bus or the train, you’ll still need to catch the ferry over to the island, and the whole journey time can be upwards of 3-4 hours.
Important Information and Things to Do at Martha’s Vineyard
- The Best Time to Visit Martha’s Vineyard - If you’re quite flexible with dates and times for your Martha’s Vineyard day trip, visiting in late spring or early fall is a good option. Choosing months like April, May, or September for your trip allows you to avoid the big tourist crowds that tend to accumulate during the summer months. If, however, you want to get the best chances of good weather and don’t mind dealing with the crowds, traveling in July or August is a great option.
- Visit The Sights - Some of the top landmarks to check out during your Martha's Vineyard day trip include the iconic Flying Horses carousel, which is still in operation, many years after its construction, and Gay Head Lighthouse, which opens up for public tours during the summer. Nature lovers, meanwhile, should take a tour around Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, while those interested in meeting some locals should have a walk around Edgartown.
- Spend Some Time on the Beach - Anyone heading to Martha's Vineyard for some simple rest and relaxation should stop off at Katama Beach, also known as South Beach, for some of the softest sand and best views on the island. You can also head over to Joseph Sylvia State Beach, which runs for about two miles in total. Lucy Vincent Beach over on the southwestern part of the island is popular too.