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“Beautiful” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gay Head

Gay Head
Aquinnah, Martha's Vineyard, MA
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Ranked #3 of 4 Attractions in Aquinnah
Type: Beaches, Geologic Formations, Landmarks/ Points of Interest
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Attraction Details
Owner description: The 10-minute walk from the parking lot is well worth the trek to this spectacular beach with its magnificent multi-colored cliffs, which are a national landmark. The lack of commercialism means a true escape and relaxation, but you'll need to bring food and supplies.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

Knowing that we were going to MV, we knew that we had to visit Gay Head. It was a must see…
We also knew that it was off-season so none of the shops will be open but that worked out in our favor. We had the whole area to ourselves.
The view was awesome; the cliffs were simply picturesque to say the least. We took our time and took in the wonderful view.

We went during the offseason.

Visited April 2014
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46 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Swedish first
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English first
paisley, scotland
Top Contributor
112 reviews 112 reviews
33 attraction reviews
Reviews in 46 cities Reviews in 46 cities
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
“brilliant and evocative!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

it was a dark and stormy day and it was still wonderful! To be at the scene of Carly Simons famous concert on the 'yard was terrific. The area was well kept and free from rubbish etc.

Visited October 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Amazing Cliffs and Beach!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013 via mobile

You haven't "seen" the Cliffs until you've walked along the beach around the point. The walk along Moshups Beach (named after the Wamponag being who created the island) is truly breathtaking. The shapes of the cliffs are wonderful and the colors of the clay are astounding. The walk is easiest at low tide, so Google the tides and plan your visit. There are many little coves and lots of very sandy beaches that are perfect for swimming and sunning.

Please realize that the clay cliffs are protected. This is a sacred place for the local tribe and the clay is very sacred to them. Basic respect dictates that you do not touch the clay. Painting yourself with it it is akin to visiting Notre Dame and blowing out the candles or splashing in the holy water.

We've spent a week on the Vineyard for the past 8 years and this is one of our must do's each time.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful but Rocky”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

Colorful clay, the lighthouse and great views from the top of the cliff make this a must visit. As for swimming and sunning I prefer South Beach for the sand and the water temperature is warmer. There are loads of tourists at Gay Head aka Aquinnah Beach. We were hoping to be able to create paste with the clay as it's supposed to be excellent for your skin, however the cliffs and clay are now protected landscape (DO NO TOUCH). At the top of the cliffs there are shops, a restaurant, a great view of the lighthouse and a few markers describing the area. In the high season prepare for unruly children and tourists wandering into your shots :). The actual beach is a about a 5 minute walk down a winding path (safe footwear or bare feet recommended) . Once we were on the beach as usual the entrance is the most crowded so we walked an additional 10 minutes for privacy. As you head towards the lighthouse walking along the beach under the cliffs clothing becomes very much optional. This is an extremely rocky beach and the softest parts of good sand are covered in high tide. The water was cold but not freezing. Had a great time, feel free to ask ?'s and safe travels - D

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Tisbury, Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Serene views from the Southern end of Martha's Vineyard”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 29, 2013

No trip to the Island is complete without a ride out to Gay Head (now known as Aquinnah) to see the cliffs and the light house. The light house will soon be moved (next three years) as the land beneath is is eroding fast, so if you are going, make sure you see it in it's current location. You can also hike to the top at some times. Check hours for the Wampanoag's museum now housed in an old haunted (according to Vineyard legend) victorian house. Also hike up the hill past the souvenir shops, past the Aquinnah Shop to see the views back toward the light house and the cliffs. On occasion people have seen whales from up here, but you would need a very powerful set of binoculars and steady arms. The whole scene is very beautiful, especially on a sunny day. Be careful not to stand too close to the fence or you will hit the poison ivy that lines much of the fence and I suspect has fooled many unguarded visitors. If you avail yourself of the outdoor dining at the Aquinnah shop be careful or a seagull may help itself to your meal.

Visited July 2013
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