Inkwell Beach
Inkwell Beach
4.5
About
Inkwell Beach is popular for its gentle waves, central location near Oak Bluffs Ferry Terminal, and cultural and historical significance—since the late 1800s, this beach has been frequented by the African American community. Dive into its deep history along the African American Heritage Trail or on a guided tour of Martha's Vineyard. Beyond its shores, check out cool spots like Ocean Park, the Flying Horses Carousel, and Corbin Norton House. You might even spot the Polar Bears of Martha's Vineyard, the community’s group of early morning swimmers. The area's colorful gingerbread cottages and Victorian-style houses are also great for photo ops. – Tripadvisor
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4.5
133 reviews
Excellent
69
Very good
44
Average
15
Poor
3
Terrible
2

PJG
1 contribution
Aug 2023 • Friends
What a beautiful beach! We had an amazing time. We chose a section of the beach to have a group gathering of alumni and families. Children and adults alike enjoyed it. Other people who happened to be at the beach were so warm and friendly. It felt like a big family reunion - nothing but good vibes! Can't wait to return.
Written August 15, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GeekyMell
Upper Marlboro, MD165 contributions
Jul 2012 • Family
Going to the Inkwell Beach was one of the main things I HAD to do on the island! A great historical experience to me because of how it came into being and where middle and upper class black people long ago gathered there peacefully during one of our hardest times during the 19th century to enjoy family time along the ocean and socialize with each other as well as exchange ideas of the times... on the Inkwell! There is no sign, so you could easily miss it, it has the beautiful homes to its rear and the tranquil waters to its front. Also be sure and walk the rock road into the ocean, a nice and different experience. A MUST SEE! (C'est la Vie gift store located on Circuit Ave., has the best variety of Inkwell t-shirts on the island.... and its black owned and operated)!

P.S. Please put up a Inkwell sign, that would make it perfect!
Written July 14, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tim J
Brookline, MA441 contributions
Aug 2016 • Couples
Inkwell has a pretty complex history to it, including its name which was originally intended to be an insult about the African America residents who swam in its waters. Today it's a great example of how diverse Oak Bluffs past was and hopefully what Martha's Vineyard is becoming, with a cornucopia of cultures and ethnic groups taking advantage of its warm sands and cool waves. Free to the public and easily accessible off the 13 from Edgartown or other buses coming from across the island's other town's (across the street at Ocean Park), Inkwell does not tend to have a life guard on duty so if you have little ones you will need to keep a closer eye on them.

Beyond the beach itself the Polar Bears (a group of African American men and women who swim and pray each morning from early July until Labor Day) maintain a tradition that led to one of the best photo's of the Vineyard I've seen; "Joy" by Michael Johnson, whose image sits in the Martha's Vineyard Hospital and soon move well beyond. It's a great expression of community and life that is wonderful to see in person if you are lucky enough. If you care about history and want to set foot on a lovely little beach, Inkwell is a highly recommended.
Written September 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jmginc
Warwick, Rhode Island57 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
This place is now a pit. My wife and I have been vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard for several years now. The Oak Bluff area the last 10 years gets worse every year.
Inkwell beach and that stretch is now the worst beach ever. Groups hang there. Kid unattended throw rocks in the water. The drugs and pot smoking is so bad. In the water, along the edge of the beach and on the beach. Everywhere we went the people were smoking. I had a cooler with two beers. I was worried and don’t ever know why.
We did not feel safe here and won’t be hanging here again.
Written July 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BeenThereDidDat
Philadelphia, PA14 contributions
Jul 2013 • Family
Do not expect much but expect everything. The Ink Well Beach is just an ordinary beach but knowing the history of this grand beach always makes me feel at home. Once again, no hype and hooplah, no fancy signs and lights, just a small section of beach that our ancestors and forefathers walked and laughed in peace.
Written May 14, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin94
Richmond4 contributions
Jul 2013 • Friends
A small beach area good for socializing and short walks/runs. It's the traditional meeting place on the island for affluent African American families and others. Good to visit in July and August and in the morning. Every morning, the Polar Bears (a group of women and some men) meet here to do water aerobics. You can join them in the cold water but its' quite rocky so wear water shoes. Love hanging out here and the people are great!
Written July 7, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Colette L
Oakland, CA15 contributions
Aug 2016 • Friends
For African-Americans, this beach represents a rich history in over-coming over-whelming odds and carving out tradition despite racism, discrimination, and obstruction to opportunity. The beach is devoid of commercialism, surprisingly small, and perfectly dotted with folks from all walks of life. The morning ritual is a sight to behold--polar bears, over 60, gather to pay homage to the ancestors at 7 am. Beautiful!
Written September 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lolly’s Look
New York City, NY12,818 contributions
Jul 2021 • Couples
Inkwell is a nice sandy Beach in Oak Bluff. We enjoyed a sunny day on the beach here. It was not too crowded and had a mix of families and couples.
Written October 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CulturedBlackPearl
New York City, NY246 contributions
Aug 2017 • Solo
Great time at the beach. I visited for pINKwell and it was a great time with my sorority sisters and friends.
Written August 31, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

1girl1globe
Waterbury, CT26 contributions
Aug 2017 • Couples
I visited the Inkwell for the history and to meet the Polar Bears, and I did both! 7:30 am I made it in the chilly waters with a other men and women over 30 that day, to pray for the community, ourselves and send out love to the water and land. At the same time to meeting women who were loving and generous, we did water exercises and I got inducted in a secret ceremony with 8 other men and women. Now I am a lifer! And I too have been added to a committed community dedicated to giving the love to the Inkwell, anyone not understanding that...is missing the whole point of what the Inkwell stands for, to many African Americans.
Written August 8, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Inkwell Beach - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)