Gay Head
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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.
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  • Wolfgang
    Mill, The Netherlands34 contributions
    Stand Up Paddling Gay Head
    Amazing cliffs seen as it best in full sunlight. During a 3,5 hours SUP/paddleboard tour I did enjoy every minute of it. Bus #5/6 took me in 50 minutes from Edgartown to Nashaquitsa Pond, starting point of the tour. Even in high season with best weather conditions you won’t find tourists on this pond. Same goes for Menemsha Pond which is connected and gives access to the open waters. Following the coastline anti-clockwise you are mainly in flat waters of Menemsha Bight you will find the best spots for sunbathing. Clearing the far west corner of the Isle you can already see the amazing cliffs. However wind and water flow made this last part of the tour the most challenging one and only for experienced paddle boarders. In hindsight the better option was to paddle the tour clockwise. After deflating the SUP at Moshup beach it is a 15’ walk via a upslope trail to the shops and Aquinnah sightseeing spot.
    Visited August 2021
    Traveled solo
    Written August 18, 2021
  • Rich G
    Acton, Massachusetts2,573 contributions
    Beuatiful Beach with Tons O Rocks
    A beautiful large beach in Martha's Vineyard, on the opposite side from the major towns of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. Parking is free if you go to the main entrance above the cliffs, and walk the long path to the beach. You can also park along the highway or in some smaller designated lots where you need a pass. The beach is beautiful, covered in perfectly smooth and round stones - some worth taking home. During summer this is (use to be?) a nude beach.
    Visited June 2020
    Written June 29, 2020
  • KnitsbyConnie
    470 contributions
    Moshup Beach beautiful
    Moshup Beach (public) After you stroll for what seems like 20 minutes you arrive at the beach sand area. The beach is loaded with rocks so wear your beach shoes. People have made rock cairns from many of the rocks. The view of the water and cliff side walls is outstanding.
    Visited August 2022
    Written August 17, 2022
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.
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
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Alison S
Springfield, MA985 contributions
May 2021
Returned here after many decades on a glorious spring day. While the cliffs themselves were not as bright as I remembered (less red? perhaps more colorful in damper weather?), the magnificence of the place is truly awe inspiring. I felt it to be one of the most spiritual places I have ever been. The incredible views of the land, sky and ocean; the feeling of peace surrounded by such natural beauty. The Wampanoag were right to hold this place sacred,
Written May 24, 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.

Paul I
Chilmark, MA23 contributions
Jul 2011 • Couples
So easy to access now a days. Take the SSA ferry, grab a bus to Gayhead . Walk 2 mins to beach thru the path, ask the driver to drop u at the beach entrance. Spectacular ocien views and cool breezes await you. Very sandy this year. Walk to the right for the most beautiful views of the colored cliffs. Stay until sunset, its amazing and peaceful. People are all very friendly. This is a legal NUDE beach due to the locals traditions. No one will ever bother you. guards patrol once in a while. There is a parking lot as well for $15.
Written July 31, 2011
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.

AZoutdoors
Paradise Valley43 contributions
Jun 2010
Beautiful Beach - be forewarned though - further down the beach was filled with nudists -including families w/young children - I had not received the insider info so needless to say I was caught off guard by the "sans swimsuit crew" considering I was with my mother and best friend...

All in all it's a picturesque beach, just don't go wandering too far unless you are prepared to bare all :)
Written May 13, 2011
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.

michaelbruce
Blackstone, MA1 contribution
Jul 2010
I have been to many nude beach's by far my favorite is Gay Head. The clay cliffs are beautiful and fragile do not play with the clay. Every one picks up after them self's so really no litter. All the people i have meet are very friendly. It is family nude beach so if that bothers you don't go. I am 56 years old and have been going every year since i was 16 and can not wait for July so be at my beach again. I always bring a trash bag with me for clean up. So pack your coolers MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A CAMERA for pictures of the beautiful cliffs. Once you go you will always want to go back enjoy Mike
Written June 5, 2011
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.

Delaware_Lisa
Hockessin, Delaware, United States21 contributions
Jul 2014 • Couples
first thing to know public transportation will take you there as well as many other beaches and attractions it is 7 dollars and you can ride the bus all day ... this trip will take about an hour but is worth the trip! there are a few shops take out food as well as a an outdoor cafe .the views of the cliffs from there as well as the lighthouse are beautiful . It will cost 5 dollars to climb the lighthouse and the view from both inside the lens room and outside are breathtaking also the staff could not be nicer . they do have bathrooms but charge 50 cents to use them . the real attraction for me was the beach . it is about a 10 min or so walk that will take you to a beach along the cliffs.now this is the second thing to know when you first come on to the beach it is a family friendly beach but farther down you will see a yellow float in the rocks ... from that point on it is a clothing optional beach .( I was clothed lol ... just fyi ) I was ok with it if they were but I would just stay to the family area if you have children or do not want that experience and you will be fine .... you would never know !! the beach is rocky with pockets of sand where you can settle in and the cliffs provide a bonus .... a beautiful backdrop for a day the beach even if you tried I do not think you would get a bad picture !! the lighthouse and viewing area are close together along with the food and drinks then plan your time at the beach to get onto the bus for you next adventure or spend the day !!
Written July 31, 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.

Gerald P
4 contributions
After you climb the stairs to view the magnificent colored clay cliffs and the blue ocean beyond, it is a must that you find your way to clothing optional Zack's beach via the Moshup trail accessed from the lower parking lot. Turn right onto the beach at the bottom of the trail. The hike to the rocky shores beyond is worth it. All are welcome here.
Written July 13, 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.

Dee_Dubb_07
New York City, NY53 contributions
Jun 2011 • Couples
We stopped here for 30 minutes on a bus tour of the island. Gorgeous views of the cliffs and of Gay Head lighthouse. I would've liked to have walked over the the lighthouse but time was not on our side that day. The visitor's center is small and very nice with a few shops and food stands. The beach looked beautiful, but we didn't walk all the way down. I will definitely be back.
Written July 4, 2011
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.

OohOoh
New York City, NY63 contributions
Lovely place, much closer the nature. Part of the beach is Nude beach.

Been there 3 times, would go there every summer if I can.
Written April 18, 2007
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.

dma1250
Barcelona, Spain337 contributions
Aug 2013
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.
Written September 2, 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.

DeAnna T
Boston, Massachusetts, United States180 contributions
Aug 2013 • Couples
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
Written August 13, 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.

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