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“Be careful in the offseason”

Gay Head Light (Aquinnah Light)
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Day Trip to Martha's Vineyard
Ranked #2 of 5 things to do in Aquinnah
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: The Martha's Vineyard Museum is privileged to be the steward of three of the Island's lighthouses. The East Chop, Edgartown, and Gay Head lighthouses are not only historic reminders of a bygone age, but are working beacons that still send a light out into the night. Beyond their important functional role, these structures also offer visitors spectacular views of the breathtaking beauty of Vineyard Sound, the simple elegance of Edgartown Harbor & Chappaquiddick, and the majestic cliffs of Aquinnah. The Gay Head Lighthouse is open seasonally. A lighthouse keeper will be available and the doors will be open during designated hours. Parking is available, but limited, on Aquinnah Circle. The Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) busses do have routes to the lighthouse.
Reviewed May 1, 2014

This is a very remote part of the island - and it takes a LONG time to get out there -- it might not look that way on the map, but it is! We came here in mid-April, which is still the off season. We used the bus to get around the island...HUGE mistake. The bus to get out here at this time of year has a very infrequent schedule. I know what you're thinking, "Read the bus map!" right? Have you ever LOOKED at the MVTA bus map? It's incredibly confusing for such a small island. I am perfectly comfortable taking public transportation in any city, and I could not figure this out.

The bus ride took a good HOUR to get here from Edgartown. Once here, the driver dropped us off. I asked when the next bus came and he said, "I don't know. Check the schedule but I'll probably be back in an hour"

Ok. Fine. We can explore the lighthouse, take pics of the cliffs, etc.

So we did that. The cliffs are beautiful but it was just too windy to really enjoy them. There's really no walking trails that I could find to get down to the beach, but like I said, it was just too windy.

The lighthouse was closed but being the rebels that we are, we walked right around the sign to take some pics. After snapping some pics of the lighthouse and cliffs, we were ready to go.

Headed back to the bus stop to try to make sense of the schedule (I repeat, MVTA bus schedules are unnecessarily confusing and I consider myself a public transportation expert!) Once we figured it out, we realized we were stranded here for another 2.5 hours. Yes, 2.5 HOURS.

Now, this wouldn't be so bad in the summer - there's some shops and a restaurant up here, but we're here in April and nothing's open. Even the public restrooms (which they CHARGE MONEY for - 50 cents -- were closed and I had to go).

It was cold, windy and we were stranded. Tried calling a cab, but it's $60 (!!!! SIXTY DOLLARS) to get back to the ferry in Vineyard Haven. We camped out by the bus stop and I decided to suck it up and try to hitchhike a ride back.

Luckily a nice couple saw us (this bus stop is near a parking lot) and gave us a ride back to Vineyard Haven. Without them, we might've even missed the last ferry out!

So again, learn from my experience. Do NOT attempt this in the off season if you are taking the bus -- unless you like to be stranded outside for a few hours.

3  Thank OwlYaDoing
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 29, 2014

The best view on the island is actually not right at Gay Head Cliff's but at a Land Bank property nearby. Park along the road near the shops and walk back down the road and turn left at the first road. There is a large white anchor on the left about 100 feet down and walk up that driveway. This is The Outermost Inn. When you get to Inn, look for a path on your left. An easy walk that takes you along the cliffs for spectacular views of the lighthouse, North Shore, Elizabeth Islands, Menemsha and even the mainland. Best time is mid-late May or mid-late Sept when monarchs make a stop on their migration. Note that this walk is ONLY open from Sept. 15-June 15 (NOT in the summer). Also, be careful of ticks.

2  Thank Jim G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 16, 2014

Visited in the winter, when all the buildings and businesses were closed. The view is incomparable, and would be a photographers dream.It was very windy, and there was nothing else to see or do once you walked up the very short path to the look out. We walked a little further down the road to walk on the beach, make up of all rocks. Fun and interesting in the winter, but wouldn't want to battle a crowd there in the summer.

Thank Sarah A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 2, 2014

If you're a lighthouse enthusiast like I am, you don't mind driving a bit out of your way to see a bit of history and that's no exception on Martha's Vineyard! Gay Head Light sits at the spot where the very first of the Vineyard's five lighthouses was built and though the current red brick tower is not the original lighthouse that stood at that spot, it is well worth driving out to the Aquinnah Cliffs to see. Currently it sits only 40-feet from the edge of the cliffs and is in danger of falling over the cliffs if it's not moved back soon but hopefully savegayheadlight.org will be able to get that accomplished before that happens. Even in the winter when it's closed you can take a walk up and look around though obviously you can't climb up the tower. Just be careful and don't get too close to the edge of the cliffs as it's a long way down and could be quite dangerous if you were to lose your footing.

1  Thank LindaOSki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 16, 2013

One of the most beautiful places I have been on the East Coast. absolutely breathtaking. See for yourself!

3  Thank kalisn1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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