Martha's Vineyard Transportation Information
Ferry Service to Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven
Martha's Vineyard is directly accessible by ferry or plane. The great majority of our visitors arrive by ferry. Daily, year round automobile and passenger ferry service is available from Woods Hole, Massachusetts via the Steamship Authority ferries, www.steamshipauthority.com . Daily, year round passenger-only ferry service is also available from New Bedford, Massachusetts on the Martha's Vineyard Express Ferry, www.mvexpressferry.com, and from Falmouth Harbor, Massachusetts aboard the little known Patriot Boats, www.patriotpartyboats.com . Seasonal passenger-only ferry service is also available from other ferry companies that operate out of Falmouth, Hyannis and New Bedford Massachusetts (see listings below). All ferry services offer pay-parking lots at their mainland docks, usually about $10.00 per calendar day. You virtually never need a reservation as a walk-on ferry passenger at any of the ferry companies, and your bicycle is always welcome for a nominal additional charge. Reservations are required to bring an automobile over with the Steamship Authority. Year-round and seasonal air service to Martha's Vineyard is also available. See listings below.
* An important note about bringing your car to Martha's Vineyard on the Steamship Authority boats: A ferry reservation for your car is relatively expensive during the summer (up to $124.00 round trip, plus passenger fare of $12.00/person) and can be hard to get. If you can't get a convenient ferry reservation for your car, why not consider parking your car on the mainland at any of the ferry company parking lots and come over as a walk-on passenger. Martha's Vineyard has a terrific public transportation system of buses and taxis that make it easy to get anywhere on Martha's Vineyard without your car. And the Madison Inn is right in the heart of the village of Oak Bluffs and is a short walk from any of the ferry docks. From the Nashua House you can easily walk to all of the wonderful historic sites, restaurants, shops and beaches in Oak Bluffs, and take the public bus or a taxi to our neighboring towns of Vineyard Haven and Edgartown. Bicycle and car rentals are also available on-island.
Martha's Vineyard by ferry.
Ferry from Woods Hole, Massachusetts (year round)
" The Steamship Authority" (passenger and auto)
www.steamshipauthority.com 508-477-8600. The Steamship Authority runs the only automobile ferries to Martha's Vineyard. The trip takes 45 minutes and the ferry will arrive at either Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs, both on the island of Martha's Vineyard. If your ferry arrives in Oak Bluffs, The Madison Inn is just a short two-minute walk. If your ferry arrives in Vineyard Haven, you are just ten minutes away from Oak Bluffs by taxi or public bus. If you have your car, see driving directions to the Madison Inn below.
Driving Directions From The Steamship Authority Ferry Dock In Vineyard Haven To The Madison Inn In Oak Bluffs
Driving Directions From The Steamship Authority Ferry Dock In Vineyard Haven To The Madison Inn In Oak Bluffs (downloading map from this page will be very helpful).
Exit the Steamship Authority (ferry) parking lot, turning left, and stay in left hand lane. Travel 500 feet to Stop Sign.
At Stop Sign, bear softly left onto Beach Road ( a sharp left will lead you down a one block long dead end road back toward the harbor).
Travel 1.4 miles along Beach Road. At the 1.4 mile mark, you will come to a fork in the road wherein you can go straight or turn left. Turn Left (look for sign and arrow to left pointing to Oak Bluffs).
Travel an additional 1.5 miles into Oak Bluffs. As you enter Oak Bluffs you will see the Oak Bluffs Harbor on your left. At the far end of the harbor, get in the right hand lane and take the next right, up the main street of town, which is Circuit Avenue. It is a busy One-Way street and looks like a main street.
Travel 1/4 mile up Circuit Avenue and take a hairpin turn to the left at your first opportunity.
Travel one block and bear left. You are now traveling parallel to, and in the opposite direction, as when you were on Circuit Avenue. You are now on Kennebec Avenue. It is a One-Way street.
Travel one block and stop at Stop Sign. Your are now at the intersection of Kennebec Ave. and David Healy Way. The Madison Inn is one block further on your right.
Driving Instructions From Steamship Authority (Ferry) Terminal In Oak Bluffs To The Madison Inn In Oak Bluffs.
As you exit the Steamship Authority Ferry Dock in Oak Bluffs, proceed straight through the immediate intersection and get into the left hand lane. Travel 500 feet and be in the left hand turn lane, which bends gently left.
Cross Lake Avenue and proceed up Circuit Avenue, the main street in town. Circuit Avenue is one way. Notice the Island Movie Theatre on the corner on your right as you begin proceeding up Circuit Avenue.
Travel up Circuit Avenue 1/4 mile and make a hairpin left-hand turn at your first opportunity. Travel one short block and bear left.
You are now on Kennebec Avenue, the street the Madison Inn is on. It is a one way street going in the opposite direction of, and parallel to, Circuit Avenue, the road you were just on. Travel one block to the Stop Sign. You are now at the intersection of Kennebec Avenue and David Healy Way. Proceed down the hill. The Madison Inn is on your right. Turn right at the Stop Sign and look for on-street parking.
Ferry from New Bedford, NYC and NJ (seasonal)
"SeaStreak" (passenger only)
www.seastreak.com 866-683-3779. The SeaStreak offers direct service for NJ, NYC and New Bedford to Martha's Vineyard
Ferry from Falmouth, Massachusetts
"Patriot Boats" (passenger only) (year round)
www.patriotpartyboats.com 800-734-0088, 508-548-2626. Operates daily from Falmouth Harbor, Falmouth, Massachusetts. This boat line is not well known but operates the earliest daily departure to Martha's Vineyard: 3:30 a.m. (the newspaper boat), as well as about eight other daily crossings. The one-way fare is $7.00. The trip takes 35 minutes. Also available as an emergency 24-hour water taxi service. These people will get you onto or off of Martha's Vineyard when no one else can, or will.
"The Island Queen" (passenger only) (seasonal)
www.islandqueen.com Operates out of Falmouth Harbor, Falmouth, Massachusetts. Phone: 508-548-4800. The Island Queen makes the 35-minute trip to Oak Bluffs from late May through Columbus Day. The round-trip fee is $18 per passenger, $6 for bicycles.
Ferry from Hyannis, Massachusetts (seasonal)
"The Hy-Line" (passenger only)
www.hy-linecruises.com Operates a High-Speed and Traditional ferry service to Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard from Hy-Line Landing at the Ocean Street Dock in Hyannis, Massachusetts. Reservations; 508-693-0112 (Oak Bluffs), 508-778-2600 (Hyannis), 800-492-8082 (Toll Free). Makes a 1¾ or 1 hour trip to Oak Bluffs from May to October. The round-trip fee is $45.00 for Traditional and $71 for High-Speed; bicycles are $14. The parking lot in Hyannis fills up in summer so call to reserve space.
Ferry from Quonset Point, Rhode Island (seasonal)
"Vineyard Fast Ferry" (passenger only)
www.vineyardfastferry.com 401-295-4040. Largest fast ferry to Martha's Vineyard (400 passengers) operating from Quonset Point in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. Travel time is 90- minutes. Closest ferry to Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Western Massachusetts. Save hours of travel time and avoid all the Cape Cod traffic! The round-trip fee is $69.00. Only ferry to offer all dockside parking for $10.00 per day. Offers Providence Airport & Amtrak Shuttle Service for $15.00/$18.00. Online advance reservations and first-class amenities.
Getting to Woods Hole, Massachusetts By Bus from anywhere in New England
Peter Pan Bus Lines (year round)
www.peterpanbus.com 888-751-8800, 508-548-7588, 800-556-3815. The Bonanza Bus operates daily service to the Woods Hole, Massachusetts Steamship Authority Ferry Terminal from Boston's Logan Airport, from Boston's South Station Transportation Hub, from Providence Rhode Island, points in Connecticut, and from downtown New York City. These are very clean, well operated buses that Vineyarders use to get to and from Boston, New York City, etc, without a car. One-way passenger fare from Logan Airport is $30.00 and takes two hours.
Driving Directions from your location to Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
From New York City and points in Connecticut
Take Interstate 95 to Providence, Rhode Island. From Providence take Interstate 195 East to Wareham, Massachusetts/Cape Cod, Exit 22a (Interstate 195 ends at this point), "To Cape Cod and the Islands, State Route 25". Take State Route 25 East for 8 miles; go over the Bourne Bridge (everyone except the driver can look out at the terrific views of the Cape Cod Canal). At the eastern end of the Bourne Bridge there is a rotary. Travel halfway around the rotary and get on State Route 28, "to Falmouth and Woods Hole". You are now officially on Cape Cod: Welcome! Continue on State Route 28 approximately 10 miles to Falmouth, Massachusetts. The cross street of the first traffic light you come to in the town of Falmouth is "Jones Road". Proceed straight through this intersection, and travel ½ mile. On your right, you will see a sign that says "Steamship Authority Parking, Palmer Avenue Lot". There will be a smaller sign hanging under the main sign that will say either "This Lot Closed, Park Woods Hole", or "Woods Hole Lot Closed, Park Here". If you are taking the Steamship Authority Ferry to Martha's Vineyard and you are to park at the Palmer Avenue Lot, pull in, park, and take the free shuttle down to the Ferry in Woods Hole. If you are to continue to Woods Hole, travel another approximate 1 mile until you come to a blinking light, where the road forks. You will bear to the right at this light while noticing signs that say "to Vineyard Ferry". Travel an additional 5 miles and you will come to the village of Woods Hole. The Steamship Authority Ferry Parking lot is to your left. Pull up to the "Shack" and you will be advised where to park. Distance from New York City: approximately 250 miles. If you are taking any ferry service to Martha's Vineyard other than The Steamship Authority, consult that ferry company's web site for directions to their respective dock.
The "Route 24" route (our preference). From Interstate 93 take State Route 24 Southbound to Interstate 495. Take Interstate 495 Southeast toward Cape Cod. Interstate 495 becomes State Route 25. Continue on State Route 25 to the Bourne Bridge. Follow Directions above from Bourne Bridge to Falmouth and Woods Hole.
The "Route 3" route". From Interstate 93 South take State Route 3 (aka the Southeast Expressway) from Braintree to the Sagamore Bridge. At the Sagamore Bridge take Route 6 West for three miles to the Bourne Bridge . Follow directions above from Bourne Bridge to Falmouth and Woods Hole.
From Points in Western Massachusetts
Get on the Massachusetts Turnpike, aka Interstate 90, heading East. Take exit 11a, Route 495 South. Follow 495 South until it ends and becomes State Route 25 East. Continue East on State Route 25 to the Bourne Bridge. Follow directions above from Bourne Bridge to Falmouth and Woods Hole.
Getting to Martha's Vineyard by air
The Madison Inn is 15 minutes from Martha's Vineyard Airport (MVY), which is serviced year-round by Cape Air and seasonally by US Airways and Pan Am.
Cape Air www.flycapeair.com 800-352-0714 Year round Service to Martha's Vineyard from Boston's Logan Airport (BOS), Providence, Rhode Island (PVD), New Bedford Regional Airport (EWB), Provincetown Municipal Airport (PVC), Hyannis' Boardman-Polando Field (HYA), and the Nantucket Memorial Airport (ACK).
U.S. Airways Express www.usairways.com 800-428-4322 Seasonal service to Martha's Vineyard from New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Washington D.C.'s Reagan National Airport (DCA), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (PHL), and Hyannis' Boardman-Polando Field (HYA.
Pan Am www.flypanam.com 800-FLY-PANAM Operated by Boston-Maine Airways. Seasonal service to Martha's Vineyard from the Baltimore, Maryland's Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), Groton, Connecticut (GON), and White Plains, New York's Westchester County Airport (HPN).
Bicycle Rental on Martha's Vineyard
Andersons Bike Rental 508-693-9346 We strongly recommend Andersons Bike Rental , right here in Oak Bluffs, for all your bicycling needs. Bill Anderson has been renting bicycles since before there were fossil fuels, and a nicer fellow you will not find on Martha's Vineyard. Bill keeps modern, up-to-date equipment on hand, with all types of bikes available, including road and mountain bikes, kids bikes, pull-alongs and tandems. His prices are the most reasonable on Martha's Vineyard, and he'll also service your own bike if you need.
Taxi Service on Martha's Vineyard
The taxis on Martha's Vineyard are typically minivans, and they're generally a rather sad fleet. In fact, some are downright frightening, but all will get you where you need to go for about the same money. Below is a short listing of the companies we like best.
Jon's Taxi 508-627-4677 Considered one of the best. Very professional owner, very clean vehicles. Can be hard to get because he's always busy, but worth a try.
Mario's Taxi 508-693-8399 Also Considered one of the best. Also can be hard to get.
Marlene's Taxi 508-693-0037 Our hometown favorite. Based in Oak Bluffs, long-time owners Doug and Ruth Siple know their way around. Older vehicles, but usually available.
Accurate Cab 508-627-9798
All Island Taxi 508-693-2929
Public Bus Service on Martha's Vineyard
Martha's Vineyard Transit Authority, aka VTA www.vineyardtransit.com 508-693-9440 Our terrific local bus service travels to all six towns, operates from early in the morning to late at night, meets every arriving Steamship Authority Ferry and has a bus bench near every other Ferry dock, will stop and pick you up or let you off anywhere along it's route, and is impossibly affordable. $2.00 from town to town, $7.00 for an unlimited all-day pass, $15.00 for a three-day pass, $25.00 for a seven-day pass.