Welcome to Martha’s Vineyard, one of New England’s premier vacation destinations. Our island offers countless summertime activities and the Madison Inn is the ideal location from which to enjoy them all. Our in-town location is just steps from the Oak Bluffs Harbor, public transportation, beaches, bike rentals, kayak rentals, and excellent shopping and dining. Not sure what to see first? Take an island tour!
We want to help make your stay amazing, and below is a list of activities we recommend. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask!
The Oak Bluffs Town Beach is around the corner from the Madison Inn. Located across from Ocean Park, this local beach is ideal for quick access to the calm waters of Nantucket Sound. Guests of the Madison Inn enjoy complimentary beach chairs, towels, and umbrellas, available at the front desk. A mile out of town (towards Edgartown) is State Beach, stretching for 5 miles between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs. State Beach is famous for being one of the locations where the movie “Jaws” was filmed. It’s also the home of “The Big Bridge” where jumping off the railing and plunging into the waters below is an island tradition, a delight for tourists and islanders alike.
See www.mvol.com/beaches for further information about public beaches on Martha’s Vineyard.
Martha’s Vineyard has miles and miles of scenic bike paths to explore. We always recommend the ride to Edgartown, an easy seven mile trip that takes you along Nantucket Sound, past oceanfront homes and resorts, and into picturesque downtown Edgartown. For the more adventurous, add the loop out to the Katama sand plains. Breathtaking scenery abounds!
Martha’s Vineyard, known for its sandy beaches and historic and charming seaside villages, also has hundreds of acres of conservation land open to the public, including woodlands, sand plains, beaches, lighthouses, farmland, pasture, ponds, and wetlands. Many of our favorite walks are up-island, in West Tisbury and Chilmark, and are easy to get to by car, though requires some planning if you’re taking the bus. Here are the three organizations that list the majority of the Vineyard’s conservation properties: www.thetrustees.org, www.sheriffsmeadow.org, www.mvlandbank.com. Our top 4 favorite walks are Waskosim’s Rock Reservation, Fulling Mill Brook Preserve, Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary, and Menemsha Hills. There’s also a free app; TrailsMV. Look it up!
There are two golf courses open to the public on Martha’s Vineyard: Farm Neck and Mink Meadows. Farm Neck is located in Oak Bluffs, about a mile from the center of town. Farm Neck features an 18-hole course with sweeping views of Vineyard Sound and Sengekontacket Pond, as well as a fabulous cafe open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (in-season). Mink Meadows is located in Vineyard Haven and is a 9-hole course created by Wayne Stiles in 1936. Designed to take advantage of superb water views, it looks toward the Elizabeth Islands and Woods Hole. Farm Neck is the more expensive and challenging of the two courses, but both offer an excellent Vineyard golf experience.
Kayaking & Paddleboarding
Getting out on the water is one of the primary ways to experience the island. Sengekontacket is one of Martha’s Vineyards’ most visible coastal ponds and is located about a mile from the Madison Inn along Beach Road towards Edgartown. Island kayak provides rentals by the hour and is easily reachable by bus, bike, or car. Kayak rentals are also available from The Trustees of Reservations, and a private company called Winds Up. Check out the guided tours provided by these companies to get a glimpse of the extended waterways accessible to visitors while exploring the island.
Whether it’s taking an evening sail with Mad Max along the Edgartown harbor, hiring islandgirlexcurtions for seaside adventures, or catching the big one with a chartered boat company, capturing the essence of the Vineyard means getting out of town and onto the water;-)