Back To Blog

The Lighthouses of Martha's Vineyard

Interested in lighthouses? Rich with maritime history, these five lighthouses have a story to tell and make for fantastic photo and video opportunities. 

The West Chop Lighthouse

The West Chop Lighthouse is one of the oldest lighthouses on the island, built-in 1817. It has since been moved back from the edge of a 60-foot bluff to prevent erosion from the sea and harsh weather. Located at the entrance of Vineyard Haven Harbor, it is the last lighthouse on the island to be automated. However, the original lens is still in operation. The former lightkeeper’s cottage is now vacant but often used by the U.S. Coast Guard. The best way to see the lighthouse is aboard a ferry to and from Woods Hole.


West Chop Lighthouse


The East Chop Lighthouse 

The East Chop Lighthouse is located on the other side of the harbor in Oak Bluffs. This lighthouse has a rich history as it was the site of the first telegraph signals in 1828. The signals were received from Nantucket and broadcast to the surrounding areas of Woods Hole, South Plymouth, Duxbury, Marshfield, and Dorchester. The lighthouse was once known as the "Chocolate Lighthouse" for its brown-red color, but it now stands covered in white paint. The lighthouse is typically open seasonally on Sunday evenings around sunset and is run by the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.


East Chop Lighthouse


The Gay Head Lighthouse

The Gay Head Lighthouse is one of the most unique lighthouses on the island, known for its red-brick structure. It sits dangerously close to the rugged seashore cliffs of Aquinnah, where it was moved in 2015 to avoid being sent out to sea. The beautiful Fresnel lens was installed in 1856 and is now housed in the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. The lighthouse park is open to the public, but the interior is only open for tours seasonally.


Gay Head Lighthouse


The Edgartown Lighthouse

The Edgartown Lighthouse was built in 1828 and raised on a small man-made island in the Edgartown Harbor. Originally, to access the lighthouse, one had to travel by boat, but now the lighthouse is surrounded by a beach formed in 1939 with a footbridge that brings you to its front doorstep. Major renovations in 2007 allowed for stairs to be added to the lighthouse's interior, allowing it to be open to visitors.


Edgartown Lighthouse


The Cape Poge Lighthouse

The Cape Poge Lighthouse is located at the northeast end of Chappaquiddick Island and is the island’s most remote light. The lighthouse has been lost at sea several times and has been built and rebuilt over the years. The current lighthouse, built in 1922, was moved four times to avoid being swept out to sea. It also earned the distinction as the first lighthouse to be moved by helicopter in 1985. 


The Cape Poge Lighthouse


Each of the lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard is accessible by road except the Cape Poge Lighthouse (you can drive over the sand to see it with the right vehicle), and the West Chop Lighthouse is the only one not open to the public. Visiting these lighthouses is a great way to learn more about the island's history and appreciate the critical role these structures played in the region's maritime history.

Looking to explore Martha's Vineyard"s lighthouses? Start by renting a vacation rental on Martha's Vineyard by visiting our rental listings here

Send A Message

Do not fill in this field:
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.