Welcome to Aquinnah
A culturally rich town with breathtaking views.
Part of Aquinnah’s charm is in how remote it is. This stunning scene-stealer boasts some of the most impressive views on all of Martha’s Vineyard — which makes sense, since Aquinnah, which translates to “land under the hill,” is also known for its dramatic, and colorful clay cliffs. From the vantage point of the cliffs, which are open for viewing, you can see water on three sides as well as the wild landscape, making this a truly breathtaking place to be.
The Aquinnah cliffs, once called Gay Head, and the beach below belong to the Wampanoag Tribe, the largest community of Native Americans in Massachusetts. The Wampanoag were a part of Martha’s Vineyard long before settlers arrived and regard the Aquinnah cliffs as sacred.
Pristine and uncrowded, Aquinnah feels a world apart from the hustle of city life. Homes here are peppered through the hills and generally have expansive, scenic views of the island, as well as easy access to waterfront activity. Filled with a unique blend of rugged terrain and high-end luxury, Aquinnah was once home to Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis.
What to Love
- Picturesque beaches
- Rich Wampanoag culture
- Scenic views and stunning sunsets
People and Lifestyle
Private even at the height of the summer season, Aquinnah offers residents a peaceful retreat from the stresses of city life. With sweeping views of the water and the stunning, wild cliffs glinting in the sunlight, you’ll forget there was ever anything before the Vineyard. Quiet and serene, Aquinnah almost feels like an island of its own, and residents cherish the privacy and fresh air.
To-do lists are different here — the top items usually include things like swimming, boating, kayaking, and taking in the glorious sunset, while enjoying a moment of peace at the end of your day. Cares are left behind along with suits and heels and the buzz of boardroom negotiations, and what remains is that salt air and the space to breathe it in.
Dining, Entertainment and Shopping
With a setting this picturesque, it’s no wonder residents love spending their time outdoors. Take a five-minute walk from the iconic Gay Head Lighthouse to find the tranquil Outermost Inn, where you can indulge in Chef Scott Grewe’s fresh, inventive prix fixe menu.
Style yourself for a fashionable beach visit at On The Cliffs, one of the island’s best boutiques, or pick up handmade, local, Wampum jewelry at the family-owned Stony Creek Gifts. Celebrate the spectacular beauty of the area at the cliff-top Aquinnah Shop, the community’s best-kept secret. This historic restaurant has been owned by a Wampanoag family for four generations. What began as a humble sandwich shop has grown into one of the most beautiful and beloved places to dine on the Vineyard.
Things to Do
Known for sites like the famous Gay Head Lighthouse and the Aquinnah Cliffs Overlook observation point, Aquinnah is the place to pause for a moment and let the sweeping views of the Atlantic crash over you like waves. The land is the star here, and there are plenty of ways to indulge in the scenery.
Stroll Lobsterville Beach, two miles of scenic Vineyard Sound beach and dune land along Lobsterville Road. You’ll find hidden gems like a seagull nesting area. Tranquil and secluded, this is a favorite fishing spot for locals. Moshup Beach, with its fine white sand and rocky terrain, provides a serene and picturesque place to walk. Moshup Beach Trail, used mostly for hiking, walking, running, and bird watching, is a gorgeous path suitable for most hikers and the chance to see the wide array of flora and fauna the Vineyard has to offer.
After all that fresh air, treat yourself to a night of pizza at the native-owned Orange Peel Bakery. An Aquinnah fixture, this bakery works to foster a sense of community through food, and their beloved pizza night feels like a private party with family and friends. They also specialize in handmade bread fresh from their outdoor wood-fired oven.
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