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Martha's Vineyard Day Trip from Boston

Updated: February 19, 2024

This post covers how to take a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard from Boston

We include details about fully guided tours, how to get there on your own, and things to do while you’re in town.

Day Trips From Boston

There are currently a few different companies offering day trips from Boston. 

These services can be quite costly, and they typically give you around 5-6 hours to spend in Martha’s Vineyard at your own leisure.

Each service also includes a ferry trip from Falmouth/Woods Hole to and from Martha’s Vineyard. 

Sadly, these day trips are only one day long, so if you want to spend more time here, you’ll have to travel there on your own.

New England Trips

This company is currently offering a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard which includes transportation to and from Boston.

Their coach will pick you up from your hotel and drive you to the ferry in Cape Cod. 

From here, the ferry will take you to Martha’s Vineyard, where you’ll have 6 hours to spend however you wish.

You can also add a 3-hour guided tour of Martha’s Vineyard to this day trip if you wish. 

At the end of the day, you’ll hop on the ferry to Cape Cod and they will take you back to Boston via coach.

The trip starts early at 6:15 am and lasts for approximately 13 hours, so you can expect to be back in Boston by 7:15 pm.

  • Day Trip Prices: $115/Adults | $99/Children
  • Day Trip w/ Tour: $170/Adults | $139/Children
  • Availability: Daily during the warmer months
  • Duration: 13 hours
  • All transportation is included
  • Snacks and drinks provided
  • Martha’s Vineyard guidebook included
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

With an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5, it’s pretty clear that this day trip is well received by most guests (read reviews here).

Those who opted to take the tour add-on indicated that their guide was very knowledgeable and knew the area well enough to point out all the most important sites and locations.

Although most people appreciated the day trip, some felt the bus and ferry took too long and they didn’t have enough time to spend in Martha’s Vineyard. 

Sadly, there aren’t many ways to get there from Boston that will be much faster.

New England Excursions

Like their competitors, this company offers a very similar day trip to Martha’s Vineyard that includes a lot of the same services.

The main differences of note are that their coach departs from Boston a little later in the morning (6:45 am - 7:30 am) and the day trip lasts for approximately 12 hours.

This day trip also includes a 3-hour tour of Martha’s Vineyard. You’ll have a total of 6 hours to spend exploring the island during this outing.

Hotel pickup and drop off are included, as are snacks and drinks on the coach, a map of the island, and a discount food card to use when you’re in the area.

  • $175.50/Adults | $145.50/Children | $165.50/Military (w/ ID)
  • Availability: Daily during the warmer months
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • All transportation is included
  • Snacks and drinks provided
  • Discount food card included
  • Purchase tickets or learn more.

New England Excursions currently has a rating of 4.7 out of 5, indicating it is very well received (read reviews here).

Guests state that their trip to Martha’s Vineyard was an enjoyable experience, some noting that the dining options were excellent.

As with their competitors, some reviewers were not pleased with the amount of time spent on the bus and the ferry, but there aren’t many ways to cut down on the travel time necessary to reach this destination.

How to Get Here

There are a few different ways to get to Martha’s Vineyard, but the main method is via ferry. 

You can also fly to this popular destination, but this is a much more expensive service with tickets ranging from $125 - $600 or more.

If you can afford the plane ticket, this will be the quickest way to travel from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, with the average flight taking 40-45 minutes. 

If that price tag is a bit too high, you’ll need to take the ferry instead.

Sadly, there is no ferry directly from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard, which means you’ll have to travel south to a location that provides this service. 

You can take the ferry from Woods Hole on Cape Cod year-round, and this is the only service that will take your car to Martha’s Vineyard. 

Advanced reservations must be made for all car transportation on this ferry.

This ferry is called the Steamship Authority, and walk-on rates are $9.50 for adults and $5 for children. 

Passenger vehicle rates start at $59 in the off-season and run as high as $115 during peak season.

You can catch a ferry during the warmer months (May - October) from the following locations:

  • Falmouth - Edgartown Ferry
    • $40/Adults
    • $26/Children
  • Island Queen in Falmouth
    • Round Trip
      • $25/Adult
      • $15/Youth
    • One Way
      • $17/Adult
      • $11/Youth
  • Hyannis Hy-Line Cruises
    • Round Trip:
      • $68/Adults
      • $47/Children
    • One Way
      • $35/Adults
      • $25/Children

If you’re not driving yourself, you’ll have to take a bus or a train to get there. 

Prices for these services can be quite affordable, ranging from $25 - $40 for round-trip tickets.

Peter Pan Bus Lines offers a year-round service from Boston to Woods Hole, MA. 

Round-trip ticket prices start at around $26, with multiple departures each day. This trip takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes.

During the summer months, you can also take the CapeFLYER, a train from Boston to Hyannis, MA. 

Tickets are $22 one-way and $40 round trip. The trip will typically take 2 hours and 30 minutes.

This train is only offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Check for Bus/Train Tickets to Martha’s Vineyard.

Fastest Route

Whether you take the bus or a train, chances are it will take around 2 hours to get from Boston to Woods Hole or Hyannis, where you can then take a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard. 

The ferry itself adds another 45 minutes to the trip.

If you drive there yourself, you might be able to cut as much as half an hour off the travel time. 

That said, depending on gas prices, this might be a costly endeavor and you’ll probably have to find paid parking when you arrive in Woods Hole or Hyannis.

If you’re wondering whether or not to take your car to Martha’s Vineyard, it can help to get around if you’re planning to go across the entire island.

However, there are also cab companies and Uber/Lyft services in the area, and most of the roads are bike friendly, so you might just want to consider bringing a bike instead.

In total, if you’re planning to take the ferry, you can expect the trip from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard to take between 2.5 - 3.5 hours.

The only way to avoid this travel time is to hop on a plane to Martha’s Vineyard. 

JetBlue offers the lowest priced fares for this journey, but they only offer service seasonally during the warmer months.

Alternatively, you can also get a ticket with Cape Air, and they offer daily, year-round flights from Boston. 

You can expect these flights to take 40-45 minutes in total, making planes the fastest way to reach Martha’s Vineyard.

Check for Flights to Martha’s Vineyard.

Most Affordable Day Trip to Martha’s Vineyard

If you’re really trying to save money and you don’t mind a bit of a longer travel time, there’s one way to get from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard that will cost less than all the rest.

The round-trip service from Peter Pan Bus Lines is only $26, and that bus will take you from Boston to Woods Hole, MA in under 2 hours.

Combine that service with a walk-on ticket for the Steamboat Authority ferry for $19, and you’ll be paying approximately $45 to reach Martha’s Vineyard from Boston. 

This cost factors in round trip service.

This might not be the most comfortable option, and some reviews for the bus are not very kind, but it is the cheapest way to enjoy a day trip to this popular destination.

You might be able to save some money just driving yourself to the ferry, but chances are it won’t be much more affordable.

Things to Do in Martha’s Vineyard

There are a lot of fun things to see and do in Martha’s Vineyard, including tours of the island, historic lighthouses, beautiful beaches, wildlife sanctuaries, unique architecture, museums, and much more.

This section will cover some of the best activities and attractions you can enjoy while visiting this beautiful part of New England.

Take a Tour

There are several different tour options available in Martha’s Vineyard. 

These tours tend to cover a wide range of the island, giving you a taste of almost every major town in the area.

Edgartown Docks. Image Source: Pixabay user Kate Honish.

Here are a few of the best Martha’s Vineyard tours currently being provided:

See Historic Lighthouses

There are a total of five lighthouses on Martha’s Vineyard, and they are all historic, with some dating back to the early 1800s. 

Head to one or more of these locations while you’re on the island:

A Martha's Vineyard Lighthouse. Image Source: Pixabay user Lisa Hilton.
  • Edgartown Lighthouse
  • Aquinnah Lighthouse
  • East Chop Lighthouse
  • West Chop Lighthouse
  • Cape Poge Lighthouse

Go to the Beach

Being an island, it probably won’t come as a surprise that there are a lot of beautiful beaches on Martha’s Vineyard. 

If you’re visiting during the summer, you might want to visit one of these locations:

A Martha's Vineyard Beach. Image Source: Pixabay user D_Theodora.
  • Katama Beach
  • Lucy Vincent Beach
  • Norton Point Beach
  • Inkwell Beach

Visit a Museum

There are a few interesting museums on the island, including the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Vineyard Haden. 

This is a great place to learn about the history of this site, as they have plenty of documents, photographs, and other notable items on display.

For an even deeper look into the history of Martha’s Vineyard, head to the Vincent House Museum. 

This building was originally constructed in 1672, making it one of the oldest structures still standing in the US.

If you’ve ever wondered what life was like back then, this museum should give you a pretty good idea!

Experience the Natural Beauty

Almost everywhere you go on Martha’s Vineyard, you’ll have a chance to see some of its natural beauty. 

That said, some locations are very well known for their natural splendor, and you might want to head to these locations first.

Aquinnah Cliffs. Image Source: Pixabay user D_Theodora.

Menemsha Hills is a Nature Reserve which is home to an incredible view which stretches from Aquinnah to the Elizabeth and Normal Islands.

While you’re in the area, you might also want to see the Aquinnah Cliffs, a brightly colored cliffside composed of multiple layers of gravel, clay, and sand which produce a beautiful natural structure.

There are also locations such as the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary and the Long Point Wildlife Refuge which are great locations for hiking and other fun activities.

Where Does Obama Live?

Former US President Barack Obama and his family have a relatively new home on Martha’s Vineyard near the Edgartown Great Pond. The house is reportedly quite impressive, spanning 6,892 sq ft with 7 bedrooms and 8 bathrooms.

The home is located on a 30 acre plot with views of the ocean and direct access to the pond. Unfortunately, if you’re hoping to see the house up close, you won’t be able to do so because it is understandably secluded.

As a former US President, Barack Obama also receives security from the Secret Service, so we don’t recommend making any attempts to get close. The best way to see this residence is simply checking out the video above and reading the description of the house from Homes and Gardens.

About The Author

Brian Burgess

I was born in Cambridge and have been living in the Boston area all my life. I am a graduate of Boston's Emerson College with a degree in communications with a journalism/history focus. I have been leading tours for Free Tours By Foot Boston since it was started in the city of Boston in 2012, and enjoy sharing my knowledge of Boston's rich history with not only the guests on my tours, but with everyone I meet. <a href="" Read More...
Updated: February 19th, 2024
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