Charts: NOAA 13218, 13233
The approaches to Menemsha Harbor are straightforward from the north or west, with deep, obstruction-free water. However, be aware that currents are quite strong in Vineyard Sound. If approaching from the east or south, stay clear of Devil’s Bridge off Aquinnah (Gay Head) and shallow Dogfish Bar, just west of the harbor. These areas are clearly marked on charts. The entrance channel to Menemsha is flanked by jetties and carries 10’ of water at mean low tide.
Note: The current flowing in and out of Menemsha Basin can be swift, and conditions may be hazardous for small boats when a strong outgoing tide opposes a stiff wind from the west or northwest. Boaters are advised to wait for favorable conditions before entering the basin.
The Town of Chilmark maintains 16 transient slips and 2 moorings (sailboats only) for boats up to 40’. Contact the harbormaster to make sure of availability the day of your arrival. Boats are typically rafted on the moorings. There may be limited space to tie up alongside the bulkhead used by commercial vessels, but again, check with the harbormaster.
- A town-maintained dinghy dock is located on the seaward end of the town wharf.
- Menemsha Marine Repair (508-645-2883): Specializes in diesel repair, but can direct you to where and what you need.
- Menemsha Texaco (508-645-2641): Carries gas and diesel, as well as ice, limited fishing tackle and snacks.
Good holding ground with plenty of deep water and light current flow can be found in Menemsha Bight, outside the harbor, although the area can be rolly in westerly or northerly winds.
Smaller vessels drawing less than 3’ may be able to anchor inside Menemsha Pond. Contact the harbormaster before attempting this option, and choose your tide wisely. Menemsha Creek is shallow and the current can reach 4 knots.
- (508-645-2846) VHF 9
- Book-A-Boat (508-645-2400) Offers rentals of skiffs, kayaks, dinghies and center consoles up to 21’, right on Menemsha Harbor.
- Marthas Vineyard Kayak Company
- Island Spirit Kayak (508-693-9727)
- Buses of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional Transit Authority provide scheduled service throughout the island. Fares are $1 per town, each way, with 1-, 3- and 7-day passes available. Buses have bicycle racks
Bike & Moped Rental:
- Martha’s Bike Rentals (800-559-0312): Located at Five Corners, in the heart of Vineyard Haven.
- Island Adventures (508-693-1959): Moped and car rental in Vineyard Haven.
- Atlantic Cab (508-693-7110, 877-477-8294)
- All Island Taxi (508-693-2929)
- Martha’s Vineyard Taxi Co. (508-693-8660, 877-454-5900)
- AAA Island Auto Rentals (508-696-5300, 800-696-0233)
- Island Adventure Rentals/Thrifty Rentals (508-693-1959)
- Adventure Rentals (508-693-1959)
- The Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority (508-693-9130): Operates as many as 16 ferries a day out of Woods Hole.
- New England Fast Ferry Co. (866-453-8600): Operates high-speed catamaran service from New Bedford during the summer.
- Menemsha Market (508-645-3501): Seasonal market carrying basic grocery items, meat, produce and gifts.
- Menemsha Galley (508-645-9819): Serves grilled fare, fries and ice cream to go from a traditional beach snackbar on the harbor.
- The Bite: Small shack selling fried seafood and other tasty fare just up the road from Dutcher Dock.
- Larsen’s Fish Market: Fresh seafood from Dutcher Dock. Also serves lobster, steamers, chowder and more in the rough.
- Homeport Restaurant at the Beach Plum Inn (508-645-9454): Offers fine dining close to the harbor. BYOB.
- Beach Plum Inn (508-645-9454): Spectacular sea views, formal gardens and privacy. Its 11 rooms are located either in the main house or private cottages, some with ocean views, all furnished with air-conditioning, cable TV, private baths and other amenities
- Menemsha Hills & The Brickyard: Menemsha Hills is a 211-acre preserve managed by the Trustees of Reservations. It encompasses a variety of habitats. Visitors can climb to the top of Prospect Hill, the second highest point on the Vineyard. From the top you can view a panorama extending from the Elizabeth Islands, past Menemsha and the cliffs of Aquinnah (Gay Head) to Noman’s Island. Just beyond the northeast edge of the property, along Roaring Brook, you can visit the remnants of a brick chimney, all that remains of a 19th-century brickworks.
- Aquinnah (Gay Head): The famous multicolored clay, sand and gravel bluffs of Aquinnah, at the very southwestern tip of the island, can be reached from Menemsha via bike or on foot.
Shops & Boutiques:
- Menemsha Blues (508-693-9599): T-shirts, hats, sandals and more, all bearing the well-known bluefish logo.
- Copperworks: Handmade copper weathervanes, wall hangings, lighting, framed artwork and other items near the harbor.
- Pandora’s Box (508-645-9696): Clothing store at the top of Basin Road. Carries casual and formal designer fashions and summer wear.
- Harbor Craft Shop (508-693-9599): Handmade gifts and crafts made by local artists.
- A useful website, is maintained by The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce.