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Martha’s Vineyard Day Trips from Boston

It is one of the most famous tours from Boston to visit all year round. Here's everything you need to know to get to Martha's Vineyard.

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

11 min read

Martha’s Vineyard Day Trips from Boston

jardín colorido| ©Peter Roos

Martha's Vineyard is one of the best known islands on the East Coast of the United States. Located 150 kilometers from Boston, it is one of the most requested destinations for tourists when it comes to choosing excursions from the city to the surrounding area, and although the island is mainly a summer colony, it offers year-round plans.

If you are preparing your list of things to see and do in Boston and you like to enjoy the beaches, this destination will be a very appetizing option for you. To get to Martha's Vineyard it is necessary to take a bus from Boston and then a ferry to get to the island's port, or you can opt for a plane trip, and once in the place hire a tour so you don't miss anything. Some alternatives include all services and simplify your organization. Below I will tell you about all the options, with their advantages and disadvantages.

1. An organized tour: The best way to go to Martha's Vineyard from Boston

young people posing for a photo| ©CATS
young people posing for a photo| ©CATS

If you want to be sure that your trip is organized and a success from the moment you leave Boston, the best option is to choose an organized tour that includes all the transfers to the island and also the excursion to get to know it. With this alternative your experience will be more complete and you will have the possibility of having the assistance of an expert guide who will tell you all about Martha's Vineyard.

The island has many attractions, especially if you are visiting Boston during the summer and decide to tour Martha's Vineyard, because the beaches are very beautiful and the weather is hot, although during the rest of the year it also offers attractions such as the local museum, the Aquinnah Cliffs overlook or the Gay Head and Edgartown overlooks.

Organizing the visit on your own can be stressful because it is a destination that requires several means of transportation, unless you decide to go by plane, although this is one of the most expensive options and the least frequent among visitors. An organized tour will prevent you from having to arrange everything on your own and will allow you to save time and money.

A complete organized tour lasts approximately twelve hours. You will begin your tour in downtown Boston on a bus that will take you to the Island Queen where a ferry will transfer you to Martha's Vineyard along the Massachusetts coast. At the destination you will have a total stay of six hours, with a three-hour guided tour that will include a visit to the iconic attractions of the six municipalities of one of the most unique islands in the United States. Return ferry and bus tickets are included.

Details of interest

  • Price... From 100 euros with round-trip bus and ferry transfers, local guide and three-hour island tour.
  • Travel time... The tour lasts a total of twelve hours, including six hours on the island and a three-hour guided tour of the main sites on Martha's Vineyard.
  • Recommended if... You want to forget about the organization and enjoy one of the most beautiful places around Boston with a complete tour.

Book your Martha's Vineyard Tour

2. How to get to Martha's Vineyard by bus and ferry: The most used option

view from boat| ©CATS
view from boat| ©CATS

If you prefer to arrange your own transportation to the island, you can opt for the bus. In that case the most direct option is to hire a bus from South Station and go to Falmouth Station, where you will transfer to the Sealine Hyannis service to the harbor to wait for the ferry to depart. Here you can find information on one of the ferry companies.

If you are staying in downtown Boston, an area very popular with tourists due to its proximity to some of the main attractions such as the Tea Party Museum and the New England Aquarium, to get to South Station you can take bus number 7 to Summer St. and then take the bus to Falmouth Station to transfer to the port to catch the ferry.

Another option is to take the bus from South Station to Hyannis Transportation Center and then transfer to the port for the ferry. This alternative allows you to avoid the stopover at Falmouth Station but the total trip is longer, with almost three hours of travel time.

If you intend to go directly from Logan Airport you must take the Hyannis bus to Hyannis Transportation Center and then transfer to Falmouth, where if you have time you can visit the beaches that are also considered ideal for children. In all cases you will have to buy there the ticket for the ferry that will take you to Martha's Vineyard Island.

Details of interest

  • Price... The bus to Falmouth including transfer starts at 17 euros. The ferry fare from Woods Hole to the island starts at 10 euros.
  • Travel Time... The fastest buses arrive in Falmouth in an hour and a half but some can take up to three hours. The ferry to Martha's Vineyard takes 45 minutes.
  • Recommended if... You are looking for a more economical route and have enough time in Boston to make your own arrangements.

Book your tour to Martha's Vineyard

3. How to get to Martha's Vineyard by train, cab and ferry: The best option for an intermediate stop

white ferry at sea| ©Joe Knapp
white ferry at sea| ©Joe Knapp

Train travel often offers solutions when you're trying to travel to far-flung destinations although in this case there is no direct route from Boston. If you want to get to Martha's Vineyard by train you'll need to take the Cape Flyer operator's service from South Station to Buzzards Bay and from there travel by cab to Falmouth to catch the ferry.

As you will see, it is not an economical option and includes transfers, which makes the option a bit uncomfortable, although it is an interesting alternative if you intend to visit Buzzards Bay, a very popular destination if you like fishing and sailing. It is also a bay very close to Cape Cod, a very popular destination.

Once you arrive at Buzzards Bay, you will have to take a cab to get to Woods Hole harbor, as there are no private services available. Once at the harbor you will reach Martha's Vineyard via a ferry ride.

Details of interest

  • Price... Train tickets start at five euros. Cab to Woods Hole starts at 90 euros. Ferry to the island starts at 10 euros.
  • Travel time... The train to Buzzards Bay takes one and a half hours. The cab ride to the harbor takes about half an hour. The ferry takes 45 minutes to reach the island.
  • Recommended if... You want to see Buzzards Bay on your way from Boston to Martha's Vineyard.

Book your tour to Martha's Vineyard

4. How to get to Martha's Vineyard by private car and ferry: The most convenient alternative

man in a car| ©David Berkowitz
man in a car| ©David Berkowitz

This is the most effective land option although to access it you will need to rent a car and then transfer it to the island on the car ferry. In this case you will have to go from Boston to Woods Hole and then travel to Martha's Vineyard. This is a popular alternative for locals and tourists who are going to spend several days on the island.

The shortest way is to take MA-24 S to Falmouth and from there head to the harbor in Woods Hole. The trip can take just over an hour and this route includes tolls. Just be sure to reserve a spot on the ferry with the vehicle transfer option in advance, as it can sell out.

The ferry takes about 45 minutes to the island although prices increase when vehicle transfer is included. Remember that if you rent a car you must notify this transfer so that the necessary authorization is included in the contract. You can also opt for the route from Boston to Cape Cod but it is a long way because later you will have to drive to Woods Hole.

Details of interest

  • Price... In Boston you can rent a mid-size car from 90 euros per day including insurance. The ferry ticket with vehicle transfer starts at 55 euros.
  • Travel time... The drive on the MA-24 S to Falmouth takes a little over an hour and the ferry to Martha's Vineyard takes about 45 minutes.
  • Recommended if... You are looking for an independent option that allows you to move at your own pace and if you plan to stay on the island for several days.

5. How to get to Martha's Vineyard by plane: The most direct option

people at the entrance| ©michaelstroeder
people at the entrance| ©michaelstroeder

This is the quickest and simplest option , because you can board the plane at Logan Airport and arrive directly to the island. It is the most effective alternative, with no transfers in between, especially if the flight is direct, as many airlines offer.

There are at least five airlines that sell regular flights from Boston to Martha's Vineyard and others that add periodic service during the months of May through October, even from other cities with stopovers. The downside to this option is that the average prices for these fares start at 120 euros round trip, making air travel one of the most expensive options for getting to the island. The price per way is more expensive.

During the summer months in Boston, which is when tourism on the island intensifies and even receives presidents, airlines increase their offers and it is possible to get promotional flights. The flight to Martha's Vineyard, which takes about forty minutes, is a great experience and the island's airport is small and quaint.

Details of interest

  • Price... Direct flights from Boston start at 120 euros. You should note that these fares may incur extra baggage charges.
  • Travel Time.... The non-stop flight from Boston's Logan Airport to Martha's Vineyard takes about forty minutes on average.
  • Recommended if... You're looking for a quick and efficient option or you have a short stay in the city and need to squeeze in some time.

6. How to get to Martha's Vineyard by cab and ferry: The most convenient alternative if you are traveling with children

car with black cab sign| ©David Valenzuela
car with black cab sign| ©David Valenzuela

While traveling to Falmouth by cab is not the cheapest option, it can be effective if the cost of the ride is divided among a group of people. It is also an efficient alternative if your trip to Boston includes children or if you are looking for a comfortable option and don't want to drive to Woods Hole Harbor.

Unlike the bus ride, the cab will avoid transfers and departing from the downtown area of the Museum of Fine Arts will get you to the ferry in just over an hour. Keep in mind that the night fare, which starts at about 180 euros during the day, may increase.

Once you arrive at the port you will need to take the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. If you are traveling to the island for only one day, the option that will allow you to squeeze the most out of your time is to take the early morning cab as early as possible.

Details of interest

  • Price... Taxi transfers from downtown Boston to Woods Hole Harbor start at 180 euros. The fare is subject to change overnight. The ferry to the island starts at 10 euros.
  • Travel time... The cab ride to the harbor takes a little over an hour by the most direct route.
  • Recommended if... You are traveling in a group or with children and want to opt for a comfortable and effective option.

Book your tour to Martha's Vineyard

7. How to get to Martha's Vineyard by Uber and ferry: A safe alternative and in a car of your choice

cars on board at baarco| ©Live Free or Die
cars on board at baarco| ©Live Free or Die

If you want to travel to Falmouth in a private car but also choose which vehicle to board you may be inclined to take an Uber or other app service. This case can be ideal if you are a large group of people and carry a lot of luggage.

This option will avoid train and bus transfers and will allow you to travel comfortably and safely. It is also a very fast alternative. If you take an executive Uber in a spacious vehicle in the area of the Boston Museum of Science, you will arrive in Falmouth in just over an hour.

From Falmouth you will have to board the ferry that will take you to the island to start your tour of the destination.

Details of interest

  • Price... Uber transfers from downtown Boston to Woods Hole Harbor start at 160 euros. Fare may be subject to change at night or due to high demand. The ferry to the island starts at 10 euros.
  • Travel time... The Uber ride to the port takes a little over an hour by the most direct route.
  • Recommended if... You are traveling in a group or with a lot of luggage and opt for a spacious vehicle to travel in comfort.

We compare all the options to go from Boston to Martha's Vineyard

people sunbathing| ©Tracy Lee Carroll
people sunbathing| ©Tracy Lee Carroll
  • Organized tour
  • Price: From 147 euros with excursion and round trip transfers.
  • Total duration: 12 hours.
  • Advantages: You will have everything included and save time.
  • Disadvantages: Not an option for you if you like to travel at your own pace and with no strings attached.
  • Bus and ferry
  • Price: From 17 euros for the bus and from 10 euros for the ferry.
  • Total duration: From one hour and a half by bus and 45 minutes by ferry.
  • Advantages: It is one of the most economical options.
  • Disadvantages: It has transfers and does not include services on the island.
  • Train, cab and ferry
  • Price: Train from five euros, cab from 90 euros and ferry from 10 euros.
  • Total duration: One hour and a half by train, half an hour by cab and 45 minutes by ferry.
  • Advantages: Good alternative if you want to see Buzzards Bay.
  • Disadvantages: It is an option with many transfers and expensive.
  • Private car and ferry
  • Price: From 90 euros per day if the car is rented. Ferry with vehicle transfer from 55 euros.
  • Total duration: Just over an hour by car and 45 minutes by ferry.
  • Advantages: It is the fastest and most comfortable land option.
  • Disadvantages: Not economical if you are only going to the island for a day.
  • Plane
  • Price: From 120 euros round trip.
  • Total duration: The flight takes 40 minutes from Boston.
  • Advantages: Speed and comfort.
  • Disadvantages: One of the most expensive options and does not include services on the island.
  • Cab and ferry
  • Price: From 180 euros day rate.
  • Total duration: Just over an hour by cab and 45 minutes by ferry.
  • Advantages: Convenience if you are traveling with children and no transfers.
  • Disadvantages: Expensive option if you are not traveling in a group.
  • Uber and ferry
  • Price: From 160 euros day rate.
  • Total duration: Just over an hour by Uber and 45 minutes by ferry.
  • Advantages: Convenience if you are traveling in a group or with a lot of luggage.
  • Disadvantages: Expensive option if you are traveling alone or change the fare due to high demand.