Hike-in Required
ADA accessible
Guided tours
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Built in 1796, Gay Head Lighthouse was the first lighthouse in Martha’s Vineyard. Because of an increase in the whaling industry around Martha's Vineyard, it was deemed necessary to construct a lighthouse to protect the many passing ships passing through the Vineyard Sound.

The beautiful lighthouse stands on the side of a large open area overlooking the cliffs and water below. With eroding cliffs as the lighthouse's main threat, it has been moved back over a 100 feet in 2015 from where it stood for the last 159 years. Large stones mark its past location.

Climbing to the top of the lighthouse costs $5. The views are amazing, and it is well worth the cost. At the top of the lighthouse, there is a wraparound deck to provide spectacular ocean views. A short walk from the lighthouse, there are restrooms and a street of shops. There is a small hut filled with the history of Aquinnah and its lighthouse and another cliff overlook. This area can be crowded, so patience is required to get a good view of the lighthouse and cliffs. Also, tours are offered throughout Martha's Vineyard, and the Gay Head Lighthouse is one of its stops, so you can always catch a ride to this amazing area.

With beautiful views, small shops and food stands, and Aquinnah Cliffs, the Gay Head Lighthouse is a great stop on your Martha's Vineyard adventure.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass



Great views.


Lighthouse not ADA accessible.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


Big vistas
Family friendly


Nearby Adventures

Martha's Vinyard + Nantucket, Massachusetts
Martha's Vinyard + Nantucket, Massachusetts
Martha's Vinyard + Nantucket, Massachusetts

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Martha's Vinyard + Nantucket, Massachusetts


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