Can You Drive To Martha’s Vineyard? 

Can You Drive To Martha's Vineyard

Martha’s Vineyard stands as New England’s iconic island getaway just 7 miles off Cape Cod, off the coast of Massachusetts, luring over 1 million tourists annually, craving its charming oceanside villages, dramatic coastal scenery, and relaxed quaint vibes.

With this car-free destination initially reachable only by air or passenger ferries, questions constantly arise whether transporting vehicles facilitates easier vacationing logistics traversing its 100 square miles. So, can you drive to Martha’s Vineyard? Let’s find out!

Is it Possible to Drive to Martha’s Vineyard?

No direct driving access exists leading onto Martha’s Vineyard without passage aboard vehicle ferries spanning Vineyard Haven and Woods Hole village docks through reservations.

Can You Drive To Martha's Vineyard

No bridges connect Martha’s Vineyard, enabling mainland road entry for private cars outright. Transportation relies on scenic passenger ferries, small planes, or helicopters until touching down the island side.

However, transporting automobiles onboard designated Martha’s Vineyard ferries stays possible through advanced booking once arriving at Cape Cod peninsula towns dockside. Having vehicles grants self-guided touring conveniences when exploring this gorgeous island independently at your own pace.

Costs, parking challenges, and road congestion often deter overlanders initially. Careful trip planning helps determine if undertaking everything necessary to bring a car is worthwhile against other transportation options.

How to Get to Martha’s Vineyard

Reaching Martha’s Vineyard requires initial transfers by air or passenger-only ferries before considering transporting personal vehicles further by added island-ready ferry systems if touring self-driving stays preferable for travelers after weighing the pros and cons appropriately:

Can You Drive To Martha's Vineyard

Flights from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard

Cape Air: Direct Boston 35-minute flights to Martha’s Vineyard Airport
Delta: Boston Air connection through New York City to Martha’s Vineyard

Driving from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard

  • Route 3 South to Cape Cod / Woods Hole 90 minutes
  • Park vehicle & transfer onto passenger ferry services across Vineyard Sound to Martha’s Vineyard Islands

Martha’s Vineyard Ferries

  • Steamship Authority Ferry: Woods Hole & Vineyard Haven with passenger-only and vehicle deck ferries options
  • Hy-Line Cruises: Hyannis & Nantucket high-speed passenger-only ferries
  • Island Queen: Falmouth, MA, passenger-only Vineyard Fast ferry

Train from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard

  • MBTA & Amtrak to Cape Cod Canal, Buzzards Bay
  • Transfer to Martha’s Vineyard ferries at Woods Hole terminal
Can You Drive To Martha's Vineyard

Bus from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard

  • Plymouth & Brockton buses offer seasonal Cape Cod service
  • Transfer at Woods Hole to connect with Steamship Authority Martha’s Vineyard ferries

Traveling to Martha’s Vineyard relies first on finding passage through planes, trains, or buses bound for Cape Cod towns hosting ferry docks with mainland connections across Vineyard Sound to this oceanic island. There is no driving entirely directly without riding auto ferries, primarily available through the Steamship Authority Website.

How Long Does it Take to Get to Martha’s Vineyard?

Travel durations reaching iconic Martha’s Vineyard depend primarily on selected modes, routes, and access points chosen along the journey from Boston proper, averaging between 60-120 minutes provided favorable conditions:

Can You Drive To Martha's Vineyard


  • 35 Minutes: Cape Air/Delta Direct Boston Flights
  • 70 Minutes: Connecting Regional Jet + Cape Air Flight


  • 60 Minutes: High-speed ferry crossings
  • 80 Minutes: Conventional passenger-only ferries
  • 140 Minutes: Slower vehicle deck loading/offloading ferry passage


  • 90 Minutes: Boston to Woods Hole drive plus passenger ferry
  • 180 Minutes: Boston to Woods Hole drive plus slow vehicle ferry loading


  • 120 Minutes: Boston bus to Hyannis, Nantucket ferry transfer

Travelers flying directly into Martha’s Vineyard Airport take trips in under an hour. But most visitors taking multi-mode trips budget at least 60-90 minutes to reach the islands without transporting vehicles. Factor extra automobile ferry timeloads crossing, whereby it is easiest to transport luggage separately aboard faster passenger ferries first.

Can You Drive To Martha's Vineyard

Things to Know About Driving to Martha’s Vineyard

Motorists aiming to bring vehicles aboard Martha’s Vineyard ferries face considerations beyond basic connectivity logistics:

Strict Reservations Requirements

  • Advance multi-leg booking essential, ensuring car ferry access.

Vehicle Dimension Restrictions

  • The largest ferries accommodate 20-ft vehicles under 6,000 lbs maximum.

Challenging Embarkations

  • Steep ramp angles require 4×4 systems on some vessels.

Competition for On-Island Parking

  • Vehicle lots near key villages fill up parking lots during peak months.

One-Way Fee Minimums

  • Discounted roundtrip savings require meeting minimum night stays.

Service Suspensions

  • Heavy fog, storms, and winds prompt occasional ferry crossing cancellations.

Early Boarding Essential

  • Loading priority queues determines the garage access caliber.
Can You Drive To Martha's Vineyard

Note that ferry services for pedestrians depart from Falmouth, Hyannis, and New Bedford in Massachusetts, as well as Quonset Point in Rhode Island. Setting expectations before transporting vehicles onto Martha’s Vineyard prevents frustrations. Assess personal mobility needs through different lens alternatives to reveal more accessible solutions.

Can I Bring My Car to Martha’s Vineyard?

Transporting private cars aboard Martha’s Vineyard ferries works feasibly through Steamship Authority’s vast connecting New England fleet, enabling drive-on conveniences after reaching Cape Cod. Evaluating vehicle necessity helps determine if escaping logistics proves smarter. Consider:

Renting a Car On Martha’s Vineyard

  • Multiple agencies offer vast inventories, if required, only partially
  • No ferry logistics or boarding stresses are required
Can You Drive To Martha's Vineyard

Renting Bikes on The Island

  • Iconic, easiest mobility exploring scenic bikeways readily
  • Carriage roads access interior wilderness beyond villages

Taxis / Shuttles Availability

  • Plentiful cabs offer personalized point-to-point services
  • Shared shuttle vans loop island villages affordably

While it’s easier to keep personal cars continuously, assessing lengths of stays and planned sightseeing ranges helps identify potential rental car or bike solutions, offering simple rewards through ferry company partnerships. 

Parking on Martha’s Vineyard

Scarce parking permeates Martha’s Vineyard villages despite low resident car ownership overall.  Expect discovering:

Can You Drive To Martha's Vineyard

Limited Metered Street Parking

  • Often restricted, allowing just 2-4 hour in-season vehicle turnover

Expensive Long-term Garage Rates

  • Peak season monthly permits approach $200+ in key tourist hubs

Remote Free Parking Further Out

  • Seeking parallel parking slots along North Shore beach roads typically increases availability chances at the cost of longer walks into Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Vineyard Haven tradeoffs.

Visitors exploring Martha’s Vineyard villages car-free reap premium flexibility rewards navigating quainter settings undistracted. But exploring the island more extensively often bestows driving benefits, unlocking remoter sights. Employ best practices balancing efforts!

Should I Bring My Car to Martha’s Vineyard?

Determining the necessity of transporting personal cars aboard Martha’s Vineyard ferries demands honest mobility priorities assessments from visitors first. While keeping vehicles readily accessible appears effortless, there are some disadvantages:

Can You Drive To Martha's Vineyard

Hassling Overhead: The advanced multi-leg planning, packing, expenses, and trip uncertainty bringing cars stress some travelers beyond yields.

Unnecessary Costs: Between car rental companies, taxis, public buses, and island bikes, fully traversing Martha’s Vineyard without personal cars works conveniently already.

Parking Uncertainties: Trying to secure safe overnight village street parking spots during peak summer months poses unreliable gambles without guaranteed backup options.

Island Exploration Limitations: Martha’s Vineyard’s compact layout encourages roaming charming towns and nature preserves efficiently through alternative transport means.

Unless you require absolute emergency assurances, keeping personal cars continuously proves necessary through mobility limitations constraints. Transporting vehicles onto islands may offer comforts above necessity in many visitor cases. 

Do I Need a Car on Martha’s Vineyard? 

You do not need a car on Martha’s Vineyard. No requirements demand visitors rent or transport personal vehicles when visiting Martha’s Vineyard, thanks to sufficient island bus systems, bike paths, and cab shuttles that link key sightseeing spots and villages conveniently without strict itineraries. Unless you need stop-on-demand mobility independence, exploring the island car-free works efficiently.

Deciding whether undertaking extra efforts and expenses transporting cars ultimately proves worthwhile requires careful examination of planned island activities measured against mobility limitations needing accommodation through vehicles versus freedom rewards escaping logistics by traveling lighter. Either way, Martha’s Vineyard earns its iconic reputation through scenic charm!

Can you get to Martha’s Vineyard without taking a ferry?

Yes, regional Cape Air and Delta Airlines flights offer direct 35-minute air connections from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard Airport, eliminating ferry needs for fly-in visitors.

Is it worth having a car on Martha’s Vineyard?

Having personal cars on Martha’s Vineyard bestows self-determination and freedom in exploring this gorgeous island that other transit options might restrict through fixed schedules and locations. But costs, logistics, and parking headaches often burden trips undue when weighed relatively.

How much does it cost to bring your car to Martha’s Vineyard?

Transporting personal cars aboard Steamship Authority Martha’s Vineyard Ferries crossing from Woods Hole averages around $170 roundtrip for standard-size vehicles during peak summer months. Paying for onboard island parking requires consideration.

How long is the ferry ride to Martha’s Vineyard?

Conventional passenger-only ferries reach Martha’s Vineyard between 60 and 80 minutes, typically one-way. Larger vehicle ferries carrying cars and trucks plod slower at closer to 140 minutes in each direction.

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