The small island of Martha Vineyard, 9×22 miles long, is a beautiful place with pristine beaches and old coastal villages. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether you can really get to Martha Vineyard.

You can take the Woods Hole, Falmouth ferry from the Martha Vineyard shelter in 45 minutes from Massachusetts mainland. Tickets cost between $110 and $220 per car, plus $17 for return passengers.

Read on to find out all you need to know about travelling to the Martha Vineyard from mainland Massachusetts, including information about the ferry crossing and important tips.

A pleasant day with cloudy sails in the sky at Woods Hole, Falmouth and several boats and yachts sailing on calm waters.
Picturesque views of Woods Hole, Falmouth on the way to Martha’s vineyard.

Gordon Bell/

Can I drive to Martha’s Vineyard?

Martha Vineyard is a small island off the coast of Massachusetts. Since there are no bridges or dams on the island, the only way to travel by car is to drive to Woods Hole, Falmouth and take a car ferry.

There is only one ferry that will take your car to the island – the ferry that departs from Woods Hole, Falmouth, on the south coast of Massachusetts. The ferry from Woodshall to Port Vineyard in the Martha Vineyard takes 45 minutes.

Martha Vineyard is relatively easy to reach from the nearest major cities, New York and Boston. From New York City the journey takes up to 5 hours, from Boston up to 3 hours, depending on traffic jams.

At the moment queues and boarding at the ferry terminal are not taken into account, which can take some time in the high season.

In the past there was a real road network on the island itself. Martha’s vineyard is 22 miles by 9, and the journey from one side to the other takes just 45 minutes.

How did you get to Martha’s vineyard?

Without bridges or tunnels, the only way to reach Martha’s vineyard is by ferry or plane. For those who do not have a private jet and have their luxury sports car waiting in the island’s hangar, the ferry is an alternative.

To reach Martha Vineyard from Boston, Massachusetts, take the I-93 and Massachusetts 3 to Born. Then take exit 1C on Sandwich Road and MA-28 on Albatross Street in Falmouth. A traffic-free trip should take about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Ferry from Woods Hole to Martha Vineyard on trading day
This ferry will take you from Woods Hole to Martha Vineyard

Michael Sean OLeary/

There’s a ferry terminal in Falmouth that takes you to the Martha Vineyard.

If you drive from New York, it’s 250 miles along the east coast. Take the I-95 along the coast to Providence, Rhode Island, and continue on the I-195 towards Cape Cod.

When you arrive in Werham, routes 25 and 28 will take you south to Falmouth. The trip should take about 5 hours without traffic jams, but from New York it may take some time to leave the city.

If you’re on your way to Martha’s Vineyard, make sure you take the time to explore Cape Cod as you drive all the way!

How long does it take to get to Martha’s vineyard?

Woods Hole, Falmouth is the only port that takes passengers to Martha Vineyard by car.

The major cities closest to Martha Vineyard are Boston and New York, both of which have huge international airports for people who come from far away.

The mileage and driving time from the nearest towns to Woodshall are as follows:

  • Boston, Massachusetts: 85 miles (1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Bussard bay, MA: 20 miles (30 minutes)
  • Hartford, CT: 187 miles (2 hours 40 minutes)
  • New Haven, CT: 165 miles (2 hours)
  • New York, NY: 271 miles (4 hours 10 minutes)
  • Supply, RI: 85 miles (1 hour 20 minutes)

Note the traffic to Martha’s vineyard on weekends and holidays, as the island is very popular during the summer months. Holiday traffic can be chaotic and travel time can easily double.

The lines over the Born Bridge and the Sagamore Bridge can be long. If you can visit Martha’s vineyard during the week, your trip and experience on the island will be greatly enhanced.

Once arrived at the ferry terminal, check in, get in line and take the ferry. It takes 45 minutes to get to Martha Vineyard. Make sure you are at the port at least 30 minutes (but ideally 1 hour) before departure to pick up the ferry as you board.

A sunny day at Tisbury's Big Pond with a few colourful kayaks on a white sandy beach and green grass on the dunes near Martha Vineyard in summer
Move a few muscles and enjoy kayaking at Tisbury’s Big Pond near Martha Vineyard

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Things to know about a trip to the vineyard of Martha

  • The ferry is the only way to get from the American continent to the Martha Winery, even though they are relatively close together.
  • During the summer season, from May, 12 + ferries per day. After Labour Day, services during the winter season are reduced to a few ferries a day,
  • The routes lead from Falmouth, Hyannis and New Bedford in Massachusetts to Quonsett Point in Rhode Island.
  • Walking passengers can take the ferry to Martha’s vineyard. Passengers in a car must book the car in advance – details are available on the steamboat service website.
  • The cost of transporting your car to Martha Winery varies from $110 to $200 per return flight depending on the time of year and day of week you travel – see the Steamship Authority website for a full price list.
  • The use of large cars is subject to a 10% surcharge.
  • Passengers will have to pay a surcharge on top of the price of the car – at the time of writing this is $8.50 per trip for an adult. Children between the ages of 5 and 12 receive $4.50, while children under the age of 5 receive $4.50 free of charge.
  • There’s no car ferry between Martha’s vineyard and Nantucket. If you want to visit both, you will need to take the ferry back to the mainland and then travel to Hyannis for another crossing to Nantucket Island.
  • There are daily ferry connections all year round. However, upon arrival at the Martha Winery, the weather conditions must be taken into account. The island is mainly a summer destination, the sea can be rough in winter and visibility is poor, which means ferries can break down.
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