Picture perfect: The most picturesque places for the perfect Island photo

Lucy Vincent Beach, Chilmark. – Alison Shaw

Lucy Vincent Beach, Chilmark. – Alison Shaw 

Lighthouses and pristine beaches are among the most photographed spots on Martha’s Vineyard, and there are endless settings for visitors looking to capture the Island magic with the perfect photo.

Just ask a seasoned Island photographer. A handful of local photographers weighed in on some of their favorite locations to get the best shot.


Long Point, Edgartown. – Michael Blanchard

Photographer Michael Blanchard

Picking a favorite on the Vineyard is obviously a difficult task, but the place I go as a retreat is Long Point. It is isolated, has relatively few visitors, and offers the chance to see birds, beaches, and fields all at the same time. It’s my ‘thinking place, where I go to reset and reframe when things get squirrelly!”

Long Point Wildlife Refuge in West Tisbury is located on the south shore of Martha’s Vineyard. The oceanside nature preserve includes salt and freshwater ponds, a 2-mile trail, and grassland habitat. Open to all; however, subject to regulations of The Trustees of Reservations. Call 508-693-7392 for additional information.

“My second most favorite location is Lucy Vincent Beach, because of its unique cliffs that constantly change. You see something different every time you go out there, and it teaches that life is a constant process of letting go.”

Lucy Vincent Beach is accessible via Lucy Vincent Beach Road, off State Road, in Chilmark. In season the beach is open to Chilmark residents only, and requires a pass.

“Last of course is Gay Head — my spiritual home, especially in the winter.”

Gay Head refers to the town of Aquinnah, which changed its name from Gay Head to the Wampanoag word Aquinnah in 1997. The town is located on the west side of the Island, and is famous for the majestic Gay Head Cliffs and the Gay Head Lighthouse.


Menemsha. – Peter Simon

Photographer Peter Simon of the Simon Gallery in Vineyard Haven

“Menemsha is by far my favorite place to photograph … so many spots provide color, angles, fishing regalia, sunsets, old boats, and lifestyles from decades past!”

Menemsha is a fishing village located on the north shore of the Island in the town of Chilmark. Menemsha is known for its applause-worthy sunsets and fresh, locally-caught seafood.


Norton Point. – Doug Burke

Photographer Doug Burke

At the top of Doug’s list of most picturesque locations is Norton Point Beach in Edgartown.

Norton Point Beach is a 2.5-mile-long strip of sand and dunes that connects Martha’s Vineyard and the island of Chappaquiddick. The beach now provides a land route between the two areas for the first time in eight years, following a major ocean storm that caused a breach in the barrier beach in 2007. Oversand vehicle permits are available through The Trustees of Reservations.

Other places that Doug often photographs are Oak Bluffs Harbor, Edgartown Lighthouse, Oak Bluffs Fishing Pier, Long Point Wildlife Refuge, Eastville Beach, and Philbin Beach.


Photographer Alison Shaw of Alison Shaw Gallery in Oak Bluffs

Alison’s two favorite photo locations are the Fishing Pier in Oak Bluffs and Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark.

The Oak Bluffs Fishing Pier is located near the Steamship Authority ferry terminal in Oak Bluffs. The pier was built in 2014 to increase public access to the waterfront, not only providing a great new location for photography, but a first-class fishing resource, and a welcome area to stroll.


Sweetened Water Pond, West Tisbury. – Vineyard Colors

Photographer Yann Meersseman of Vineyard Colors in Oak Bluffs

When asked for a favorite spot for photos, Yann said “You are asking us which one of our hundreds of children we like the best; that’s a really tough question!” After careful consideration, Yann selected Sweetened Water Pond in Edgartown.

Sweetened Water Pond is located at Sweetened Water Preserve off West Tisbury Road in Edgartown. The area also features open grassland ideal for nature study, hiking, picnicking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and dog walking.


Photographer Siobhan Beasley

“One of my favorite places on the island is Philbin Beach in the fall and winter seasons. While the crowds are gone, the majestic cliffs, rocks, and water remain.”

Philbin Beach is located off Moshup Trail in Aquinnah, and is a private beach open only to Aquinnah residents. It is a favorite among surfers on the Island.


Menemsha. – Lynn Christoffers

Photographer Lynn Christoffers

“When asked for my favorite spot on the Vineyard, I immediately think of the sheep at the Allen Farm — with the view from the road looking out to the ocean, with the rolling green pasture, and the fabulous blue sea beyond. What a landscape that changes by season, always a beautiful scene to see as you drive up-Island.”

Established in the 1700s, Allen Farm in Chilmark is the Vineyard’s oldest continuously operating family farm. It boasts 100 acres of seaside pasture where sheep graze and weddings and special events are held. The farm is located off South Road in Chilmark, and its farm shop offers wool, hand-dyed woven textiles, meat, poultry, eggs, and a selection of gourmet foods.

Lynn also appreciates the views of Menemsha from the Aquinnah side: “Having spent 17 summers on Lobsterville Road in Gay Head, I return to the low flat road that ends at West Basin with a direct view across the narrow body of water to see the outline of Menemsha with its busy fishing-village profile.”