Oak Bluffs Town Beach

The In-Town Beach

The Oak Bluffs Town Beach, which runs from Waban Park to the Island Queen ferry terminal, is similar to State Beach in that it faces Nantucket Sound, but it’s just a short walk to town for lunch, ferries, and public restrooms.
Locals have two names for the beaches on either side of the jetties in front of the Seaview Condominiums. To the north, closer to the ferry wharf is “Pay Beach,” which harkens back to the days when you had to put a nickel in a turnstile on Sea View Ave in order to access the beach. To the south of this is “The Inkwell,” so named for the African American families who’ve gathered there in summer for generations. In her book, “Finding Martha’s Vineyard,” author Jill Nelson writes about a morning ritual at the Inkwell: “You can swim with the Polar Bears every morning from the Fourth of July until Labor Day. You don’t have to be invited, or know anyone, or even be able to swim. All you have to do is be inclined to get down to Oak Bluffs Town Beach (also known as the Inkwell) any time after seven thirty in the morning. The Polar Bears will be there and they will extend a warm welcome.”