If you are traveling to escape the city noise and urban pollutionthan the Aquinnah Cliffs should be your destination this summer. Reaching the cliffs takes a bit of walk from Oak Bluff where ferries dock. The town of Aquinnah is the smallest town of Martha’s Vineyard and probably the quietest one. It is furthest up island town on the island,so not many tourists come here. For the same reason it is a relaxing, not a busy, shopping oriented town.
There is a variety of beaches and all of them are breathtaking. The cliffs and hills in Aquinnah are open for private viewing,and they offer some of the most spectacular and secluded vistas. Aquinnah is the perfect location to bring harmony and peace and get the sense of balance back in your life.
There are four beaches on Aquinnah: Philbin (open to public) Moshup Beach, Long Beach (privately owned) and Lobsterville Beach. The tribal land comprises of the Gay Head Cliffs and Gay head Lighthouse and a path leading down to another of the spectacular Vineyard beach.
The most remarkable feature of the cliffs is the brightly colored clay in different colors. The cliffs look sculpted in colors gray, yellow, white, red and occasional black. From a vantage point, the cliff has water on three sides and a view of a no man’s land. The cliffs and the beach below it are the property of the Wampanoag tribe which is a recognized tribal government. This part of the island is said to be a result of melting of the last North American glacier to north 10,000 years ago. The cliffs are the western portion of the island,and it is marked by boulder, rocks, and sand and clay deposits from that glacier.
There is a beach below the cliffs called Moshup’s Beach. The water is amber or rare aqua color and waves are high. The clay cliffs are ecologically protected,and it is forbidden to touch the cliff or climb the clay. The cliffs are eroding at a fast rate. The sides of the cliff and the lighthouse are fenced to prevent further erosion. The beach is a family beach,and it is patrolled by police. Members of Wampanoag tribe also patrol the beach and tell people about the importance of cliffs to the tribe and spirituality and myths of associated with the cliffs.
The Gay Head Cliffs are in a protected area at the western end of town where the Gay Head lighthouse is also standing. The lighthouse is also affected by erosion and will soon need to be relocated.
The cliffs offer a number of hiking and cycling treks,but they don’t reach up to Aquinnah,and you have to be a savvy cyclist to be able to navigate through the windy roads. Getting they may be tough,but once you reach there you will truly feel the wind in your hair.
A trip to Aquinnah can be quite expensive and not one that you can embark on with a small budget,but renting in Aquinnah provides a getaway in a real sense of the word. It offers such quiet that one can truly feel unplugged for the first time in life. It is necessary to note that the closest market is about 6-7 miles away and full grocery about 30 min drive so if you are planning a solitude, rental home and pristine beaches and ancient walking trails then Aquinnah is your destination this summer.