A question I’m asked frequently while working the front desk at the Madison Inn is if guests should bring their car to the Vineyard. If you choose to bring a car you must make a reservation through Steamship Authority out of Woods Hole, you must find parking in town (which varies in difficulty depending on the time of year) and you must pay the extra money ($137) to transport it. If guests have a few days to spend here, then I recommend a car, that way they are not bound to the bus schedule and can explore the island with ease. If guests have children or elderly people traveling with them I also recommend a car so that they are able to see and appreciate the scenic beauty of the island without the hassle of multiple bus transfers and lengthy town walks. For couples or families who are coming to the Vineyard just to get away, to mostly shop and spend their time at the beach and relax, I would recommend leaving a car on the mainland.
To take your car:
The Steamship Authority in Woods Hole Massachusetts is the only ferry that brings cars to Martha’s Vineyard. It costs $137.00 round trip for your car to travel from Woods Hole to the Vineyard plus $17 more round trip per person in the car. Also, you must have a reservation for your car (www.islandferry.com) to be on the boat and boats often sell out, and once the boat is sold out, it’s sold out, meaning that there may not be space available for your car to travel on the boat when you need/want to travel. Additionally, you will need to find parking for your can once you’re here on-island and that can sometimes be the real hassle..
Or leave it on the Mainland:
Bring your car to 275 Falmouth Rd, Falmouth MA, 02540, and park it at the Steamship Authority Ferry parking lot ($12-15 per calendar day), take the free shuttle the last 5 minutes to Woods Hole, and get on the Steamship Authority Ferry as a walk-on passenger ($17 round-trip adults; $9 round-trip children 5-12; $9 round-trip bicycles). Please note that there is no parking available at the Woods Hole ferry terminal. However, the Steamship Authority operates several paring lots in Falmouth. To get real time information about parking lot availability call 508-457-7275. Otherwise, for reservations and information call 508-477-8600.
No car? No worries!
Once you get to the Vineyard you can get around by taxi or public bus (and now uber!), or you can rent a car or bike. Just a tiny public service announcement.. There are lots of mopeds available for rent on the Vineyard for around $60-100 a day, BUT you will be scowled at by every local except the one that took your money. You will be honked at and you will be frequently scared as you wobble around at less than the speed limit on narrow roads that are often covered by a thin layer of sand. We do not EVER recommend mopeds. That being said, you are all adults, but just do us/me a solid and check the prices and availability at MV Auto Rental first (and we have $10 off coupons in our Lobby!).