Martha’s Vineyard in Cape Cod, Massachusetts is a great summer destination to visit if you’re looking for a quick island getaway. This 96-mile island in the Atlantic is only four miles away from the southern coast of Massachusetts. It is easy to get to and does not require a passport.
During Memorial Day weekend, I spent three days exploring the island. I enjoyed its sandy beaches, fresh seafood, and laid-back vibe. And even though Martha’s Vineyard is only 40 minutes away from New England, it was so charming that I felt like I was on a remote island far away.
So how much does it cost to go to Martha’s Vineyard?
Now depending on your needs and interests, your Martha’s Vineyard budget may look different from mines. Nevertheless, use this spending guide to figure out how much money you’ll need for your upcoming trip.
Martha’s Vineyard Cost Breakdown
Round-trip Ferry to Martha’s Vineyard Cost: $17 USD
Martha’s Vineyard is accessible only by ferry or air.
Steamship Authority is a fast and economical way to get to the island. The ferry takes about 45 minutes and there are two types of fares: passenger and vehicle.
The vehicle fare costs $70-$80 USD one-way.
The passenger fare costs $8.50 USD one-way.
If you leave your car behind, there are plenty of parking lots at the port. However, if you decide to take your car, book your ferry ticket in advance. Tickets sell out fast, often months ahead of time.
Parking: $15 USD per day
During my three-day stay, I paid $45 USD for parking. By leaving my car on the mainland, I saved $100 USD.
Average Taxi: $26 USD
After arriving on Martha’s Vineyard, I took a taxi to my hostel. Since my cab ride from the Oaks Bluff port was only 15 minutes, this was extremely expensive.
In retrospect, this was an unnecessary expense on my Martha’s Vineyard budget. For the rest of the trip, I used public transportation. Public transportation was reliable and affordable.
Uber was not available.
Public Transportation coST: $18 USD
I bought the 3-day Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority unlimited bus pass. This was a great investment.
One-day ($8 USD) and seven-day fares ($30 USD) are also available. You can buy passes on the bus or at any Steamship Authority Terminal.
The alternative, buy one-way fares for $1.25 USD per town. There are six towns on the island – Tisbury, Oaks Bluffs, Edgartown, West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah.
Average Daily Hostel Cost: $36 USD
It was hard finding budget-friendly lodging options in Martha’s Vineyard. Since hotels and Airbnb ranged from $150-$600 USD a night, I booked two nights at HI Martha’s Vineyard Hostel instead.
Complimentary breakfast at the hostel helped with saving money on my Martha’s Vineyard budget. The bus stop was conveniently right across the street from the hostel.
Average Daily Food Cost: $60 USD
Eating out was expensive in Martha’s Vineyard. My cheapest lunch cost $20 USD. Dinner cost twice as much.
I suggest budgeting $30 USD per meal.
Don’t forget to stop at Mad Martha’s for delicious ice cream and frozen yogurt. Mad Martha’s has been in business for over 46 years. It features 20 unique flavors like Snickers Cream and Maple Walnut!
This small chain has three convenient locations on the island.
Average Daily Martha’s Vineyard Activity Cost: Free
I found lots of free things to do in Martha’s Vineyard. This included taking a self-guided tour of Edgartown and going to Owen Park Beach.
Although I did not spend any money on activities, you can rent bikes and go kayaking. You can even tour historic lighthouses and colonial homes on the island.
I suggest budgeting $40 USD for activities per day.
During a long weekend, budget-conscious travelers can easily spend upwards of $400 USD vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard. On the other hand, the average traveler can spend over $1,000 USD. So when planning your Martha’s Vineyard budget, be realistic about how much money you’ll likely spend. For the most savings, find an affordable accommodation.
Do you think Martha’s Vineyard is cheap or expensive?
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, writer, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 26 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.