Martha's Vineyard Feature
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Vineyard Beach Basics
The north shore of the island faces Vineyard Sound. The beaches on this side have more gentle waters, and they're also often slightly less chilly. On a clear day you can see across the sound to the chain of Elizabeth Islands, Cape Cod, and sometimes even all the way to New Bedford, Massachusetts.
On the Vineyard's south shore—Atlantic Ocean surf crashes in refreshingly chilly waves; it's a great place for bodysurfing. The more protected beaches on the Nantucket and Vineyard sounds tend to have slightly warmer and calmer waters, perfect for swimmers and for families. A few freshwater beaches at inland ponds provide a change of pace from the salty sea.
Note that public beaches are split between free beaches—such as the Joseph A. Sylvia State Beach, for which no parking fees are required—and several public beaches where parking fees are collected—such as Moshup Beach in Aquinnah. Private beaches are reserved for permanent and summer residents, who must obtain parking or resident stickers from the appropriate town hall.
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