The best time to visit Martha’s Vineyard, according to many New Englanders at least, is around either May or September. During these two shoulder seasons, while children are still in school, the island exudes a more laid-back, local vibe.
During these months, the temperatures are cooler than in the summer, with highs of 64℉ (18℃ ) and 72℉ (22℃ ) respectively. Still, days tend to be pleasant and clear, with fewer visitors than the peak season.
Admittedly, summer on Martha’s Vineyard has an appeal of its own. While that does mean the beaches can get crowded, it also creates a slightly festive atmosphere, courtesy of all the regular returning visitors in town for their holiday.
Visiting Martha’s Vineyard by Season
During the height of summer, the average number of people on the island swells from its normal population of 15,000 to around 100,000.
While the small island can feel a tad cramped and restaurant reservations may be hard to come by, summer on Martha’s Vineyard often has the exuberant air of a neverending clambake. Temperature highs in July and August are around 78℉ (26℃ ), with lots of sunshine—perfect beach weather.
Early fall is one of the best times to come to Martha’s Vineyard. In September, the average temperature high is still 77℉ (25℃ ). Although the evenings quickly grow chillier, the island is appreciably more relaxed and the weather still quite mild.
Although the proximity of the ocean means that winters on Martha’s Vineyard see less snowfall than in other parts of Massachusetts, they can still get cold. In January and February, the temperature plummets to 25℉ (-4℃ ). In this period, many local businesses close for the season, so activities and dining options on the island are rather limited.
April and May on Martha’s Vineyard are lovely, with mild days filled with intermittent showers and sunshine. Less hectic than summer, but still offering plenty to do and see, late spring is when many locals around the region opt to come to the beach.
When Is Rainy Season?
November is the wettest month, with an average of just under four inches (101mm) of rain, often distributed in brief showers and drizzles. The winter months from December through March see occasional snowfall.
When Is High Season?
High season on the island is in summer, with the most visitors by far coming in July and August. During this time, reservations of any kind can be tricky to come by and beaches will be busy.
When Is Shoulder Season?
Martha’s Vineyard has two shoulder seasons, around May and September. Both of these periods offer many of the perks of summer without the crowds.
While the shoulder seasons don’t have quite the energy and people-watching of a holiday town in summer, for many locals, they’re preferable.
When Is Low Season?
Winter is low season in Martha’s Vineyard, when many locals close up shop for the year and head south to Florida’s beaches. The island has a certain bleak beauty in winter but the occasional snowfall and colder temperatures make this less than ideal for visiting.