From the vast Menemsha and Squibnocket ponds to the Vineyard Sound and Atlantic Ocean, Aquinnah is virtually surrounded by water. Formerly known as Gay Head, Aquinnah is celebrated for its colorful clay cliffs, beautiful sandy beaches, and gorgeous parcels of land.
Aquinnah, which means “land under the hill,” is also known as a center of Wampanoag culture. The Wampanoags are a Native American tribe that has lived on Martha’s Vineyard since long before the first English settlers arrived, and it regards the Aquinnah cliffs as sacred. About one-third of the approximately 300 year-round residents of Aquinnah are members of the Wampanoag tribe.
Point B Picks
The lighthouse and cliffs at Aquinnah are two of Martha’s Vineyard’s most iconic and photographed sites. From atop the hill, visitors can take in the cliffs, lighthouse, Atlantic Ocean, Vineyard Sound, and the nearby Elizabeth Islands.
At the Aquinnah Shop Restaurant, visitors enjoy delicious seafood and authentic American and Native American cuisine with a view of ocean. The restaurant is owned and operated by the Vanderhoops, a prominent Aquinnah family with Wampanoag and English ancestry.
The Aquinnah Cultural Center preserves, interprets, and documents the history, culture, and contributions of the Aquinnah Wampanoag. The center is housed in the Edwin DeVries Vanderhoop Homestead, an historic home built in the late 1890s, and features exhibits on tribal history and culture.