DescriptionNamed Aquinnah by its Wampanoag Indian residents, this area was settled by English colonists in 1669 and incorporated in 1870 as Gay Head. The town reverted to its original appellation, which means “end of the island,” in 1997. Aquinnah remains home to the Wampanoag community, which controls tribal lands in the town and operates the Aquinnah Cultural Center, 35 Aquinnah Cir. The center presents and preserves Wampanoag history and heritage through rotating exhibits, special events and guided tours; phone (508) 645-7900.
Gay Head Light, built in the mid-1800s, overlooks Aquinnah's brightly colored clay cliffs. Managed by the Martha's Vineyard Museum, the brick lighthouse is open seasonally; phone (508) 627-4441. Offering interpretive signs and sightseeing telescopes, an observation area above the cliffs, which are protected due to the threat of erosion, is at the end of State Road off Aquinnah Circle.
Visitor InfoAquinnah Town Hall 65 State Rd. AQUINNAH, MA 02535. Phone:(508)645-2300
ShoppingLeading to the observation area overlooking Aquinnah's dramatic clay cliffs is a brick path lined with a handful of gift shops and eateries. Housed in small gray-shingled cottages, local vendors like Stony Creek Gifts and On the Cliffs hawk everything from touristy sweatshirts to Native American leatherwork and wampum jewelry.