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Aquinnah

4.6
Geologic Formations · Lighthouses · Landmarks
Aquinnah is a town located on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts. Until 1997 it was called Gay Head. The population was 311 at the 2010 U.S. census. It is known for its beautiful clay cliffs and quiet natural serenity. Below the clay cliffs is Jungle Beach, named to reflect its reputation as one of the few nude beaches left in the U.S.Aquinnah has become celebrated as a center of Wampanoag culture and a center of pride and tradition among members of the federally recognized Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head. They make up about one-third of the town's voters and are one of two federally recognized tribes of Wampanoag people in Massachusetts. This area is one of the earliest sites of whaling. The Wampanoag harvested whales from small boats and the shore, using harpoons, long before the 19th-century industry of whaling became the major maritime industry of Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and New Bedford, Massachusetts.HistoryBefore the arrival of English colonists, Martha's Vineyard and Aquinnah were inhabited by the Wampanoag, a Native American people, related to the larger Algonquin Nation of Southern New England. Historically they spoke an Algonquian language, part of a large language family that extended down the Atlantic Coast.The Wampanoag have a separate history; their creation myth tells that their ancestors reached the island after traveling on an ice floe from the far North. They sided with the English settlers in King Philip's War. They performed whaling from small boats. The character Tashtego in Herman Melville's novel Moby-Dick is a Native American harpooner from Aquinnah.
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Popular things to do in Aquinnah

Aquinnah Cliffs
Geologic Formation
Aquinnah Cliffs
4.6
Duration: 2 hours
Gay Head Lighthouse ©
Lighthouse
Gay Head Lighthouse
4.7
Duration: 30 minutes
Gay Head
Landmark
Gay Head
4.5
Duration: 2 hours
Aquinnah Lighthouse
Lighthouse
Aquinnah Lighthouse
4.5
Duration: 2 hours

Side trips from Aquinnah

Menemsha Public Beach ©
Beach
Menemsha Public Beach Menemsha
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
Chilmark Chocolates ©
Gift & Specialty Shop
Chilmark Chocolates Chilmark
4.7
Duration: 2 hours
Menemsha Hills ©
Beach
Menemsha Hills Chilmark
4.9
Duration: 2 hours
Lucy Vincent Beach ©
Beach
Lucy Vincent Beach Chilmark
4.3
Duration: 2 hours

Places to visit with Aquinnah

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