This might have been my favorite day of summer 2016. Visiting Aquinnah and seeing the Gay Head Cliffs have been on my bucket list forever! Staying in Menemsha presented the perfect opportunity to finally get there. We grabbed the last set of bikes available at our inn and stopped for a lovely breakfast of lox and bagel sandwiches with cafe au laits at Beetlebung Coffee House (24 Basin Road) before catching the bike ferry at the end of North Road. Convenient and scenic, the $5 ferry ride crosses Menemsha Creek in about 3 minutes and drops you at the remote tip of West Basin Road in Aquinnah.
The bike ride from West Basin is quiet and flat to begin but once you get past the marshlands and Lobsterville Beach, taking a sharp right onto Lighthouse Road it is almost entirely uphill. Reaching our destination we took in the immense beauty of the cliffs and brick lighthouse from afar, explored the tiny village shops, and then walked through the Aquinnah Headlands down to Philbin Beach. The colorful dune-cliffs are so unique and stunning up close. We walked for awhile and settled on a remote spot just before where the beach curved and became entirely rocks. (FYI the farther you venture to the right, the more nude sunbathers begin to appear.) It's a little challenging to take a swim out that way since boulders dot the shoreline and strong waves crash in.
We had a late lunch at the Aquinnah Shop Restaurant (27 Aquinnah Circle). The clam chowder and the spicy tuna tacos were spot on! Definitely go for a table on the back deck. Salty, sandy and sipping a glass of Sauvignon Blanc perched at a weathered turquoise table overlooking a majestic view of nothing but vibrant greens and blues was a very happy moment indeed. But the best feeling was knowing the 5 miles we had to bike home were all downhill; and we cruised back to the ferry in no time.