Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Where do I park my car in Woods Hole?
A. There are 110-metered spots in the village of Woods Hole. The Woods Hole Business Association operates three additional Parking lots:
- The Dwyer Dock lot (just before the drawbridge on the left on Water Street) is open after 5 pm nightly and on Saturday and Sunday days for a $3.00 fee.
- The MBL Lilly lot (Located about 150 yards on the right after the draw bridge) is open Saturday nights for a $3.00 fee.
- The Fisheries parking lot (located after waterfront park on the left) is open Friday night and also Saturday and Sunday beginning at 11 am, free of charge.
Q. Are there other parking options?
A. There are many other ways to enjoy the strolling village of Woods Hole. (See Other Smart Ways to Get to Woods Hole)
Q. Can I walk or bike to Woods Hole?
A. Yes! Woods Hole is three miles from Falmouth, and there is a wonderful bike path that runs along the beach making it a very pleasant journey. From Falmouth, take the Shining Sea Bike Way (Link to map on WHBA website). There are several free parking lots in Falmouth, West Falmouth (about 6 miles) and North Falmouth (11 miles) designed for park and ride.
» Download Shining Sea Bikeway Map (pdf)
If biking, also consider spinning along shady Sippewissett Road, an alternate way into the village for cars that also doubles as a well-marked bike route. It has some modest hills and curves (about three miles) and is not ideal for children as the road is narrow in places.
Q. Is there a beach near Woods Hole?
A. There are two beaches that are easy walks from the center of Woods Hole. Nobska Beach (.5 miles) looks out at Martha's Vineyard, Vineyard Sound and the ferries crossing to the island. There is limited parking at Nobska, but it is an easy walk from the center of Woods Hole. Stoney Beach (.5 miles) faces Buzzards Bay and is especially great for kids as the water remains shallow for a ways out. There is a small parking lot at Stoney, and you must have a Falmouth beach sticker, or day pass ($10) which is available at the Beach House on Surf Drive. There are lifeguards at Stoney Beach in summer, as well as an ice-cream truck that comes by bathroom facilities and free freshwater showers.
Q. I get it that Woods Hole is a renowned science center, but what can the public see?
A. The WHOI Exhibit Center is a great way to learn about all the cutting-edge science that WHOI is doing, starting with the exploration of the wreck of the Titanic and much more. WHOI also offers tours in the summertime. The MBL has a gift shop and visitor center on Water Street. OceanQuest offers kid-friendly tours of Woods Hole harbor on their research vessel, with hands on learning on the deck of the boat. Coalition for Buzzards Bay maintains an exhibit about local water quality with touch tanks in their center on Luscombe Avenue. NOAA operates the Woods Hole Aquarium, with seal feedings and much more. Research vessels often crowd the harbor in Woods Hole and they are fun to look at.
Q. I'm hungry. Is there any place to get something to eat? A. Woods Hole is packed with restaurants, bakeries and cafes. In fact, there are more water front restaurants clustered together here than in any other Upper Cape town. Check here for a full list of what Woods Hole has to offer.
Q. Are there public bathrooms? A. The public restrooms at the Steamship Authority are located to the right of the ticket lines. In addition, most local restaurants offer bathrooms for patrons only.
Q. Where can I rent a boat? A. Boat rentals are not currently available in Woods Hole. Falmouth Harbor offers motor boat rentals and Old Silver Beach is known for paddleboats, kayaks, windsurfers and kite surfing. Vineyard Haven also has several boat rental shops.
Q. I need a boat slip for the night. A. Woods Hole has several marinas that rent slips and moorings both in Eel Pond and Great Harbor. Please see listings here.
Q. How do I get my boat in the water?
A. The town dock has a boat ramp on Albatross Street, next to the Woods Hole Aquarium. Short tie ups are allowed on the town dock. Parking for boat trailers can be arranged in Falmouth.
Q. I am cruising and need supplies in Woods Hole. Where can I tie up my boat or dinghy?
A. There are short-term tie ups available in front of the drawbridge and at the Town Dock (near the Fisheries and Aquarium on Great Harbor). Woods Hole is well stocked with boating supplies, see here for a list of services.
Q. Can I buy gas in Woods Hole? A. There is no longer gas for sale in Woods Hole. The closest marinas for gas are Falmouth Harbor, Menemsha Harbor and Kingman Boatyard in Cataumet. In your car, the closest gas stations are three miles up the road in Falmouth.
Q. When is the last ferry? A. Frequency of ferry service fluctuates with the seasons, but the last boat generally leaves Woods Hole for Martha's Vineyard at 9.30 or 10.00 pm. The current schedule can be seen here.
Q. I missed the ferry. What do I do now? A. There are many local inns, motels and bed & breakfast options in the village of Woods Hole and nearby. See our listings for a great resource.
Q. What is open in the off season? A. Some of Woods Hole's restaurants and bars are open year round including Pie in the Sky, Coffee Obsession, Woods Hole Market, Leeside, Captain Kidd (on weekends) and Fishmonger. Several inns are open year round as well including the Woods Hole Passage and the Woods Hole Inn.
Q. Is Woods Hole different in the winter? A. Woods Hole is quieter in the winter, and the beaches become wonderful places for long walks and contemplation. The views to the islands are clearer, and the winter sunsets are the most dramatic of the whole year. The bike path remains open and is a lot of fun in the off-season. Many restaurants are still open, including a number of fine dining options in Falmouth (three miles up the road). The Captain Kidd offers "dinner and a movie" on Saturday nights in collaboration with the Woods Hole Film Festival, a wonderful winter tradition. When the ponds freeze, locals flock to them for excellent skating. Snow means sledding on the Woods Hole Golf Course – hole eight is particularly fun!
Q. Where is the closest hospital? A. Falmouth Hospital is three miles up the road in Falmouth, off Palmer Avenue at 100 Ter Heun Drive.
Q. Where do I mail my postcards? A. The Woods Hole Post Officewhich is worth a peek inside just to see the old-timey interioris located on Water Street, between Pie in the Sky Bakery and Under the Sun, a local shop. Across the street is lovely lawn with room for kids to play and a great old beech tree, popular for climbing.
Q. I need to send a FedEx. A. FedEx has a drop box on Water Street, just in front of the post office.
Q. Where can I see local news, apartments for rent and other offers?
A. There are three active community bulletin boards in Woods Hole. They are at Coffee Obsession, Woods Hole Market and Pie in the Sky. These are great places to connect with the local scene, find local craftspeople, and learn what makes Woods Hole tick.
Q. Where can I learn more about Woods Hole?
A. The Woods Hole Museum at 579 Woods Hole Road is an excellent source of more information about the history of Woods Hole.
Q. I need free internet access. A. Woods Hole has many spots where WiFi is offered for free – the Steamship Authority lobby, several cafes and restaurants near the ferry, as well as the public library all offer free internet access. Please be respectful of this privilege, and honor copyright law while in Woods Hole.