Introduction to Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts, in Dukes county, is 23 miles SE of New Bedford, Massachusetts (center to center) and 67 miles SE of Boston, Massachusetts. It's a resort town situated along the northeast shoreline of Martha's Vineyard. It includes a steamship ferry port for boats arriving from the mainland. Tourists enjoy Oak Bluffs' beautiful beaches and the pleasant summer weather. It features the historic Gingerbread Cottages from the early days of the Methodist meetings.
The town includes the largest marina on Martha's Vineyard. The downtown features quality restaurants, unique shops, charming inns and numerous galleries. It has one of the most active nightlife scenes on the island. The town includes several communities that are popular for prosperous African Americans. Martha's Vineyard has a lot of summertime residents. The island is known for its celebrity residents and visitors.
Oak Bluffs History
The area was settled in 1642 and in 1880 was incorporated as Cottage City. Before it was incorporated it belonged to Edgartown. In 1907 it was renamed Oak Bluffs. The name was given due to the landscape including an oak grove situated on the bluffs. In the early years, the town was the primary tourist area on Martha's Vineyard while the the other communities were involved in industry.
Oak Bluffs was a major center of the flourishing 19th century Methodist movement. The site now called the Martha's Vineyard Campground Meeting Association was the location of popular summer Methodist meetings. Members built and stayed in what are now known as Gingerbread Cottages. Hundreds of the cottages were constructed.
Oak Bluffs Attractions
- The Historic Gingerbread Cottages located in Martha's Vineyard Meeting Association site feature Carpenter Gothic style architecture
- The Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest continuously operating platform carousel in the nation and is a National Historic Landmark
- East Chop is a residential area which features prominent bluffs and includes the private East Chop Beach Club
- The Tall Timbers is a distinctive gingerbread house
- The Tabernacle
- Island Theatre
- East Chop Lighthouse
- Strand Theatre
Oak Bluffs Events
- The Grand Illumination is an annual celebration that attracts a large crowd. Ornate Chinese lanterns are placed around the Gingerbread Cottages and the event includes a sing-along in the Tabernacle
- The Striped Bass and Bluefish Derby
- Oak Bluffs Harbor Festival
- The Annual Portuguese Feast is a notable event
- The Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament has been shown on ESPN
- Chili Festival
- August Fireman's Association Fireworks
Oak Bluffs Activities
The scenic beaches are very popular with tourists. Golf enthusiasts enjoy playing at one of the best golf courses on the island, the Farm Neck Golf Club. Chartered fishing expeditions are available. Oak Bluffs features a variety of quality restaurants. The area includes bicycle and walking trails. Circuit Avenue is a popular destination. Ocean, Hiawatha and Viera parks are enjoyed by residents and tourists. The Manuel F. Correllus State Forest features grasslands and wooded areas and is popular for bicycle riding and hiking.