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Overview

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
  • Harthaven
  • Eastville
  • 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.

People

Total Population 4,626
Male Share of the Population 48%
Female Share of the Population 52%
Senior Citizens 24.7%
Employed Population 16+ 2,078
Age of the Population 46

Families

% of people married 57.2%
Average household size 3

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 44.2%
Median Earnings25+ $0
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $0
Median Earnings With High School Degree $0

Wealth

Median Family Income $97,311
% Above Poverty Level 87.5%
% Below Poverty Level 12.5%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 13 minutes
% Working from Home 4.7%
% Walking and Biking to Work 5.9%
% Using Public Transportation 3%

Housing

People Living Alone 28.4%
Median Gross Rent $1,511
Median House Value $604,900

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 9.1%
US/American 0%
English 6.9%
Irish 7.3%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Oak Bluffs Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 23 miles SE of New Bedford, Massachusetts (center to center)
Nearest Large City 67 miles SE of Boston, Massachusetts
County Dukes
P.O. Box Zip Codes 02557
Phone Area Codes 508
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 41.454
Longitude -70.562

Oak Bluffs Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station EDGARTOWN
Distance 5.4 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 39 F
Apr Temp 38 to 54 F
Jul Temp 62 to 79 F
Oct Temp 45 to 63 F
Annual Precip 46 inches
Station NEW BEDFORD
Distance 22.9 miles
Jan Temp 20 to 37 F
Apr Temp 38 to 56 F
Jul Temp 65 to 83 F
Oct Temp 46 to 63 F
Annual Precip 50.7 inches
Station ROCHESTER
Distance 29.2 miles
Jan Temp 19 to 38 F
Apr Temp 37 to 57 F
Jul Temp 62 to 83 F
Oct Temp 42 to 63 F
Annual Precip 49.8 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Aquinnah 460 $69,821
Chilmark 1,051 $140,368
Edgartown 681 $73,385
Falmouth 3,487 $82,500
Tisbury 4,055 $49,395
West Tisbury 2,564 $77,216

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Oak Bluffs Public Libraries

Library
Oak Bluffs Public Library
80 PENNACOOK AVE.
Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts
(508) 693-9433

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Oak Bluffs High Schools

MARTHAS VINEYARD REG HIGH
BOX 1385
508-693-1033
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 804 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11.1

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