Oak Bluffs is one of the main towns on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Incorporated as Cottage City in 1880, it was the island's original center for tourism, and today, it continues to be a busy summer resort. There are numerous things for tourists to take advantage of in Oak Bluffs, bars included, and as such, it can make an ideal Martha's Vineyard base. Steamship Authority ferries visit the Oak Bluffs port with regularity in the summer months so it is the entry point to the island for many visitors. Whatever your intentions, no visit to Martha's Vineyard would arguably be complete without spending some time in Oak Bluffs, especially since this town has some delightful attractions to go with its tourist resources.
Travelers the world over started visiting Oak Bluffs in the early 1800s, and it was during this same century that members of the Methodist Church began arriving in the summer to have open air meetings. In fact, Oak Bluffs Martha's Vineyard eventually became the center of the nineteenth-century Methodist movement. Visiting members of the church originally erected tents near the harbor, and as the movement strengthened over the years, small wooden cottages were erected in the same general area. These cottages are referred to as the Gingerbread Cottages, and thanks in part to their lovely Carpenter Gothic styles, they figure among the most popular attractions in Martha's Vineyard. The area in which they are found is referred to as the Campground.
Other attractions that help to make Oak Bluffs such a great place to visit are the famous Tabernacle and the Flying Horses Carousel. The Tabernacle is the spiritual center of the Campground and dates back to 1879. Church services are still held at the Oak Bluffs Tabernacle, and it is also used for cultural events. The Martha's Vineyard Regional High School graduation ceremonies are held there on an annual basis, for example. As for the Flying Horses Carousel, it was built in 1876 and has called Oak Bluffs home since 1884. It is the oldest platform carousel in the country, and riders can play a special brass ring game as they go around. The winner of this game is rewarded with a free ride.
Oak Bluffs is one of only two towns in Martha's Vineyard that has bars and clubs. The other is Edgartown. Oak Bluffs is also home to an array of restaurants, and those who wish to add shopping to their itinerary can select from some interesting shops. Some of the town's shops are art galleries, so you might pick up something to decorate your house or apartment with. Jewelry, clothing, and a variety of gift items are also among the things you can purchase while shopping in Oak Bluffs Martha's Vineyard, so you don't have to limit yourself to art. Lively Circuit Avenue is a good place to start if you are looking for restaurants, bars, and shops.
In addition to a lively main drag, Oak Bluffs Martha's Vineyard features a lively harbor. Found within this harbor is the largest marina on the entire island, so boating and fishing enthusiasts will definitely be in their element. Beach lovers will also find Oak Bluffs to be an inviting destination, as there are several public beaches to select from. One of these beaches is the renowned Inkwell Beach, which has long been popular with affluent visitors who are looking to enjoy some quality beach time. Another attraction of interest in Oak Bluffs is the championship caliber Farm Neck Golf Course, which is semi-private, and the town's lovely collection of public parks can always make for good places to go when a break from everything else is in order.
There's something for everyone in Oak Bluffs, and since the Oak Bluffs hotels are abundant, visitors should have little trouble finding good accommodations. It only gets better when you also consider the vacation rentals. A condo on the beach or a larger home that is just blocks from the water can make for an excellent alternative to a hotel room.