Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs Fireworks over the gazebo in late August (photo by Peter Simon)Oak Bluffs - Oak Bluffs is known the world over for its "gingerbread houses", built on the site of the original Methodist summer camp meetings in the 1800's. Today the Tabernacle and many beautiful gingerbread-style cottages are located in the area known as the Campgrounds. "Illumination Night", when all the cottages light Japanese lanterns throughout the campgrounds, is one of the most popular events.

Oak Bluffs is also home to the "Flying Horses" carousel, the oldest operating carousel in the United States. Its horses were hand-carved in 1876 and the manes and tails are made of real horsehair. Each horse has a unique name, and choosing your favorite is half the fun.

Oak Bluffs' Ocean Park is among the town's big attractions. Concerts are regularly held in the gazebo during the summer months, and the August fireworks held by the park are fabulous.

Oak Bluffs has a number of outdoor recreational activities to enjoy. Eastville Beach is a great spot for swimming and strolling. The Oak Bluffs Town Beach faces the Nantucket Sound and is just a short walk to eateries. Marinelli Beach, also known as Jetty Beach, has very low surf on the Oak Bluffs Harbor side, which is great for kids.

A large part of the State Forest goes through Oak Bluffs with plenty of hiking and biking trails. Oak Bluffs is also home to Riverhead Disc Golf Course and Farm Neck Golf Club. Popular water activities include paddling, windsurfing, and kiteboarding on Sengekontacket Pond, fishing from the pier, or jumping into the water from Big Bridge.

The main streets of Oak Bluffs are home to arcades, shops, and restaurants. In the spring, the harbor side restaurants open their patios for outdoor dining. Circuit Avenue is popular for those who enjoy the nightlife. The Dukes County Avenue Arts District has live music in the summer, and you can find live music downtown year-round.

Popular year-round restaurants include Offshore Ale Co., featuring wood-fired pizzas and pub-style dishes. M.V. Chowder Company boasts award-winning clam chowder and seafood. Ocean View is a family owned restaurant specializing in American fare in a casual environment.

Oak Bluffs is one of two ports on Martha's Vineyard where the Steamship Authority docks, however, Oak Bluffs is not used in the off-season.

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