Once a suburb of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs came into its own in the mid-19th century thanks to the establishment of the Methodist Campgrounds. Today, however, Oak Bluffs has become to the place to go for nightlife on the island.
Waterside hot spots like Nancy’s and The Sand Bar welcome fishermen and yachters from the harbor, and in town venues like The Lamppost and Dreamland have live music. As the primary “wet town,” Oak Bluffs has plenty of bars to accommodate the life of the party.
Located in the center of town is the foundation of Oak Bluffs, the Methodist Campgrounds, where people flocked to settle in tents during the religious revival of the 1800s. As the congregation grew, the tents transitioned to gingerbread cottages, each more colorful and charming than the last.
Today, you can stroll through the delightful cottages, clustered around a large, open-air Tabernacle, where there is often events and live music throughout the summer. Take a walking tour to get an inside scoop on the historic homes, or embark on a ghost tour later at night to hear the spooky secrets and age old legends of the campgrounds. Come at the end of the summer and observe the Illumination Night spectacle, where the cottages light the night with exquisite Japanese lanterns.
Although there’s lots of grown-up fun to be had in Oak Bluffs, it’s also a wonderful spot to find entertainment, shopping and dining for the whole family. The old-fashioned Strand movie theater, arcade and historic Flying Horses Carousel, the oldest in the United States, are perfect for warding off boredom on a rainy day. When the sun is shining, State Beach and Ocean Park are ideal spots for enjoying the great outdoors.
The town is also filled with fantastic shops and family-friendly restaurants, like Giordano’s, Offshore Ale and Slice of Life, where the fried green tomato BLTs are so good, you’ll want seconds! Come to the back of MV Bakery after dinner and indulge in a piping hot Back Door Donut, or grab homemade ice cream at Mad Martha’s.
Oak Bluffs provides fun for the whole family, regardless of age.