Oak Bluffs is a town located on Marthas Vineyard in Dukes County of Massachusetts in United States. The population was 3,713 at the 2000 census and was estimated at 3,735 as of 2008. Although the Oak Bluffs steamships only operate in the summer, it is one of two Steamship Authority ferry ports on the island. Oak Bluffs was first settled in 1642 and was officially incorporated in 1880 as Cottage City. Before its incorporation, it was part of Edgartown. The town re-incorporated in 1907 as Oak Bluffs. It was named so because the town was the site of an oak grove along the bluffs. Oak Bluffs originally began as the center for tourism on the Vineyard. While the other towns were more focused on industry, Oak Bluffs became a mecca for travelers from around the world as early as the beginning of the 1800‘s. It also became a center of the thriving 19th century Methodist movement. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 26.0 square of which, 7.4 square miles is land and 18.6 square miles is water. The town is 323rd out of 351 communities in the Commonwealth in terms of land area, and is the third smallest community in Dukes County. Oak Bluffs is bordered by Nantucket Sound to the north and east, Edgartown to the south, and Vineyard Harbor, Lagoon Pond and Tisbury to the west. It also shares a common corner, along with Tisbury and Edgartown, with West Tisbury.
As the largest marina on Marthas Vineyard, Oak Bluffs Marina is a long-time favorite of many boaters, and offers unrivaled access to the rest of the Island. There you will find specific information on the Marina itself, surrounding attractions, and a schedule of events for the upcoming season. Oak Bluffs is said to be an excellent yacht charter destination in the east coast of USA. People tend to think of a yacht charter as something to do in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean, but it is a spectacular way to explore the coves and holes and harbors of Cape Cod. The islands are so close together that in four days you can see Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Cuttyhunk and can pass by the other Elizabeth Islands. Martha’s Vineyard with the three busy harbors Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven is in close proximity to restaurants and shops. With the yacht charter you can have any kind of cruise you want, from doing nothing more vigorous than dining to taking sailing lessons as you go. The process begins with a yacht charter agent. It is his job to find the right boat and captain, and to deliver as near to your dream itinerary as he can. Oak Bluffs has long stretches of beach and a town beach near the center of things, and Joseph A. Sylvia State Beach stretches eastward toward Edgartown and Oak Bluffs’ proximity to the beach adds to its casualness. Bathing suits, some still dripping, often clothe those waiting to hop onto the Flying Horses Carousel which is the nations oldest operating platform carousel and a National Historical Landmark owned by the Marthas Vineyard Preservation Trust.
A distinctive housing area in Oak Bluffs is East Chop, which begins at the private East Chop Beach Club and ascends in a triangle to Telegraph Hill which is site of one of the Island five lighthouses, and then back down to the public beach at Eastville Beach. The houses along the water are huge old mansions. Many long held in the same families, with turrets and spires marking their mid 1800s architecture. More modest homes are on the interior of the Chop, away from the water, but still with a hint of water views. The highest points in town are between the pond and the lagoon, and west of the lagoon in the irregular triangle of land which juts into Tisbury. Events in Oak Bluffs include band concerts biweekly in the summer at Ocean Park. In July, the aptly-named Monster Shark Festival brings hundreds of fishermen competing to haul in the biggest shark from the waters about the Vineyard. Although Oak Bluffs throbs in the summer, it has become a very viable town in winter also. There are a large number of restaurants that stay open, including the Island only brewery, the Off-Shore Ale Company and many fishing and boating artifacts.