Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard (simply referred to as "Oak Bluffs") is a small town located on the southern end of the Island of Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts. This quaint village with a rich historical past has a population of about 4,527 and is one of Martha's Vineyard's key centers of summer tourism.
Though the first inhabitants of Oak Bluffs were the Wampanoag people, Oak Bluffs was formed around the 19th century from a settlement known as Cottage City. The village was made up of Victorian-style cottages, many of which can be seen today around Circuit Ave/Kennebec Ave and along Sea View Ave near Ocean Park.
Oak Bluffs sits unaffected by the ocean storms that often pummel other parts of the island, making it one of the safest beach spots on Martha's Vineyard. The protection from harsh ocean weather has also afforded Oak Bluffs tremendous growth as a thriving recreation center.
Martha's Vineyard Weather
Oak Bluffs' weather is typical of New England's weather. The summers are warm and humid, with frequent thunderstorms. July and August are the hottest months, while January and February are the coldest with temperatures in the 30s. Temperatures in spring and fall can be unpredictable. It can be as high as 75 or as low as 40 degrees. On occasion, temperatures can drop below freezing in October and November.
Getting Around Oak Bluffs
When it comes to accessibility, the area is easily accessible whether you are a tourist or here on business. Public transportation to and from Boston provides easy access to all parts of the town. The Steamship Authority Ferry Terminal is one block away from Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs' main street. Buses are also available to take visitors to the beach areas, mostly about two miles from downtown Oak Bluffs or four miles away from Edgartown. A shuttle service is also available between the Steamship Authority Ferry Terminal and the airport during the summer months. The Martha's Vineyard Airport is located in West Tisbury, and flights from Cape Air Airways (Boston), New England Airlines (Newport), TAG Aviation (New Jersey), and Priority Travel (Block Island) arrive daily. There are also several car rental agencies at the airport. That said, mobility should be the least of your worries.
Why Live in Oak Bluffs?
The Island town offers fantastic natural beauty, charm, and fun. In Oak Bluffs, the beach is never far away. You can enjoy the sandy beaches with views of Nantucket Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. There is an amusement park feel to Oak Bluffs, with a colorful carousel and gingerbread houses. The commercial center is compact, running along Circuit Avenue, where you will find great restaurants, shops, galleries, and bars. Nearby Oak Bluffs Harbor is home to the famous black-and-white striped Inkwell Beach.
From an educational standpoint, Oak Bluffs' schools are some of the best in the country. In addition to its large student body (more than 1,500 students attend the high school). Oak Bluffs features a couple of top-notch educational facilities, and it's home to two public schools — Oak Bluffs High School and Oak Bluffs Middle School — and a single private school, Martha's Vineyard Christian Academy (MVCA).
This iconic island town is preserved by the Martha's Vineyard Commission (MVC), a state-authorized regional land use planning and regulatory agency serving all the six Dukes County towns. MVC was formed by the Massachusetts Legislature in 1974 and serves six municipalities: Chilmark, Edgartown, Aquinnah, Tisbury, West Tisbury, and Oak Bluffs.