Category Archives: Oak Bluffs

Why Do You Need to See the Famous Flying Horses of Oak Bluffs?

Flying Horses Oak BluffsLooking for something unique on your Martha’s Vineyard visit? Visit Flying Horses in Oak Bluffs. This carousel – the oldest operating platform carousel in the United States – is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and designated a National Historic Landmark. If you’re on the island, stop by and check out this unique piece of American history.

History of the Flying Horses

Experts estimate Flying Horses’ construction occurred somewhere around 1876. It originally stood on New York’s Coney Island. In fact, one of the decorative panels includes a stamp which reads “Coney Island #4.”

In 1884, a man named F.O. Gordon, of New York City, purchased the carousel. He relocated it to a town called Cottage City (what we now know as Oak Bluffs), and situated it near the entrance to Oak Bluffs Harbor. In the late 1880s, the town purchased the carousel, uprooted it from its harbor-side location, and shifted it to its current location on Circuit Avenue, which is Oak Bluffs’ main business and entertainment district.

The carousel has changed hands a number of times since then. Ultimately, in 1986, the Martha’s Vineyard Land Trust acquired it and assumed control over its day-to-day functioning. Today, not much has changed; the 1923 Wurlitzer Band Organ plays tunes from the past century, reading the notes from original paper rolls. Children (and adults!) also still have the chance to grab the lucky brass ring and win a free ride.

The carousel operates daily, from 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Rides cost a mere $2.50. As previously mentioned, riders who successfully grab the brass ring win a free ride. This is a fun, family-friendly activity, and something you can tell people about for years. Come enjoy this piece of American history!

After Flying Horses

After you’ve finished, head out to enjoy some of Oak Bluffs’ many outdoor attractions. There are a number of beaches in the area, such as Joseph Sylvia State Beach, Oak Bluffs Town Beach, and Inkwell Beach. You could rent a kayak and paddle around Oak Bluffs’ picturesque harbor. Those looking for real adventure could charter a fishing boat and head out for a fun-filled day in the sun.

If the water isn’t your thing, there are a number of terrestrial activities you can enjoy, such as renting a bike to cruise around town. You may also consider trading Flying Horses’ wooden steeds for real horses and go on a beach trail ride.

Whatever your preference, you’re guaranteed to have a great time in beautiful Oak Bluffs!

Every adventure in Oak Bluffs begins with a great accommodation. Our Martha’s Vineyard vacation rentals provide a perfect base for relaxing and unwinding in between all of the great activities you can participate in during your time on the island. We have rental properties all over Martha’s Vineyard, so you can choose to stay on your favorite part of the island. Whether you want to be right in town or more isolated, we have the perfect rental for you. Visit our website to check availability and learn about all of our services!

Edgartown or Oak Bluffs?

Edgartown or Oak Bluffs

Edgartown or Oak Bluffs? Visitors to Martha’s Vineyard would do well to visit both, although one may appeal to certain vacationers more than others. Let’s take a look at what these two beautiful towns have to offer.


Edgartown is Martha’s Vineyard’s ‘big city,’ with a population just north of 4,000. The town is famous for South Beach, the Edgartown Lighthouse, and a litany of great shops and restaurants.

South Beach provides visitors the chance to relax and enjoy the quiet, calm, shallow waters. Visitors rave about the clear water, and even its warmth compared to surrounding areas. Don’t miss out on this beautiful and tranquil setting!

The Edgartown Lighthouse marks the entrance to Edgartown Harbor and Katama Bay. This picturesque, 45-foot tall lighthouse is a short walk (10-15 minutes) from downtown Edgartown. Be sure to visit at sunset and capture a dramatic photograph of the lighthouse silhouetted against the harbor.

Looking for fine dining in a cozy setting? Check out Alchemy, located right on Main Street. Let chef Giordano Smiroldo prepare a delicious entree of locally-sourced seafood, or enjoy one of their bar’s fabulous cocktails. Visit their website to see Alchemy’s list of 2015 awards. It’s well worth a visit!

If it’s a cold beer you’re seeking, check out Bad Martha Farmer’s Brewery. The brewery offers a variety of beers, from light to dark, and is famous for it’s beautiful outdoor seating.

Martha’s Vineyard sign

These are just a few of the things to do and see in Edgartown. It’s definitely worth the trip!

Oak Bluffs

Oak Bluffs stands on the far northeastern corner of Martha’s Vineyard. It’s home to, amongst other things, the world’s oldest platform carousel. The town is also famous for its gingerbread cottage architecture, and its active nightlife.

The Flying Horses Carousel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is designated as a National Historic Landmark. It was originally built sometime between 1876 and 1878, and was purchased by Oak Bluffs in 1889. Stop in and, for just a few dollars, take a ride on a piece of national history!

Oak Bluffs’ gingerbread-house architecture sets it apart from many other destinations throughout America. Stroll through the streets, admiring the unique styling of its many dwellings. Truly, it is a sight to behold!

Oak Bluffs is famous for its active nightlife. Walk around and soak up the festive atmosphere, or engage in some fine dining at some of the town’s many restaurants. You can even visit several local establishments for live music and dancing.

So, will it be Edgartown or Oak Bluffs?  Truly, you can’t go wrong with either setting. Both offer unique experiences in picturesque settings. If you’re looking for relaxation, perhaps head to Edgartown. If you’re looking for a beautiful setting, mixed with an active nightlife, head to Oak Bluffs.

Whether you choose Edgartown or Oak Bluffs, be sure to reserve your accommodations through Sandpiper Rentals. Our Martha’s Vineyard vacation rentals are ideal for relaxing and unwinding in between all of the great activities you can participate in during your time on the island. Our rental properties are located all over Martha’s Vineyard, so you can choose to stay on your favorite part of the island. Whether you want to be right in town or more isolated, we have the perfect rental for you. Our homes are all unique, yet they all offer comfortable accommodations and luxurious amenities. Visit our website to check availability and learn about all of our services!

6 Great Reasons to Visit Oak Bluffs MA Soon

Oak Bluffs MAThere are many great places on Martha’s Vineyard to explore. Quaint towns, beautiful coastline, and pristine landscapes beckon visitors from far and wide. One place you need to make time to visit is Oak Bluffs MA. This Martha’s Vineyard town is full of old fashioned charm and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. Oak Bluffs is home to several impressive points of interest as well as one of the best beaches on Martha’s Vineyard. So,  during your Martha’s Vineyard getaway, be sure to plan a visit to Oak Bluffs MA for some great fun!

1. Oak Bluffs Campground

One of the first things that comes to mind when people think of Oak Bluffs MA is Oak Bluffs Campground and the charming and whimsical gingerbread cottages found there. These 19th Century buildings make you feel like you’ve stepped back into another place and time. The atmosphere at the campground is serene and utterly relaxing. There is no hustle and bustle here. Oak Bluffs Campground is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll while you admire the colorful and intricate details of these cottages. You’ll be hard pressed to pick just one favorite!

2. Ocean Park

Ocean Park is another must-see location in Oak Bluffs MA. The park is beautifully kept and makes the perfect backdrop for leisurely walks, bike rides, and general enjoyment of the Martha’s Vineyard scenery. It’s right on the water, so there are amazing views of the ocean.

3. East Chop Lighthouse

One of several iconic Martha’s Vineyard lighthouses, East Chop Lighthouse in Oak Bluffs MA is a great site to visit. There is plenty of space to walk around and get pictures of the light and enjoy the gorgeous scenery.

4. Joseph Sylvia State Beach

Joseph Sylvia State Beach is one of the best beaches on Martha’s Vineyard. With a clean sandy shoreline, gentle surf, and serene atmosphere, it’s the perfect beach to visit when you want to spend some time relaxing and soaking up some sun.

5. Island Alpaca Company

For a unique Martha’s Vineyard experience, head to the Island Alpaca Company. You can visit with these unusual looking yet adorable creatures and learn more about them. They even have an annual shearing day where you can see the Alpacas be shorn and have their fleece collected to make garments and other items!

6. Flying Horses Carousel

The Flying Horses Carousel in Oak Bluffs MA is the oldest operating platform carousel in the nation. It has been named a national landmark by the Department of the interior. The carousel was built in 1876 by Charles Dare and originally started out as a Coney Island, NY ride. This picturesque carousel is a delight to both children and adults with its handcrafted horses and decorations.

No matter what you decide to do in Oak Bluffs MA, you’ll have a great visit to Martha’s Vineyard when you choose one of Sandpiper Rentals‘ gorgeous properties. With houses all over the island, you can choose to stay near whichever town or beach you want to. All of the houses are unique in their own way, but they’ll all provide you with a comfortable stay and wonderful memories. Our Martha’s Vineyard rental properties will make all the difference in your time on the island. We can’t wait to hear from you soon!

Photo: Barry Peters via Flickr on Creative Commons