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Oak Bluff Campground picture in Martha's Vineyard
Kenneth Wiedemann / Getty Images

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Details

  • Entertainment and Nightlife, Historic Homes/Mansions Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.3
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    3.0
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

These extravagantly decorated summer cottages offer a quaint peek into the island's past. The grounds were originally occupied by 19th-century Methodists, who would retreat here in the summer to camp and worship. Visitors soon became residents, replacing their temporary canvas tents with Gothic-design cottages, painted in colorful hues.  

Today, the more than 300 properties are privately owned by camping descendants and members of the Campmeeting Association (still active), so visitors can only observe from outdoors. But if you're itching to catch a glimpse inside, you can tour the Cottage Museum during the summer season. The tiny green cottage is furnished with period pieces and displays various photographs and other memorabilia from the campground's heyday.

The Methodist activities have slowed down as of late — no more thrice-daily prayer services — but the Campmeeting Association does free host concerts, guest speakers and movie nights at the Tabernacle complex nestled in the middle of the colorful collection. Check out the event schedule before your visit.

You'll find the Camp Meeting Grounds on Trinity Park in Oak Bluffs at the northeastern corner of the island. A visit to the grounds is free year-round but admission to the Cottage Museum costs $2 per adult and 50 cents for children ages 3 to 12. During the summer, the museum and gift shop are open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. Consult the Campmeeting Association's website for more information.

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Hotels Nearby

  • Thing to Do
  • Hotel
Thorncroft Inn

Thorncroft Inn ...

  • 2.3 Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
Pequot Hotel

Pequot Hotel ...

  • 0.3 Miles Away
  • 3.0-star Hotel Class
Summercamp Hotel

Summercamp Hotel ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 3.5-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Martha's Vineyard »

More Best Things to Do in Martha's Vineyard

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Aquinnah Cliffs picture in Martha's Vineyard
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Oak Bluff Campground picture in Martha's Vineyard
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Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Edgartown Lighthouse picture in Martha's Vineyard
Museums, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Island Alpaca picture in Martha's Vineyard
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Flying Horses Carousel picture in Martha's Vineyard
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#1 Beaches You'll have your pick of beaches on Martha's Vineyard. From the protected, shallow surf on the northern and eastern coasts of the island to the big waves crashing ... Read more » Courtesy of Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce

#2 Aquinnah Cliffs The Aquinnah Cliffs  formerly known as Gay Head  is one of Martha's Vineyard's most-visited tourist spots, with bus and bike tours congesting the paved roads in the peak ... Read more » DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

#3 Oak Bluff Campground These extravagantly decorated summer cottages offer a quaint peek into the island's past. The grounds were originally occupied by 19th-century Methodists, who would retreat here in the summer to ... Read more » Kenneth Wiedemann / Getty Images

#4 Chappaquiddick Chappaquiddick became infamous for all the wrong reasons. In July 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy was driving a young woman named Mary Jo Kopechne home from a party in Chappaquiddick when ... Read more » D Allen / Flickr

#5 Edgartown Lighthouse For its relatively small size (100 square miles), Martha's Vineyard has its fair share of lighthouses. But of the five dotting the northern side of the island, visitors and ... Read more » William Britten / Getty Images

#6 Island Alpaca Company of Martha's Vineyard One of the more unique attractions on Martha's Vineyard, Island Alpaca is a hit with recent visitors for its friendly animals and well-stocked gift shop. Spread across 19 acres ... Read more » mgstanton / Flickr

#7 Flying Horses Carousel, Oak Bluffs Built in 1876, the Flying Horses Carousel is the oldest operating platform carousel in the country. The hand-painted horses, housed in a big red barn, have been carefully preserved; most ... Read more » MV Preservation Society

Beaches picture in Martha's Vineyard
Aquinnah Cliffs picture in Martha's Vineyard
Oak Bluff Campground picture in Martha's Vineyard
Chappaquiddick  picture in Martha's Vineyard
Edgartown Lighthouse picture in Martha's Vineyard
Island Alpaca picture in Martha's Vineyard
Flying Horses Carousel picture in Martha's Vineyard
Beaches picture in Martha's Vineyard
Aquinnah Cliffs picture in Martha's Vineyard
Oak Bluff Campground picture in Martha's Vineyard
Chappaquiddick  picture in Martha's Vineyard
Edgartown Lighthouse picture in Martha's Vineyard
Island Alpaca picture in Martha's Vineyard
Flying Horses Carousel picture in Martha's Vineyard

From the protected, shallow surf on the northern and eastern coasts of the island to the big waves crashing on the south side, the Vineyard's various shorelines offer a little something for everyone. Courtesy of Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce

The Aquinnah Cliffs, a National Historic Landmark, are made up of green sands, white quartz, black organic soil and other colorful clays.  DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

These colorful cottages were modeled after the elaborate tents, crafted by 19th-century campers. Kenneth Wiedemann / Getty Images

Recent visitors highly recommended taking a day, or at least a few hours, to explore the island of Chappaquiddick, located just a five-minute ferry ride from Edgartown. D Allen / Flickr

Originally constructed for Crane Beach in Ipswich, Massachusetts, this 1800s-era lighthouse was relocated to the Vineyard in 1938. William Britten / Getty Images

Spread across 19 acres, Island Alpaca features a herd of 72 Huacaya alpacas and one llama. mgstanton / Flickr

The Flying Horses Carousel originally entertained children and families in New York's Coney Island before being transplanted to Oak Bluffs in 1884. MV Preservation Society

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