Oak Bluffs started out in the mid-19th century as a summer retreat by a revivalist church, whose members enjoyed a day at the beach as much as a gospel service. They first camped out in tents, then built some 300 wooden cottages, each adorned with whimsical filigree trim.
From bustling Circuit Ave, slip into the alley between the Secret Garden and the Tibet store and you'll feel like you've dropped down the rabbit hole. Suddenly it's a world of gingerbread-trimmed houses, adorned with hearts and angels and Candy Land colors.
These brightly painted cottages – known as the Campgrounds – surround emerald-green Trinity Park and its open-air Tabernacle (1879), where the lucky descendants of the Methodist Camp Meeting Association still gather for community sing-alongs and concerts.