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Nightlife in Oak Bluffs's insider take:

Oak Bluffs, particularly Circuit Avenue, is party central for the young and unruly—where college kids come to let off steam from their summer jobs driving taxis and waiting tables. Hordes of them congregate at Island House, a rollicking sports bar (11 Circuit Ave.; 508-693-4516), and Sharky's Cantina, a tiny Spanish and Mexican eatery where the tequila flows freely—although it's the larger and newer Sharky's location on Upper Main Street in Edgartown that's the most hopping place on the island (31 Circuit Ave.; 508-693-7501; Things can get pretty sweaty on the dance floor of The Lampost, where the live music includes reggae and rock bands (111 Circuit Ave.; 508-696-9352). When it's time to cool off, head for the string of outdoor bars and fried-fish restaurants (just a short stagger away) along the harborside wooden boardwalk known as Dockside Marina. However, the best bar on the Vineyard isn't on the Oak Bluff's harbor or main drag; it's the Offshore Ale House, a microbrewery one block over from Circuit Avenue, with excellent food, spirited conversation, live music, and great beer made in those big vats just above your head. Distinguished by the carpet of discarded peanut shells on the floor (it's known around town as the "peanut bar"), the Offshore Ale House also has an open kitchen that turns out sophisticated takes on pub food and wood-fired, brick-oven, thin-crust pizza—try the truffled variation (Kennebec Ave.; 508-693-2626;

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