If you and your four-legged best friend have been wondering just how dog-friendly Martha’s Vineyard can be, we’ve got a treat for you. The island is a fantastic place to explore with pets, especially in fall and winter. With fewer visitors, more of our wide-open, scenic public areas are dog-friendly than in the summer. Unclip that collar and enjoy our five favorite places to play fetch in the off season.
Tradewinds Dog Park – Oak Bluffs
Tradewinds Fields Preserve, as it’s formally known, is a favorite among local island dogs and their owners. In fact, you just might run into Evelyn, our associate general manager and dog lover extraordinaire, somewhere along the 80 acres of trails and fields there. As long as you have effective vocal commands, off-leash adventures are welcome at this Martha’s Vineyard dog park. If you’re inclined to meet new friends (and maybe even pick up a local tip or two), visit between 8 and 9 in the morning or a little before sunset. Things quiet down mid-day.
Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary – Edgartown
These 20 acres just a few blocks from the heart of Edgartown are still preserved today thanks to the generosity of legendary Vineyard Gazette editor Henry Beetle Hough and his wife Elizabeth in the 1950s, with additional support from neighbors over the years. In addition to an on-site pond, trails at Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary offer fantastic views of Nantucket Sound, and they’re dog-friendly all year round.
Lighthouse Beach – Edgartown
This favorite Martha’s Vineyard attraction happens to be dog-friendly. Stroll five minutes north of downtown Edgartown and take the boardwalk down to this sandy area. You’ll have 360-degree views of Edgartown Harbor, Chappaquiddick, and downtown. If you want to make the neighborhood dogs back home jealous, this iconic Martha’s Vineyard lighthouse makes a great backdrop for Instagram pet selfies. During the high season from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Lighthouse Beach is dog-friendly before 9am and after 5pm.
Caroline Tuthill Preserve – Edgartown
Caroline Tuthill Preserve is a great place to bring the whole family, dogs included — its 150 acres include a self-guided nature walk with excellent birdwatching opportunities. Geographic features here, like kettleholes and high knobs, remain relatively unchanged since a glacier formed the Cape and Islands toward the end of the last ice age. You can bring your dog here any time of day, any time of year. The preserve’s entrance is about a mile from downtown Edgartown.
Joseph Sylvia State Beach – Oak Bluffs
Driving between Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, you can’t miss miss State Beach running right along the road. An extremely popular family destination in the summer, its soft white sand is nearly deserted in the off season. It turns into one of the most dog-friendly Martha’s Vineyard beaches — you can walk along the water’s edge for a full two miles. Like Lighthouse Beach in Edgartown, dogs are allowed here in the summer months before 9am and after 5pm.
Your Very Own Dog-Friendly Suite
Even with all of these dog-friendly Martha’s Vineyard parks and public spaces, it can be tricky to find lodging on the island that can accommodate Fido. Here at Vineyard Square, we love pets — you might recognize Addie, Wes’s Boston terrier, as the star of some of our photos. Each of our dog-friendly suites in Edgartown features a kitchenette, a queen bed, a pull-out sofa or futon, and direct access via our Winter Street entrance.