When it comes to pet-friendly beaches, you’ve got to know your way around Martha’s Vineyard. Each town has its own rules, which can differ across its beaches. Then there are the beaches that are part of Martha’s Vineyard Landbank and The Trustees of Reservations properties and state and county parks, again, each with their own regulations. Here we’ll unwind it all for you.

Pet Regulations for Martha’s Vineyard Town Beaches
Town of Aquinnah Beaches
Between May 15 and September 15, only Lobsterville Beach allows on-leash pets. Pets are not allowed on West Basin Beach, Moshup Beach, or Philbin Beach. Off season, pets on leash are welcome at all beaches.

Town of Chilmark Beaches
On Menemsha Public Beach, you can enjoy the waves with your pet on leash from May 15 to September 15. Pets are not permitted on Lucy Vincent Beach and Squibnocket Beach (both of these are resident-only beaches, or for those who are renting locally); however, off season the regulation isn’t enforced and your pet can go off leash.

Town of Edgartown Beaches
Pets are not permitted on South Beach.

Town of Tisbury Beaches
Pets are not permitted on any of the beaches; these include: Lake Tashmoo Beach, Owen Park Beach, Vineyard Haven Harbor Beach, and Tisbury Town Beach.

Oak Bluffs Town Beach
From May 15 to September 15, you and your dog can enjoy the surf off leash before 8 a.m. or after 5 p.m. Off season there is no time restriction.

Lambert’s Cove Beach
West Tisbury, MA
Between May 15 and September 15, dogs are permitted off leash on this residents-only beach leash before 10 a.m. or after 6:30 p.m. (your dog must be kept on leash until on the beach). Before doing so, you must get a permit ($5) from the Parks & Rec shed located at the West Tisbury School (open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. Off season there is no time restriction or permit requirement.

Pet Regulations for Other Martha’s Vineyard Beaches
Chilmark Pond Preserve
South Road
Chilmark, MA
This beautiful Martha’s Vineyard Landbank property offers views of Chilmark Lower Pond and the Atlantic Ocean. You and your pooch are welcome to enjoy the barrier beach there off leash during the off-season, Labor Day through Memorial Day; otherwise, pets are not permitted on the beach. You can explore the upland areas of the preserve with your pet on leash April 1 through August 31 and off leash during the off-season.

Great Rock Bight Preserve
North Road
West Tisbury, MA
This Martha’s Vineyard Landbank property includes grasslands, wetlands, a heart-shaped pond, and a seaside bluff that towers over a sandy cove. Pets are not permitted on the preserve April 1 through July 1; otherwise, your pet can accompany you on leash before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m.

Eastville Point Beach
Oak Bluffs & Tisbury, MA
A popular place for harbor watching or to watch the sun go down, the 5.2 acres of this county beach run along the Vineyard Haven outer harbor. From April 1 to May 14, pets are not allowed within 100 yards of posted nesting habitat areas. The prohibition is enforced throughout the nesting season, which generally lasts from the beginning of April through the end of August. The Recreation Department will remove the signs as soon as possible after nesting is concluded. From May 15 to August 30, pets are not allowed within 100 yards of posted nesting habitat areas, and are not allowed on the beach between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. From September 1 to September 15, pets not allowed on the beach between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. From September 16 to March 30, there are no restrictions.

Joseph Sylvia State Beach
Edgartown & Oak Bluffs, MA
This 104-acre park includes shoreline along Nantucket Sound as well as Sengecontacket Pond. Pets are prohibited April 1 to August 31. For the month of September, pets are not allowed on the beach between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. From October 1 to March 31, there are no restrictions.

Norton Point Beach
Katama Road
Edgartown, MA
This narrow 2.5-mile-long barrier beach used to connect Edgartown to Chappaquiddick until 2007, when a storm broke through and created a channel between Katama Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. From April 1 to May 14, pets are not allowed within 100 yards of posted nesting habitat areas. The prohibition is enforced throughout the nesting season, which generally lasts from the beginning of April through the end of August. The Recreation Department will remove the signs as soon as possible after nesting is concluded. From May 15 to August 30, pets are not allowed within 100 yards of posted nesting habitat areas, and are not allowed on the beach between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. From September 1 to September 15, pets not allowed on the beach between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. From September 16 to March 30, there are no restrictions.

Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge
Chappaquiddick, MA
This 1,000-acre refuge, accessible only by boat, offers seven miles of barrier beach, a salt marsh, salt pond, and The Cedars, a grove of hundred-year-old red cedars. At its northern edge is Cape Poge Lighthouse. Pets on leash are allowed throughout the refuge.

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