Looking for a doggone good time? How about a beach day with your furry best friend? Whether you and your pup need to cool off during the dog days of summer or are just looking for plenty of room to play and explore, there’s a dog-friendly beach for that!
If your dog was born to run, bring along a frisbee or a ball to play fetch. Maybe you would prefer a casual stroll in the sand, or just want to loaf around with your pal. We rounded up some of the best dog-friendly beaches below.
At each pooch-friendly beach, make sure to be cautious and courteous to pups and their owners. Ensure your dog is non-aggressive, socialized, and well-behaved before bringing it to the beach. Make sure your dog responds immediately to commands. Several of these leash-free public areas require dogs to be within earshot and eyesight of their owner at all times. Pick up after your pet and dispose of dog waste bags in trash receptacles to keep these beaches beautiful.
One last thing before you pack your beach bag — sign up for Pawp so you can have a digital pet clinic at your fingertips 24/7. We’ll go over some of the dangers your dog can encounter at the beach below. Whether there’s an emergency, or you just have a question, Pawp provides immediate access to quality vet care.
Did you know that 60 percent of pet issues can be solved with an online vet? Pawp is a pet insurance alternative that costs only $19/month and covers up to six dogs and cats in a household at no extra cost. So, regardless of your pet’s age, breed, location, and pre-existing conditions, your pets are always protected with Pawp.
Its licensed vets and pet experts can help you determine if an emergency vet visit is necessary, and if so, it will help pay for it! Besides being a 24/7 vet clinic, one Pawp membership gives you a $3,000 emergency fund for you to use once a year on one of your pets in case of a life-threatening emergency. They pay upfront at any vet clinic in the U.S. Unlike traditional pet insurance, there’s no copay, deductible, or credit check. But most importantly, you don’t pay it back.
For these and everyday questions regarding your pet’s health, behavior, or nutrition, it’s handy to have unlimited access to a licensed vet in your pocket 24/7! Say goodbye to unnecessary trips to the vet and expensive vet bills and hello to peace of mind.
1. Fort De Soto Dog Beach Park
St. Petersburg, FL
Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, Fort De Soto Park is made up of five interconnected islands (keys). In addition to two large fenced areas where small and large dogs can run free, it’s also home to its namesake fort.
Dogs are allowed anywhere in the park or on the beach on a leash and can be off-leash at the Paw Playground area of the beach. There are also doggy water stations so you can hose your dog off — drinking water is also available. Enter the beach from the far southwest corner of the dog park.
Fort De Soto Park features camping, fishing, hiking, picnic areas, and more. Careful around fishermen — the AKC warns that “dogs will gobble up fish bait – hook, line, and sinker before you know what happened.” If your dog does get hooked, it’s painful for your pup and your wallet. Luckily for your billfold, Pawp’s vets help you determine if your furry friend is in immediate need of care, and if so, they offer up to $3,000 in emergency vet bill assistance.
2. Jupiter Beach
Located in Jupiter, Florida, Jupiter Beach welcomes “well-behaved dogs and their conscientious owners,” to roam freely on the designated 2.5-mile stretch of beach from crossovers 25 to 59 running along A1A near Ocean Cay Park. Park for free along the coastal byway, or in the lot at the intersection of Ocean Blvd. and Marcinski Rd.
Pro Tip: Before bringing your dog to the beach, make sure it can doggy paddle.
3. Brohard Paw Park
Venice sits on the Gulf Coast of southwest Florida, just over half an hour south of Sarasota. Brohard Paw Park leads to the only beach area in Sarasota County where dogs are allowed. Featuring a fenced yard for Fido to roam free, the beach park is open every day from 7 a.m. to dusk.
Amenities include dog waste bags, showers, benches, and drinking fountains for both canines and their owners. Make sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean drinking water for Fido. We don’t want them lapping up saltwater — too much can be poisonous. But if they do, Pawp members can talk to a specialist to find out if it’s serious enough to warrant a visit to the vet.
4. Walton Rocks Dog Beach
Jensen Beach, FL
Jensen Beach is a beautiful town on Florida’s east coast. Walton Rocks Dog Beach offers 24 acres for dogs to romp off-leash in the sand and surf. It also features fishing, swimming, restrooms, and covered picnic tables.
On sunny days, remember to provide access to shade, and don’t forget the SPF for Sparky. “Hairless breeds like the Chinese Crested or even light-coated dogs can get bad sunburns,” according to the AKC, which recommends applying “sunscreen on the pink nose of any dog.” Think your dog might be sunburned? Pawp has vets and pet experts available around the clock to guide you every step of the way. They can answer any questions and help resolve serious issues.
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5. Coronado Dog Beach
San Diego’s white sand beaches are popular with swimmers, surfers, and sunbathers. One of the best beaches in San Diego to bring your pup to is Coronado Dog Beach. Situated on Ocean Blvd. across from Sunset Park, Coronado Beach & Dog Park is at the far North end of Coronado Beach, bordered by the U.S. Naval Station. Next door, beachcombers search the tidepools in front of the iconic Hotel del Coronado. Visit at dusk to witness the stunning sunset over the Pacific.
Leash-free year round, this dog beach is open 24 hours a day. Parking is free on surrounding streets, just be sure to keep your dog on a leash until you reach the beach. Bring Fido advises that “Coronado Animal Patrol maintains a zero-tolerance policy with fines up to $500 for unleashed dogs.”
Jennifer Stanford / Shutterstock.com
6. Rosie’s Dog Beach
Long Beach, CA
Speaking of SoCal, Long Beach, California, is home to Rosie’s Dog Beach. The section of the beach on Ocean Blvd. between Roycroft and Argonne avenues is not fenced in, but dogs are allowed to frolic and play off-leash between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. Metered parking is available at the Bennett Avenue lot.
Be mindful of how hot the sand can get in the summertime and plan your beach outing for the early morning or evening. If you think Fido’s feet have gotten fried, contact the experts at Pawp to find out if he needs to visit the vet or if you can take care of it at home.
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7. Fiesta Island Dog Park
San Diego, CA
Another pet-friendly gem, Fiesta Island is in San Diego’s Mission Bay Park. Dogs are allowed anywhere outside the fenced areas. According to the City of San Diego’s website, generally, “dogs are allowed on beaches after 6 p.m. from April 1 to Oct. 31 or after 4 p.m. from Nov. 1 to March 31. Licensed dogs are allowed on the beach, and on sidewalks and park areas near the beach, during the night and early morning hours until 9 a.m., but they must be leashed.”
Keep in mind that there are no restrooms. If your doggo doesn’t get worn out walking the 5.2-mile asphalt path around the island, take them on one of these 7 Fascinating Walks In San Diego.
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8. Huntington Beach Dog Beach
Huntington Beach, CA
Huntington Beach Dog Beach has been called the best-designated off-leash dog beach near Los Angeles. It even hosts a world-famous dog surfing competition each September! Amenities include drinking fountains for both man and his best friend, public restrooms, and a grassy area with picnic tables. Review the rules and guidelines before bringing your pooch to play in the sand and splash in the surf.
Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion. The AKC advises to “keep the weather in mind and limit the time your dog exercises when the temperature soars. Choose cooler times of day for play or training sessions. Always provide plenty of cool fresh water, shade, and frequent rest periods when it’s hot.” If you think your dog may have heatstroke, check with Pawp’s pet experts and licensed vets to see if it needs to be treated urgently.
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9. Fort Funston Doggie Beach
San Francisco, CA
If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to bring your mutt to Fort Funston Doggie Beach. Perched on the most western edge of The City By The Bay, Fort Funston is part of the 80,000 acres of land that make up the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Fort Funston’s 200-foot high bluffs make it one of the country’s premier hang-gliding spots. It’s also where you can find the peninsula’s largest remaining dune field.
If you don’t want to make the steep, strenuous hike down to the off-leash doggie beach (and back up), hike one of the paved loop trails instead. If you do decide to hike the bluffs with your pup, heed this warning from the National Park Service: “Please be advised that if your pet gets stuck on the bluffs, do not go after it, the risk of falling is greater for you than your pet.”
Surf undertow can also be dangerous. If the worst happens and your pup gets pulled under and nearly drowns — Pawp can help with the emergency vet bill in case it’s a life-threatening situation. Talk to their licensed vets anytime, anywhere!
10. Wildwood Dog Park & Beach
Located on the Jersey Shore, The Wildwood Dog Park & Beach offers the best of both worlds. Dogs can play off-leash in the park, or go doggy paddle in the Atlantic. Look for the giant fire hydrant sculpture between Glenwood and Maple avenues. Fresh water is available onsite.
Named one of the best beaches in the U.S. by our readers, Wildwood Crest is also pet-friendly (seasonally). See Wildwood’s visitor information page for details.
11. Deal Lake Dog Beach
Asbury Park, NJ
The quaint New Jersey town of Asbury Park makes for a fantastic day trip from NYC. Its mile-long beach attracts surfers, swimmers, sunbathers, and fishermen alike. Asbury Park Boardwalk plays host to everything from live music to miniature golf.
Deal Lake Dog Beach is also known as Bradley Cove / Dog Beach or 8th Avenue Dog Beach. Dogs are allowed off-leash on the beach any time between mid-September and mid-May. However, they are not permitted on the beach at all from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer. See the City of Asbury Park for more information.
12. East Hampton Main Beach
East Hampton, NY
Headed to The Hamptons with your hound? Dogs are allowed off-leash in the village beaches like East Hampton Main Beach anytime in the off-season. But during the summer, dogs are not permitted on the beach at all from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Add the water and air temps together to make sure it equals at least 100 degrees Fahrenheit before letting your four-legged friend frolic freely. According to the AKC, “When the water temperature is too cold, you risk your dog suffering from cold tail,” aka limber tail or swimmer’s tail. If Sparky’s tail loses its oomph after a particularly cold dip, Pawp members can talk to a licensed vet within just a couple of minutes to see if he needs to be treated.
13. Lake George Dog Beach
Lake George, NY
Lake George, a quaint town in Upstate New York, sits in the southern foothills of Adirondack Park. Running along the shoreline of the area’s eponymous lake, Dog Beach is situated between the Lake George Steamboat Company and Million Dollar Beach. Relax on the grass or sand leading down to the shore as your dog joins the others for a swim.
Keep an eye out for sneaky snakes and check your dog for ticks after a day outdoors. If your dog does get a tick or a snake bite, just pull out the 24/7 vet clinic in your pocket — Pawp — and it will advise you on what steps need to be taken.
LisaCarter / Shutterstock.com
14. Myrtle Beach
Myrtle Beach, SC
During the summer (from May 1 through Labor Day) most of the public beaches in Myrtle Beach are only pet-friendly before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. However, for the rest of the year, dogs are allowed any time. No matter the time of year, all dogs must be on a leash that is 7-feet long or less.
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15. Topsail Beach
Topsail Beach, NC
Dogs also must be leashed at North Carolina’s Topsail Beach, which is one of the best beaches to visit near Wilmington, NC. Between May 15 and September 30, any time a dog is off its own property, it must be on a leash no longer than 20 feet. In the off-season, from April 1 through September 30, dogs only have to be on a leash in designated areas.
Make sure to clean up after your dog. Disposing of dog poop immediately not only keeps beaches beautiful but also reduces the risk of spreading feces-borne illnesses. If your pup has sampled the deposits left by others, Pawp experts can tell you what to do.
Diana Daley / Shutterstock.com
16. Jekyll Island Beach
Jekyll Island, GA
Not only has Jekyll Island been a vacation destination for more than 3,500 years, but it’s one of our readers’ favorite beach towns. Located midway between Savannah, Georgia, and Jacksonville, Florida, this beautiful barrier island sits just off the coast of the Peach State.
Leashed dogs are permitted on beaches and parks year round. However, pets are not allowed to venture onto sand dunes or between the South Dunes and St. Andrews picnic areas.
Georgia’s coast has such a sand gnat problem that Savannah’s minor league baseball team was once named after the winged pests. Pawp experts can advise how best to deal with the insects when bringing your dog to the beach.
Deanna Oliva Kelly / Shutterstock.com
17. Montrose Dog Beach
Open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Chicago’s Montrose Dog Beach is located on the northwest corner of Montrose Beach. Please note that Dog-Friendly Area (DFA) tags are required for all dogs. While the tag only costs $5, it may not be worth it to non-local visitors to go to a Chicagoland veterinary office to obtain a permit and tag.
18. Kirk Park
West Olive, MI
On the other side of Lake Michigan, you can bring your furry companion to Kirk Park in West Olive, MI. About 15 minutes south of Grand Haven, this off-leash dog beach offers swimming, hiking, scenic views of Lake Michigan, and more. Do be aware, however, that canine visitors are only allowed between the hours of 7 to 10 a.m. and 6 to 10 p.m.
19. Buttersville Park Beach
One of Michigan’s most picturesque dog-friendly beaches, Buttersville Park Beach sits smack dab between Lake Michigan and Pere Marquette Lake. Mind the off-leash area and the water temps and you and your pooch will be good to go! Down the road, you’ll find a campground with picnic areas, restrooms, a pavilion, and plenty of places to take in the gorgeous sunset.
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20. Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach, OR
Northwest Oregon’s charming coastal enclave, Cannon Beach, offers miles of sand, plenty of driftwood pieces that are perfect for playing fetch, and gorgeous sunsets. This off-leash beach deems itself one of the top doggie destinations in the world. It even features a fireworks-free Fourth of July celebration and a Dog Show on the beach each October. Entry is open to all, and categories range from Best Trick and Best Bark to Most Beautiful and Longest Tail.
Tide pools teem with tiny creatures like sea stars, anemones, and crabs. If your dog gets clipped by a crab, Pawp members can video chat with a licensed vet within seconds, without having to wait or make an appointment. Keep your eyes peeled for raccoons, chipmunks, deer, elk, and bears while hiking down one of several trails in Ecola State Park or through the Elk Creek Nature Preserve. Pawp members who have concerns about their pet coming into contact with wildlife can talk with one of its licensed vets within minutes.
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21. Double Bluff Beach
Freeland’s largest waterfront park, Double Bluff Beach is located on Whidbey Island in Puget Sound. One of the best beaches in the U.S. doubles as one of the best dog-friendly beaches in the country. In addition to incredible views of Admiralty Inlet and the Olympic Mountains in the distance, the nearly 25,000 feet of sandy beach also features a grassy picnic area, restrooms, and an off-leash dog area. There’s even a doggie shower to rinse off before it’s time to head home. Just steer clear of the eponymous bluffs. Not only are they on private property, but landslides along the cliffs are common.
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