Dog beaches are becoming more common in coastal communities. According to the New York Times, dog beaches and parks make financial sense, with nearly 90 million dogs in American households. Dog beaches and hotels are on the rise, so we did some digging, and made a list of the top 25 dog-friendly beaches in the United States.
Our Top 25 Dog-Friendly U.S. Beaches
1.) Huntington Dog Beach (California)
Canine heaven by the shore. Dogs can roam leash-free on 1.5 miles of California sand. One of the most popular beaches in the country, Huntington Dog Beach can attract up to 5,000 people plus their furry friends on any given weekend.
But if you’re worried about it being too crowded, Lindsay’s helpful Yelp review states, “There are always lots of people and dogs here, but it never feels crowded.”
2.) Hollywood Dog Beach (Florida)
Dogs can enjoy shallow water on a flat stretch of sand, leash-free of course. After enjoying the beach, feel free to wash your pup off in the dog wash station. “There's a long stretch of shallow knee-high water with soft sand and no rocks.This was the perfect place for my pup to lose his fear of the ocean and learn how to swim!” Natasha said on Yelp. Dog-friendly beaches are on the rise in Florida!
3.) Rosie’s Dog Beach (California)
Rosie’s Dog Beach is L.A. County’s only legal off-leash dog-friendly beach. Keep in mind with L.A.’s large population this beach tends to get crowded quickly. However, there’s a limit of one dog per adult on the beach. If you have multiple dogs at home, bring one of your human friends for an afternoon of fun, then head to one of the many dog-friendly eateries in Long Beach.
4.) Wildwood Dog Park and Beach (New Jersey)
This place was built specifically for dogs. There’s a large fenced area where dogs can be off-leash. You’ll also find agility obstacles and separate areas for smaller dogs. Once you see the giant red fire hydrant, you’ve arrived at Wildwood Dog Park and Beach.
5.) Cannon Beach (Oregon)
When it’s time for self-reflection, or just time to escape from the hectic world, this beach is for you. You’ll find scenic and breathtaking views of massive rock formations. If you want to extend your visit, Ocean Lodge caters to dogs with treats and a shower.
6.) Bald Head Island (North Carolina)
Enjoy subtropical climate and 14 miles of incredible beaches where dogs can run leash-free. Note that between May 1 and November 15, dogs must be leashed from sunset to sunrise due to turtle nesting season. You can also take the pet-friendly ferry in Southport which takes you to the island in 20 minutes.
7.) Fort De Soto Dog Beach (Florida)
This place is paradise. It has white sand, crystal blue waters and allows for off-leash fun. You’ll also find the Paw Playground, which has two areas that separate big dogs and tiny ones. There are also pet-friendly services that offer paddleboards and kayaks for rent.
8.) Coronado Dog Beach (California)
Right in the middle of pet-friendly Hotel Del Coronado and Point Loma’s coastal cliffs, this makes for a jaw-dropping view. It’s also the only off-leash beach on Coronado Island. The beach offers a rather calm surf, which allows dogs to paddle around confidently. The beach is open every day from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.
9.) Jupiter Beach (Florida)
Want to let your good boy or girl roam free on a 2.5 miles dog-friendly beach? Jupiter Beach is for you and your well-behaved dog. It’s a great dog beach year-round with waste bags located at every entrance, so remember to grab one!
10.) Baker Beach (California)
Located in San Francisco, this beach had to make the top 10. Bring your phones because you’ll take plenty of pictures while you’re here. The Golden Gate Bridge is visible and makes for an incredible Bay Area experience. Be aware that only the portion of beach located north of Lobos Creek is pet friendly. Also, Baker Beach is popular among nudists, so this may not be the place for children. The beach is open 24 hours a day.
11.) Bay View Beach (Maine)
Located in the corner of New England, this white sand beach is the ideal place for teaching your four-legged friend how to swim. Most of the year, dogs can roam free, but in the summer between July and August, they must be on a leash from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
12.) Double Bluff Beach (Washington)
Incredible views of Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and even downtown Seattle (on a sunny day) make trips to this beach unforgettable. Dogs can be off-leash and have many things to do (and sniff) while their owners experience the breathtaking scenery.
13.) Morris Island (South Carolina)
Morris Island’s beach is private and peaceful. The island is only accessible via boat. While there's no fence in the area, dogs are allowed to be off-leash to explore the miles of shoreline. If your dog is still learning verbal commands, it’s best to keep him or her on a leash.
14.) East Hampton Main Beach (New York)
This fancy getaway is quite a unique dog-friendly beach, but be wary of the beach’s rules and regulations. Be aware that dogs are not allowed on town beaches from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or village beaches from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from May 15 to September 15. Once you get on the beach, you’ll have epic background shots of the legendary New York area.
15.) Fiesta Island (California)
Dogs can roam free all over the island and enjoy different aspects of the beach. On one side, there’s calm water perfect for swimming near the bayside, then big surf on the beachside. Horses are allowed on the island as well, so keep a keen eye on your dog if they like to run ahead of you.
16.) Carmel Beach (California)
Dogs can roam free and play with all the tennis balls they want. The beach provides toy balls for all dogs who desire to play. Carmel-by-the-sea is a dog-friendly town, so stop by and allow your dog to roam as he or she pleases.
17.) Great Dunes Beach Park (Georgia)
This beach has various activities for humans and dogs to enjoy. More importantly, there are a whopping 25 miles of dog-friendly trails that weave around the island and will help you and your pup enjoy quality exercise time together. This dog-friendly beach is appropriate for the fittest of pups.
18.) Original Dog Beach (California)
The Original Dog Beach was the first beach in the country which allowed dogs to run freely off-leash, so it had to make the Top 25 list. Located in scenic San Diego, the beach stretches for a mile of leash-free fun for your pup.
19.) Driftwood Beach (Georgia)
Wonder how the beach got its name? Many driftwood trees surround the sand and give you unique photo opportunities. Your dog will love to run off-leash on Jekyll Island.
20.) Myrtle Beach (South Carolina)
This sandy beach almost always calls for a photo with the Atlantic ocean in the background. Dogs must be leashed here, and this beach does get busy. From May 1 through Labor Day, dogs are allowed on the beach only before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. However, dogs are allowed on the beach at all times of day from the day after Labor Day to April 30.
21.) Sombrero Beach (Florida)
Ease into summer vibes with your best friend on this sandy beach. Sombrero Beach also offers shallow water for your dog to play in. Additionally, free parking is available along with outdoor showers for humans and dogs.
22.) Cape Disappointment State Park (Washington)
Don’t second guess this place because of its name, because this beach is incredible. It’s secluded, and dogs have 27 miles to roam, albeit on a leash. There are seven miles of hiking trails, too.
23.) Agate Beach (Oregon)
Here you’ll find golden sands where dogs can roam free off-leash. One of the favorite local activities for dogs is digging for razor clams. Dogs can use their sense of smell and digging skills to help find you dinner!
24.) Del Mar Dog Beach (California)
Dogs must be leashed here from June 16 through Labor day, but the rest of year off-leashed pups are welcome to be leash-free. Listen to the Pacific Ocean and let your dog splash and swim his little heart out. Luckily, traffic in Del Mar is usually less congestive than what’s typical of California.
25.) Block Island (Rhode Island)
With 12 miles of coastline, Block Island is an incredible place for dogs to hang out. It’s only accessible via ferry or plane, but once you arrive, your dog can go nearly anywhere as long as a leash is on. Leash-free dogs are welcome here, as long as you pay the $5 tag to gain access to dog-friendly areas.
Keep Your Pup Safe at the Beach
Remember, not all dogs are natural-born swimmers. Also, dogs can get sunburned, and doggie sunglasses, sunscreen, and sunblock are options pup owners may want to consider for their dogs' safety. Accidents can happen, so make sure your dog has pet insurance coverage. You can get an insurance quote for your pup and find the right coverage for him, so you can both enjoy peace of mind while visiting the beach.
If your dog is receptive to verbal commands, up to date on vaccinations, and you have proof of the vaccines, dog-friendly beaches are fun for all.
By Daniel Farr, Petinsurancereview.com writer
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Summers, K. C. (n.d.). Best Pet-Friendly Beaches. Retrieved from https://www.travelchannel.com/interests/beaches/articles/best-pet-friendly-beaches
DogFriendly.com. (2020). Pet Travel Guides and City Guides for Dog/Pet Owners. Retrieved from https://www.dogfriendly.com