Where people are taking their dogs to the beach...


As of September 2002 Chicago (illinois) has an official dog friendly beach with legalwater access at Montrose Beach.
Don & Meredith


We rented a house on North Beach in Hampton Beach (New Hampshire). Although it is dog-friendly off season, you can bring your dog to North Beach in the morning and late day...before and after the lifeguards take post. You can set your watch to it at night. As soon as the lifeguards go home (4? 5?) you all of sudden see dogs playing and swimming off leash with total glee. Our Vizsla is only 5 months but everyone got all extremely well....it seems responsible owners frequent this particular beach since that immediate area is primarily year round residents and not just tourists. Also, in Maine....Seapoint Beach near Fort Foster is dog friendly all the time. cheers,


Along Lake Huron, Burtchville Township Beach (Michigan) does not prohibit dogs. It is a very small beach but hey, at least it's a little sand and water for the pups. It is between Port Huron and Lexington almost directly east of Jeddo. Thanks,


Our favorite beach in California is Pfeiffer Beach on Big Sur. It is tucked into a cove backed by wooded cliffs. For those dogs who don't enjoy ocean waves there is a small freshwater pool fed by a mountain stream.


Fort Foster (Maine) has great beaches and allows dogs on the beach, and there is plenty of beach for them. Dogs must be leashed but there is a section of beach where everyone lets thier dogs run free. A great spot with picnic grounds and hiking trails. For the most beach time, go around low tide.


I have an addition to your list of dog friendly beaches on Lake Michigan.
Since late last summer, Chicago (Illinois) has had an official dog friendly area on Montrose Avenue beach. Located on the northern end of this beach, this large fenced area regularly hosts dozens of dogs and their owners. It's a great place for city dwellers to allow their dogs off leash, and is the only 'official' dog friendly beach in Chicago.


Was just browsing your wonderful site and wanted to alert you to "Huntington Dog Beach" in Huntington Beach, California. This is a 1-mile stretch which allows dogs off-leash as long as they're on wet sand or in the water. It's a wonderful spot; has been there for about 8 or 9 years.


One of the BEST dog beaches is Ft. Desoto in St. Petersburg....it is a State park and has about a 4 acre fenced in grassy area for pups..and o on the back side you walk out onto the beach...where the pups are allowed to run off leash..its FANTASTIC!! It's a beautiful white sand beach that is very wide and the back has dunes and sea grasses for the pups to play in. There is also a shower on the way out
Next in the middle of the city of Tampa on Davis Island is the Davis Island Dog Beach...It is near the Davis ISland Airport..totally fenced in..and while not the most beautiful beach...the dogs just LOVE IT!! IT also has a doggie wash.
Hope this information is helpful and will be included in your next edition!!


There arebeaches in Southern CA in Los Angeles County (Long Beach/Belmont Shore...www.hautedog.org), and also in Orange County (Huntington Beach).

And, I believe you might find more before you get south to San Diego
nowadays, since more people are interested in sharing time with their furry family members.


I actually got a ticket ($80.00) for taking my dog to the beach at Lundington State Park on Lake Michigan. I was along the road, no where near any controlled beaches. "But" I take my dogs all the time to Muskeygon State Park. The unoffical "dog" beach is on the south side of the park along the road. You have to climb over the guard rail and climb over rocks to get to the beach, but there are always people there with dogs. The beach is wonderful, especially at sunset. The best beach in Michigan for dogs is the Lake Michigan Recreational Area between Lundington and Manistee. It is a national forest area with a rustic,
but wonderful campground. You climb over a dune to get to the beach and there are two direction, one way for dogs and the other, no dogs.
So, everyone is happy. This shoreline is totally natural as far north and south as you can see and there are lots of trails for hiking. Nearby Manistee is good for ice cream and groceries. If you love to hike and swim with your pooch, this is the place.
Susan, with Georgia Peach (yellow lab) and Dolly (golden retrieve/husky.)


At Kohnler-Andrae State Park on Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, Wisconsin dogs are allowed on the beach NORTH OF THE NATURE CENTER. Pet waste must be removed and placed in trash containers - do not bury it in the sand.


Located just south of Venice Florida near the airport and situated on
the Gulf is a dog park with access to a stretch of beach that is
intended for dogs and their owners. While I live in Michigan, I have
used this park and was very happy with it's facilities including the dog

Flagler county on the north-east coast of Florida is a great place to take your dog. Dogs are allowed on the beach as long as they are leashed, and most areas are relatively quiet year-round. A few hotels even allow pets. One, The Topaz, allows multiple pets for a very resonable charge (I think $10 per pet, per day.)
St. Augustine is nearby, and dogs are also allowed in the historic district (as long as you pick up after them.) However, the downtown, historic district is ALWAYS busy and noisy, so only well-behaved and people-friendly dogs should go. There is also an old time photo (black and white pictures with scenes) shop downtown in an indoor strip-mall type area. The name of the place is Heritage Old Time Photo, and they are great with including pets in the pictures.
Hope this helps,
fellow pet lover, Ashley

the best time with dogs has to be on Cape San Blas, Florida, in the Panhandle between Panama City and Apalachicola. The whole area is super for dogs and people who want beach and not much else but the beauty. Leashes not necessary most of the time and most of the places, everyone cooperative on keeping it all clean and sanitary. Just great.

DAILY: off-leash, Dog Beach in Long Beach, Calif.; www.DogZone.org

There is a stretch of beach in Lewes, Delaware that allows dogs. You have to deal with all the fishermen, but it is still worth it!

I bought property (8 acres on a private lake) in Walton County NW
Florida- just so i could take my dog to the beach there!
I love going to Ed Waline Park off of route 30a, near Grayton Beach.
I do run into non- residents with dogs on the beach at times but
Ed Waline park is the least restrictive and only seems to have the ATF
sherrif driving around & checking registrations on weekends.
The park is great for parking and has bathrooms too!
Just thought i would pass this info on


Would like to share one of our favorite places!
Kaiser and Maggie


I live in Florida and I noticed the previous reference to Ft. Desoto Park. Yes it is nice and it is convenient but it is a far cry from the Ft. Myers beach area. First there are a number of beach front motels that allow guests with dogs. During the magnificent sunsets (Ft. Myers is on the west side of Florida on the Gulf of Mexico) you may find your dogs being teased in the water by dolphins just a few feet away. The sand is magnificent and the beach area is probably 4 times deeper than what Ft. Desoto offers. The entire beach (except for the pubic beach by the pier) is dog friendly - that translates into miles of dog beach. The dogs must be on a leash but only once have I encountered a warning when the dogs were running free and that was on a holiday weekend by a friendly beach patrol. At night the dogs love to run and chase birds illuminated only by the moonlight.

Now for the real treat - head further south about 10 miles or so from Ft. Myers Beach to Lovers Key state park and at the south end is a paradise of leash free beaches for the pups. I think it is actually a county beach at the end of the state park property.


You may encounter 2 dogs or 50 as they run and splash in the shallow water. My Aussies and Border Collie come home so trashed and covered with sand they are barely able to make it back to the car. Ft. Myers is probably the most beautiful area in Florida and one of the few truly natural areas left. I lived here over 15 years before I discovered Ft. Myers. It is also one of the most reasonable tourist stops and features many excellent restaurants.

Another place closer to Tampa is Honeymoon Island state park which is on the Gulf near Dunedin.


There is a daily fee but you can take your coolers, beach chairs and dogs for a day in the sun. One end of the island's beach is reserved for dogs on a leash. It falls somewhere in between Ft. Desoto and Ft. Myers as far as beaches are concerned. I don't know much about the Atlantic side of Florida's dog beaches - does anyone have any favorites??
Blueberry, Babe, Bambi (Doodle) and Jim

Jekyll Island s a dog paradise, dogs can stroll at all beaches. They are suppose to be on leash, yet the beaches are usually so empty, so dogs can run and catch some waves. My puppy was so tired catching waves. St Simon Island allows dogs a the beach too.
New Smyrna Beach has a nice dog beach, yet they sometimes fine you if the puppy is not on the leash.
Sanford /FL and Winter Springs FL have nice leash only Paw Parks, same has Venice FL.

Ocean Park, Maine (near Old Orchard Beach) has a very liberal policy regarding dogs: Dogs are banned only between 10am and 5 pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and there is no posted leash law. Many people bring their dogs first thing in the morning and then at sunset. The sand is soft, and my dog Anna loves to play in it!
Megan & Anna

There are many miles of open beach for dog owners to hike with their
precious friends along Bolivar Peninsula near Galveston Island. I raise
and show American Staffordshire Terriers and we often take one of two of
our 'kids' for long walks in the sand and surf in this area. With males
that get up to 80 pounds, we need lots of room for them to romp and this
area is perfect for us.Check out such places as the town of Crystal Beach
in Texas on the internet for images and more information of the area.

We have taken Oreo to RI beach twice now - pic attached.
It is called Watch Hill Beach in Westerly RI.
No restrictions during summer season. Spring season may see restrictions of all traffic for Plover bird nestings.
Dunes are roped off to protest grasses for rare Plover birds.
Lots of other dogs to play with. OK to take off leash to swim. Ocean side and bay side to the beach.
Its a nice time!
Lis and Joe

hello, great topic, thanks!
in North Carolina, Ocean Isle Beach (located approx. 12 miles from the NC/SC border) dogs are allowed on the beach ANYTIME between Labor and Memorial day and are also welcome during the summer months, but only after 5 pm... Of course they require that you leash your dog.
Its not a big beach, but they are somewhat dog friendly there...
I just thought id pass it along
happy trails !

Hi There
In Prince Edward Island Canada dogs are allowed on all public beaches, on a
leash in Provincial parks and not at all in National Park [figures]. I take my
dog to the beach at Tracadie Harbour and so do lots of others. On a Sunny
Sunday there might be 30-50 dogs of all breeds and in ten years I have never
seen a fight. It's always the owners after all, never the dogs.
William White

We have been visiting St. George Island on the gulf coast of Florida South of Tallahassee. There are many dogs walking the beaches. They even have poop bag stations along the way. Unfortunately, the East end of the Island is a national park and dogs are only allowed on the roads. That still leaves 8 miles or so of beaches to wander. Zev and I are looking forward to our trip in December. Steve

Hi there, I just came across your site and I think it's great!
I live in Toronto, Canada. I operate a small B&B / short stay rental
property on the shores of Lake Ontario. It's called " Boardwalk
Beachhouse." It's dog friendly and has a huge fabulous "off leash"
area right on the beach a stones throw from my home. I walk the
shoreline everyday with my two dogs and so do many other people. The
Beach area of Toronto is for dog lovers, most folks have a least one.
There are actually 3 great "off leash" areas along the 4 or so km. of
boardwalk! It's pretty amazing considering we are in the city.
On leash dogs are welcome everywhere. A lot of the local shops allow
dogs while you're shopping. They even offer treats or have water bowls
This neighbourhood is very dog friendly and the beach is beautiful!
People here pick up after their pets! ...generally.
My daughter is a professional dog walker so I have 4 legged friends
visiting me quite often......& love it!
If you haven't been here yet.....maybe you will come to Toronto!...and
bring your dog of course!

P.S. - I forgot to mention the names of the Beaches in Toronto.
Ashbridges Bay, Woodbine Beach, Kew Beach and Balmy Beach.
Fabulous!!...Dogs love it and swim everyday all year round!

Here in Lincoln City, Oregon we have pet friendly beaches that people and pets love to visit.
Mark Baete
Ester Lee Motel

Hey we just lived in AL for two years and took our dog to Fort Morgan Beach,west of Gulf Shores, just before the actual fort on the left. It was really pretty and natural W/O any hotels, restaurants, and few beach homes. The sign says to keep your dog on a leash, but we never did and nobody asked us to. It is pretty secluded and never crowded so we just let our dog run around all day, she loved it! Just to let yall know!-Elizabeth

Rockport beaches become very dog friendly from October through May, and not enforce in the evenings. Some of the beaches are even lit up. It's a blast, like a dog party on the many Rockport and Gloucester beaches off season.

Great site! I see that Cape San Blas, in NW Florida is listed and that is the most TERRIFIC beach there ever was for dogs. The Air Force owns five miles of it and it is totally deserted. We camped down there for five year, had our dogs leash free for miles of fun and were never questioned. The common courtesy however, which is almost always followed, is that when you see another dog person or just people walking without dogs, that you then leash your dog until you have passed them. The LAW of Gulf County says "dogs must be leashed on the beach". However, I actually had a Sheriffs car pass me with my two Border Collies loose, and wave and say "have a nice day" ..
The past two years I have camped at Indian Pass Campground, about eight miles down the beach from Cape San Blas. The exact same is true at Indian Pass, because it is still in Gulf County. However, though very lucky to be able to unleash my dogs, there are lots more houses on the beach here, and you often risk dogs flying down the steps of a house at you unexpectedly. So only completely under control dogs that are in no way dog-aggressive should be loose at Indian Pass Beach.

They have an awesome beach called "dog beach" in FT Monroe in Norfolk, VA. The are planning on closing the base- so it will be available for public access pretty soon.

Travelers may want to take a day to stop at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis
Maryland. There is hiking, biking, canoeing, kayaking, children play areas, gated dog play areas for both big and small dogs. But, most important of all, there is a dog beach and there is a nice rinse off station to rinse your pooch after a rewarding swim in the South River! All of this for a $5.00 entrance fee to the park. So, grab a picnic lunch and make a day of it!

We just love Cape Cod.. particularly Provincetown National Seashore at Herring Cove Beach.
We vacation in this area every year and it is fantasticly dog friendly.   We spend the day at the beach with our Weimaraner Pup Thor in tow.  He loves to dig a hole in the cool sand under the umbrella and take a nap with Dad.  On beach BBQ's are allowed so you bet Thor is always ready for a 'hot dog" or two.  Swimming in the ocean is a breeze here.  The rule is dogs allowed 24/7 on a leash.  Looooooooooong leashes are seen quite often around here.  In the cool evenings the people leave the area and if you pick an isolated spot the rangers tend to turn an eye to off leash dogs.  Just make sure you are far way from people.
About a mile away from the far end of the parking lot area is a wonderful lighthouse surrounded by tidepools galore.  Doggie heaven.  I am attaching a photo of Thor sniffing out a crab in the water during our last vacation.
We just love this place.  The main street in Provincetown is also commercial street.  A 3 mile stretch of sidewalks and stores.  The nightlife here is interesting and the favorite local pastime is people watching.  This is also a great place to walk and walk with your dog.  In this area there is also several park trails such as Beech Forest which is a 2 mile loop around a pond.  Camping is nearby which is also dog friendly even for tent campers.

Can you tell from these pictures that Desdemona had the time of her life playing in the sand and surf in Waves, NC?

Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland
It offers two large fenced in areas for small/large dogs and a private dog beach.
Entry to the park is $5 per car or $25 per season.

On beautiful Cape San Blas, on Gulf of Mexico, in Florida's panhandle, dogs are allowed on the beach.   Cape San Blas beaches were named number 1 beach in the USA in 2002 by Dr Beach.  There are a lot of pet-friendly accommodations which you can rent. 

I have taken my dog(s) to the Outer Banks of North Carolina two different times some years apart.  The last time I was there was May 2005.  We have always rented houses and have had no trouble finding plenty of oceanfront houses to choose from.  We stayed in the town of Duck, NC the last time.  It has the advantage of a walking path by the road if you want a change of pace from walking the beach.  I was amazed at the variety and amount of wildlife that was to be found right in town on early morning and dusk walks.  The first time we took a dog to the beach we stayed in Avon, NC which is nice too.  CAUTION !!  Be sure to check the rules for each separate town and/or beach area.  They have very specific times that dogs are allowed.  Some areas do not allow them and some are very liberal about dogs.  Please remember that summer on the beach can be VERY HOT for both you and your dog. Don't forget to at least rinse your dog after he has finished his dip in the ocean.  Unless your dog is a seasoned, experienced ocean swimmer, I would suggest keeping him very close to shore and on a leash attached to a harness.  Ocean currents are very powerful.  North Carolina has other walking/hiking opportunities nearby, but I can never pry myself off the beach to enjoy them. 
Happy Hiking !

Just wanted to let you know that there are two beaches in Anne Arundel County Maryland that are for dogs only.  They are Downs Park and Quite Waters Park.  Both allow dogs to swim in the Chesapeake Bay.  Quite Waters is also located near historic downtown Annapolis.

We like to take our dog to breezy point, its the end of the rockaways closest to coney island in brooklyn. you must exit before the rockaways and drive all the way down to the fisherman's parking lot. If you have a 4x4 you can drive out onto the sand. Otherwise it is a very nice beach and a nice walk out to it.

We travel with our dogs in our motor home. We have visited many beaches all through the country. Those that allow dogs and those that are not posted to prohibit dogs but allow them on leashes.
The BEST beach we have ever been to and continue to return to is Coronado Dog Beach located on Coronado Island, San Diego County California. This is truly a dog friendly, off the leash dog beach. There are no time restrictions and plenty of doggie bag stations with trash cans placed on the way to the beach. Visitors are asked to pick up after their pets and most comply.
Treat your best friend and yourself to this wonderful beach where the summer water temp. is generally in the high 60's to the low 70's and the waves break gently on the shore. You will not regret nor forget the time spent here.

I just wanted to let you know about our favorite vacation spot to take our pups!!
Topsail Island!!
It is a little island in North Carolina, between Wilmington and Myrtle.  It is the most fabulous place.  Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round and all day long.  It is very quiet there, a perfect getaway to relax with your best friend.
Check it out!!!
Thanks for all the info!!

Coco Plum Beach in Marathon, FL is much more dog friendly than Sombrero Beach. In Islamorada, Founders Park has a dog friendly portion with a small jetty that does can swim from. Also, on the Gulf coast, you didn't mention the dog park in Venice which also has a wonderful beach.

Cape San Blas near Panama City is a great place to take dogs to the beach in Florida & Flagler Beach, Florida is another nice beach for dogs.

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