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10 cool dog beaches worth planning your next vacation around

As summertime approaches and wanderlust starts to kick in, many pets and their parents flock to the beaches for some warm-weather fun. Not all beaches are welcoming to our furry friends, though, so it’s best to do your research before joining the masses of beachgoers across the globe.

Dog beaches have gained popularity in recent years, all thanks to the way people wholeheartedly love their pets. Fur babies make the best vacation buddies, of course, so why would you leave them at home? These ten beaches are wonderful examples of dog-friendly beaches that are truly welcoming to our four-legged companions — check them out this summer, or any time of year.

A girl and her dog sit on the beach while the dog offers her a high five
Image used with permission by copyright holder

What is a dog beach?

The first dog beach to gain popularity in the United States is the appropriately named Dog Beach — part of Ocean Beach in San Diego. On beaches like this, dogs can roam leash-free and play in the waves, while human beachgoers can surf, swim, and sunbathe the day away. If it sounds like paradise, that’s because it absolutely is. Luckily for dog owners, beaches like this are popping up all over the country.

What can I expect from dog beaches?

Although not all beaches are the same, dog beaches share a few things in common. Most obviously, dogs are allowed off-leash in designated locations, if not on the entire beach, so your buddy will have plenty of space to run and play.

Because they’ll be meeting other dogs, your pup needs to be up-to-date on all vaccinations no matter their age. You’ll also want to make sure Fido is wearing a secure collar with an easy-to-read identification tag — with your most up-to-date contact information, of course! Since you’ll be out and about instead of near your home, make sure to include a phone number in addition to an address on the tag.

A West Highland White Terrier runs and jumps after a tennis ball on the beach
rebeccaashworthearle / Shutterstock

10 of the best dog beaches

1. Dog Beach, San Diego, CA

As the original beach for dogs, Dog Beach is exactly what it sounds like: a place for both people and pups to get the most out of their day. Since this area is part of the much larger Ocean Beach, it’s cleaned and up regularly — though pet parents always need to do their part to clean up after their dog. Surfing, swimming, tanning, playing — this beach has it all!

2. 8th Avenue Dog Beach, Asbury Park, NJ

If you find yourself on the Jersey Shore this summer, check out this popular yet laid-back beach area. BringFido reviews praise the close restrooms (for people), many clean water sources, and the nearby bar’s “Yappy Hour”.

3. Fort De Soto, Tierra Verde, FL

A dog park on the beach? It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not. This popular Florida park boasts one of the few on-beach dog parks in the country, complete with clean water sources, nearby campgrounds, and two fenced-off areas for dogs of different sizes to run and play.

4. Huntington Dog Beach, CA

Huntington Beach as a whole stretches for miles of the Southern California coastline, but even the Huntington Dog Beach is spectacular. Your dog is allowed off-leash on the sand, and poop bags are provided on the beach thanks to donations and sales. There are drinking fountains, picnic tables, and all the summertime amenities you need.

5. Rodeo Beach, San Francisco, CA

If you’re visiting the Bay Area, your buddy can come with you to check out the Golden Gate Bridge! This dog-friendly beach is located less than two miles from the landmark, which makes it both picturesque and very popular. Do keep in mind that the weather can be a lot cooler here, so plan accordingly!

6. Haulover Beach Park, Miami, FL

Whether your dog prefers land or sea, this coastal location will be a great spot to stop. Four-legged friends are allowed off-leash on the sand during certain hours, but there’s also a grassy dog park just across the street.

7. Bay View Beach, Saco, ME

As one of the few pet-friendly New England beaches, Bay View Beach has everything you and your buddy need for a day of fun. Unlike other beaches, dogs are allowed 24/7—they do have to be on a leash at certain times though. Poop bags are provided, and the views are to die for

8. Jekyll Island, Golden Isles, GA

Although beaches on this island only allow dogs during certain times, the views and number of beaches in this area make it worth it. Whether you’re more interested in the sloping sands of Dune Beach or the spooky vibes of Driftwood Beach, your buddy will love exploring with you.

9. Dewey Beach, DE

This southern Delaware beach is both dog-friendly and famous for its history, so it’s a trip all members of your family can enjoy. With over 25 miles of coastline to explore, you’ll have no trouble tiring out your pup while enjoying the sunshine.

10. Myrtle Beach, SC

Though this beach is not designated specifically for dog use, you can bring your pup to this popular coastal location. Be sure to check which hours dogs are allowed on the beach and boardwalk, as this can change throughout the year. Even so, reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Remember — dogs must be leashed here!

No matter where you decide to explore this summer, you can be sure it’ll be that much better with your best furry friend by your side. What could be better?

Editors' Recommendations

Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
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