Are you and your furry friend planning a trip to Maine, Delaware, or another state along the East Coast? Perhaps you’re looking for beaches in your own home state and hidden gems you’ve yet to explore with your pup. We’ve got you covered. Check out our dog-friendly guide to East Coast beaches, including the best time of year to bring your pack and any relevant features or restrictions you’ll want to be aware of before heading out for a day of doggie sun and surf. (And if you’re taking a trip out west, check out our top dog-friendly beaches on the West Coast.
Before visiting any of the following beaches, please check to see if they are open to the public and follow your state’s safety guidelines.
Dog-friendly beaches in Maine
This sprawling park includes public facilities with picnic tables and barbecue pits for all-day fun. The shore is made of smooth pebbles, the water is cool and clean, and there are wonderful views of Camden Harbor. Don’t forget a toy for your pup so you can play fetch in the waves.
There are no fees for beach admittance. Summer dog-friendly hours run from May 1 to Sept. 30. Dogs are allowed on the beach from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Nestled in the quiet neighborhood of South Portland, Willard Beach is a wonderful sandy summer destination. With sweeping views of Casco Bay, this popular waterfront hangout is a great warm-weather spot.
There are no fees for beach admittance. Summer dog-friendly hours run from May 1 to Sept. 30. Dogs are permitted from 7 a.m to 9 a.m and 7 p.m to 9 p.m. Pups are allowed in the off-leash play area with leash on hand. No dogs are permitted on beach from 9 a.m to 7 p.m.
Dog-friendly beaches in Massachusetts
This sprawling and sandy beach is just 5 miles from downtown Boston and creates a wide arc of beachfront, providing the perfect opportunity for a long walk with your dog. Other activities might include playing catch, jumping in the small waves, or enjoying views of the Atlantic on a sunny day.
There are no fees for beach admittance. Dogs are allowed between September and March. There are no dog-specific hours.
Located on a preserved stretch of conserved peninsula, beautiful Nahant Beach offers acres of seashore for you and your pup to enjoy. There are picnic tables, recreational areas, and spectacular views of the open ocean. Take your more active dog and they’ll have a fantastic time working out all their extra energy in the waves.
There are no fees for beach admittance. Dogs are permitted in the later half of September to March and there are no dog-specific hours.
Dog-friendly beaches in New Hampshire
With sandy, off-leash spaces and plenty of other pups for your dog to make friends with, this beach offers a nice summer escape for you and Fido. There are places for picnicking, a bathhouse, and designated swimming areas.
There are no fees for beach admittance. Dog-friendly hours begin in the early evening and end in the morning on the Saturday before Memorial Day through the Saturday after Labor Day. Dogs can use the beach at any time during the remainder of the year.
This white sand beach is the perfect place for an evening stroll with your companion, but sunsets and calming surf are just a few things that make a trip to Seabrook Beach totally worth it. Bring your pup and discover what this lovely piece of shoreland has to offer.
There are no fees for beach admittance. The city beach allows leashed dogs from Memorial Day through Labor Day from the early evening until midmorning. The rest of the year your four-legged friend can join you any time of day.
Dog-friendly beaches in New York
Gardiner County Park
If you have an outdoorsy pup who doesn’t mind the mud or you’re looking for a little more nature, this park has a dog-friendly walking trail that leads to the beach. Make it an all-day trip; there are picnic tables near the parking lot, a grassy meadow, and even more to explore.
There are no fees for beach admittance, but keep your pup leashed during your trip to Gardiner County Park.
Looking for a pup-venture? You and your dog can take a ferry ride to Fire Island and enjoy an amazing day at Barrett Beach. That’s right, dogs are allowed to take to the ferry with you! So why not make it an all-day excursion? Your dog will delight in this beach that stretches on for miles with soft sand and seagrass.
There are no fees for beach admittance. Dogs can enjoy the beach from March 15 to Labor Day on Fire Island National Seashores. For the safety of your pet, the park’s resources and other visitors, your pet must be kept on leash and under control.
Dog-friendly beaches in New Jersey
Longport Dog Beach
Simply nicknamed “dog beach” by locals, this wide, sandy strip of oceanfront is a good place to bring more sociable pups as there are usually lots of other dogs for them to play with. Bring your pup if they’re happy to meet others and enjoy romping around in the waves.
There are no fees for beach admittance. Dogs are invited to Longport Dog Beach year-round.
Stone Harbor Beach
Hours during the busy season only allow dogs to enjoy the beach closer to sunset, so this beach would be a great place to enjoy an evening with your dog in the summertime. Stone Harbor Beach provides miles of clean white sand for you and your dog to explore before the sun goes down.
You will need to purchase a beach tag to gain access to Stone Harbor Beach. Dog hours are between 7 p.m. and sunset during peak season and all day in the off-season.
Dog-friendly beaches in Delaware
Fenwick Island State Park
Want to bring your pup to Fenwick State Park, but you’re worried they might not be welcome? Good news! There is a designated dog-friendly area at the north end of this beach, perfect for a day in the sun and surf with your best friend by your side.
There is a parking fee for Fenwick Island State Park, and dogs must be leashed unless they are in designated off-leash areas. This beach is open year-round.
Cape Henlopen State Park
Looking for a beach that also offers nearby camping, fishing, and kayaking? Cape Henlopen State Park is an outdoorsy paradise replete with hiking trails, campsites, and a white sand beach. Bring your dog this summer and discover more about this remarkable destination.
There is an in-state daily fee of $5 and an out-of-state daily fee of $10. Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach during the summer season. Park and beach hours are from 8 a.m. until sunset.
Dog-friendly beaches in Maryland
Downs Park Dog Beach
With an amazing view of Chesapeake Bay, this beach is small and secluded, making it the perfect place for pups to learn how to swim. There are plenty of shady areas to lounge in, soft sand, and cool waves.
There is a daily $5 parking fee to visit Downs Park Dog Beach. The beach is open from 7 a.m. to dusk and is closed on Tuesdays. Dogs within defined dog-friendly areas do not need to be leashed.
Quiet Waters offers two off-leash dog parks and a dog beach for your pup to enjoy. There are picnic areas and parkland, a playground, and a visitor’s center.
There are no fees for beach admittance. Dogs are welcome to join their people as long as they follow park rules.
Dog-friendly beaches in North Carolina
Extending for miles along the Atlantic, Freeman Park provides a serene backdrop for all your pup’s beach activities even if your only plan is to nap in the sunshine. You can also extend your stay by reserving a camping spot!
There are no fees for beach admittance. Reserving a camping spot must be done separately. Leashed dogs can enjoy this beach from April 1 to Sept. 30.
Kitty Hawk Beach
Looking for a less-than-ordinary beach day that includes more than just the beach? Kitty Hawk is located in North Carolina’s outer banks and offers marshland and forests with quiet nature trails. It’s a true summer destination when you’re hoping for the ultimate vacation spot.
There are no fees for beach admittance. Leashed dogs are allowed year-round. According to beach rules, from the Friday before Memorial Day until the day after Labor Day, they must be on a (maximum) 6-foot leash between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. All other times of the year, dogs must be on a (maximum) 12-foot leash. Dogs may be taken off their leash during the off-season only if they are controlled by their owners and do not disturb others. Owners must be within 30 feet of an unleashed dog and have a leash with them at all times.
Dog-friendly beaches in South Carolina
This public beach is simple and for that reason, it’s a perfect place to relax with your dog. There’s even an off-leash dog park nearby. The sunsets at Burkes Beach are fantastic. Enjoy an evening walk with your dog along the shore to take in all the beauty.
There are no fees for beach admittance, but there is metered parking in the lots. Leashed dogs are allowed before 10 a.m and after 5 p.m. The nearby, off-leash dog park is open from 6 a.m until 9 p.m.
Huntington Island State Park
Pristine beachfront, marshland, forests, lagoons? Huntington Beach has it all. You and your furry friend can experience all aspects of South Carolina’s natural beauty in the 5 miles of amazing and pristine landscape.
There is a $5 fee per adult, $3.25 for South Carolina seniors, $3 per child ages 6-15, and free for children 5 and younger. According to their rules, dogs are not permitted on the tip of North Beach past the posted markers to protect critical shorebird habitat. Pets are allowed in most other outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
Dog-friendly beaches in Georgia
Saint Simons Island Beaches
Tidal pools and a sandy seashore make Saint Simons Beaches a great day-trip destination for the whole family. Your dog will love splashing in the waves and you’ll appreciate the view.
There are no fees for beach access. According to their rules, dogs are prohibited on the beach from the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., except between Beach Access Points 1-6. During allowable times and in non-summer months, dogs can be on any portion of the beach but must be within close proximity.
Jekyll Island Beaches
The rambling beaches of Jekyll Island offers visitors a little piece of quiet serenity. Surrounded by the Atlantic, this island is one of the Golden Isles of Georgia Barrier Islands, and it sounds just as lovely as it is. Bring your dog to see how much there is to explore in the area.
A daily park pass is $6 per day. According to their rules, leashed dogs are allowed on beaches year-round.
Dog-friendly beaches in Florida
Walton Rocks Dog Beach
Who can say no to swaying palm trees and clear water? This off-leash dog beach was made for your pup to run and play where they can meet other furry friends and enjoy the beach just like their human. There is plenty of space for your dog to sniff and explore.
There is no fee for dog beach admittance. The Walton Rocks Dog Beach is open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. year-round.
Dog Beach of Hollywood
This dog beach is solely dedicated to pups, so be prepared to meet lots of other four-legged friends enjoying the sand and sun. The Dog Beach of Hollywood is a great location for doggos who love to jump in the waves for hours on end.
There is a $5 fee per day for each dog and a $10 fee per dog for non-residents. According to their rules, the Dog Beach is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. During Daylight Savings Time, the hours are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
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