When the weather is nice and the sun is out, it’s time to go to the beach! The only thing that can make a beach trip better is if you bring your doggo with you. And for those living on the east coast of the U.S., dog-friendly beach options abound!
We’ve tried to help make it easier for you to sort through these options by carefully selecting some of the best dog-friendly beaches for when you and your pup need a day of fun in the sun.
11 Dog-Friendly Beaches on the East Coast
Let’s dive right in and check out 13 of the best dog-friendly beaches on the east coast. We’ve also provided key details you need to know for each one.
1. Jekyll Island (Georgia)
About: If you and your pup are in need of a beach day during a visit to the Peach State, head on over to Jekyll Island. It has three dog-friendly beaches where you and your pup can run around and play along the shoreline. Best of all, the island offers tons of dog-friendly restaurants, including the Sunrise Grille.
Address: 711 N Beachview Dr, Jekyll Island, GA 31627
- There are several pet-friendly hotels on the island, including the Westin
- Dogs must be kept on a leash outside of the designated off-leash area
- You must keep your pet out of the dunes
2. Barrett Beach (New York)
About: Need a vacay spot in New York State? Grab your pooch and hop on the ferry heading to Barrett Beach on Fire Island. There are bayside and ocean beaches for you to enjoy where you can walk along the boardwalk, collect seashells, or just bask in the sun and relax!
Address: 120 Laurel Street, Patchogue, NY 11772
Phone: (631) 569-2100
- Dogs must be leashed at all times
- Pets aren’t allowed on the ocean beach during bird-nesting season (March 15th to Labor Day)
- There’s an added fee to take your dog on the ferry
Check out some more great dog-friendly activities in New York!
3. Folly Beach (South Carolina)
About: Folly Beach is an awesome destination for outdoor fun and relaxation in the south! Take a stroll along the beach and let your dog enjoy the sand and waves. You can also check out the scenic trails in Folly Beach County Park, where your furry friend can roam and play off-leash (in designated areas).
Address: 101 E Arctic Ave, Folly Beach, SC 29439
- Dogs are not allowed on the pier at any time
- No dogs are allowed between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM from May 1st to September 30th
- There are strong rip tides so be careful in the water (and consider putting your dog in a life vest)!
4. Bayview Beach (Massachusetts)
About: If your vacation plans include a stop in Massachusetts, you’ll want to check out the hidden treasures of Bayview Beach. A supremely dog-friendly spot, you can even let your dog play off leash here between October 1st and March 31st. Later, you may want to check out one of the nearby dog-friendly restaurants for a bite, like Sea Dog Brew Pub or Seafood Sam’s, or you could grab a cone at Cape Cod Creamery.
Address: 199 Bayview St West, Yarmouth, MA 02673
Phone: (207) 283-3139
- Dogs must be leashed from April 1st to September 30th
- Leashes can be up to 12 feet long (many other leash ordinances require 6 foot leashes)
- Leave your tents, kites, rafts, inflatable floaties, drones, and umbrellas at home
- Several birds nest there, so be sure to heed the posted rules
Check out some great dog-friendly activities in the Boston area!
5. Longport Dog Beach (New Jersey)
About: Looking for a dog beach that doesn’t have limited hours or require pups to be leashed? Well, you may want to check out Longport Dog Beach if you’re in the New Jersey area. A beach that goes by many names (including Somers Point Dog Beach, Malibu Beach and just plain ‘ol “Dog Beach” by locals), this pup-friendly destination is located at the Malibu Beach Wildlife Management area.
Do note that there are very limited amenities here, so plan accordingly. For example, there are no water fountains or trash cans, so you’ll need to pack in water and pack out trash (especially “used” poop bags).
Address: Ocean Drive Longport, NJ, US 08403
Phone: (609) 399-1412
- There are no garbage cans, so be ready to pack out your trash and dispose of poop properly
- There aren’t separate play areas for dogs of different sizes
- This is a very popular beach with dog owners, so be ready for crowds
- Be aware that this beach is popular with birds and birdwatchers
6. Rehoboth Beach (Delaware)
About: Considering an off-season vacation in Delaware? You’ll definitely want to check out Rehoboth Beach – a great pet-friendly, ocean-side destination.
Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach or boardwalk for most of the summer, but they’re welcome to enjoy both places from October 1st through April 30th. Take walks along the sandy shoreline, play fetch in the waves, and then consider grabbing a bite at one of the area’s dog-friendly restaurants, such as Dogfish Head Brewings and Eats. .
Address: 229 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971
- Dogs must be leashed on the beach and boardwalk
- No dogs are allowed on the beach or boardwalk between May 1st and September 30th
- You can also check out nearby Dewey Beach, which is also pet-friendly
- Save some bucks at one of the area’s many tax-free pet stores
7. East Hampton Main Beach (New York)
About: Looking for some fun in the sun with Spot while visiting New York? Check out East Hampton Main Beach. Rated the #1 beach in America from 2003 to 2013, this ocean-side location invites you to bring your woofer for a walk along the shore.
Leashes are required, and dogs are only allowed on the beach in the early morning and late afternoon during the busy season.
Address: 104 Ocean Avenue, East Hampton, NY 11937
Phone: (631) 324-4150
- No dogs are allowed on the beach from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM from May 15th to September 15th.
- You must follow the posted leash laws at all times, regardless of the season.
- There are several other local beaches to choose from, including Georgica Beach and Two Mile Hollow Beach
8. Downs Park Dog Beach (Maryland)
About: Looking for a dog-friendly beach in Maryland? Downs Park Dog Beach is a great spot for both humans and dogs. In addition to providing a great place for Spot to splash around, you can enjoy a 5-mile walking trail with your dog too.
Address: 8311 John Downs Loop Pasadena, MD 21122
Phone: (410) 222-6230
- Humans aren’t allowed in the water
- Kids under 7 years of age aren’t allowed on the dog beach
- Open daily from 7:00 AM to dusk
- Dogs are not allowed on the park’s pier
9. Myrtle Beach (South Carolina)
About: Don’t let the name fool you; Myrtle Beach is more than just a sandy shore – it’s an entire city. And pet parents visiting South Carolina simply must check it out.
There’s so much for you and your pup to do that boredom won’t even be a consideration! In addition to the city’s namesake beach, you and your pooch can check out Myrtle Beach State Park,, visit Vereen Historical Memorial Gardens, share an ice cream cone at the outdoor seating area at Bruster’s, or even charter your own pet-friendly booze cruise.
Address: 1200 North Oak Street, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577
- If you or your dog digs a hole, it has to be filled in before you leave
- No dogs are allowed on the beach from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM from May 15th to Labor Day
- There are tons of dog-friendly hotels and campgrounds in the area, including Ocean Lakes Family Campground
10. Wildwood Dog Park and Beach (New Jersey)
About: Got a vacation planned for the Garden State? You’ll definitely want to check out Wildwood Dog Park and Beach. A two-for-one opportunity, this location gives your pup the chance to splish-splash in the waves or enjoy one of New Jersey’s best dog park experiences.
Address: 3000 Boardwalk, Wildwood, NJ 08260
Phone: (609) 522-2444
- Dogs must be leashed at all times on the beach
- Four-footers are not allowed on the nearby boardwalk at any time
- Poop bag stations are located in the area (but bring your own just in case!)
11. Kitty Hawk Beach (North Carolina)
About: Kitty Hawk Beach is a great place for vacationing pet parents headed to North Carolina. Not only can your pup enjoy the sand and surf, but there’s even a dog park located here, where he can socialize with other sniffers.
You may even want to check out nearby Jockey’s Ridge State Park – home to the tallest living sand ecosystem on the Atlantic Coast. This park also welcomes (leashed) dogs, although they are not allowed inside the buildings.
Address: 101 Veterans Memorial Drive, Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
- From the Friday before Memorial Day to the day after Labor Day, dogs must be leashed between 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM.
- Well-behaved dogs can be allowed off-leash during other times of the year (they must be within 30 feet of the handler)
- Visitors are asked to fill out a registration form and show proof of rabies vaccination
Dog-Friendly Beach Etiquette
When you’re enjoying a day at the beach with your dog, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure everyone has a good time. A few of the most important dog-etiquette tips include:
- Keep your dog on a leash. Start by assuming your dog needs to be leashed until you get confirmation that off-leash dog fun is allowed. If you’re given the green light, it’s wise to still keep the leash handy. This way, you’re prepared to manage any unexpected situations that might arise and need your dog under control.
- Clean up after your dog right away. Carry poop bags with you at all times. That way, when your dog suddenly feels the urge to go, you’re prepared to clean it up right away and keep the beach fun and sanitary for everyone else.
- Keep barking under control. It’s easy to get excited on beach day, but try to keep your dog’s barking to a minimum so it doesn’t disturb others on the beach. This doesn’t mean your dog has to be silent, but be sure that he doesn’t just bork-bork-bork all day.
- Find a shady area. Spending the whole day in the sun can be dangerous for both you and your pooch, so make sure you have access to a shady area where you can take a break. If you don’t know where one is, bring your own (if it’s allowed).
- Avoid wildlife. Prevent your dog from chasing turtles, birds, or any other wildlife that lives near the beach. That’s their home and it’s best to avoid disturbing it as much as possible.
If you follow these guidelines and be respectful to the other guests and the beach itself, you’re bound to have an awesome day at the beach!
There you have it — our list of 13 of the best dog-friendly beaches on the east coast. Have you been to any of the beaches on the list? What was your experience? Do you know of any other fun dog-friendly beaches? Let us know in the comments below.