The 18 Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in the U.S. Part 2


Crystal Coast Beaches: North Carolina

North Carolina’s Crystal Coast is home to several dog-friendly beaches, including Emerald Isle, Indian, Pine Knoll Shores and Atlantic beaches. Your furry pal is welcome on-leash year-round with only a 20-foot restriction from the water in lifeguarded areas on Atlantic Beach. Grab a treat for your pup and a coffee for yourself at Muttigans, or for a cold brew on a hot day, head to The Growler Bar, where your pet can join you indoors. Plan to stay at The Atlantis, a unique vintage beachfront lodge. This pet-friendly property features a dog park and dog-washing station with Mane n’ Tail products to freshen up after a day of fun in the sand and surf.

Olympic National Park: Port Angeles, Washington

Washington state offers several active, outdoor pet-friendly destinations. One of these is along the beautiful coastline of the northern Olympic Peninsula. At Olympic National Park, you and your leashed friend can walk along windswept rugged beaches, hike scenic trails in the forest and have access to the campgrounds and picnic areas. Spend days outdoors in the fresh air and then head back to one of the park’s hotels, Kalaloch Lodge. This property is situated along a dog-friendly beach and features cabins that offer either views of the Pacific Ocean or forest. The property’s pampered pet package includes accommodations, a doggie bandana, gourmet treats, water and food bowls, and a waste bag holder complete with flashlight for late-night walks.

Fort Funston: San Francisco, California

You and your pet will appreciate this scenic locale on San Francisco’s southwest coast. Dogs are permitted as long as they are under voice command, but owners should bring a leash as well. Stroll along windswept beaches set beneath 200-foot-tall sandy bluffs. Then, visit other areas of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area to explore the park’s additional beaches and trails, some of which allow well-behaved pups to explore off a leash. In the city, dogs can frolic in 28 off-leash parks, such as Collingwood, which is fenced. Make a reservation at Hotel Nikko where the COO (“Canine Operating Officer”), Buster, will treat your pooch to upscale amenities like beds, bowls and treats. After settling in, check out the property’s rooftop dog run.

Dog Beach: Panama City Beach, Florida

Plan a trip to Florida’s Gulf Coast to enjoy white beaches and sparkling emerald waters with your canine companion. Dog Beach extends 400 feet along Panama City Beach’s coastline between beach access Nos. 56 and 58. This section is located directly across from Pier Park. Dogs must be on a leash, and the beach is open from sunrise to sunset. Nearby Frank Brown Park has a fenced-in playground where your furry friend can socialize and run free, as well as pet-friendly trails and greenways. For accommodations, plan to stay at the Sheraton Panama City Beach Golf & Spa Resort. Much of the resort is dog-friendly, and you can dine outdoors at Pelican’s and Flip Flops with your pal.

Coligny Beach Park: Hilton Head, South Carolina

This pet-friendly beach access point leads to one of Hilton Head’s most popular beaches. Dogs especially love to roam the shoreline when it is low tide and they are able to splash in the gently rolling surf. The beach is open year-round for dogs, but there are leash requirements from Memorial Day to Labor Day. During those months, beach access with pets is also restricted to before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m. The beach boasts amenities such as showers and beach chair rentals are available. What’s more, parking is free. Many of the surrounding stores and restaurants also welcome four-legged friends. Plan to stay at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa where your pup will have his own silver bowl, dog bed and treats upon arrival.

Keewaydin Island: Florida

This barrier island, located between Naples and Marco Island on Florida’s Paradise Coast, offers the only pet-friendly beach in the area. The island is mostly undeveloped and features nearly 8 miles of pristine white sand. Spend a day at the beach playing or relaxing with your pup. Keep in mind, Keewaydin Island is only accessible by boat. The Hemingway Water Shuttle welcomes pets and services the island from Rose Marina on Marco Island. You might even get to ride with the boat’s canine mascot, Captain Jack. Dogs must be leashed on the shuttle and the beach. For accommodations, stay at The Boat House Motel, located just minutes from the marina. This property sits along the banks of Collier Creek in historic Old Marco.

Jekyll Island: Georgia

Jekyll Island is one of the four barrier islands that make up Georgia’s Golden Isles, located along the southern coast of the state. The 10 miles of unspoiled beaches of this island welcome four-legged friends year-round, with just a few restrictions. Dogs must be on a leash no longer than 16 feet, avoid the dunes and follow the guidelines at the South Dunes and St. Andrews picnic areas. One morning, be sure to take a walk along the hauntingly beautiful Driftwood Beach. Other pet-friendly activities on the island include a boat ride with Jekyll Island Dolphin Tours (if space is available) and a spooky nighttime Trolley Ghost Tour. Both the Jekyll Island Club’s cottages and The Westin Jekyll Island are pet-friendly accommodations.

South Padre Island: Texas

This barrier island sits between the Gulf of Mexico and Laguna Madre Bay off the southern tip of Texas. It’s the only tropical island in the state with 34 miles of white sandy beaches, sparkling emerald green waters and more than 300 days of sunshine a year. Your on-leash furry friend is permitted on the island’s beautiful beaches, but make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations (and that you have records of them just in case). You’ll also want to bring plenty of fresh water and a bowl to refresh your pup during hot days on the sand and in the surf. One day, take a beach break for a dolphin tour with South Padre Island Dolphin Research & Sealife Nature Center. For accommodations, reserve one of the pet-friendly cabanas or condos at the Isla Grand Beach Resort.

Cape Cod National Seashore: Massachusetts

The Cape Cod National Seashore welcomes on-leash furry pals year-round, with some restrictions on beaches and other parts of the park. During the summer, dogs are permitted to pass through, but cannot remain on lifeguard-protected beaches. There are also locations where shorebirds nest and migrate at certain times of the year that are off-limits to pets. Marconi Beach in Wellfleet is one of the most beautiful beaches, but it’s best to visit with dogs in the offseason as it’s lifeguard-protected. Entrance fees to the park are $20 per car and the park is open daily from 6 a.m. until midnight, except on certain holidays. Pets are welcome to stay at the Endless Coast, a Boutique Hotel in Wellfleet.

Courtesy of USNews