Hitting the beach with your canine companion is a great way to relax and enjoy the summer season. Games of fetch,stand-up paddleboarding, swimming, and meeting new friends. Who could want more?
Not all beaches are dog-friendly, though, and many have strict restrictions on where and what you and your pup can go and do. Luckily though, there are beaches across the country that welcome canines and even offer special amenities just for you and your pup. We’ve compiled a list of the top five dog beaches in the US, so pack your beach bag and hit the road!
#1 Cannon Beach - Oregon
This beautiful beach on the west coast offers stunning views and lots of space to run off-leash. The only rule is that your pup stays within sight and responds readily to voice commands. If you want ot vist the tidepools, though, your dog will need to be on a leash.
If you’re looking for more festivity, every year around Labor Day there is a festival just south of Cannon Beach dedicated to dogs called Muttazanita. Events at the festival include fashion shows, fetch competitions, and talent shows. All proceeds from the festival are donated to animal shelters that rely solely on donations to operate.
#2 Huntington Dog Beach - California
If you’re looking for lots of sun and surf, check out the dog beach in Huntington Beach, California. This special section of beach includes 1.5 miles of sand you and your dog can run along.
Amenities include dog drinking water fountains, grassy areas with picnic tables, and restrooms for the humans. Although technically the city requires dogs to be on a leash, the area has been informally off-leash for several years and there is no problem as long as all dogs are well-mannered and respond to voice commands.
This beach also hosts special dog-themed events throughout the year including an annual Corgi Beach Day and dog surfing competitions. Open year round from 5 AM to 10 PM, it’s a great place to take your pup to relax and have some fun.
#3 Jupiter Beach - Florida
This beach in sunny Florida is almost 2 miles of off-leash, sandy heaven for you and your dog. Open from 6:30 AM to 9:00 AM every day, it’s a great spot to count on when you need some beach time.
Perhaps the most exciting part of visiting Jupiter Beach is when you are there for the annual Hang 20 Surf Dog Classic! This event is all dog with a bikini contest, “bark and brunch”, dog-focused vendor stalls and, of course, the dog surfing contest. All proceeds benefit Furry Friends Adoption, Clinic and Ranch. Whatever time of year you go, you’ll be sure to have a good time.
#4 Montrose Dog Beach - Illinois
Who says you have to be on one of the coasts to enjoy some quality beach time? Montrose Dog Beach in Chicago sits on the edge of Lake Michigan and boasts an off-leash fenced in dog romping area that’s open year round. Just be sure to get the city’s Dog Friendly Area tag that proves they’re up to date on all their vaccinations. The Montrose Dog Beach also offers a rinse area for you and your dog to clean up before you load up and enjoy the ride home.
#5 Bald Head Island - North Carolina
Admittedly this last beach is a little tougher to get to, but I think you’ll find it’s worth it. Bald Head Island in North Carolina is only accessible by boat, and you’ll need to hire a pet-friendly ferry to get there. Once you do, though, you and your pup will have 14 miles of beautiful, sandy beach to enjoy completely off-leash.
Did I mention that dogs are also allowed every day of the year? It’s dog beach heaven! There are some restrictions around turtle nesting season, when dogs have to be leashed at sunrise and sunset, but otherwise you and your dog have free access to the beaches and hiking trails.
Pick your favorite, get out there, and enjoy every sunny, sandy moment with your dog.