Dog Friendly Beaches - Top Ten in the USA

The non-stop obedience and unconditional love we’ve come to expect from our full time companions can be stressful. And although our companions never complain, they crave the sound of crashing waves, a good run or stroll in the sunset, tossing a Frisbee or football, the feel of sand beneath their paws, and playing chase with the waves as much as we do.
But, dog-friendly beaches seem to be tougher and tougher to find, primarily due to patrons ignoring leash laws and a few other common courtesies (such as scooping up poop, disregard of which can put a damper on a child’s sand castle or a runner’s high).

‘Dog Beaches’ to the rescue. These ideal escapes, where adults, children and dogs all play together, hold a special charm, and often special memories, for all of us.
Informal but extensive research by and Americas Best & Top 10 ( has uncovered ten dog-friendly treasure spots where you and your favorite furry pal can cut loose, as long as common rules of etiquette are followed:

#1) Fort DeSoto Beach, Florida -
Pet Friendly Rentals 

Dr. Beach judged this beach 2005 Best Beach in America and we voted best beach for dogs. Showers and drinking water are provided. Enter the front gate by the parking lot, take your dog off-leash, walk through the L-shaped park to the back gate. Go out the back gate, down a short sandy path and onto the perfect beach for dogs and people.


#2) Dog Beach, California - Pet Friendly Rentals

Doggie nirvana.  Your buddy will have tons of company at this popular spot near San Diego. In fact, people may be outnumbered. 

#3) St. George Island, Florida - Pet Friendly Rentals

No wider than a mile at its widest point, and located near renowned historic towns in the Florida Gulf, there is plenty here for man and man’s best friend.  

#4) Carmel City Beach
, California -
Pet Friendly Rentals

Only a short walk from the village of Carmel, the Carmel Beach is a beautiful and popular escape, with hotels and restaurants in walking distance. Other pet friendly beaches are close by, too.

 #5) Cape San Blas, Florida - Pet Friendly Rentals

Just 35 miles south of Panama City, but feeling as if it is worlds away, Cape San Blas beaches are peaceful, not overdeveloped; in fact, you can sometimes walk a mile or two in the off season without seeing another dog…or person.  The state park at the end of the cape was named 2002 Best Beach In America by Dr. Beach (a real person, not a doggie…but most doggies would agree).  

#6) Hunting Island
, South Carolina -
Pet Friendly Rentals

Doggie and people heaven on earth.  At low tide, the beach on Hunting can literally appear to be a mile wide, with tidal pools and remote stretches rarely found today. This State Park is located near the golf resort island of Fripp, and near Beaufort, SC.

#7) Fort Funston State Park, California - Pet Friendly Rentals

Fort Funston is a popular San Francisco dogwalking location. Most visitors walk the paved Sunset Trail, a north to south route on the bluff, and reach Ocean Beach via Fort Funston's northern section. Fort Funston's stretch of Ocean Beach is where you'll see scores of dripping wet dogs, romping across the sand with driftwood stick in their mouths.

#8) Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint, Oregon

If your pooch isn’t fond of windsurfing, no matter.  This windsurfers’ paradise will suit them just fine. Located just outside of Oregon State Park boundaries, south of Gold Beach.


#9) Ft. Fisher State Recreation Area, North Carolina - Pet Friendly Rentals

Just outside of Wilmington, NC, this beach allows dogs in all areas except swimming areas with lifeguards.

#10) Jekyll Island, Georgia - Pet Friendly Rentals

This island destination is loved by beach fanatics from all over the country; the fact that it welcomes dogs just adds to its appeal. On the Georgia coast.