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Dog Friendly Beaches in Massachusetts (MA)

Some dogs love the water as much as people do, but dogs are not allowed on many beaches due to safety concerns. However, we found dog friendly beaches in Massachusetts (MA) that you both can enjoy.

A few things to keep in mind when taking your dog to the beach

  • As you go through the list below, you will find that many beaches in Massachusetts are only dog friendly in the off-season. We have indicated which Massachusetts beaches are dog friendly during the summer with the following sign to make it easier for you.
Yellow circle with green paw print to indicate which beaches in Massachusetts (MA) is Dog Friendly
  • Another thing you need to keep in mind, is that dog friendly does not necessarily mean they can be off-leash. Most Massachusetts dog friendly beaches still require your pup to be on a 6-foot leash, which may take away from the fun of frolicking in the sun and sand.
  • It’s important for everyone that you clean up after your dog when on the beach (really you should do it everywhere). Pet Waste can contribute to health risks to both you and your dog. In addition, bacteria from pet waste found in the water can contribute to beach closures.

To learn more about the health risks pet waste can cause, please check out this Pet Waste and Bathing Beaches Brochure from www.mass.gov

Goldendoodle walking on beach with title "Dog Friendly Beaches in Massachusetts (MA)" - from Happyoodles.com
  • The last thing to think about is that not all dogs can swim or like even like the water. Before bringing your dog to the beach, find a quieter body of water to test out their swimming abilities.

Dog Safety Tips for the Beach

Keeping your dog safe on a trip to the beach should be a priority.  Here are a few tips to help keep your dog safe. This is not a comprehensive list. Remember to use your best judgement.

  • Before taking your dog anywhere they may be off leash make sure they have a strong recall.  This means the second you call them they return to you.
  • Watch for overheating in your dog. This can lead to a heatstroke.
  • Apply dog safe sunscreen to your dog in areas that the fur does not cover, like their nose, and ears.
  • Make sure to bring plenty of fresh water to the beach for both you and your dog.  Dogs should not drink sea water or water in ponds or puddles.
  • Pay attention to any flags or warning in the area. Warnings can cover an assortment of issues, like rough surf, undertows or even sharks.
  • Watch your dog carefully to make sure they do not eat something they shouldn’t, like sand, garbage, or sea animals.
  • Check the sand before allowing your dog on it.  Hot sand can burn paw pads.
  • Watch out for sea life that could hurt your pup like, jellyfish or stingrays.
  • Consider taking your dog in the morning or early evening to avoid the heat of the day.

Note: Please confirm that dogs are still allowed and when they are allowed, prior to visiting any of these beaches. We have provided links for the beaches and phone numbers where we could.

Information listed here is subject to change without notice. While we strive to insure accuracy on Happyoodles.com, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Pictures in this post may not be the same areas as the ones dogs are allowed.

Two dogs playing in surf at beach - Dog Friendly Beaches Massachusetts
Rexhame Beach in Marshfield, Massachusetts

Dog Friendly Beaches in Massachusetts (MA)

Dog Friendly Beaches near Boston, Massachusetts (MA)


1. Carson Beach – Boston, Massachusetts

Location: 165 Harbor Walk, Boston, MA 02125

Phone: (617) 727-5290

Carson Beach is a wide beach overlooking the Old Harbor Bay. It’s not ocean front so waves should be less strong. The beach has a lot of pebbles and shells, plus there are reports of glass, plastics and other trash that was left behind.

Dog policy: Dogs are not allowed on the beach from May 1 to September 15.

Cost: Free

Amenities: Restrooms may be closed off-season.

Parking: Free Parking in lot near Fort Independence and metered street parking along the beach.


2. Castle Island Beach – Boston, Ma

Location: 2080 William J Day Blvd, South Boston, MA 02127

Phone: (617) 727-5290

Castle Island Beach is located on Castle Island in South Boston. Castle Island is a recreational park that is best known for Castle Williams also known as Fort Independence.

There are two small sand beaches on the island. One is right near the parking lot. For the other you need to walk towards the Castle Island Playground on Head Island Causeway.

Dog policy: Dogs are not allowed on the beach from May 1 to September 15.

Cost: Free

Amenities: Restrooms may be closed off-season.

Parking: Free Parking in lot near Fort Independence.


Seashore at Quincy, MA
Seashore at Quincy MA

3. Savin Hill and Malibu Beach – Dorchester, MA

Location: 68 Denny St, Dorchester, MA 02125

Phone: (617) 727-5290

Savin Hill and Malibu Beach is just a short drive from Boston. Both beaches are located in the Dorchester Bay Basin. Beaches are narrow with vegetation along the shore in some places.

Dog policy: Dogs are not allowed on the beach from April 1 to September 15.

Cost: None

Amenities: Restrooms may be closed off-season.

Parking: Free parking is available in nearby lot.


4. Squantum Point Park – Quincy MA

Location: 332 Victory Road, Quincy MA

Phone: (617) 727-5290

Squantum Point Park is a former airfield that was turned into a waterfront park. This is not a swimming beach, but there is a beach where dogs can enter the water. The beach is about a half mile from the parking lot. There is an unpaved trail that leads you to it. Just take one of the paths from the trail to the beach. You can find the trail at the corner of the parking lot near the water.

Dog policy: Dogs on leash allowed in park, though most people seem to allow their dogs to go off leash.

Cost: None

Amenities: None near the beach.

Parking: Large parking lot.


If you are looking for dog friendly vacation ideas check out our post Dog Friendly Island Vacation Ideas in the USA

Dog Friendly Mass Ipswich Massachusetts Boardwalk
Boardwalk in Ipswich

Dog Friendly Beaches – Northern Coast of Massachusetts (MA)

This section features dog friendly beaches north of Boston Massachusetts.


Yellow circle with green paw print to indicate which beaches in Massachusetts (MA) is Dog Friendly

5. Doggie Beach in Nahant, Mass

Location: 95 Nahant Rd, Nahant, MA 01908

Phone: (781) 595-0063

Doggy Beach is not an official beach. Therefore, you will not see a sign for the beach and finding the entrance is a bit hard. Doggy Beach is on the bay side opposite of the causeway from Nahant Short Beach. On a nice day you may find a lot of off-leash dogs here.

If you are driving there you will need to walk down from the Nahant Beach Reservation Parking lot and look for a path over the dunes. It can be up-to a mile walk depending on where you parked.

There are a few paths over the dunes to get to the beach, but if you take the first one you will also need to climb over some large rocks.

Dog policy: As I stated above Doggy Beach is not an official beach, but there are signs near Doggy Beach states that “Dogs must remain on leash until they get to the beach.” There is not an official website for the Doggy Beach to confirm the rules. It appears that people go to this beach with their dogs year-round.

Nahant Beach Reservation does not allow dogs on the beach April 1 to Sep. 15.

Cost: Daily parking fees at Nahant Beach parking lot are collected 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. (May 14 – October 31). Out of state residents pay a higher rate than in-state residents. No cost to walk on beach.

Amenities: None

Parking: The only parking is at Nahant Beach Parking. Street parking is prohibited and you may get towed.


Dog Friendly Beaches in Mass Gloucester Massachusetts
Gloucester, Massachusetts

6. Singing Beach – Manchester by the Sea, Mass.

Location: 119 Beach St, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA 01944

Phone: 978-526-2019; Summer Phone: 978-526-7276

Singing Beach gets its name from the sound the sand makes when you walk on it. It’s less like singing and more like squeaking, but it’s unique either way. The beach is about half a mile long and fairly wide. It faces the ocean directly so the waves can be strong.

Dog policy: The dog policy at Singing Beach is extensive.

  • Dogs are permitted on Singing Beach October 15 – April 15.
  • You must clean up after your dog.
  • Dog owners must maintain effective verbal control of their dogs and always be able to see their dogs when they are off-leash.
  • Dogs must wear a collar with identification at all times and be licensed and vaccinated.
  • An owner is personally liable for any damage or injury his dog inflicts or sustains.
  • Each person is limited to a maximum of two dogs.
  • Violators of these rules are subject to removal from the beach as well as fines which increase with each offense.

Cost: None. Walk on fees are required in-season but not during the off-season when dogs are allowed.

Amenities: Restrooms are closed during the off-season


Dog Friendly Beaches Massachusetts Crane Beach
Crane Beach

Yellow circle with green paw print to indicate which beaches in Massachusetts (MA) is Dog Friendly

7. Crab Beach – Gloucester, MA

Location: 109 Western Ave, Gloucester, MA 01930

Small, rocky beach next to the Blynman Canal in Gloucester, Ma. Dogs allowed off-leash all year. Dogs must be well-behaved, under voice control and cleaned up after.

Dog policy: “Dogs are allowed on “Crab Beach” off-leash at all times subject to the conditions contained in GCO Sec. 4-16a“.

Cost: None

Amenities: None

Parking: Available near the Gloucester Dog Park on the opposite side end of the park.


Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester
Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester

8. Good Harbor Beach – Gloucester, MA

Location: 99 Thatcher Rd, Gloucester, MA 01930

Dog policy: Dogs are not allowed on Good Harbor Beach from April 1—September 30. From October 1 to March 31 annually, they may be off-leash on even-numbered days of the month.


9. Wingaersheek Beach – Gloucester, MA

Location: 222R Atlantic St, Gloucester, MA 01930

Large, sandy beach with large rocks outcropping to explore when the tide is out.

Dog policy: Dogs are not allowed on Wingaersheek Beach from May 1—September 30.
Unleashed dogs are allowed on Wingaersheek Beach from October 1 to April 30, on odd-numbered days of the month.

Parking: Parking in the off-season is next to the beach.


Dog Friendly Beaches Fort Phoenix State Reservation Fairhaven MA in Winter
Fort Phoenix State Reservation Fairhaven MA in Winter

10. Plum Cove – Gloucester, MA

Location: 1000 Washington St, Gloucester, MA 01930

It is a small, quiet beach on the northern section of the Gloucester.

Dog Policy: Unleashed dogs are allowed on Plum Cove Beach in the off season from October 1 to April 30.

Parking: Parking is limited and restricted to residents.


11. Cressy Beach – Gloucester, MA

Location: Stage Fork Park Visitor Center, Gloucester, MA 01930

Relatively small rocky beach next to Gloucester Visitor Center.

Dog Policy: Unleashed dogs shall be allowed on Cressy Beach in the off season from October 1 to April 30.

Parking: Large parking lot for beach and park.


Plum Island Beach in Massachusetts
Plum Island Beach in Massachusetts

12. Plum Island Beaches – Newburyport, MA

Location: Northern Coast of Massachusetts.

Plum Island beaches consists of three sections that each have their own set of rules regarding dogs on the beach.

The North Point of Plum Island/Newburyport section only allows dogs on the North Point from September 16 through May 14. Dogs must be leashed at all times.

The Plum Island Center/Newbury section of the beach allows dogs throughout the year, but they are restricted to certain times of the day during the Summer season. From May 15th through September 15th, dogs are only allowed before 8:30am and after 5:30pm. Dogs must be leashed at all times.

The Parker River Wildlife Refuge which includes the South Point of Plum Island does not allow dogs at any time of the year. This restriction includes Sandy Point.

Swimming is not allowed in the river nor do they have trash receptacles.

Parking: Much like the rules regarding dogs, parking rules and cost differ for each section. Please use the link above to read more about parking on Plum Island.


Dog Friendly Beaches in Massachusetts pin - dog on beach with above words in title.
Pin me

13. Salisbury Beach State Reservation – Salisbury, MA

Location: 1 Beach Rd, Salisbury, MA 01952

Phone: (978) 462-4481

You can find Salisbury Beach State Reservation across the inlet from Plum Island Beach. This sandy beach faces the ocean and river. Officially the beach only allows dogs during the off-season.

However, they do allow dogs at the campsites throughout the year. The campsites are located on the riverside of the beach, which may explain why this area is often viewed as dog friendly in google reviews and online posts.

Dogs are not allowed to swim in the water on either side of the beach due to strong currents.

Dog Policy: No dogs or other pets, with exception of service animals, allowed on beach April 1st to Sept. 15th.

Cost: Daily parking fee charged May 14 through October 30. Credit and debit accepted for parking fee (no cash). This fee is high for out of state residents.

Parking: Beach Parking lots available


Crane Beach Boardwalk
Crane Beach Boardwalk

14. Crane Beach

Location: 310 Argilla Rd, Ipswich, MA 01938

Phone: 617-542-7696

Crane Beach is a beautiful stretch of land that is located in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Dogs are only allowed at the beach during the off season. Due to the beache’s popularity and its fragile eco-system, you can only visit Crane Beach with advance reservations during certain times of the year. In addition, they have a per dog charge to bring your dog.

Dog Policy: Dogs are allowed at Crane Beach between October 1 and March 31 (free for Member dogs and $/dog for Nonmember dogs.) To see all the dog regulations please go here Dogs at Crane Beach:

Cost: Free for Member dogs and $/dog for Nonmember dogs.

Parking: Paid lots available at the park


15. King’s Beach – Swampscott, MA

Location: Humphrey Street, Swampscott, MA

Phone: (781) 596-8854

Long, skinny beach in Swampscott, Ma, along the Nahant Bay. King’s beach is about a 30 minutes’ drive from Boston, making it an easy day trip.

Dog Policy: Dogs are allowed on public beaches for the purpose of exercise and play only between October 1 and May 20 and the following restrictions apply: Dogs must be accompanied by the owner/keeper at all times. Dogs must be leashed to and from the high-water mark. From the high-water mark to the water’s edge dogs may be off lease, but under direct control and supervision of the owner/keeper. Please remember to always clean-up after your dog.    For more information on their dog policy including information on fines, please refer to their dog by-laws.

Cost: None

Amenities: None

Parking: Street parking available


16. Fisherman’s Beach – Swampscott, MA

Location: 391 Humphrey St, Swampscott, MA 01907

Phone: (781) 596-8854

Fisherman’s Beach is located north of King’s Beach, but is in the same town. This beach is smaller than King’s beach but it has a parking lot unlike King’s Beach which only has street parking.

Dog Policy: Dogs are allowed on public beaches for the purpose of exercise and play only between October 1 and May 20 and the following restrictions apply: Dogs must be accompanied by the owner/keeper at all times. Dogs must be leashed to and from the high-water mark. From the high-water mark to the water’s edge dogs may be off lease, but under direct control and supervision of the owner/keeper. Please remember to always clean-up after your dog.    For more information on their dog policy including information on fines, please refer to their dog by-laws.

Cost: none

Amenities: None

Parking: Parking lot and timed street parking


Dog Friendly Beaches on Cape Cod, Ma

If you are looking for dog friendly beaches on Cape Cod, please visit our post: Dog Friendly Beaches – Cape Cod, Massachusetts

If you plan in visiting Cape Cod, Ma and you are looking for more dog friendly things to do while you are there, check out our Dog Friendly Guide to Cape Cod, Massachusetts


Colorful map of Massachusetts coast line

Dog Friendly Beaches – Southern Coast of Massachusetts (MA)

This section features beaches that are south of Boston and below the Cape Cod Canal. You will find more beaches in this section that allow dogs all year long.

Yellow circle with green paw print to indicate which beaches are Dog Friendly

17. Rexhame Beach in Marshfield, Mass.

Location: 325 Standish St, Marshfield, MA 02050, USA

Phone: 781-831-1563, 781-536-2500 x. 294

Rexhame Beach is located on a stretch of land between Plymouth and Boston. It’s bordered on one side with the ocean and the South River on the other. Both are popular locations for fishing, so you need to be careful.

In addition to the beach, there are public trails you can take, but stay clear of private property. Please respect trail boundaries (they are often delineated with snow fencing) to protect the fragile dune habitat.

Dog policy: Dogs are allowed at the beach all year as long as they are on a leash.

Cost: Free with Marshfield Beach sticker. If no sticker, fees are required based on time and day of the week. Please refer to their website listed above for up-to-date information.

Amenities: Restrooms and lifeguards in season. Trash receptacles.

Dog Friendly Beaches Morning on Brant Rock Mass
Morning on Brant Rock, Mass

Yellow circle with green paw print to indicate which beaches are Dog Friendly

18. Brant Rock Beach – Marshfield, Mass

Location: 330 Ocean St, Marshfield, MA 02050

Phone: 781-831-1563, 781-536-2500 x. 294

Brant Rock Beach is a small rock beach that is located next to the Brant Rock jetty and outcropping. This public beach has lifeguards and restrooms in season. Plus, resident and non-resident parking is available.

This beach known to have seals resting on it from time to time, so keep that in mind when bringing your dog.

Dog Policy: Leashed dogs allowed on beach all year.

Cost: None

Amenities: Seasonal restrooms are located across the street at the Comfort Station.

Parking: Parking is paid and located along Hewitt’s Point Seawall and in parking lot on Dyke Road. The parking lot is a bit of a walk to the beach.

Happyoodles.com Dog Friendly Beaches Duxbury Beach Duxbury Massachusetts
Duxbury Beach – Massachusetts

Yellow circle with green paw print to indicate which beaches are Dog Friendly

19. Duxbury Beach – Duxbury, MA

Location: 257-, 309 Gurnet Rd, Duxbury, MA 02332

Phone: 781-934-7034

Duxbury Beach is a barrier beach that is six miles long. The beach is owed by the Duxbury Beach Reserve Inc, which sets the rules for the beach. Dog owners must obtain a permit for their dog(s) before they can access the beach.

While leashed dogs are allowed all year long in some sections of the beach, there are a lot of rules about where they can and cannot be at different times of the year. Please read the Duxbury Guide and Rules carefully before going to this beach.

Dog Policy: General overview – Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach between the hours of 8:00am and Sun-set, unless otherwise amended by the Duxbury Police Department Beach Operations Division. All dogs are prohibited from the front beach, known as the Resident Beach, to the poles delineating the start of the ORV portion from April 1 to September 15. They are also prohibited from the bay-side beach north of the Powder Point Bridge adjacent to the Resident Parking Lot during this same time period. Dogs are not allowed at Duxbury Beach Park.

Cost: There is a cost for parking and a cost for the permit.

Parking: Per day parking fee


Nantasket-Beach-Hull-MA-in-Winter.
Nantasket Beach Hull MA in Winter.

20. Nantasket Beach – Hull, MA

Location: 212 Nantasket Ave, Hull, MA 02045

Nantakset Beach is a wide, sandy beach on the Massachusetts Bay about an hour from Boston. It is part of the Nantasket Beach Reservation.

Dog Policy: Dogs are permitted seasonally. Dogs are prohibited from May 1st until September 15th on Nantasket Beach Reservation and from June 1st until September 15th on all Town of Hull beaches.

Cost: In season parking costs.

Amenities: Seasonal

Parking: Paid parking in season


21. Long Beach – Plymouth, MA

Location: Plymouth, Ma

Phone: 508-747-1620

Long Beach in Plymouth, Massachusetts is a barrier beach that is approximately three miles long. It’s a wide, sandy beach with some large rocks along the shore. Long Beach is managed by the Town of Plymouth and enforces seasonal dog restrictions at the beach.

Dog Policy:

The seasonal dog restrictions at Plymouth Long Beach is in effect from April 1 to September 30 each year.
When visiting Long Beach, dogs must be leashed in allowed areas.

The dog restrictions apply to all Town properties north of the “Day Parking Area”, which is the 4×4 parking area located approximately one mile north of the main parking area. Leashed dogs will be allowed on Ryder Way and the beach from the main parking lot north to the Day Parking Area, excluding areas closed for shorebird nesting and protection of fragile areas.

For more information, please see the Information for Dog Owners pamphlet.

Cost: Seasonal cost to get in

Amenities: Bathhouses open seasonally – Portable toilets maybe available.

Parking: Parking lots are available. Cost to park.


Fort Phoenix State Reservation Fairhaven MA
Fort Phoenix State Reservation, Fairhaven MA

22. Fort Phoenix State Reservation – Fairhaven, MA

Location: 100 Green St, Fairhaven, MA 02719

Phone: (508) 992-4524

Fort Phoenix State Reservations main attraction is the beach and the fort. It is located on Buzzards Bay inthe town of Fairhaven, Ma. It offers a small beach, but dogs are only allowed in the off- season.

Dog Policy: No dogs or other pets, except service animals, allowed on beach April 1-Sept. 15.

Cost: None

Amenities: Restrooms – maybe closed seasonally

Parking: Free onsite parking available in parking lot.


23. Horseneck Beach – Westport, MA

Location: 5 John Reed Rd, Westport, MA 02790

Phone: (508) 636-8816

Large, rocky beach close to the Rhode Island border. If you let your dog in the water be careful of the relatively steep drop off in the water.

Dog Policy: No dogs or other pets, with exception of service animals, allowed on beach April 1st to Sept. 15th.

Cost: Daily parking fee charged May 14 through October 30

Amenities: Restrooms may close seasonally

Parking: Parking lots available for a fee

If you are looking to travel to Massachusetts with a dog, check out our posts on Traveling With A Dog: Tips For An Easy Trip and Hotel Stays with a Dog: 23 Tips, Tricks and Hacks

Thank You for Visiting Dog Friendly Beaches in Massachusetts

Please let us know if we missed any of your favorite Beaches in the comments below.