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Best 27 Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the USA

Are you trying to decide where you should go on a dog friendly summer vacation? How about the beach? Going to the beach has been a popular summer vacation destination for years. Now you can go with your favorite canine companion to these 27 dog friendly beach vacations.

Since going to the beach is an outside activity you may be surprised to find that most beaches in the United States do not allow dogs during the high season.

This is typically the time between the Friday before Memorial Day weekend to after Labor Day.

If they do they allow dogs during the high season, many still restrict access to dogs and their owners to limited times of the day. Generally, either early in the morning or after the lifeguards have left.

While having a dog on the beach in the midday is not a good idea (they may overheat or burn their paws on the hot sand), having to leave the beach before 9:00 am doesn’t work for most beach goers either.

Here we have come up with a list of 27 dog friendly beaches that allow dogs on the beach all year long.

Dog Friendly Beach Vacations For Summertime Title page - Happyoodles.com

Just to clarify, we only included dog friendly beaches that are located on an ocean, we did not include lakeside beaches. You can find dog friendly lake beach vacation spots in our post Dog Friendly Family Vacations

If you are looking go on a vacation that doesn’t break the bank, we have but together some of our best vacation ideas that are also budget friendly.

Dog Beach Safety

Now, just because your dog can be on the beach doesn’t mean they should be on the beach. Especially when the temperatures rise in the summer.

Check the weather before heading out to the beach with your dog. Avoid taking them when it is too hot.

Also talk to your veterinarian about taking your dog to the beach. They will be able to guide you to whether it is the right thing to do with your dog.

Here are just a few of the things you should consider when taking your dog to the beach:

  1. Beaches that allow dogs generally do not have lifeguards. Swimming is at your own risk!
  2. Make sure to have plenty of fresh water for you and your dog. Do not let your dog drink salt water.
  3. Dogs can sunburn, especially if they have short hair, white fur or pink skin. Limit your dog’s exposure and use a dog safe sunblock.
  4. Watch out for hot sand and asphalt which can burn your dog’s paws.
  5. Pay attention to posted warnings; strong tides or rip currents are dangerous to a dog.
  6. Check daily water conditions.
  7. Watch out for sea lice and jelly fish.
  8. Never leave your dog unattended in the water.
  9. Make sure to clean up after your dog. Animal feces contain bacteria that can pollute the water causing animals and people to become sick.

For more dog safely read: Taking Your Dog to the Beach: Tips & Safety at the AKC.org

Traveling with a Dog

If you have never traveled with a dog before, you might not know where to start or what to bring. To help you we have put together a post with our best tips for traveling with a dog and also tips on hotel stays with a dog.

Please confirm with all places listed here that pet dogs are still allowed prior to visiting. Information is subject to change without notice. Also, the mentioning of a business in this post should not be viewed as an endorsement. While we strive to insure accuracy on Happyoodles.com, accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

Dog Friendly Beach Vacations

Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the Northeast

Best 27 Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the USA  White Crest Beach in Wellfleet Ma
White Crest Beach in Wellfleet, Ma

1. Wellfleet, Massachusetts

Our first dog friendly beach vacation spot is located on the outer arm of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Wellfleet is a charming town that is only two miles wide. It’s boarded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and the Cape Cod Bay to the west.

On the west side of town, you will find the Wellfleet village. This small fishing village is home to quaint galleries, bookstores, gift shops and the Wellfleet harbor. A stroll along the harbor offers scenic views of gray shingled building, fishing boats, and a gorgeous sunset.

But the main attraction is the Cape Cod National Seashore. Covering most of the east shore of Wellfleet, the National Seashore has beautiful white-sand beaches, a pounding surf, and towering dunes. Be careful of the rip tides that can occur in this area.

If you prefer calmer waters, you can find them along the shores of the Cape Cod Bay on the west side of town.

Cape Cod is fairly large and you can find many dog friendly activities on Cape Cod. Here are just a few that are located in Wellfleet.

  • Cape Cod National SeashoreDogs are allowed to join you at the Cape Cod National Seashore with some exceptions including; where lifeguards are present and when closed for shorebird nesting. For complete details on when the national seashore beaches are closed to pets please visit Pets at Cape Cod National Seashore.
  • Cape Cod Rail Trail – You can walk or ride with your pup on the Cape Cod Rail trail. Start the trail in Wellfleet and follow it down into the upper cap. Here is the Cape Cod Rail Trail Map.
  • WellFleet Flea Market is located on the grounds of the WellFleet Drive-in (also pet friendly). This is one of my favorite things to do here, beside the beach. You will find an assortment of products including a few jewelry shops.

Wellfleet Hotel and Accommodations

Since the National Seashore takes up 61% of land in Wellfleet there is limited space for accommodations, but Wellfleet does offer one pet friendly hotel and more than a few pet friendly vacation rentals.

For more pet dog friendly beaches in Massachusetts, visit our posts: Dog Friendly Beaches in Massachusetts (MA) and Dog Friendly Beaches in Cape Cod.


rock at beach on Block Island, Rhode Island
Block Island, Rhode Island

2. Block Island, Rhode Island

Block Island offers something for everyone, even your dog. The Island is well known for its miles of free sandy beaches, cool, sparkling clear waters, high bluffs and friendly people.

Add to that miles of hiking trails, dog friendly places to eat and drink and dog friendly accommodations. All of this makes Block Island one to the best dog friendly beach vacations we could find.

Block Island is located just off the coast of Rhode Island, not too far from Dog Friendly Newport, RI. This small island can only be reached via a ferry, plane or private boat.

Dog Friendly things to do on Block Island:

  • The main attraction on Block Island is the beach. Most are dog friendly with the exception of life guarded beaches. But you can hangout right next to the lifeguard areas (these areas may be marked with robes) and still have access to the things like restrooms and a snack shack.
  • Checking out the lighthouses and the Mohegan Bluff are popular activities on the island. Both are dog friendly but dogs are not allowed in buildings.
  • Another popular activity is to walk along the 28 miles of hiking trails maintained by the Nature Conservancy. Trails offer views of the Clay Head Bluffs, ponds, meadows and the ocean. You can find a trail map at the Block Island Nature Conservancy.

For more things to do and places to stay, visit our post Block Island – Dog Friendly Things to Do and Places to Eat


Victorian homes in Cape May County, New Jersey
Cape May County, New Jersey

3. Cape May County, New Jersey

As we make our way down the east coast our next dog friendly beach vacation is Cape May County, NJ. Forget everything you think you know about the Jersey shore. Cape May is different.

Cape May has one of the largest collections of Victorian homes in the nation, giving the town a sense of time being stopped. But Cape May offers more than just a charming town. Here you will also find plenty to do.

Cape May County has two dog friendly towns to choose from; Cape Cod Township and Wildwood, NJ. The best thing is that they are only 20 minutes apart, meaning you can stay at one and still enjoy the activities at the other.

Both towns offer dog friendly restaurants and places to stay. Here are a few of the dog friendly things to do in south New Jersey

  • Spend a day at the Wildwood Dog Park and Beach. Here you will find every dog’s dream, a 26-foot tall fire hydrant. Dogs are allowed off leash in the Dog Park. but must be leashed while on the adjacent beach. Unlike most beaches in NJ, this beach is free.
  • Catch a boat ride on the dog friendly Cape May Whaler Watcher. Well-behaved, leashed dogs are allowed aboard the vessel, outside the cabin. Please contact them before purchasing a ticket as they reserve the right to change the policy. Also make sure your dog will be comfortable on a crowded boat for three or more hours.

Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the Southeast

As we move south with our list of dog friendly beach vacations it is important to point out that alligators are common in the south, especially in marsh lands. Make sure to keep an eye out for alligators and obey signs that limit where you are allowed to go.


Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the USA-  Beach at Sunset in Outer Banks, North Carolina
Outer Banks, North Carolina

4. Outer Banks, North Carolina

If you are looking for a beach vacation that consists of miles of wide sandy beaches, and a relaxed friendly atmosphere, then the barrier islands off the North Carolina Coast, should be on your list of dog friendly beach vacations.

The Outer Banks as they are commonly referred to, offers 175 miles of pristine beaches. and unique towns. Lucky for us, many of them are dog friendly.

The most difficult thing you will need to decide when going to the Outer Banks is which town you should stay in.

Here is a look at the dog friendly town beaches in the area.

  • The first town you will come to, after crossing the Wright Memorial Bridge, is Kitty Hawk, NC. Kitty Hawks beaches are dog friendly, but from the Friday before Memorial Day until the day after Labor Day between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. dogs must be on a 6-foot leash.
  • Duck, NC is considered the most dog friendly beach on the outer banks. Here, well-behaved unleashed dogs are allowed on the town beach all year, but they must be keep under voice control. There is a catch, though. The town does not own public beach access. This means you need to rent a home in the area that provides dog friendly access to the beach. Dogs must be leashed while in town.
  • Naggs Head, NC – Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round as long as they are leashed. Leashes cannot be longer than 10 feet.
  • Cape Hatteras National Seashore – Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round, but must be on a 6-foot or less leash.

House on Bald Head Island, North Carolina
Bald Head Island, North Carolina

5. Bald Head Island, North Carolina

As we move further south in North Carolina, we come to Bald Head Island. This secluded island getaway is located across the Cape Fear River from Southport, NC.

The only way to get to the island is by pedestrian ferry. Cars are not allowed on the island, but they do have their own public transportation system which is dog friendly. As is the ferry to get to the island.

Once on the island you will be enveloped by the island’s subtropical climate, lush greenery and 14 miles of pristine beaches. Part of the allure of Bald Head Island is the fact that 80 percent of the island is covered in nature preserves.

Dog Friendly Beach Vacation Ideas on Bald Head Island, NC.

  • Going to the beach is a big part of vacationing on Bald head Island. Pets must be leashed from sunset to sunrise during turtle season, May 1 through November 15. All other times, pets are permitted off leash but must remain under direct supervision at all times.

Pier on Kiawah Island, South Carolina - Best Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the USA
Kiawah Island, South Carolina

6. Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Kiawah Island is a small island off the southern coast of South Carolina. It’s not too far from Charleston, SC. In fact, when we visited Charleston we chose to stay on Kiawah Island and did day trips to Charleston and surrounding areas.

While many people come to Kiawah Island for the golf, it also offers 10 miles of pristine, natural beaches and chances to see dolphins in their natural habitat. The island is the perfect beach vacation spot for families and friend groups that want to be close to the beach.

Dog Friendly Activities on Kiawah Island:

  • Many of the beaches on the island are dog friendly, but most of the island is owned by a private resort. Beachwalker County Park is the only public beach access on the island. Leashed dogs are allowed on this beach in specific areas during March 16 – October 31. They are not allowed in critical habitat areas. Please see the attached flyer for details on where dogs are allowed and when.
  • When you are ready for some shopping or looking for a place to eat, head over to Freshfields Village. This up-scale village offers dog friendly shops and restaurants. Just look for the dog friendly decal on the window. Dogs are only allowed to join you to eat at outdoor patios.

Lone tree on beach in Edisto Beach, South Carolina
Edisto Beach, South Carolina

7. Edisto Beach, South Carolina

Yet another dog friendly beach town in South Carolina is Edisto Beach. This beach town is located just south of Kiawah and Seabrook Islands. The main draw of Edisto Beach is it family-friendly atmosphere and limited commercialization.

There is less to do here than other places on our list, but you can enjoy the dog friendly beach and laid-back feel. Most visitors spend their time enjoying walks on the beach, jogging, biking, kayaking, and cookouts.

Edisto Dog policy states that dogs are allowed on the sandy beach from May 1 through October 31 and all year round in the Edisto Beach State Park as long as they are on a leash and you clean up after them.


Waves crushing on the shore on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina - Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the USA
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

8. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

This next dog friendly beach vacations spot is the last one in South Carolina. You may have already of heard it. Hilton Head Island is well known for its incredible beaches and world class golf courses.

Located in South Carolina’s Low-country it has been a hot spot for travelers looking to slow down for many years now. Hilton head is not as dog friendly as other locations on our list, but it does offer pet owners a place to explore nature with their dogs (remember to keep a watchful eye out for alligators.)

Dog Friendly Island Vacation Ideas on Hilton Head.

  • Hilton Head Island Beach rules – Hilton Head does not allow dogs on the beach all year. Instead they are restricted from the beach between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday before Memorial Day through Labor Day. Review the beach rules for restrictions for other times of the year. But if you like to get out of the sun before the UV index rises, this beach may work for you.
  • Go for a hike – The Audubon Newhall Preserve is a 50-acre nature preserve located on the south end of Hilton Head Island. Leashed dogs are welcomed as long as you clean up after them.

Live oak tree on Jekyll Island, Georgia
Jekyll Island, Georgia

9. Jekyll Island, Georgia

Located on the Atlantic Ocean about half way between Jacksonville, Florida and Savannah, George lies Jekyll Island.

Jekyll Island is one of four barrier islands that make up the “Golden Isles” in Georgia. They were given this name due to the vast marshes that turn a beautiful golden color in the fall.

But Jekyll Island is beautiful all the time and a great place to visit for a dog friendly beach vacation.

Dog Friendly things to do on Jekyll Island

  • Jekyll Island beaches are dog friendly all year with a few exceptions. First, they must be on a leash no longer than 16 feet at all times. Second, they are not allowed on the beach between South Dunes Picnic Area and 2,000 feet northeast of St. Andrews Picnic Area. You also need to keep off the dunes. and don’t forget to clean up after them.
  • Explore the 25 miles of paved biking trails on Jekyll Island. The trails take you through diverse scenery from beaches to the Historic district.
  • The Alice Richards Botanical Trail is located within Frederica Park on St. Simons Island, just seven miles away from Jekyll Island. In addition to trails you will find an off-leash dog park. Dogs must be leashed at all times unless in the dog park section.

Best Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the USA -Homes in the sand on Amelia Island, Florida
Amelia Island, Florida

10. Amelia Island, Florida

Off the eastern coast of Florida about 40-minute north of Jacksonville, you will find Amelia Island. This barrier island has a rich, colorful history and long beautiful beaches. There are less things to do on Amelia Island with a dog than some of the other places on our list. But they do have gorgeous dog friendly beaches.

  • Dogs are allowed on Amelia Islands’ city and county beaches, if they are on a leash and you need to clean up after them. Failure to do so may result in a fine. Dogs are not allowed on the beach in Florida state parks (Fort Clinch and Amelia Island State Park).
  • If you are looking for more to do, try exploring the water surrounding the island on a Amelia River Cruise. Pet dogs are allowed on all their boats.

Best Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the USA- St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine, Florida

11. St. Augustine, Florida

Home to pristine dog friendly beaches and centuries of history, the beautiful city of St. Augustine is a must see. Located on the eastern shores of Florida about a forty-minute drive south from Jacksonville, FL this area offers near perfect weather.

In addition to its miles of dog friendly beaches, St. Augustine offers plenty of dog friendly activities too:

  • Explore the River to Sea Preserve. The 90-acre preserve offers nature trails and public access to the beach. Leashed pets are allowed in the preserve.
  • Enjoy a scenic Cruise of St. Augustine aboard the Victory III. Leashed pets are welcomed aboard the 75-minute cruise.

Light house on Jupiter, Florida
Jupiter, Florida

12. Jupiter, Florida

Located in Palm Beach County about 20 miles north of West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Fl offers a quieter atmosphere than its more touristy neighbor to the south.  In Jupiter, you will experience beautiful beaches and an assortment of parks along its waterfront.  

Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in Jupiter

  • It also happens to have one of the largest Dog Beaches in Florida. Jupiter Off-leash Dog Beach is whopping 2.5-miles wide. You can find it between beach marker #26 at Marcinski Road going north to beach marker #57 (at the Carlin Park property line). Dogs must be well-behaved and cleaned up after.
  • In addition to the dog beach, Jupiter offers many dog friendly restaurants and places to stay.

Best Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the USA- Chairs on beach in St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg, Florida

13. St. Petersburg, Florida

Once you are there you will know why St. Petersburg is nicknamed “The Sunshine City”.  This Gulf Coast city boasts an average of 361 days of sunshine a year.  Add to that a mix of tropical weather, arts, pet friendly dining and of course beautiful beaches, making St. Petersburg a top choice for a vacation destination.  

Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in St. Petersburg, FL

  • You can’t go on a beach vacation without going to the beach and St. Petersburg delivers with the Fort De Soto Dog Beach. Dogs are only allowed on the beach in the Paw Playground area of the Fort. For more information on where dogs are allowed please read the dog policy
  • If you are looking for a truly unique experience head over to the Dog Bar. Here you and your pup can have fun socializing with both human and doggy friends. This is a member only club so both you and your dog will need to become members. For more information go to: The Dog Bar

Private dock on Sanibel Island, Florida -  Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the USA
Sanibel Island, Florida

14. Sanibel Island, Florida

Located in the Gulf of Mexico near Fort Myers, Fl, Sanibel Island offers miles of white sandy beaches that are dog friendly to leashed dogs year-round. Plus, they have an assortment of pet friendly rentals and restaurants to choose from.

If you are looking for Dog Friendly Beach Vacation activities on Sanibel Island here are a few:

  • Gulfside City Beach Park is considered the most dog friendly. Dogs must be on an eight-foot leash or less at all times and remember to clean up after them.
  • Visit the J.N. ‘Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge. This dog friendly nature preserve features the largest undeveloped mangrove ecosystem in the US. Dogs are allowed on the Wildlife Drive (auto tour) and Indigo Trail. Dogs must be on a 6-foot or less leash and cleaned up after.

While Sanibel Island is dog friendly, the attached island of Captiva is not.


View of harbor in Pensacola, Florida
Pensacola, Florida

15. Pensacola, Florida

Pensacola is known for its white-sand beaches, emerald green waters and naturally-preserved coastlines. It is also a family favorite due to its affordable family-oriented activities.  But people may not know that some of Pensacola’s beaches are also dog friendly.  

Dog Friendly Beach Vacation Ideas at Pensacola, Florida:

  • Dogs are allowed at the designated dog beaches located at parking lots 21.5 and 28.5 only. All other public beach areas and parks on Pensacola Beach are off limits to dogs. Dog Beach Hours are sunrise to sunset daily, except during turtle season (May 1 – October 31) when open 7 a.m. to sunset daily.
  • Get out and enjoy the natural beauty of Pensacola at nearby Topsail Preserve State Park. This park offers 7-miles of trails that run along ancient dunes and a coastal lake. Pets are not permitted on beaches, playgrounds, bathing areas, cabins, park buildings or concession facilities.

Light house on St. George Island, Florida -
St. George Island, Florida

17. St. George Island, Florida

Often referred to as the forgotten coast, St. George has resisted the commercialization that has transformed so many of the other Florida beach towns.

This barrier island in the Florida’s Panhandle offers 28 miles of unspoiled shorelines with many of them facing out to the warm Gulf of Mexico. Nine of those miles are within the protective boundary of the St George Island State Park.

St. George offers an assortment of dog friendly shops, restaurants, outfitters and vacation rentals to their visitors.

Here are just a few of the things you can do with your dog on St George Island:

  • St. George Island Public Beaches are dog friendly except for Julian G. Bruce St George Island State Park. Dogs must remain on a leash on public beaches and in town.
  • If you are looking to get away from the crowds, take the Dog Island ferry from Carrabelle to Dog Island where you will find miles of untouched beaches to explore with your pup. Just make sure to bring everything you will need. There are no stores on Dog Island.

Beach on Dauphin Island, Alabama
Dauphin Island, Alabama

18. Dauphin Island, Alabama

Dauphin Island is a small barrier island located off the coast of Alabama. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, historic attractions and small-town vibe. This island has less to do than some of the others on the list, but if you are looking for a quiet beach vacation this is the place.

The best part is, it’s also very dog friendly. Leashed dogs are allowed on Dauphin Island public beaches with the exception of West End Beach.

But that is not all, here are some more dog friendly things to do on Dauphin Island:

  • Take a ride on the Mobile Bay Ferry. The ferry’s main purpose is to transport people to and from the island, but it can also be an enjoyable, inexpensive way to spend a couple of hours on the water. They welcome friendly, leashed dogs on board for free.
  • Visit Fort Gaines, Al – Fort Gaines is a civil war area fort that is best known for the phrase Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”. The fort features original cannons, blacksmith shop and kitchens. Leashed dogs are allowed to explore the fort with you.
  • Audubon Bird Sanctuary is a 137-acre park with three miles of trails that allows leashed dogs to join you. Watch out for alligators in the park.

Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the Southwest

Galveston Island, Texas
Galveston Island, Texas

19. Galveston Island, Texas

This popular vacation destination in South Texas, hosts a historic downtown and 31 miles of sand beaches. Located only about an hour south of Houston, Galveston Island is a family, and dog, favorite. The main attraction of Galveston is the beach, but there are lots of other activities to do with some of them being dog friendly.

  • Go on a Dolphin sightseeing cruise with Baywatch Dolphin cruise. the narrated tours are 45-minutes long. Along the way you will learn about the harbor and interesting facts about the Bottlenose Dolphins.
  • If you are looking for something different to do, take the whole family for a ride on an iconic Galveston surrey along the Seawall. Surreys look a bit like a horse drawn carriage but they are human peddle powered. Coastal Bike Rentals located at 120 Seawall Blvd allows dogs to ride with you at no extra charge.

South Padre Island, Texas
South Padre Island, Texas

20. South Padre Island, Texas

As we keep moving west we come to South Padre Island. South Padre is a barrier island located off the southern tip of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico. Here you will find a warm, subtropical climate that makes South Padre Island a favorite place for dog friendly spring vacations.

The beaches in South Padre are considered the best in the state. Plus, there is plenty to do on South Padre Island on a dog friendly family vacation.

Here are just a few of the dog friendly activities in South Padre Island.

  • Visit the sea turtles at Sea Turtle Inc. Learn about the sea turtles on South Padre Island and the wonderful conservation efforts in the area while getting to see sea turtle that were saved by the Sea Turtle Inc. Well-behaved, friendly and leashed dogs are welcomed.
  • Go on a bird and dolphin tour with Fins to Feathers tours. Dogs are welcomed, but let them know before you book the trip.

Dog Friendly Family Vacations in the West

Are a few dog friendly beaches along the California and Oregon Coasts. Here are just a few of the best dog friendly vacations on the west coast.

San Diego, California
San Diego, California

21. San Diego, California

Next. we jump over to the southern California Coast. Our first stop in California is sunny San Diego. San Diego has been dog-friendly long before it was common in other places. It is also a great place to visit anytime during the year due to its tepid weather.

In addition to its warm weather, San Diego is also known for its fabulous beaches. While dogs are restricted at most public beaches, San Diego does offer a few beaches that are just for dogs.

Here are just a few of the many dog friendly activities in San Diego:

  • Dog friendly beaches:
    • Dog Beach – located at 5188 W Point Loma Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107. This is believed to be the first dog beach in the U.S.
    • Coronado Beach & Dog Park – Ocean Blvd, Coronado, CA 92118
    • Fiesta Island Dog Park – 1750 Fiesta Island Rd, San Diego, CA 92109. The entire island is dog friendly.
  • Take a stroll around the Seaport Village – Here you cannot only window shop, but a few of the stores will allow your dog to come inside. Just make sure to ask first.
  • Go for a boat ride – Whether you are looking to go kayaking, boating or even sailing, San Diego has outfitters that will welcome your whole family.

Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach, California

22. Huntington Beach, California

Huntington Beach is located about an hour south of Los Angeles, making it a quick getaway for many people in the LA area. It’s best known for its surf beaches and laid-back atmosphere.

Here you will find a variety of dog friendly vacation rentals to choose from. Some rentals even come with private pools or a boat dock.

But even if you can’t score a home with a pool the Huntington Dog Beach has plenty of space you everyone in your family.

Huntington Beach also offers dog friendly restaurants, park and beach front paths for you and your dog to enjoy.


Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara, California

23. Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara, is sometimes referred to as the American Riviera, due to its beautiful beaches, rolling foothills, vineyards, and historic coastal buildings. Located on the Pacific Ocean just 2 hours north of Los Angeles, this quaint town is full of Spanish charm.

From the elegant Spanish fountains to the colorful tiles, Santa Barbara made me feel like I was transported to another country when I was there for a visit.

Here are just a few of the pet friendly things to do in Santa Barbara.

  • Santa Barbara Botanic Garden – Just three miles from downtown, the Botanic Garden will greet you with spring flowers and a walkway lined with redwoods. Unlike most Botanic Gardens this one is dog friendly, but they ask that you keep your dog leashed and try not to let them “mark” the area. Advanced reservations are required to visit.
  • Stroll along the Spanish inspired street of downtown Santa Barbara. I especially loved walking through the La Arcada Courtyard. Here you will find beautiful tiled walkways, Spanish fountains, unique statues and dog friendly cafes with outdoor seating.
  • Take the self-guided Red Tile Walking tour. This walk around the downtown area will showcase Santa Barbara’s most interesting historic landmarks.

Pismo Beach, California
Pismo Beach, California

24. Pismo Beach, California

You will find Pismo Beach halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles along the famed Pacific Coast Highway. This classic beach town offers long white sandy beaches, fabulous weather and plenty to do on a dog friendly beach vacation.  In addition to long walks on the beach, playing in the surf and looking for butterflies, Pismo Beach has dog friendly hotels and vacation rentals.

Here are just a few of the pet friendly things to do in Pismo Beach, Ca:

  • The Pismo State Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove is the perfect place to spend a few hours. Here you can see thousands of western monarch butterflies that seek shelter from the freezing northern winters. The grove is a part of Pismo State Beach which is dog friendly but they must be on a leash at all times. Please visit the link to see when they are open.    
  • The Pismo State Beach – Dogs are allowed on the beach as long as they are on a leash at all times. Pet owners must clean up after them. Dogs are not permitted on the Pismo Pier.

Carmel Beach: Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
Carmel Beach: Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

25. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

The small village of Carmel-by-the-Sea is only one-square mile in size, but this charming village has a lot to offer.  Located in Monterey County just south of the family-oriented city of Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea has whimsical storybook architecture, unique boutiques and more than a dozen wine tasting rooms, many of them dog friendly. 

Things you can do with a dog at Carmel-by-the-Sea, California:

  • Want to do something different while you are there. How about taking your dog for a ride in a sidecar? Mad Dogs and Englishmen Bike Shop, will rent you and your pup a vintage bike with a sidecar for your best friend to ride in.

Mendocino Coast, California

26. Mendocino Coast, California

At Mendocino you will find some of the tallest redwoods in the world, glass-bottom beaches and the only oceanfront botanical garden in the USA. Kids will love exploring the tide pools and riding the skunk train at Fort Bragg.

You can’t have a beach vacation without a beach. While you are in Mendocino head over to Glass Beach in Fort Bragg. Glass Beach is located in the Noyo Headlands Park near the north entrance. The beach gets its name from the smooth glass pieces that can be found there. Leashed dogs are allowed on the Beach.

Things to do in Mendocino Coast with a dog

  • Unfortunately, the public Redwood Forests here do not allow dogs on the trails. However, your whole family can see them while riding on the Skunk Train.
    • Dogs are allowed to join you on the scenic 7-mile round trip along the beautiful Pudding Creek Estuary, which includes ancient redwoods. There is a separate cost for dogs to ride on the train.
  • If you are looking for something a little different then a train ride, check out the Putin Creek Railbikes also in the Pudding Creek Estuary.

Seaside Beach, Oregon
Seaside Beach, Oregon

27. Seaside Beach, Oregon

The main reason to visit the resort town of Seaside, Oregon is the beach. Located just up the road from the famous Cannon Beach, Seaside Beach offers one of the biggest and most beautiful beaches along the coast.

Things to do at Seaside Beach with a dog:

  • Let’s start with the main reason people chose to visit. Not only is Seaside beach family friendly, it is also very dog friendly. So friendly that well-behaved dogs, under voice control, do not need to be leashed on the beach. Just make sure to keep your dog away from other people and clean up after them.

Thank you for visiting “Dog Friendly Beach Vacations in the USA”

If you have visited one of these locations please let us know about your trip