Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2016.
There is nothing worse than planning a fun afternoon at the beach with your pup, and upon your arrival encountering the notorious “No Dogs Allowed” sign. It is not always easy to plan a trip to the beach with your pet, especially with dog wardens snooping around. Fortunately, dog-friendly beaches are becoming increasing popular as people realize it is a win-win solution. Dog owners, however, need to do their homework first before planning a day of fun in the sand and sun. Visitors must ensure their dogs are up-to-date on their vaccinations and license, and obey leash laws. It's also essential to bring poop bags to clean up after your dog.
We polled our Facebook followers and compiled a list of the top 6 beaches that will welcome your tail-wagging friend:
Fort Funston, San Francisco CA
Fort Funston, which is located on the Skyline Boulevard, is a popular spot to walk your dog in California. Four-legged visitors are encouraged to enhance their social skills by playing frisbee or chasing birds. Off-leash activity is permitted as long as dogs are well behaved and under voice command.
Fort DeSoto, Tierra Verde FL
This beach’s award–winning Paw Playground hosts two large fenced-in areas for dogs of all sizes which include water stations. Man’s best friend can run without restrictions on this quarter-mile long dog playground. On a hot summer day, dogs can play fetch with a dog toy or splash in the waves. The park also has overnight camping, picnic areas, beautiful parks and an old Spanish fort for dog owners to explore.
Jekyll Island, GA
Even during the busiest hours of the day this beach feels private since by law 65 percent of the island must stay undeveloped. Dogs are allowed to roam off-leash on the beach, which means it is the perfect spot for a day of fun. As an added bonus, many neighboring restaurants and hotels also accommodate our four-legged friends.
Montrose Dog Beach, Chicago IL
Dogs are always welcome to join you on the north end of Montrose Beach in Chicago. Parking is free to all, but weekends can get crowded, hence be sure to arrive early. The beach is kept clean and is the perfect spot to catch a gorgeous sunrise or sunset. Although the beach is free to all, volunteers maintain the premises, therefore please consider making a small donation.
Hunting Island State Park, SC
Hunting Island is one of the most beautiful and most popular beaches in South Carolina. It is home to a saltwater lagoon, maritime forests, hiking trails, campgrounds and sandy beaches. At low tide, this beach can stretch over a mile wide, leaving plenty of room to enjoy some fresh air with your pet. Note that dogs are allowed on the beach and camping areas but are not permitted in park buildings, cabins or on cabin grounds.
Coronado Dog Beach, San Diego, CA
This is a dedicated dog beach and dogs area allowed off leash year round at any time. Be sure to keep your dogs on a leash until you get to the beach if you are parking on Ocean Boulevard, because Animal Control is strict and will fine you. The city also provides free poop bags at the entrance if you need one. Now enjoy the rolling waves and the view of the Hotel del Coronado!
Where do you and your dog enjoy going to the beach together?