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Assateague National Seashore

Dogs are allowed on the beach, outside of the lifeguard-protected beach area, along the Maryland portion of Assateague National Seashore in Berlin. Pets are not permitted on the nature trails or anywhere within the Virginia portion of Assateague Island, and visiting pups must be on a six-foot leash at all times. Visit Website

Or call (410) 641-1441 for more information.


BringFido Guest Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Assateague National Seashore has received a rating of 4.7 out of 5 bones by 28 canine critics on BringFido and 4.5 out of 5 by 761 guests on TripAdvisor.

  • Dana
    May 27, 2023
    Great beach!

    Wonderful dog friendly place to go- we go every year- just don’t go when the bugs are bad and you will be fine!

  • Danielle
    Jul 29, 2022
    Dogs had best day ever.

    So much fun with the dogs! They loved the beach (north ocean and bayside beach). Great place to introduce them to salt water!

  • John
    May 14, 2022
    Great first beach trip!

    This was a lovely experience and I don’t even mind shelling out the money! Really considering a year pass!

  • Margie
    May 11, 2022
    Loved our visit to Assateague National Seashore

    This is a fabulous place to visit especially when staying in OC, MD. We did a day trip here and loved it even though it was so extremely windy and a little cooler being the early part of May. The horses were not on the beach due to the high winds but we did get to see several on the other side of the island. Toto did walk briefly here but would’ve loved to walk more had the weather been more accommodating.

  • Rebecca
    Aug 18, 2021
    Best Beach for dogs in Ocean City!

    We look forward to our trip here at Assateague! Dogs love it here to swim, lounge and hang out with us! Be sure to bring canopy for shade and plenty of water!

  • Dayna
    Jun 18, 2021
    Assateague Bayside Beach

    Tyson enjoying Bayside Beach - first right after toll both. Dogs happily welcomed! Small beach area but lots of room in calm shallow water to walk and play with your pups and other dog friends! Restrooms (house w/ Porta potty type private stalls) available, and foot wash/well for rinsing. The GPS address will take you to a building but continue straight over bridge until you reach fee booth ($25 for 1-7 day pass) and make first right after North Ocean Beach (which also allows dogs but has waves).

  • Christa
    May 25, 2021
    Wonderful dog beach

    you can walk the beach forever with your dog, walk on bike trails, and see wild horses...I thought it was wonderful and worth the money for park pass

  • Jara
    Apr 21, 2021

    It is so beautiful here! My dog had a blast on the beach! No dogs on the nature trails, but the beach was gorgeous and huge.

  • Aish
    Aug 29, 2020
    Lots of fun!

    We took our small dog here and stayed for a few hours. It was quite fun. However, there was an ENORMOUS amount of flys. They were everywhere and not only went to our food but also went to us and our dog. Even while walking there people were telling us to beware of the flys. Other than that, the beach is very dog friendly, and has many other doggy friends that your dog can meet!

  • Angie
    Aug 19, 2020
    Enjoyed our trip!

    FYI for first time visitors: GPS is going to lead you to a building which is not where the actual beach is. When you arrive to the address above (which will be located on your right), go past the building and OVER THE BRIDGE ahead.. then a right onto "National Seashore Lane" all the way down to the booths where you pay the fee to get in- it was $25 for a week pass or $45 for a yearly pass -- NOTE: Dogs cannot go to the "State Park" which is straight if you don't make that right I stated above. Once you pay, the beach on your immediate left is 'North beach' which is ocean side with waves. If you don't make that left into the North beach parking lot and go straight down and make a right, that is bayside which has no waves and calm/shallow water.

    This beach allows both the human and dog to swim in the water together unlike some places around here where they won't allow you to even wade in the water with them.
    Dogs must be leashed at all times. Rangers drive around the sand to inspect all rules are being followed.

  • Cory
    Jun 14, 2020
    Awesome For Dogs!

    We got the OSV pass and were able to drive out onto the beach. our pup loved chasing the sea foam from the waves. went ahead and got the yearly visitor and OSV pass so we can come back all year. It’s a haul for us but worth it. saw some horses and played on the dunes. make sure you have your pup on a leash of some sort (doesn’t have to be 6 foot if you drive far enough) but they still need it. Park Rangers will call you out if you don’t have them on one, but super nice. Perfect day really and will be back a bunch more with our Lily girl.

  • Mélanie
    Aug 6, 2019
    Amazing Place

    Really nice beach. Many persons with dogs. We did not have the opportunity to stay in campground... important to do reservation in high season. Nice day on the beach with our boxer.

  • David
    Jul 28, 2019
    Jennies trip to the ocean

    Expensive to get in park but the pass is good for a week. Jennie loved the ocean

  • Kelly
    Jul 22, 2019
    Our Dog's First Trip to the Ocean!

    We had a great time visiting Assateague National Park (avoid the State Park between Memorial Day and Labor Day - no dogs allowed). The weather was very hot, but the ocean was nice and cool. The wild ponies even made an appearance on the beach. We were careful not to approach as recommended. They are wild after all. There were several other dogs there as well and all were on leashes and well behaved. We visited the south beach and it had restrooms and showers available. The beach itself was also very clean. There were some black flies that did bite, so consider bringing bug spray. Overall, we had a great time and our pup really enjoyed himself. We will definitely be back again!

  • Peter
    More than a year ago
    great place for people and dogs

    This national park is not only beautiful, it is very dog friendly. A lot has already been written about visiting the ocean, but it is the bay side where we had an amazing time. We took our pup out into the water which was 2 feet high for hundreds of yards. Lots of romping and playing with other dogs. Only four stars because we just had a five star experience mid week after Labor Day. My guess is that during high season this wonderful place will suffer from over population. So go and enjoy, just be prepared. We are heading back tomorrow. Can’t stay away.

  • Kendra
    Jul 28, 2018
    Amazing time!

    We took our dog to the beach for the first time and he loved it! He couldn’t go in very deep because the waves were very big... not sure if it was because a storm was rolling in or if that is the norm. There are facilities and everyone at the beach was so welcoming with our dog! $20 for everyone to get into the beach for 7 days, pretty good. Dogs should be on leashes and you must clean up after your dog. You also must be on the national side not state. Enter on the northern side on route 611; if you have any questions stop at the visitors center. They are very helpful and will point you in the right direction. There are also very nice bathrooms in the visotea center. Once you enter the northern beach head left of the life guard stand as the rules say you are supposed to be further away from the lifenet guard stand (we saw many dogs close to it but we chose to just be safe and follow the rules). Overall great time!

  • Janci
    Feb 9, 2018
    Not too many dogs around but fun

    We were camping at the national park and just hopped over the dunes to the beach. Okay, confession here: when the beach was empty of both people and wildlife, we let them off leash. Just to let them run off some energy, it's hard to get them enough exercise when you are traveling. We also walked them on leash and they enjoyed that too. We saw a seal sunning himself but not very many other dogs. which is okay with us since we have two. Then we moved to the bay side and let them swim. We kept them inside when there were horses around, no point in looking for trouble.

  • Christina
    More than a year ago
    Awesome day on the beach with kids and Moose!

    We were a bit nervous taking our 1 year old Vizsla to the beach for various reasons: what if he pooped in front of everyone, what if he was too hot, what if I hooked his leach to my beach chair-he spots a bird, flips me and my cold beverage out of our seats, etc. To our surprise, none of that happened! Tips: Drive into the North beach area all the way to the booth where you pay $20 (totally worth the money to explore this beautiful island and it's good for the week!) immediately park in lot and walk across boardwalk. It can be hot for little paws so be mindful of the temp that day. Once on the sand, turn left and walk to set up anywhere in that area (no dogs allowed near lifeguarded areas). We where here Aug 1st and there was no crowds. Moose hung out on a towel under the umbrella for 4 hours taking in the sights, sounds, and amazing breeze. We also walked him a bit and let him run in the ocean and chase birds. Anyone who doesn't like this beach is probably not an animal lover like we are!

  • Theresa
    More than a year ago
    $20 to get in!!!

    Why is it so expensive to get into this park? It's nice but VERY crowded and there's horse poop everywhere. I guess the horses belong to the park but they are aloud to roam freely - in front of cars, whatever. This is very dangerous for the horses as well as the drivers. Seriously, as crowded as it is at $20 a pop, this place is makin' a killing! You'd think they could build some fences to keep the horses out of the road!

  • Craig
    More than a year ago
    Try the state park

    From Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day, dogs are allowed in the "day use" areas (beaches) of the state park. They're even allowed off-leash, if they're going to swim.
    Prices are substantially cheaper than the national park - $3.00/car for Maryland residents or $5/car for non-residents.
    The park has a decent restroom/shower/changing facility. Unfortunately, the camp store/gift shop and grill only "officially" operate between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but when I was there in mid-September they were still open every day.

  • Andy
    More than a year ago
    Great beach year-round for dogs

    We go here a lot and we love it. There are some restrictions for where you can bring the dog but if you just want to lay on the beach or play in the water with the dog there's no place better. Unlike Ocean City or Bethany there are no seasonal restrictions

  • Dawn
    More than a year ago
    Not worth it

    Yes, it's a beautiful beach. Yes, dogs are allowed. But it cost $20 and there wasn't a single dog around for my dog to play with! I drove 30 min each way from where I was staying in OC so that my dog could romp in the surf and have a morning of fun. Honestly, he had more fun in the sand dunes in the early morning hours right next to my condo (dogs aren't allowed on the beach, so we go out to the dunes early in the morning or late at night to not disturb anyone.) Waste of gas, waste of money, waste of time. And we were here on a Friday morning, which should've been a prime time before the heat of the day! I was disappointed, especially because I couldn't even maximize that admission fee with a hike.

  • Amelia
    More than a year ago
    Great Beach for Dogs

    Assateague National Park is a great beach to visit with your dog. It's $15 to get into the park (we happened to go on a "fee free" weekend but it would have been well worth it to pay the fee. Everyone is super dog friendly and those who don't have dogs with them are extremely dog accepting. There are two parks, the National Park and the State Park. Dogs are not allowed on the State Park side so just be careful to watch for the signs. It wasn't overcrowded like Ocean City (although we did go the last weekend in September so I'm not sure how it is in peak summer season). It is polite (and the rules) to keep your dog on a leash. There is a 6' leash rule but we had a retractable leash and other people had longer leashes to allow their dogs a little more room to run and play. Be a responsible dog parent, clean up after them (there are trash cans in the parking lots) and use common sense. The facilities are very nice and clean and there are dog level water fountains (which is much needed if your dog likes to try to drink sea water like ours). We will definitely be going again in the future and spending more time.

  • Craig
    More than a year ago
    Better Beach than Ocean City!

    We had our dog with us in Ocean City and decided to take him to Assateague so he could get some beach time. It's about 20 minutes south of OC and the beaches are beautiful - wide and clean, without all of the hassle and clutter in the City. In the national park, dogs are allowed on the beach everywhere but the few hundred yard-long stretch with lifeguards. Our pup turned-out to be afraid of the waves, but loved going after the sea gulls, romping in the sand and sniffing all of the sea debris. Highly recommended as a day trip from OC, or as your primary destination if you're willing to camp.

  • Tom
    More than a year ago
    Great Time

    Great day at the beach. Parking was a little crowded and we had to walk a little, but it was well worth it. We went on Sunday and arrived at noon. Clean beach and people were friendly. There is a 6ft. leash law. We brought a 30 ft leash and did not get a ticket. 2 out of 6 dogs there did not have a leash but were exceptionally well behaved. Nobody seemed to mind. We would recommend to anyone to get out and give your dog some exercise. (also-watch out for the wild horses! drive slowly)

  • Crysta
    More than a year ago
    Lovely day

    This is one of the best beaches in MD. Clean and friendly, our whole family including our two dogs enjoyed the beach. People give you enough space as to not crowd your dogs, no trash, and the water is clear. We loved it and were so happy we could bring the dogs with us. GREAT BEACH!

  • Nancy
    More than a year ago
    If you have common sense, it's perfect!

    Ocean City won't let dogs on the beach until after October, so this is a great place to bring your dog -- as long as you use a little common sense!! First, don't let him/her near the ponies. They bite and kick and don't want to play. In spite of what some folks may say, LEASHES ARE REQUIRED WHETHER YOUR DOG IS "WELL-BEHAVED" OR NOT. And of course, clean up after them. Only the ponies are allowed to go "wherever" without getting in trouble, but that's easy to spot.

    Dogs must also be licensed and have current rabies vaccines. They will check this (bring tags) at the front kiosk on the National side, and there is a fee to enter but the pass is good for 7 days.

    If your dog loves the water, the bay is a great place for a swim! Boat rentals are also available (though my own dog wouldn't sit still enough for a boat).

  • N Keyes
    More than a year ago
    best ocean beach

    Dogs are allowed on the National Park side of Assateague Md. Park at the ranger station and enter beach at walkways. Almost always, the ponies are roaming freely in the parking lot and beach. Clean beach with bathhouse. There is also a bayside park with a beach that allows dogs. They are not allowed in the state park area or any nature trails. Must be leashed and clean up required.

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Assateague National Seashore