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Freeman Park

The dog-friendly Freeman Park on Carolina Beach, NC, welcomes dogs on a leash from April 1 to September 30. From October 1 to March 31, dogs are allowed off-leash as long as they are under voice command and their owner is near. Owners must carry a minimum of two suitable plastic or paper waste containers until it can be disposed of in an appropriate receptacle. The bags must be produced and shown upon request. Visit Website

Or call (910) 458-4614 or email info@carolinabeach.org for more information.


BringFido Guest Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating

Freeman Park has received a rating of 4.9 out of 5 bones by 18 canine critics on BringFido and 4.0 out of 5 by 120 guests on TripAdvisor.

  • Carrie
    Apr 11, 2024
    Dog beach paradise

    We stayed a block from Freeman Beach and spent everyday there. The dogs play off-leash as long as all the humans agree and stand nearby. The Carolina Pier restaurant located on the beach has great food and cocktails. Dogs welcome everywhere. Fish tacos were amazing!

  • Jim
    Feb 6, 2024
    Great Beach for Off the Leash

    Very friendly park attendant and folks on the beach. My new pup had a blast with his first time seeing a beach. We will be back next nice day

  • Cori
    Feb 4, 2024
    Can't wait to come back!

    We went to freeman Park in the off season (Nov) and everyone was incredibly friendly. The parking attendant gave my dog some treats as we entered and we walked the whole beach. Despite it being November it was still in the 70s and my dog met another friendly dog and they played in the water, dug in the sand, had a blast

  • Tracy
    Oct 18, 2022
    Great day at the beach!

    Spent a few hours at Freeman Park at Carolina Beach! Loved the seclusion of the beach. Dogs were very well behaved off leash and people seemed to enjoy seeing the dogs play. Only downside was the parking! Because we didn’t have a 4 x4 vehicle, we had to park a block away and it was still pricey. Rates change in November.

  • Claudia
    Feb 14, 2022
    October-March off leash time

    Pups first time at the beach and they enjoyed being able to romp around. not too many people since off season but all dogs were well behaved and friendly.

  • Joe
    Apr 13, 2021
    The beach was perfect.

    if you have a 4wd you can drive out on the beach and enjoy the day with your pet.

  • Crystal
    More than a year ago
    Great Beach fun with our dog!

    This was a super beach for family and Dog. The water was great the sand was white, the beach was clean. Parking was close. If you have a 4x4 you can drive on. I would highly recommend it

  • Debby
    Feb 4, 2018
    really 6 ft leash

    I used to vacation here years ago but I could not bring my dog and enjoy her as a member of my family on the beach(Carolina beach), I had to physically come off that beach and take her to Fort Fisher which was not cool. Even at fort fisher I could not let my dog off the leash to run and fetch a ball in the ocean (how do you do that with a leash?) I think owners know if there dogs are snippy and if so keep them on a leash. I would love to see NC beaches a little more family dog friendly.

  • Kelly
    More than a year ago
    Great beach to bring the dog!

    I took my dog here this week after reading so many reviews and we had a great time! Parked in the public lot just before the 4x4 entrance and the place was not crowded at all. A few campers on the beach. This is the first time my dog has been to the beach and we will definitely go back very soon.

  • Lexi
    More than a year ago

    Here's the parking answers to other reviews! As of December 19th 2015:
    Parking is free from November 1st to March 1st
    If you have a 4x4 then for $30 you can park on the beach BUT when we went there was an honor system in place so you did not HAVE to pay but I'm sure that money supplements the city especially in off season. Our dog however was in heaven.

  • Bonnie
    More than a year ago
    Perfect for the fur kids

    We planned a random trip to Wilmington for the Columbus day weekend and decided to take our 8 month old fur kid to his first ever beach vacation. This beach is about 40 mins away from the city and the only one where pets are allowed off leash (not all year around). It's a small pretty beach and luckily was not crowded. We could let our pup run around and dig as much as he want. He enjoyed the surf and the sand to the fullest. It's a clean beach so pretty safe for the pups.

  • Stephanie
    More than a year ago
    best beach

    It's a great friendly beach! Great open sanded areas. You can drive onto he beach if you have 4x4! Can't wait to go back and spend another day there!!!

  • Julie
    More than a year ago
    We go as much as we can!

    I take my dogs to Freeman Park as much as I can during the year (it's 3 hours away for us). The people & dogs are always friendly and it's a very clean, fun beach. This page says there is a $10.00 fee to go on the beach which is NOT TRUE. You need to make sure you stay north of the pier with an off-leash dog, and off-leash only applies from around October through the end of April. I always park in the public lot just before the 4-wheeler entry and I've never paid for parking - in fact I've never had a problem finding parking at all. I always go in the off-season. If you want to drive on to the beach, you have to have a manual 4-wheel drive car and pay $20 per time OR get a season permit for $100. I don't have either so I just walk a couple blocks from the parking lot to the beach. My dogs LOVE it, they have made lots of doggy friends, and they NEVER want to leave. I had to nearly drag my dog off the beach the last time!! :)DEFINITELY recommend this park.

  • Caitrin B.
    More than a year ago
    AWD not welcome

    We drove from Fayetteville, NC to Freeman Beach (4/5/15) thinking we could drive our Subaru onto the beach and we were sadly turned away by the gate nazi (also I think the price raised to $30). I think we would have had a better experience if we had the car so we could have tied the dogs to it like we originally planned to do. Unfortunately we had to park the car in the $1.50/hr lot (or $8 for all day). It was really close walking distance which wasn't an issue. (There is another parking lot that has running water bathrooms, sinks and outside showers which is a plus!) There are lots of port a potties for humans and lots of trash cans to dispose of your dog's doo. Our 4 yr old dog had a great time walking along the beach and enjoying the scenery. Our 1 yr old isn't as well behaved which was another reason why I wanted to be able to drive our car on the beach so we could be secluded if we wanted to be and have all our stuff. We left way earlier than intended because of the AWD rule. We did have a few run ins with people who didn't have their dogs on leashes but the dogs were friendly. Unfortunately our 1 year old dog isn't very dog friendly which caused her stress but no real issues with other people on the beach.

  • Ann
    More than a year ago
    Great for dogs & dog lovers

    We went to Wrightsville thinking after Labor Day we could bring the fur kids & were promptly "kicked off" and threatened with a $750 fine and directed to the nearest off even though it was not close to where we paid too much too park! At Freeman there was a lot for 1.50 an hour (unless you want to drive onto the beach for $20 - which is a great option if you want) They even have Pizza Delivery to the Beach!! It was a friendly and wonderful time! NOTE: on the other side of the pier it is similar to Wrightsville... no dogs until after Oct 1 - but just a lil further on the other side it's a dog & dog owner paradise! Highly recommend!

  • Yusuf
    More than a year ago
    Great, peaceful beach. Dog friendly

    This was such a great beach. I didn't have 4WD but there is public parking lots for $1.50/hr. They are close (walkable) to the beach entrance too. I went around 9am and it was so peaceful and beautiful. Stayed for about 4 hours. WARNING: if this is your first dog beach trip, be cautious about your dog eating sand! It will result in a VERY sick dog (fatal) and an expensive emergency vet bill. Watch your dog carefully and stop them from eating things they shouldn't. Also, don't force them to swim in the ocean, as tempting it may be. They will probably get salt water in them. Let them have plenty of breaks and lots of fresh water. This beach requires dogs to be on leashes during the summer. It wasn't a big deal to keep our dog on leash, just bring something to stake them down if they can be trusted to not get into trouble. Other than the warnings, Freeman park is the greatest dog vacation public beach in Wilmington.

  • Lee Ann
    More than a year ago
    Dog Friendly!

    Visited on Friday at the start of the Memorial Day weekend. Thank you bringfido.com for posting this beach! Had a great day with the dog on the beach. Everyone was very friendly (dogs and people), beach was clean & not crowded!!. Update on other review - Cost to walk onto beach is free. To drive onto beach is $20. Public parking is near (we don't have 4 wheel drive) and well worth it.

  • Miriam
    More than a year ago
    Freeman Park is Dog Beach Heaven

    Dogs are allowed offleash from 10/1 - 3/31 but must be on a leash during the other months. We have been there in early March and mid-October. Our dogs loved the beach -- you can walk for miles. Everyone is very friendly and we had no issues with other dogs on the beach -- all the canines were well-behaved and under their owners' control. The camping scene is very crowded during the summer but in the fall and spring, except on weekends, Freeman Park is virtually deserted. There is a fishing pier just south of the park, and a bar/restaurant at the beach end of the pier. You also see surf fishing in the park itself. There are pet friendly cottages and condos to the south of the fishing pier if you don't want to camp out. You are permitted to have fires on the beach if you bring a fire ring. The only drawback is that there aren't many restaurants in Carolina Beach that are dog friendly, so plan on carry out or cooking your own. But there are places that deliver pizza to your campsite on the beach!

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Freeman Park