Top Dog Friendly Beaches in Virginia

Dog friendly beaches are heaven on earth for Fido. And since sandy paws equal happy dogs, we’ve sniffed out the best beaches in Virginia where dogs can run, swim, and frolic in the sand. Use the links/map below to find a dog-friendly beach in Virginia.

First Landing State Park Beach

This massive historical park includes an authentic Indian village, 20 miles of walking trails, and a beach that's dog-friendly year round. The park is the site of the first landing of the Jamestown colonists in 1607. Native American canoes, colonial settlers, 20th century schooners and modern cargo ships have navigated the park's waterways. During the War of 1812, its Cypress swamps were a source of fresh water for merchant mariners, pirates and military ships. According to local legend, Blackbeard hid in the Narrows area of the park, and interior waterways served as landing sites for Union and Confederate patrols and blockade-runners during the Civil War. Built, in part by an all African-American Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933-1940, the park is a National Natural Landmark and National Historic Landmark. Now, as Virginia's most-visited state park, it's a natural oasis in Virginia Beach's urban oceanfront area. The park has 20 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of sandy Chesapeake Bay beach frontage. Offering many recreational and educational activities, it's a great place to explore unusual habitats featuring bald cypress trees, lagoons, rare plants and wildlife, and maritime forest ecology. Cabins, water and electric hook-up campsites, picnic areas, boat ramps and a camp store with bicycle rentals are also available.

Virginia Beach Public Beaches

Your pet is welcome to join you at the beach on-leash anytime before Memorial Day weekend and after Labor Day. During the summer season, your pup can still enjoy beach time before 10:00 am or after 6:00 pm at the north end of Virginia Beach above 42nd Street or at the south end in the Sandbridge area. Just keep your dog on a leash at all times and clean up after your pet.

Chris Greene Lake Park

A wonderful dog park for dogs and people alike! Chris Greene Lake Park has a 1 acre fenced in area for dogs to run off-leash, with a roped water access for dogs to swim. Located near the Charlottesville airport.

Ocean View Beach

Pets are seasonally welcome to join you on-leash on the white sands of this popular beach. No dogs or domestic animals are allowed on beaches from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. seasonally, beginning the Saturday before Memorial Day through Labor Day.

James River

Your pet will love to join you as you stroll through this beautiful riverside park. They're welcome as long as they remain on-leash.