Best Pet-Friendly Beach Towns in the U.S.

Posted by Billy Francis

Discover sun, sea and sand with the whole pack in tow! Home to waterfront restaurants serving the freshest catch, welcoming hotels that don’t mind sandy paws, and plenty of fun pet-friendly activities along the coast, these beach towns across the country are ready to welcome you and your furry family.

Ocean City, MD

“Did you put a love lock on for us?” Photo by BringFido/Peter

Spend spring break with your Springer in Maryland’s premier beach town, Ocean City. Go on a nature walk with your Westie at the Isle of Wight or on the pet-friendly trails at Northside Park. Then, take a stroll along the boardwalk to Ocean City Fishing Pier for a view across the water and Ocean City Beach, which both allow dogs between October 1st and April 30th. Ocean City is sandwiched between the pet-friendly Assateague National Seashore and Fenwick Island, which means Fido will still have sandy spots to sniff out if you visit during the summer months. When hunger strikes, dine with your pooch at the dog-friendly beachfront joint, Macky's Bayside Bar & Grill. Fido can order a hot dog, sliders, steak, or apples and carrots from the Canine Cuisine menu, and you’ll enjoy casual American fare like ribs, flounder or a New York strip.

Before you head to the beach, check in at Aloft Ocean City to pick up your pup’s complimentary frisbee and treat. This pet-friendly hotel has bayside views with balconies and grassy space outside to explore together.

Dunedin, FL

“Did you know they renamed this town after me?” Photo by @a.pretty.penny

Dunedin is affectionately known by four-legged residents as “Dogedin” thanks to the colorful Murals for Mutts on the exterior wall of Skip’s Bar & Grill with the nickname surrounded by colorful paintings of local pups. After enjoying a beer at the downtown watering hole, hang out on the boardwalks at Hammock Park then head to Honeymoon Island State Park. You and your pooch can explore the nature trail and access the beach on the southern side. Then, pay a visit to Olde Bay Cafe for fresh seafood at the outdoor tables overlooking the water.

Stay with your sun-seeking Shepherd at Best Western Plus Yacht Harbor Inn. This popular pet-friendly hotel is a short walk from Hammock Park and boasts rooms with private patios.

Cannon Beach, OR

“We have miles and miles of beach to enjoy!” Photo by @adventuresof_jade_

Grab your dog’s worn-out leash and head to Cannon Beach, where you can buy her a new one at Four Paws on the Beach. Then, hike the pet-friendly coastal trails of Ecola State Park and enjoy a first peek at Haystack Rock, one of the state’s most recognizable landmarks. Get a closer look at the amazing rock formations from Cannon Beach, one of our favorite beaches on the West Coast. Four-legged beachcombers are welcome to play here off leash if they are under voice control. After sunset, discuss your next trip over a pint on the patio at Public Coast Brewing Co. or enjoy a hearty meal next to the cozy fire table at Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge.

Unhook your furry travel companion's new leash in a spacious room at the Inn at Cannon Beach, where a dog bowl with treats will be waiting inside.

Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

“Three’s company!” Photo by @emi.and.jojo

Carmel-by-the-Sea is another West Coast wonder that’s been attracting the attention of canine tourists for years. Let loose on Carmel Beach, where swimsuits are mandatory but leashes aren’t. After playing on the golden sand and meeting other sight-sniffers, embark on some retail therapy together at the dog-friendly mall, Carmel Plaza. Shop for new garms at The Dog House and snap a memorable photo at the shopping center’s Fountain of Woof. For incredible coastal views, cruise in an electric bike rental from Mad Dogs & Englishmen along 17-Mile Drive with your furry travel companion safely beside you in a sidecar. In the evening, check out the gourmet dog menu at SUR at the Barnyard. The canine menu at this popular pet-friendly restaurant includes fresh salmon or a veggie burger patty, along with a bottomless water bowl. Carmel-by-the-Sea also hosts an annual Poodle Day and Parade to celebrate our curly-coated standard, toy and miniature friends.

We’re mutts about Cypress Inn, Carmel’s premier pet-friendly hotel. The elegant boutique accommodation goes above and beyond for furry guests, providing pet blankets, bowls and welcome treats.

Duck, NC

"Where are the ducks?" Photo by BringFido/Erin

Duck is part of the picturesque and pet-friendly Outer Banks, a string of islands off the coast of North Carolina. Dogs are welcome on all Duck beaches without a leash, as long as they are under voice control. That gives Fido seven whole miles to run and play. Elsewhere in town, your leashed pup can join you on the boardwalk, at The Waterfront Shops and The Duck Trail, a 6-mile multi-use path that traverses the entire length of town. Looking across the water from the shore is great, but it’s nice to get a different perspective. Outer Banks Kayak Adventures invites visitors to explore on a kayak or stand up paddleboard tour. All that walking, playing and paddling can be thirsty work, so swing by Coastal Cantina for Tex-Mex fare at the outdoor tables with a view of the ocean.

When it’s time to duck out for the night, you'll have plenty of pet-friendly rentals to choose from. Waddle over to this soundfront house to relax on the peaceful balcony overlooking the water.

Kailua, HI

“Can we go to the beach now?” Photo by @bentleyncooper

Kailua is a laid-back beach town on the island of Oahu. Take your pup on the Lanikai Pillboxes Hike, also known as Kaiwa Ridge Trail. One of the most scenic hikes on the island, the trail winds along coastal paths, offering sprawling views of the Mokulua Islands, Kailua Beach, and Lanikai Beach along the way. Make your way down to the sand at Kailua Beach Park after your hike to bask in the sun on the gorgeous white sand and splash in the turquoise water with your furry beach bum. Replenish lost calories at Maui Brewing Co. Kailua, specialists in brewery-to-table dining with sliders, burgers, cold beer and more to enjoy on the covered outdoor patio. If you prefer to cook a fresh meal for Fido at your vacation rental, buy ingredients at Lōkahi Kailua Market.

Park up with your pooch wherever you feel like in a pet-friendly RV Airbnb. The Lebowski is a modern campervan with everything you need to explore the coast in comfort.

Huntington Beach, CA

"This "shore" is fun!" Photo by BringFido/My ha

Huntington Beach is a ballin’ beach town your pooch is going to love. Surf City is home to the awesome Huntington Dog Beach. Unclip your pup's leash and watch him sprint across the golden sand for 1.5 miles. When he sees the surfers carving the waves, he’ll be inspired to try it for himself. Good Kharma Surf Instruction is a dog surf school that can help him realize his dream and get him ready to hang 10. If he takes to it like a dog to water, he can challenge some of the world’s best canine surfers at the Surf City Surf Dog® Competition held annually on the beach. Afterward, toast Fido’s new skill while looking out over the waves he conquered during dinner at Simmzy's.

Surfboards and pups stay for free at Kimpton Shorebreak Huntington Beach Resort an IHG Hotel. Fido can enjoy a complimentary treat, then curl up in a comfortable dog bed and rest before another day on the beach.

Provincetown, MA

"Come sail away with me." Photo by BringFido/Annamaria

Provincetown has been dog-friendly since day one, when an English Mastiff and Springer Spaniel arrived on the Mayflower in 1620. Nowadays, the beautiful seaside town is a destination for pooches of all shapes, sizes and interests. Pups who love to be by the water don’t have to trek for miles to reach Herring Cove, a huge stretch of shoreline with trails through luscious meadows. The quaint town on the northern tip of dog-friendly Cape Cod is also home to Pilgrim Bark Park, one of the most epic dog parks in the U.S. This pretty spot doubles as an outdoor art gallery filled with sculptures designed by local artists. Following an afternoon of fetch, let Fido meet the less furry locals aboard a Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown Whale Watch or in a sailboat with Bay Lady II Sailing Tours. Then, wind down at the Aqua Bar, where pups can rehydrate with a bowl of water and humans can enjoy waterfront cocktails, oysters and and a beautiful sunset.

Tuck your dog in at Surfside Hotel and Suites, which includes a private, dog-friendly beach, fire pit area and doggie shower.

Virginia Beach, VA

“Who’s afraid of Virginia Beach?” Photo by @phat.humphs

Virginia Beach is where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. The beautiful estuary offers stunning coastal views and fine stretches of shoreline. With 20 miles of trails and a beach that welcomes pups year-round, First Landing State Park Beach is a good place to start your adventure. Your pooch can avoid sandy paws but still get those ocean views with a stroll on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk. For a bite of lunch, set a course for Citrus. Dogs can enjoy chicken and rice at this pet-friendly restaurant, then wander on the sand without a leash during the off-season. Finish your day Pups and Pints, Virginia Beach’s first dog park and taproom combo.

Fall asleep to the calming sounds of the ocean in a pet-friendly cabin at First Landing State Park Campsite & Cabins.

Long Beach, WA

“Oh, you meant this Long Beach!” Photo by @beachhousewa

Long Beach is steeped in history and tradition. Fido can learn all about it on the Discovery Trail, first blazed by Lewis and Clark. You’ll come across a basalt monolith, a gray whale skeleton and the 19-foot bronze sculpture known as Clark's Tree. Afterward, hit nine holes at Peninsula Golf Course. Unlike some dog-friendly golf courses, your pooch can wander off leash by your side while you play. Follow up your tee time with tea time at The Cove Restaurant, which overlooks the course. While you snack on a sandwich, your dog can pick her favorite treat from the "Doggietizer" menu.

Four-legged guests receive a welcome package that includes dog treats, a towel, and waste bags during check-in at Lighthouse Oceanfront Resort. During your stay, take a walk together from the resort across the dunes to the beach.

Port Aransas, TX

"Ready to ride the tide!" Photo by @hazel.pricilla

Your furry “paw-tner” will get a Texas-sized welcome on a dog-friendly Gulf Coast road trip when she makes a pit stop at Port Aransas. This Gulf of Mexico hotspot is brimming with sun, sand and southern charm. Port Aransas Beach welcomes dogs to stroll along the sand on a leash, but if you’re looking for some serious fun without one, pay a visit to Port Aransas Dog Park. Play freely at this recreational area with a cool pool, shady spots for sunny days and separate areas for small and large pups. There’ll be nothing to growl about when she’s lapping up an ice-cold bowl of water and enjoying a treat at Grumbles Seafood Co. while you devour a fried seafood platter.

For a clean and affordable stay within walking distance of the beach and beyond, book a room with your pooch at Island Hotel Port Aransas. There’s a grassy relief area outside for late-night potty breaks.

Flagler Beach, FL

“Don’t hassle the hound.” Photo by Flagler Beach Lucy

Flagler Beach is just a stone’s throw away from dog-friendly Saint Augustine and Daytona Beach, but this quieter beach town is protected against overdevelopment to give tourists a calmer coastal experience in The Sunshine State. You and your pooch can take a “paws” here during your A1A road trip and park just off the iconic road to access Flagler Beach. After playing on the sand, let your pup loose in the fenced dog rug at Wadsworth Park. Then, make your way to Good Times Dog Bar where the off-leash fun continues with water features, artificial turf, swings on the sand and a full bar for owners to enjoy. Radical rescue dogs on the East Coast can show off their surfing skills during Flagler Beach’s Hang 8 Surfing Extravaganza.

Book a room early at Beach Front Motel if you’re planning to attend during the surf competition. This popular pet-friendly motel is right next to the beach for morning walks on the sand.

Which beach town will you and Fido visit first? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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