BringFido's Guide to the Jersey Shore

Posted by Billy Francis

Stretching more than 140 miles from Sandy Hook to Cape May, there are a great deal of dog-friendly delights to discover along The New Jersey Shore. This stretch of northeastern coastline is home to the longest boardwalk in the world, a variety of incredible pet-friendly vacation rentals, and a buffet of restaurants that offer delectable menus for dogs and humans alike. Check out these pet-friendly highlights from the most-visited region in The Garden State.

Things to Do

“Chihuahuas say wunderbar!” Photo by

Take a break with your best friend along the Jersey Shore, where you can order a cocktail with your Cockapoo, wave to whales in the Atlantic, and stop for a break at a dog park boasting a giant fire hydrant.

Meet the Locals at Yappy Hour

If you’re visiting the historic shore town of Asbury Park during the off-season, catch up with the canine crew at 8th Avenue Dog Beach. Then, walk with your dog along Asbury Park Boardwalk to one of the country’s most-hyped doggy hangouts, Wonder Bar. This legendary rock 'n' roll venue is now just as famous for hosting an unforgettable Yappy Hour celebration throughout the week. Wonder Bar Yappy Hour takes place in the beach bar’s outdoor space, Tillie’s Landing, where pups play in the sand off-leash while their owners enjoy a cocktail from the tiki bar.

Soar with your Shih Tzu

Located inside a real World War II hangar, Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum is a pet-friendly air museum that teaches visitors about aviation and military history. The exhibits are made up of 90,000 square feet of paws-on fun, including a diverse selection of aircraft and impressive engines, helicopters, jets, and more. Be sure to check out what life was like during World War II when you climb inside a real air traffic control tower.

“Clearly my hat is keeping me cool.”Photo by @BreezingintheSkye_

Go Beyond the Shore

Featured in the latest edition of BringFido’s book, Ruff Guide to the United States, Cape May Whale Watcher offers an unforgettable Jersey Shore experience. Departing from the Miss Chris Marina in Cape May, the company offers three tours daily from May through October. The morning and evening tours both circle the island in two hours, providing a unique view of Cape May’s picturesque Victorian homes and lighthouse. The afternoon cruise guarantees you’ll see whales or dolphins, or your next trip is free!

Boutique Shopping

Located a few miles from the Jersey Shore, stock both Fido’s wardrobe and pantry in Smithville. Despite the town only being in existence since 1952, most of the buildings are actually a lot older, transported here from elsewhere in southern New Jersey, and lovingly pieced together. One of the historic buildings houses Paw Dazzle of Smithville, a boutique pet shop that stocks homemade treats and swag like pet clothing and leashes. Continue shopping for Fido at Woof Woof Barkery & Pet Boutique in the neighboring village of Galloway.

“This place is wild!”Photo by @its_fin_stagram

See the Giant Fire Hydrant

Wildwood Dog Park and Beach is home to a 30-foot tall fire hydrant, but this isn’t the only reason it’s considered one of the best dog-friendly beaches on the East Coast. Fido can make friends in the fenced, off-leash park complete with agility and climbing equipment, fresh drinking water, and separate areas for large and small dogs. Once he’s explored every corner of the park, take him down to the water, where leashed pups are allowed to frolic in the surf.

Coast Down the Coast

Ocean Drive takes road trippers from Cape May to Atlantic City. Look for the “Follow the Gull” signs along this 50-mile series of roads to stay on the right track. Make your way through the beautiful coastal towns like Wildwood, Stone Harbor, Sea Island City, and more. This scenic road shows off the region’s epic inlets and long stretches of sandy beaches.

Step Back in Time

Take a walk down memory lane at Historic Cold Spring Village, a 22-acre, open-air, living-history museum that features working craftspeople in period costumes and 26 restored historic structures. Leashed dogs are welcome in all outdoor areas. Dogs aren’t allowed inside most buildings, but your best friend can keep you company inside the village’s Cold Spring Brewery, and on the pet-friendly patio outside.

Places to Stay

“There’s room for us all to stretch out!” Photo by Highland House

From unique pet-friendly Airbnbs to oceanfront hotels, you’re sure to find an unforgettable place to stay on your next Jersey Shore vacation with your best friend.

“Pawfect” Pet-Friendly B&B

Built in 1850, the Highland House is an ultra pet-friendly B&B in Cape May. The innkeepers are dog lovers, and all of the rooms are decorated with canine-themed ornaments. The result is charmingly homey, so you may feel like you’re sleeping over at grandma’s house. Spend an afternoon lounging on the front porch, walk four blocks to the beach, or let Fido play with the other pet guests in the fenced yard.

March into Monopoly City

Roll the dice on a stay at Showboat Hotel Atlantic City. From balcony rooms with Atlantic views to large suites with space to sprawl, there’s a room to suit every canine at this well-liked hotel near a local landmark, The Absecon Lighthouse. Before bedtime, dogs and their owners can walk around the pet relief areas outside and soak up the atmosphere of “America’s Playground.”

Book a Beautiful Home

The Sea Breeze Cottage is a short walk away from Asbury Park’s pet-friendly restaurants and boardwalk. When you’re tired of sightseeing for the day, rest up with your pup at this cottage with a fenced yard, wraparound porch, and delightful deck. If Fido’s covered in slobber and sand from Wonder Bar’s Yappy Hour, clean him off in the enclosed outdoor shower before heading inside for an evening of relaxation in beautifully decorated surroundings.

Mutt-Loving Motel

Dogs dig the Sand Box Motel in one of the best pet-friendly beach towns in the U.S., Wildwood. Four-legged guests receive a treat, food mat, and bowls to use during their stay, and rooms have hardwood floors for easy cleanup. There’s a pet relief area on the property, or you can take an evening stroll to the nearby beach.

“A bowl of water - not shaken or stirred.”Photo by @monmouthdognj

Hotel Happenings with your Hound

The Asbury features a rooftop lounge and a swimming pool area, which is the perfect spot for hanging out with your pooch during the summer months. When the temperature drops outside, head inside together and enjoy live music in the lobby. Pup parents will be pleased to hear that a portion of every pet fee is donated to a local animal shelter.

Discover a Delightful Deck

Cuddle up with your pup at this cute condo in the charming coastal town of Brigantine. Wake up to coffee on the sunny, second story wraparound deck, then trot along the sand with your Terrier at Brigantine North End Beach during the day. Then, wind down for the evening with dinner on the patio at this renovated home just 380 steps away from the beach. There’s even a shared outdoor shower to wash up after a day of play.

Colorful Cottage in the Sun

Guests can’t miss this brightly-colored yellow cottage in Sea Bright, until they have to leave of course. Dogs can play off-leash in the fenced backyard while you enjoy an evening meal overlooking the river. Inside, there’s an office space for remote workers and a comfortable lounge area. Beaches in Sea Bright welcome leashed dogs from the day after Labor Day until the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. After a day at the beach, Fido can rinse the sand from his paws in the outdoor shower.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

“Did you say eat and drink away?” Photo by @chewiebug

Fido can dine out on human-grade meals, join you for a farm tour, and go shopping before dinner at these amazing restaurants.

Fill Up with your Pup in Asbury Park

Bring your Irish Setter to Kim Marie's Eat n Drink Away in Asbury Park for breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the dog-friendly streetside tables. This much-loved local staple is open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. every day of the week, dishing up Irish-style comfort food like fish and chips, meatloaf, and more. Four-legged diners can enjoy a burger or chicken, served with potatoes and vegetables on the side.

Shop Until You Eat

Sunset Beach Gifts and Rock N Apparel welcomes dogs inside to help their owners choose nautical-themed decorative items for the home, souvenir trinkets, and more. After a unique shopping spree, find a table on the sand at The Grille for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The varied menu includes sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, salads, and more.

““I’ll take one of everything.”Photo by @sojuthetsismoso

Big Meals on the Dog Menu

Located at Sheraton Atlantic City Convention Center Hotel, Tun Tavern Restaurant & Brewery is another Jersey Shore hotspot with a delicious dog menu. Pups can enjoy items like No Bones About It (grilled chicken with rice) and Pup’s Delight (Angus beef and white rice). While your Chow Chow chows down, you can try an award winning cream of crab soup or the Boardwalk Crab Cakes.

Patrons Must Love Pups

Held on Monday evenings during spring and summer between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m., playdates and refreshments await at Canines and Cocktails at the Inlet Bar in Point Pleasant Beach. A portion of the beach is sectioned off into two areas for small and large dogs to play separately and safely on the sand. While dogs get to know each other, toast other pet parents with a craft beer or beach-inspired cocktail.

A Taste of the Sea

Dogtooth Bar & Grill is just a few blocks away from Wildwood Dog Park and Beach. Make your way to this popular eatery to refuel after a marathon game of fetch. Menu highlights include volcano shrimp, crab bisque, and lobster rolls. Pups can rehydrate with a fresh bowl of water.

“Are there any Jersey Cows here?”Photo by

Fetch a Drink at this Picturesque Place

Nauti Spirits Distillery is a pet-friendly hangout that will keep you and your pooch entertained all day long. This 60-acre coastal farm stocks treats for Fido and also serves bowls of water to canine visitors, who are welcome in both the covered and open outdoor seating areas. Their boozy menu is made up of nautical-inspired specialty drinks and cocktails like Delaware Baybreeze, Shark Tooth, and Cape Island Iced Tea. While food is not served on the premises, food trucks visit on a rotating schedule during the summer.

Support Working Dogs with a Beer

Coho Brewing Co. is a pet-friendly brewery that gives back to the working dogs of Wildwood with every beer sold. Supporting Wildwood Police’s K-9 Unit, this law and order themed brewery welcomes pups inside and out. People who struggle to pick pints can order The Jury Box, which includes a selection of 16 different beers from the tap list.

What are your favorite dog-friendly things to do in The Jersey Shore? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

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