It's the dog days of summer and we've found the best pet-friendly beaches in North Carolina and South Carolina for you and your furry friends.

The dog days of summer are here and there is no better time to have a great day with your furry bestie on the pet-friendly beaches of North Carolina or South Carolina!

No, I’m not talking about your hippie girl pals! It’s a hot boi summer for your good boy (or girl) on four paws.

My pups are complete beach bums and I couldn’t ask for better company while we enjoy the wind and waves.

If you are in North Carolina or South Carolina, I’ve got great news for you, some of the country’s best pet-friendly beaches are just a car ride away!

Remember, always be a good guest and clean up after your pet. Let me know some of your favorite pet friendly water adventure spots!

The American Kennel Club also reminds you to watch your pets at the beach.

“Whatever activities you decide to pursue, always supervise your dog,” the AKC said on its pet beach guide. “It’s important for your dog’s safety, but it’s also part of responsible dog ownership. Don’t let your dog disturb wildlife, damage vegetation, or become a nuisance to other people or dogs on the beach.

“To ensure a safe and enjoyable beach day, there are certain behaviors your dog should know. First, your dog should have a reliable recall. Many beach activities require letting your dog off leash, so you need to be certain your dog will come back to you when called. In fact, all your dog’s basic obedience behaviors should be under your control with either a hand signal or verbal cue. If your dog isn’t ready for that kind of freedom, stick to on-leash pursuits like walks along the shore.”

  • Caswell Beach, NC

    This coastal gem welcomes well-behaved and leashed dogs year-round! It’s also one of the less crowded and more secluded beaches on our list so unleashed dogs under voice control may visit from dawn until 9:00 a.m., and from October 1 through April 30, unleashed but controlled dogs are welcome on the beach from 3:00 p.m. until dark. If you are visiting from a distance there are also ample pet friendly hotels and rentals nearly.

  • Corolla Beach, NC

    Corolla, NC OBX - Explore Things to Do in Corolla, Where to Stay

    Corolla, NC is one of the most popular beach vacation destinations on the Outer Banks. Find things to do, beach house rentals & 4x4 info.

    The Outer Banks boasts this pet friendly gem, where leashed animals are welcome year round.  In addition to a lovely beach day there are many fantastic local dining options that offer outdoor seating that cater to people and pets.

  • Emerald Isle Beach, NC

    Beach & Sound

    Emerald Isle's oceanfront and soundside public accesses and parks offer a wealth of amenities.

    Not only does Emerald Isle Beach allow leashed pets year round, there is also the Emerald Isle Woods Park Trail.  This 41-acre park includes walking and hiking trails, a floating dock and a pier on-site and ready for you and your dog to explore and enjoy.  

  • Fort Macon State Park, NC

    Fort Macon State Park

    Located in Carteret County 39 miles southeast of New Bern, Fort Macon State Park is centered on an impeccably restored pre-Civil War fort that offers daily guided tours and frequent cannon and musket demonstrations. Extensive exhibits educate visitors on fort history and the natural surroundings.

    The 2015 winner of state park of the year and it’s easy to see why! With an unspoiled shoreline for swimming, fishing, and exploring with your pet, it’s a must see summer adventure. With loads of walking trails and beach access, it’s a great place to pack some puppy (and human) treats and enjoy a beach picnic.

  • Duck Town Park Boardwalk, NC

    Dogs in Duck - Town of Duck, North Carolina

    One of the Top 10 Fido-Friendly Beach Towns in the United States. Here are a few things to remember while in Duck with your dogs.

    Well mannered pups are welcome off leash to frolic on the beach, but must have proof of proper vaccinations.  This area is so dog friendly, in fact, that several of the local bars and restaurants welcome them inside with their owners.  Many pet friendly beach rentals also available, so stay awhile!

  • RiverPark at Cooleemee Falls "The Bullhole", NC

    Veering slightly away from the beach but still in the realm of water adventures is RiverPark at Cooleemee Falls, known locally as The Bullhole.

    The Bullhole is a dog-friendly recreation area in Woodleaf, NC. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany you to the impressive stone dam, sandy beach and wooded trails. Swimming, picnic areas, public restrooms, and benches abound, making for a perfect day trip for you and your pet.
  • Hatteras Island, NC

    Hatteras Island | Watersports, Villages & Lighthouses

    Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city with a trip to Hatteras Island with endless stretches of beaches, fishing options, and off-road exploration.

    With 70 miles of stunning shoreline, your pet is welcome year round as long as they are leashed. Be mindful of the local wildlife, interaction between pets and the local animals is prohibited.

  • Alder Lane Beach Access, SC

    Alder Lane Beach Access

    Alder Lane Beach Access

    Moving into South Carolina, Alder Lane Beach Access allows pet access April 1st through September 30th before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m, or anytime in the off season. They must be on a leash or under positive voice control at all times! Much more intimate  than many of the other local beaches in the area, it’s become a favorite of beach going pet owners. Insider tip: bring quarters as the parking area is metered. 

  • Isle of Palm Beaches, SC


    Coast is Clean! The City of Isle of Palms boasts seven miles of wide, pristine beaches great for swimming, lounging, fishing, biking and kayaking. The City of Isle of Palms has been a destination for beach goers for generations. The City's Front Beach commercial district is located on Ocean Boulevard from 10th Avenue to 14th Avenue.

    Beach going pet owners are raving about South Carolina’s Isle of Palm Beaches! Isle of Palm Beaches allow dogs from 5:00AM until 8:00AM April 1st through September 14th and 4:00PM until 10:00AM September 15th through March 31st, either leashed or under strict voice control. Big, clean and quiet, there is even a pet fountain provided near the misters so your furry pal doesn’t overheat during your adventure.

  • Fish Haul Beach Park, SC

    Animals on the Beach

    Animals on the Hilton Head Island Beach

    Fish Haul Beach Park is Hilton Head Island’s only year round pet friendly beach. Shallow water (perfect for my water loving Shih Tzu and his short legs!), shell hunting, and an abundance of sea life this is one of South Carolina’s hidden gems as far as pet friendly beaches go.

  • Huntington Beach State Park, SC

    Huntington Beach

    See South Carolina landmarks such as Atalaya, former home of Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington, or fish, camp and more at Huntington Beach State Park!

    Only the south side of the beach is pet friendly, be mindful of that when trip planning.  Pets must be leashed at all times and there is a $5 entrance fee.  Beach goers claim it’s never terribly crowded, and there is a dog friendly campground nearby.

  • Enjoy!


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