Officially, dogs in Massachusetts are not supposed to go to the beach during the summer, and even during the off season they should be on a leash. Unofficially, many beaches relax this rule in the winter once the lifeguards are not on duty anymore, especially the more secluded beaches where there are very few people. In the summer, even on a leash, dogs should stay away from areas with lifeguards where most people hang out with kids, but since the beaches in Massachusetts are often very long, there is enough space for the dogs to stretch their legs as long as they are under the control of their owners and are well behaved. Check the municipal regulations before taking your dog to any beach as the rules often change and are confusing even to the locals.

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1.Brant Rock

Brant Rock
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Brant Rock is a small coastal village in Marshfield, Massachusetts that is very popular for its abundance of sandy ocean beaches. There is an esplanade along Ocean Street and a stone jetty that people use to walk out over the water. The water is cool even in the summer, but the sand is soft and wonderful for sunbathing. Unfortunately, the beach is fairly narrow and the houses are very close to the beach. Nevertheless, it is very popular and lively, meaning it is not a good choice if you’re looking for quiet. Dog owners love it as dogs are allowed year round on the leash. There are even poop bags at the entrance to the beach. Owners should promptly clean up after their pets.

Ocean Street/H 139, Marshfield,Massachusetts 2050, Phone: 781-834-0268

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2.Carson Beach

Carson Beach
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Carson Beach is a public beach in South Boston. The beach is part of a three-mile long park segment along the shoreline in South Boston, heading west from Castle Island and from L and M Street beaches. The beach is very popular since it is easily accessible from the city and offers wonderful smooth sand and fantastic views of the Boston Harbor. The beach facilities are decent but the water is frigid year round. Dogs are allowed out of season, from Labor Day to Memorial Day, as long as they are on a leash. The beach is large and wide, and dogs and their owners enjoy running on the hard packed sand and occasionally splashing in the water.

2010 Day Blvd., Boston, MA 02127, Phone: 617-727-5290

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3.Castle Island Beach

Castle Island Beach
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Located in South Boston on the scenic shore of Boston Harbor, Castle Island is a popular 22-acre recreation spot for Boston residents and the location of 1634m Fort Independence. Besides visiting the fort, the most popular activities include strolling along the beach, swimming, or sunbathing. There are few beaches to choose from. Pleasure Bay Beach, south and west of the island, has nice protected areas for swimming on the edge of the lagoon. Beaches along Day Boulevard have wonderful white sand and have lifeguards. Dogs are allowed as long as they are on a leash and the owners clean up after them.

2010 William J Day Blvd, Boston, MA 02127, Phone: 617-727-5290

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4.Coast Guard Beach

Coast Guard Beach
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Located in Eastham, Coast Guard Beach is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, and it is a wonderful beach for hiking, relaxing, and swimming during the summer. The waves can get a bit rough, making the beach not so good for small kids. There is a lifeguard on duty during the summer and restrooms are on-site. Dogs are allowed as long as they are on a six-foot leash and stay off the portion of the beach guarded by lifeguards during the summer. It is very important that owners clean up after their dogs since they share the beach with other people and kids.

Nauset & Doane Rds, Eastham, MA

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5.Corn Hill Beach

Corn Hill Beach
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Located on Cape Cod Bay just north of Pamet Harbor, Corn Hill Beach is a long and narrow sandy beach edged with low sand dunes covered in crabgrass. The bay floor is shallow and sloping, and its calm, warm waters make this beach perfect for families with small kids. There is a narrow inlet behind the beach that is quiet and secluded. The beach is wonderful for watching boats going in and out of harbor, and even dogs love watching them from the wide expanse of packed sand. The beach is dog friendly before 9am or after 6pm during the summer, or throughout the whole day in the off-season, but they have to be on leash.

Old Pilgrim Library Bldg., 36 Shore Road, Rt. 6A, North Truro, MA 02652, Phone: 508-487-6983

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6.Craigville Beach

Craigville Beach
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Craigville Beach is a popular beach in Craigvile (part of Centerville) on Nantucket Sound. This huge public beach is open to everyone and is especially popular with teens and students, but its wide expanse of fine sand is appealing to everyone. The beach is known for kite surfing, swimming and sunbathing. There is a lifeguard on duty during the summer season and there are a few concessions with rental chairs and umbrellas. The beach has showers and restrooms. Dogs are allowed only during the off season, from September 15 to May 15.

997 Craigville Beach Rd, Centerville, MA 02632-3544, Phone: 508-775-9695

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7.Crowe’s Pasture Conservation Area and Beach

Crowe’s Pasture Conservation Area and Beach
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Crowes Pasture is a secluded beach accessible by a rough mile-long dirt road that goes through the scrub oak woods along the shore of Cape Cod Bay and Quivett Creek. A salt marsh and restored fields full of wildflowers border the path in summer and fall. While the road to the beach is open to vehicles, it is much better to leave your car at the parking area by the cemetery and enjoy the walk to the beach. You may get a chance to spot some wildlife. Be careful to time your visit to a few hours after high tide to have more space on the beach. The beach is wild and natural with no amenities, and dogs love it but have to be on a leash. It does not really matter since the walk to the beach will tire them out enough that they’ll enjoy simply relaxing on the sand once they get there.

Rte 134, South Dennis, MA 02641, Phone: 508-760-6123

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8.Fort Phoenix State Reservation

Fort Phoenix State Reservation
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Fort Phoenix State Reservation is a popular park in Fairhaven on outer New Bedford Harbor. The park has a wonderful half-mile long beach, spectacular views of Buzzards Bay, and a fascinating well-preserved Revolutionary War Fort Phoenix. The beach is the favorite summer spot for families to spend the day swimming, picnicking, playing tennis or basketball, or strolling along the beach and collecting shells from oysters, scallops, clams and sea snails. There is a playground for kids and outdoor showers. Dogs are allowed only off-season between September and April and have to be on leash.

Green Street, Fairhaven, MA 02719, Phone: 508-992-4524

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9.Francis Street Beach

Francis Street Beach
© Courtesy of Justin -

Francis Street Beach is a small harbor beach close to downtown Nantucket just a few minutes’ walk from Main Street. Like other beaches on the island’s north shore, the waters of this beach are calm and the surf is gentle. It is great for swimming even for small kids, but keep in mind that there is no lifeguard. There is a Jungle Jim for the kids along with kayak rentals and restrooms. The views of the harbor and Nantucket Sound are wonderful. You can bring your dog but must keep him or her on a leash. Stay away from Brant Point as the current is very strong.

Washington St & Lafayette St, Nantucket, MA, 02554-0000, Phone: 508-325-5395

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10.Hatches Harbor Trails

Hatches Harbor Trails
© Courtesy of Wendy -

Hatches Harbor salt marsh near Provincetown is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. There are miles of hiking and biking trails throughout this huge marsh between Hatches Harbor and the Provincetown Airport. The trail starts at the parking lot off Province Lands Road. Follow the dike path to the dunes before reaching the beach. If the tide is low, you can continue along the shore and cross a small stream to reach the lighthouse. If the tide is high, you will have to walk over the dunes. The trails are very popular with dog owners because of the hard packed sand and fantastic views of the Race Point Lighthouse and the harbor. If you come between March and May, you can see right whales. There is so much wildlife year around. Please do not forget that dogs have to be leashed anywhere in the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Route 6, Provincetown, MA

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11.Head of the Meadows

Head of the Meadows
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Part of the National Seashore, Head of the Meadows is a popular North Truro beach with a wide expanse of fine sand that is always full of people enjoying watersports, swimming, or relaxing in the sand. The beach is very picturesque, with large dunes that tower over the shore and long sandbars in the water, making it shallow and perfect for kids. There is always something going on, whether that be a game of volleyball or surfers flying over waves. It is perfect for family picnics or for looking for shipwrecks during low tide – there are more than 1,000 on this stretch of the coast. You can also bring your bike and hit the two-mile long Head of the Meadow Trail that runs past the Salt Meadow marshland. Pets are welcome before 9am and after 6pm in summer or the whole day long in the off-season but have to be on a leash.

Old Pilgrim Library Bldg., 36 Shore Road, Rt. 6A, North Truro, MA 02652, Phone: 508-487-6983

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12.Herring Cove

Herring Cove
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Herring Cove, the most popular beach in Provincetown, is located at the tip of the Cape a few miles from downtown. This massive, wide beach is part of the National Seashore and has different areas, one of them only protected by lifeguard during the season. There is also a hot dog stand, two parking areas, restrooms, and showers. The beach is perfect for any kind of outdoor activity, from swimming and watching stunning sunsets to hiking or biking along the nearby trail. Dogs are allowed on the parts of the beach not guarded by lifeguards but have to be on a leash. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.

Race Point Road, Provincetown, MA 02657, Phone: 508-487-1256

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13.Horseneck Beach

Horseneck Beach
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Horseneck Beach is part of the Horseneck State Reservation, a very popular 800-acre public recreation area on the Atlantic Ocean in southern Westport, Massachusetts at the western part of Buzzard's Bay. The two-mile long barrier beach shares this peninsula with marshlands and a rich and diverse estuary habitat. The reservation is a popular spot for fishing, windsurfing, boating, swimming, hiking, and biking. There is a boat ramp and numerous trails for walking and bird watching. There is a lifeguard during the summer, and all along the beach are paved walkways. The beach is popular with dog owners who can bring their pooches during the off-season between October and March, but they have to keep them on a leash.

5 John Reed Road, Westport, MA 02791, Phone: 508-636-8816

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14.Jetties Beach

Jetties Beach
© Courtesy of Wendy -

Just an easy bike ride from town, Jetties Beach is a favorite Nantucket beach. It is very popular with families with kids as the water is warm, calm, and great for swimming. The wide expanse of packed sand has a plastic mat across the center of the beach to make walking through the sand easier. The beach has a range of facilities such as restrooms, showers, lifeguards, and a restaurant. Sailing, windsurfing, and kayaking lessons are available. Getting to the beach from town is easy thanks to the shuttle bus that runs during the season. Dogs are welcome at the parts of the beach that are not guarded by lifeguards but have to be on a leash.

2 Bathing Beach Rd, Nantucket, MA, 02554-0000, Phone: 508-228-2279

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15.Kalmus Beach

Kalmus Beach
© Courtesy of Eduardo López -

Located at the end of Ocean Street in Hyannis, Kalmus Beach is a very long, wide stretch of white sand with two distinct areas: one that is windy with steady waves off Nantucket Sound and is very popular for windsurfing and another that is more protected, where the water is calm and great for swimming. During the summer season, the beach has a lifeguard and a range of facilities such as showers, restrooms, and a snack bar. There is a shady picnic area, but you should bring food with you. The beach is also a great spot for watching elegant sailboats gliding through the harbor. Take a stroll along the beach and look for colorful shells – there are plenty of them. Dogs are free to run around on or off leash from September 15 to May 15.

670 Ocean St, Hyannis, MA 02601, website, Phone: 508-775-2201

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16.Beaches that allow dogs near me: Long Beach

Beaches that allow dogs near me: Long Beach
© Courtesy of Chee-Onn Leong -

Located in the town of Plymouth about an hour south of Boston, Long Beach is a wonderful white sand beach just south of the town center along the water. This three mile-long narrow peninsula is great for swimming, and the dunes on its edge provide a breeding ground for plovers and terns. There is a lifeguard on duty during the season as well as basic facilities. The water and the beach are very clean, and swimming is great during the summer. Dogs are allowed on the beach but should be kept away from the dunes and bird nests.

1 Ryder Way, Plymouth, MA 02360, Phone: 508-747-1620

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17.Marconi Beach

Marconi Beach
© Courtesy of Ritu Jethani -

A part of the Cape Cod National Seashore, Marconi Beach is a gorgeous white sand beach with a sweeping view of Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean from the overlook on the cliff above the beach. During the season, the beach has facilities such as restrooms, outdoor showers, and a lifeguard. There is also a bike trail nearby. The beach is very popular for boogie boarding and surfing as there are constant winds from the ocean. During low tide, the wide, flat stretch of beach is perfect for skimboarding. Beach fishing is also popular, but seals that frequent this beach make it difficult at times. As at all Cape Cod National Seashore beaches, dogs are allowed year around on a leash but in the summer should stay away from the parts of the beach with lifeguards.

Wellfleet, MA 02667

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18.Nahant Doggie Beach

Nahant Doggie Beach
© Courtesy of cynoclub -

Dog Beach in Nahant is one of very few beaches on the North Shore where off-leash dogs are allowed during the summer. It is a long beautiful sandy beach on the south side of the causeway with a rock wall that was built to prevent erosion and also act as a barrier that keeps dogs on “their” side of the beach. There is nice grassy area above the beach with plenty of garbage bins. Dog owners are expected to clean up after their dogs and also to make sure the dogs do not disturb other beach-goers. The beach is very popular for kiteboarding and windsurfing, and there are plenty of people without dogs enjoying the fine sandy shore.

1 Nahant Rd, Nahant, MA 01908, Phone: 781-485-2803

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19.Nauset Beach

Nauset Beach
© Courtesy of Jerry -

Nauset Beach is a large and very popular 10-mile beach that stretches from the city of Orleans all the way to Chatham. The beach has great waves and attracts many surfers – surfing is permitted between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. The beach also attracts swimmers, boogie boarders, and beach fishermen looking for bass and blues. The water is cool but very pleasant in the summer and the area gets pretty crowded. Off-road vehicles are allowed with a permit. There is a lifeguard at one part of the beach. Dogs are allowed in the parts of the beach not guarded, and there are local regulations detailing the areas where they can play year round and where they are allowed only during the off season, but the rules are fairly confusing even for locals, so just in case keep your dog on a leash and away from lifeguards and both your dog and you will have fun.

Beach Road, Orleans, MA, Phone: 508-240-3775

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20.Beaches that allow dogs near me: Race Point Beach

Beaches that allow dogs near me: Race Point Beach
© Courtesy of Christopher Seufert -

Race Point Beach in Provincetown is a wonderful wide sandy beach around the Coast Guard station and the point. It is part of the Cape Cod National Seashore. The beach is lined with massive dunes, and the Province Lands Bike Trail starts at the beach leading to Herring Cove beach. The beach has quite rough waves, perfect for surfing but not so pleasant for swimming. Surfing is allowed outside the guarded area. There are parts of the beach that are more protected and calmer, and swimming is easier in these areas. The views are beautiful – there are often sailboats gliding across the water in the distance. As in other Cape Cod National Seashore beaches, dogs are allowed on a leash in the areas not protected by lifeguards.

Race Point Road, Provincetown, MA 02657, Phone: 508-771-2144

21.Red River Beach

Red River Beach
© Courtesy of everydoghasastory -

Long and spacious, Red River Beach is one of the most popular Harwich beaches. It is wide enough to allow some great Frisbee tossing. You can even bring your kayak or canoe for a ride – there is a boat ramp at the end of the parking lot. The warm water of Nantucket Sound and moderate surf with small waves make this beach great for swimming as well as learning to boogieboard, especially for kids. There are a few rock jetties jutting out, and the beach is scattered with plenty of colorful shells you can collect as you stroll along the shore. Dogs are allowed with or without a leash during the off season.

Uncle Venie’s Road, Harwich Port, MA 02645, Phone: 508-430-7553

22.Rexhame Beach

Rexhame Beach
© Courtesy of everydoghasastory -

Rexhame Beach in Marshfield is a typical barrier beach with a narrow, low-lying strip of sand edged by massive dunes covered with sparse vegetation. The beach is separated from the mainland by a large marsh teeming with diverse vegetation and coastal birds. Rexhame Beach and its dunes protect the mainland as well as marshes from storms and floods. The beach is very large but fairly rocky. It is great for hiking and relaxing in the sun. The facilities are limited to a portable toilet and a small snack bar, and there is a lifeguard on duty during the summer. Dogs are allowed on the beach year round, but keep them on a leash during the summer season. Keep them out of the dunes where shore birds nest.

Standish St, Marshfield, MA 02050, Phone: 781-536-2500

23.Sandy Neck Beach

Sandy Neck Beach
© Courtesy of lunamarina -

Sandy Neck Beach is a 6.5-mile long barrier beach at Sandy Neck along Cape Cod Bay, edged by massive, 100-foot high ever-changing dunes and, in the back, a scenic salt marsh. The beach is a mix of pebbles and sand and is shared between the towns of Sandwich and Barnstable. It is a popular spot for all sorts of recreational activities: swimming in the summer, hiking, camping, and saltwater fishing. The dunes are home to many shore birds but also to red foxes. The sparse vegetation that covers them is fragile, but it is magical when wildflowers are in bloom. There is a network of hiking trails that lead from the beach across the dunes and through the marshes. The beach is divided into a public, guarded beach and an off-road beach. Dogs are allowed year round on the off-road beach and on the trails but can only visit the public beach during the off season.

Sandy Neck Road, West Barnstable, MA 02668, Phone: 508-362-8300

24.Squantum Point Park

Squantum Point Park
© Courtesy of everydoghasastory -

Squantum Point Park is a state public recreation area on the Squantum peninsula in North Quincy next to Marina Bay. The beach is a mix of sand and rocks and is never crowded; although it is surprisingly close to Boston, the park is not easy to find and is only accessible by taking a network of narrow, confusing roads. However, the beach is very scenic and the views of the city are magnificent. There is a half-mile long trail from the end of the parking lot leading to the northernmost part of the beach where you can let your dog have fun roaming around. The rest of the beach is full of shells whose sharp bits might hurt dogs’ paws. Officially, dogs should be on a leash, but as the beach is always deserted and there are no lifeguards or any facilities, nobody is enforcing the leash rule. Nevertheless, make sure you clean up after your dog.

1 Victory Rd, Quincy, MA 02171

25 Best Dog Friendly Beaches in Massachusetts

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