Living in New Jersey means having 141 miles of magnificent beaches to enjoy. Stretched along the Atlantic Ocean between Perth Amboy and Cape May, there are small and large beaches, popular and secluded beaches, and beaches for everyone. Except for dogs - NJ beaches are not particularly dog-friendly. Most communities allow dogs on the beach during the off season only, and even then they have to be leashed. The luckiest dogs live close to Longport Dog Beach in Somers Point, where they are allowed to roam free year round. Also fortunate are the dogs that live close to 8th Avenue Dog Beach in Ashbury Park, where they are allowed off leash at night on a small portion of the beach.

We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.

1.8th Ave Dog Beach

8th Ave Dog Beach
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The Asbury Park Boardwalk is one of the best spots in New Jersey to have a stroll, do some shopping, have a bite to eat, or just people watch. Stretched between the Casino Building and Asbury Park Convention Center, it has breathtaking views of the ocean and miles of fine sandy beach. During the off-season, between September 16th and May 15th, you can bring your dogs to the boardwalk and the 8th Avenue Dog Beach. During the full summer season, dogs are allowed off-leash on the 8th Avenue Dog Beach between 6:00pm and 8:30am (please call and confirm beforehand). Only non-aggressive, licensed dogs are allowed on the dog beach and the owners have the obligation to make sure that they behave and to clean up after them.

1740-1798 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

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2.Brigantine North End Beach

Brigantine North End Beach
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Brigantine North End Beach, at the very north end of New Jersey Island, is one of the last wild, undeveloped beaches in the area. There are no high rises and no development, just 2.5 miles of sand and magnificent dunes covered in dense vegetation. It is perfect for walking, fishing, birdwatching, paddleboarding, and sunbathing. There are several kinds of birds that nest in the dunes, some of them rare and protected. Dogs are allowed on the beach during the off-season, from September 16th to March 31st, on a 6-foot leash. Just like on any other beach, it is the owners’ responsibility to clean up after their pets and to make sure that they behave.

1500 E Brigantine Ave, Brigantine, NJ 08203-0000

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3.Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area

Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area
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Fisherman's Cove Conservation Area is nice 55-acre grassy park along the Manasquan Inlet, famous with fishermen who come for the striped bass and fluke. It is considered the last undeveloped part of the Manasquan Inlet and is wonderful for hiking, sunbathing, or watching fishing boats going back and forth. Dogs on a leash are allowed at the eastern end of the beach year round, on the sand and in the water, so the owners can splash and cool off with their buddies. As usual, the owners have to clean up after their dogs. There are no facilities of any kind, so it is good idea to bring water for the dogs.

383 3rd Ave, Manasquan, NJ 08736

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4.Gateway National Recreation Area

Gateway National Recreation Area
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Spread out over 26,607 acres in New Jersey and the Port of New York, the Gateway National Recreation Area includes three units, two states, eleven parks, beaches, sport terrains, marinas, and historic sites. It is one of the most popular urban recreation areas in this part of the country and is used by ten million people every year. Dog owners and their furry friends can go to the Sandy Hook Unit and have fun on the bayside beach from March 15 to Labor Day and to Horseshoe Cove year round but on a leash. The owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dog.

26 Hudson Rd, Highlands, NJ 07732

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5.Beaches that allow dogs near me: Island Beach State Park

Beaches that allow dogs near me: Island Beach State Park
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Located south of Seaside Park on the Barnegat Peninsula in New Jersey, Island Beach State Park is the largest undeveloped barrier island reserve in New Jersey and one of the biggest in the States. The park is divided into the 659-acre Island Beach Northern Natural Area and the 1,237-acre Southern Natural Area. Part of the park is the Sedge Island Marine Conservation Zone with tidal marshes, ponds, creeks, and open water. The park is popular for swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Dogs are allowed in the park on a 6-foot leash but not on the swimming beach during the season or on the Spizzle Creek Bird Blind Trail any time of the year.

Seaside Park, NJ 08752

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6.Longport Dog Beach

Longport Dog Beach
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Somers Point is coastal city about 10 miles from Atlantic City and is the oldest settlement in Atlantic County, New Jersey, 10 miles southwest of Atlantic City, on Great Egg Harbor Bay. Charming Bay Village reminds of the days when old South Jersey was a great center for fishing and shipbuilding. Kennedy Park offers fantastic views of the bay, and the Malibu Beach Wildlife Management Area has a beautiful beach at the base of the Ocean Drive Bridge, across from the fishing pier. The beach is known as Longport Dog Beach because dogs are allowed a free run year round, on the beach and in the water. The owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs and must bring the disposal bags themselves.

Route 152 and Ocean Drive Bridge, Somers Point, NJ 08244

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7.North Wildwood Dog Beach

North Wildwood Dog Beach
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North Wildwood is a city located on the Jersey Shore in New Jersey’s Cape May County. Its beach is considered one of the best in New Jersey, its access is free, and it is guarded by lifeguards during the season. The beaches are smaller than in Wildwood but very clean. At the north end of Wildwood Beach is a fenced area reserved for dogs and their humans. The area is accessible year round and it is always full of frolicking dogs enjoying the waves and running along the sand. The park has separate enclosures for small and big dogs and both are full of dog toys, water bowls, and various obstacles to keep them entertained. Humans can enjoy the shade under a gazebo in the middle of the dog park.

24th Ave, North Wildwood, NJ 08260-0000

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8.Poplar Avenue Beach

Poplar Avenue Beach
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Wildwood has half a mile of spectacular sandy beach lined by a popular boardwalk full of restaurants and shops. In 2014, one part of the beach just off Poplar Avenue became an official dog beach and the owners can cross the boardwalk with their dog to get to the beach. The beach is almost two blocks wide and the dogs are allowed in the water and on the sand year round, but have to be leashed. There are fenced dog runs, one for small and one for big dogs, where the dog can run freely off-leash. You cannot miss the dog beach: It’s got a giant red hydrant in front of it.

487 E Poplar Ave, Wildwood, NJ 08260-0000

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9.Stone Harbor Beach

Stone Harbor Beach
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Stone Harbor is a lovely small town that shares Seven Mile Island with Avalon. Stone Harbor Beach is wide and flat, with wonderful warm sand and cool waves, perfect for swimming and long walks. The portion of the beach on 122nd Street has free parking and is free of charge. Dogs are allowed on the beach between 7 pm and sunset during the summer season and for the entire day during the off-season but have to be leashed (please call and confirm beforehand). According to the latest regulations, they are permitted on the beach during the summer from dawn to 9 am and from 6 pm until dusk on the portion of the beach between 80th and 83rd Streets. The owners are responsible for picking up after their dogs.

202 122nd St, Stone Harbor, NJ 08247-0000

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10.Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach
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Sunset Beach is a spectacular beach located in Lower Township, on the west side of Cape May Point on Delaware Bay. The beach is known for breathtaking sunsets over the open water and for "Cape May diamonds," crystals of clear quartz found all over the beach. The dogs are not allowed on the beach from April 1st to September 15th. After the season, from September 16th to March 30th, they can enjoy walking on the beach or swimming in the water, but they must be leashed. Their owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs. Interestingly, the shops on Sunset Beach are all pet-friendly year round and the Grille even has lower deck for guests with dogs.

502 Sunset Blvd, Lower Township, NJ 08212

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10 Dog-Friendly Beaches in New Jersey

More Ideas in NJ: Historic Cold Spring Village

Historic Cold Spring Village is a beautifully restored and authentic 1800s village that brings this era back to life. Set on a 30-acre site in Cape May, the Village features 27 expertly restored and refurbished buildings, in which period clothed interpreters demonstrate broom making, blacksmithing, tinsmithing, bookbinding, basket weaving, printing, pottery, and open hearth cooking. The Village also has an organic farm with a horse, chicken, sheep and more and presents an array of special weekday family activities such as arts and crafts, dress ups, memorable games, and free horse-drawn carriage rides.


Historic Cold Spring Village came to life in 1973 when Dr. Joseph Salvatore and his wife Patricia Anne acquired Cold Spring Grange #132 and began a living history museum. The following eight years saw the Salvatores gathering an impressive collection of buildings from the 18th and 19th century and setting them on 22 acres of wooded land between Routes 9 and 626. They also collected period décor and furnishings, tools and trade implements, and other items from this era and housed the buildings with them, with the idea of taking visitors on a journey back in time to a working village and rural South Jersey community in the 1800s.

Historic Cold Spring Village was opened to the public in 1981 and the buildings, and the land on which they stood was donated to the people of Cape May County in 1984, before being returned to the Salvatores in 1993. Today, the Village is managed by the HCSV Foundation, private non-profit corporation, and acts as an educational and historical center for the public to enjoy with the aim of preserving the history and improving understanding of the past.

Cold Spring Brewery

The Cold Spring Brewery joined the village in 2014 and was housed in an 1804 three-bay English-style Cape May County barn. Located just outside the Village and beautifully restored to its former glory, the Cold Spring Brewery serves a selection of ale on tap and is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 8:00 pm.

Village Country Store

Built in the 1700s and formerly known as The Hathorn House, the Village Country Store sells a unique assortment of hand-crafted arts and crafts, artisan wares, and heritage goods, ranging from hand spun wool and craft kits to hand-wrought ironware homemade jams and books. The Village Country Store is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10: 00 am to 4:30 pm.

Village Bakery

Originally called the Ezra-Norton House and built in circa 1850, the Village Bakery is run by Madison’s Bakery of Cape May and offers freshly baked bread, pastries, and other delightful treats and beverages. The Village Bakery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10: 00 am to 4:30 pm.

Cold Spring Grange Restaurant

Built in 1912 and known as the Cold Spring Grange #132, the Cold Spring Grange Restaurant sits on the original site on which it was constructed. The two-story building was made to serve as the meeting hall and gathering place for the residents of Cold Spring and its surrounding rural areas until 1970. Today, the building has become the Cold Spring Grange Restaurant, which offers an array of healthy meals and beverages in a historical setting, and is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

Ice Cream Parlor

Formerly called the Ewing-Douglass House and built in circa 1850 with a Greek Revival style façade and Victorian style point-arched windows, the Ice Cream Parlor offers refreshing and sweet respite during a Village visit.

Visitor Information

The Village features an organic farm with plenty of activities, as well as a Welcome Center where visitors can find information about the community and its rich history, a Country Store and Bakery with fresh goodies to eat, an Ice Cream Parlor and the Cold Spring Grange Restaurant.

720 US 9, Cape May, NJ 08204, Phone: 609-898-2300

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More Ideas in NJ: Cape May Country Park & Zoo

The Cape May County Park & Zoo is a park and wildlife center in Cape May Court House in New Jersey. Set on 85 acres of beautifully maintained parkland, the zoo is home to more than 500 animals from over 250 species housed in environmentally-friendly and natural habitats. Exhibits at the zoo range from a vast 57-acre African Savannah and a free-flight aviary to a significant reptile collection. Established in 1978, the Cape May County Park & Zoo is managed by the Cape May County Zoological Society/ZooFriends, who provide funds for the upkeep of the award-winning park and zoo. The surrounding park offers beautiful landscapes in which to relax and enjoy picnics.


Founded on the site of what was once a southern plantation of the Matthews family, the Cape May County Park was established in 1963 by the State of New Jersey with the aim of providing a recreational green space for the community to enjoy. The park developed several facilities, many of which are still available today, with the addition of much more over the years, such as picnic pavilions and barbecue pits, horseshoe pitching courts, shuffleboard courts, playgrounds, volleyball, badminton and croquet courts, and a camping area for scouts. Other recreational facilities that have since been added include tennis, tetherball, bocce and hopscotch courts, an archery range and a nature trail.

The Cape May County Zoo was founded in 1978 with a small collection of animals that include an African lion, various barnyard animals, and spider monkeys, and today features more exotic animals like bison, antelope, black bears and more. The zoo is home to a variety of natural habitats that house animals from all over the world, such as a giraffe and camel exhibit, a vast African Savannah exhibit, a cougar exhibit, a Bengal tiger exhibit, a ‘World of Birds,' and a reptile house. There is also a medical and diet preparation building.


In addition to the animal habitats, the zoo has several other attractions such as a Wildlife Carousel with 20 colorful animal-shaped seats, and the Rock Climb Snow Leopard Mountain where visitors can test their rock climbing skills on a safe and fun rock climbing wall. The Hummingbird Express Train Ride winds its way through the park, offering a pleasant and relaxing way to explore the surroundings. Honey Bee Haven showcases the life of the honey bee and the important role they play in the environment, and the Penny Machines offer a selection of pennies to take home as souvenirs. Face Painting and Caricature drawing are available in the Courtyard in the summer, and a Photo Booth is a fun way of savoring memories.

The surrounding park features several playgrounds, picnic pavilions, a fishing pond and a lovely gazebo for weddings, as well as the new Tree-to-Tree Aerial Obstacle Adventure Park, which promises unforgettable experiences for the whole family.


The Cape May County Park & Zoo supports several conservation and species survival programs, including programs for the survival of the Panamanian Golden Frog, the Marginated Turtle, and the Eastern Tiger Salamander. Patrons can adopt an animal at the zoo by contributing towards the costs of feeding, caring and providing veterinary needs for the animals for a year.


The Cape May County Park & Zoo offers a variety of educational programs and experiences for children of all ages, ranging from summer zoo camps, scout programs, and youth tennis to Fun for Kids experiences such as scavenger hunts, and infant and kindergarten days.

Visitor Information

Visitors can explore the zoo on a trackless train ride around the facility and enjoy fun times on the old-fashioned carousel, which features a variety of zoo animals for riding seats. Ninety-minute guided zoo tours are offered, led by experienced Zoo Education staff guide who will share their knowledge and expertise about the zoo and its residents. An exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Tour takes visitors into areas unseen by the public and visits the Diet Building, where all the animals’ food is prepared, and the Reptile House to see how the zoo keepers care for the 85 species of reptiles and amphibians.

The Ark in the Park Gift Shop offers an array of the zoo and animal-related goods, clothing, books, toys, souvenirs, and gifts and the Safari Café serves a menu of healthy snacks and drinks throughout the day. Two kiosks inside the zoo also sell a selection of snacks and beverages.

707 Route 9 North - Cape May Court House, NJ 08210 Exit 11 off the Garden State Parkway

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More Ideas in NJ: Six Flags Great Adventure

Six Flags Great Adventure and Safari is located in Jackson, New Jersey. The amusement theme park offers rides, entertainment, dining and shopping for the whole family. The park embraces a Warner Brothers theme and many of the rides are based on Looney Tunes characters, as well as action heroes from Warner Brothers movies such as Batman and the Green Lantern.

Rides range from children’s amusements to thrilling adventure rides. 19 rides are specifically designed for children and include Air Safari, a highflying roundabout on miniature airplanes. The Road Runner Railway is a small roller coaster that races over curves and gentle hills. Pepe le Pew’s Hearts Away is a twirling adventure on mini rafts. Daffy’s Deep Diver is a submarine tour through an underwater course. The Bugs Bunny National Park Water Tower and the Splash Water Oasis are summertime water amusements.

Among the more than 20 rides suitable for families is Air Jumbo, a 2-person roundabout ride aboard Jumbo the elephant. The Big Wheel is a classic 150-foot Ferris wheel. Other classic rides include a carousel, log-flume ride, bumper cars, the swashbuckler, a go-kart speedway, and Enchanted Teacups, a spinning teacup ride.

Thrill rides at the park include 7 roller coasters. The Dark Night is a Batman-themed all-indoor roller coaster with an underground Gotham City theme. Batman: The Ride is an outdoor coaster that reaches speeds up to 50 miles per hour and takes passengers through a 360-degree loop after a 10 story upward lift. El Diablo is a 7-story tall spiraling coaster that performs a 360-degree loop. Passengers on swiveling seats change directions half-way through the loop. El Toro is built as a classic wooden roller coaster, but with state-of-the-art technology that allows for a smoother, faster ride. The coaster gains speeds of up to 76 miles per hour and offer a drop of over 170 feet. It has consistently been voted the world’s best wooden roller coaster.

The Safari component of the park offers several live animal adventures. Guests can hand-feed giraffes and visit the residents up-close on World Animal Days. Safari Off Road Adventures take guests on open-air military trucks through the Safari park for close up encounters with the 1,200 animals that live in the 350-acre park. Camp Aventura offers a mid-ride break from the Off Road Adventure and introduces guests to the park’s nursery where baby animals are cared for, as well as a zip line and other mid-Safari activities.

The park is divided into 10 differently themed areas for easier navigation. Main Street offers most of the food and retail vendors. The Adventure Seaport is home to many of the park’s water rides. Movietown is home to the indoor roller coaster as well as an arcade. Adventure Alley, Fantasy Forest and Frontier Adventures are additional themed sections. Dining and shopping options are available in all areas of the park.

History: The Jackson, New Jersey theme park was founded in 1972 by Warner LeRoy, an entrepreneurial businessman who envisioned an amusement and safari park with seven distinctly themed areas. The $10 million Great Adventure entertainment complex opened in 1974. Six Flags purchased the park in 1977 and added several larger rides, including the wooden roller coaster at the park today, which was then named Rolling Thunder. Time Warner purchased Six Flags Adventure Parks in 1990, and used the opportunity to promote their movies through the themes of the rides. Batman: The Ride was added to the park in 1992. Time Warner continued to manage the parks until 1998 when the majority interest was sold to Premier Parks. After a shareholder takeover and subsequent bankruptcy, the park is now managed by a parent company based in Texas. The 160-acre theme park merged with the 360-acre Wild Safari park in 2012, forming the world’s second largest theme park, to rival Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Ongoing Programs and Education: Live entertainment takes place daily throughout the park and shows change with the seasons. Events at the park include holiday festivals, educational events and live performances. Holiday in the Park takes place November through January and decorates the park with holiday lights.

Educational programming includes Safari Off Road Education, a spring program for children in grades K through 6. Physics days and STEM days help teachers and students learn about the science, math and physics principles in the real life setting of the theme park. Biology Day is geared towards middle and high school students and offers up-close encounters with animals at the Safari park.

1 Six Flags Blvd., Jackson, NJ 08527, Phone: 732-928-2000

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