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.
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1.8th 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. 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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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. 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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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
- 8th Ave Dog Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Nataraj - Fotolia.com
- Brigantine North End Beach, Photo: Courtesy of rodrusoleg - Fotolia.com
- Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Photo: Courtesy of Stephen Bonk - Fotolia.com
- Gateway National Recreation Area, Photo: Courtesy of Shmel - Fotolia.com
- Beaches that allow dogs near me: Island Beach State Park, Photo: Courtesy of Chris - Fotolia.com
- Longport Dog Beach, Photo: Courtesy of otsphoto - Fotolia.com- Fotolia.com
- North Wildwood Dog Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Jorge Moro - Fotolia.com- Fotolia.com
- Poplar Avenue Beach, Photo: Courtesy of Christian Müller - Fotolia.com
- Stone Harbor Beach, Photo: Courtesy of WideAwake - Fotolia.comtonaturali - Fotolia.com
- Sunset Beach, Photo: Courtesy of anoushkatoronto - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of amyinlondon - Fotolia.com