Home Best of Guides A Guide to Dog-Friendly Beaches in New Jersey

A Guide to Dog-Friendly Beaches in New Jersey

by Kristina Helfer
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Living in New Jersey, you know that summer means a great time for you and your pet. From hiking to swimming — or just enjoying the sunshine — there are tons of local places you can visit with your furry friend. We’ve rounded up some spots in New Jersey where you can take your dog — plus, we’ve covered some tips and suggestions for how best to care for your dog on these outings. Read on for a list of places to go for a dog-friendly day trip— including beaches and other parks that allow dogs in New Jersey.

dog-friendly beaches new jersey

How to Pack Your Bags

  • – Bring water for you and your dog — and lots of it.

Tip: Do not give your dog ice water if it’s very hot. It can send your pup into shock.

The Ivy at Chatham
  • – Get sunblock for you and your dog.

Yes, dogs can get sunburnt, too.

  • – Pack the poop bags.

Because cleaning up after your pet is a must wherever you go.

  • – Grab an extra leash.

One could break by getting caught on something while walking or from being damaged by the water your dog’s swimming in, other pets, etc.

  • – Buy a tick key or tick twister.

Removing ticks is tricky because you want to make sure you get all of its legs. A tick key or the tick twister are great, easy-to-use tools to safely and completely remove ticks off you and your pet.

  • – Include towels and wipes.

These aren’t just for cleaning — if your dog overheats, put cool water on a towel and wrap it loosely around its neck

Read More: A Guide to Dog Walkers in Montclair + Beyond

How to Make Sure Your Pet is Safe + Sound While Traveling/Outdoors

There are several things to watch out for while you’re traveling or playing with your pet outdoors.

Overheating and dehydration

  • – Some warning signs include: Fast breathing, excessive panting, vomiting, diarrhea, collapsing

If you see any of these signs, put a cool, wet towel around your dog’s neck and contact your vet ASAP.


  • – Although many dogs receive flea/tick treatment, ticks can and will still latch onto your pets.
  • – Examine your dog all over frequently. If you see a tick, do not pull it off with your bare hands. Instead, use a tick key or a tick twister to safely and effectively remove the tick. If you fear your dog has been bitten or that the tick is one of the species that carry Lyme Disease, contact your vet immediately.

long beach island lbi new jersey shore

Beaches That Allow Dogs

Keep in many that many beaches throughout New Jersey allow dogs during the off-season (the definition of which varies per beach), but these spots also allow dogs during the summer (though some have restrictions).

Asbury Park

The 8th Avenue Dog Beach

This dog-friendly beach allows licensed, non-aggressive dogs with adult supervision. Make sure not to bring your dog if he/she is in heat. Dogs may be off-leash but need to be controlled. 

Wonder Bar Yappy Hour

Wonder Bar hosts a fun happy hour for dogs and humans alike! It’s open seven days a week.

Cape May

Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area

Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a spot where endangered and threatened wildlife live. It’s a major stop on the migration route for different species of birds. There are several different habitats, including dune, forest, and early successional fields. Dogs are technically only allowed here only on the off-season, which is from September to April, though it’s not uncommon to see dogs throughout the summer.

Stone Harbor

Dogs are allowed to play around in the sand or the ocean anytime during the off-season, beginning the day after Labor Day until the Thursday before Memorial Day. Other parts of Stone Harbor allow dogs between 7PM and sunset during the summertime, which is between Memorial day and Labor Day.


Malibu Beach Wildlife Management Area Longport Dog Beach

Malibu Beach Wildlife Management Area is open daily from 5 AM to 9 PM. This strip of beach is a nesting habitat for many different kinds of endangered birds. Longport Dog Beach (also known as Somers Point Dog Beach, Malibu Beach, or just Dog Beach) is a leash-free area where dogs can run around digging in the sand or play in the ocean. The beach is located at the base of the Ocean Drive Bridge on the Longport side across from the fishing pier. Between October 1st and through April 30th, dogs are permitted on other Longport beaches as well so long as they’re leashed.


Fisherman’s Cove

Fisherman’s Cove Park opens at 7AM daily, year-round. Dogs must be leashed, and are allowed on the front, east portion of the beach but not the back, west portion.

Ocean County

Island Beach Park

Island Beach Park’s main gate is typically open from 8 AM – 8PM. During summer weekends and holidays, the park opens at 7AM. Dogs must be kept on a six-foot-or-less length leash and cannot go on the swimming beach during the summer season. Dogs also cannot go on the Spizzle Creek Bird Blind Trail.

Sandy Hook

Gateway National Park at Sandy Hook

The Gateway is located on the Inlet side of the Hook. Dogs must be leashed and cannot go on the eastern or Atlantic shore.


Wildwood Dog Park & Beach 

Dogs are welcome at the Wildwood beach to swim in the ocean or visit the dog park. Both the dog park and the beach are located between Glenwood and Maple Avenues. The dog park is open every day, and the dog beach is open in the daylight. This spot even has fresh water and clean up bags available for dogs. Dogs must be leashed at the beach, but they’re allowed to run free at the dog park.

See More: A Guide to Dog Parks in Montclair + Beyond

Places to Take a Hike with Your Dog

Jersey City

  • – Liberty State Park is open from 6AM to 10PM daily. Dogs must be leashed.
  • – The Jersey City Reservoir is open Saturdays from 10AM to 3PM, weather permitting. Dogs must be leashed.

Essex County

South Mountain Reservation

Long Valley

  • – Hacklebarney State Park is open from dawn until dusk. Dogs must be leashed.

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