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Dog with a lady on a dog beach in New Jersey
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Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Introduction

In this article, we’re going to tell you all about some of the best dog friendly beaches in New Jersey.

Known fondly as the Garden State, the US state of New Jersey is home to nearly 9 million people. With the majority of the eastern side of the state bordering the Atlantic Ocean, New Jersey boasts over 130 miles of rugged Atlantic coastline.

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And while lots of that coastline and many of the state’s beaches are NOT dog-friendly, there are plenty of them that ARE.

New Jersey’s dog friendly beaches stretch from Sandy Hook in the north of the state to Cape May in the south.

So come and join us on our journey to discover some of the best dog friendly beaches in New Jersey. We can assure you that you and your pooch won’t be disappointed!

#1 Gateway National Recreation Area (on-leash)

The Gateway National Recreation Area is a truly stunning area that covers almost 27,000 acres of New York City and northern New Jersey.

As well as cultural landscapes and historic structures, this fantastic National Recreation Area offers visitors beautiful green spaces and gorgeous beaches. There are plenty of nature trails and lots of fun activities on offer, including hiking, swimming, boating and bird-watching.

A couple of the bayside beaches, Plum Island and Horseshoe Cove, allow dogs all year round. However, the oceanside beaches are only open to dogs in the off season, from September 15 through March 15.

There are no trash cans on the beaches, so be prepared to take all your trash home, and remember to take some poop bags with you as well.

From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, there is a beach parking fee at both Jacob Riis Park in New York and Sandy Hook in New Jersey.

As of September 20, 2021, this beach parking fee is $20 per day. Or you can get a season ticket for $100.

For more beach parking information, click here

Official website: Gateway National Recreation Area

#2 Stone Harbor Beach (on-leash)

This beautiful, quiet stretch of beach allows dogs on it all year round. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and the dog beach area is between 80th and 83rd Streets.

However, note that you can’t take your dog on to Stone Harbor Beach during the main part of the day. Doggy opening hours are from dawn to 9am and then from 6pm to dusk.

Some other parts of the beach do allow leashed dogs on them between 7pm and 9pm, but only during high season, which is from June 1 through September 30.

If you’re 12 years of age or over, and visiting Stone Harbor Beach at any time from Memorial Day through Labor Day, then you’ll need a beach tag, which costs $6 per day. However, this is only applicable from 10am to 5pm.

So if you go during the dog friendly hours mentioned above, then you don’t need to purchase a tag and can happily stroll the strand for free!

Official website: Stone Harbor Beach

Ocean City NJ Beach Boardwalk 4K, Oct 2, 2019

#3 Ocean City Beach (on-leash)

(Maybe include this YT video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPk9DcY-964)

A short 30-minute journey north from Stone Harbor Beach, along the Garden State Parkway, brings you to Ocean City. Here, you’ll find 8 miles of gorgeous ocean and bay beaches.

Ocean City labels itself as “America’s Greatest Family Resort”, and it certainly is a very family-friendly place. It’s also often voted as one of the top beach destinations in the country by travel magazines.

You can take your dog for a walk along Ocean City Beach, or on the boardwalk, at any time between October 1 and April 30.

Canines are not permitted at all during the summer months, from May 1 through September 30.

Note that your furry friend must be kept on a leash and kept under your control at all times.

Ocean City Beach is a delightful dog friendly beach in New Jersey that you and your furball are sure to enjoy!

Official website: Ocean City Beaches

#4 Sunset Beach (on-leash)

Sunset Beach is located at the end of Sunset Boulevard, on the Cape May Peninsula. It is on the west coast of Lower Township, New Jersey’s southernmost town.

Due to its west-facing location, Sunset Beach is famous for its spectacular over-the-sea sunsets. This is a true rarity on the east coast of the US, where of course most beaches, being east-facing, only offer over-the-sea sunrises, not sunsets. Though of course these sunrises are often spectacular, too!

Leashed dogs are permitted on Sunset Beach in New Jersey in the off season, from September 15 through April 15.

Dogs and dog parents are welcome at the outdoor patio seating area of The Grille in Sunset Beach, a mere stone’s throw away from the beach itself.

The Grille is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and serves all the usual fare, along with some deliciously tasty salads and their specialty homemade crabcakes.

Beach address: 502 Sunset Boulevard, Lower Township, Cape May, NJ 08204

Official website: Sunset Beach

Asbury Park Convention Hall, Asbury Park, New Jersey – photo courtesy of Keith Luke on Unsplash

#5 8th Avenue Dog Beach at Asbury Park Beach (off-leash)

The Dog Beach at Bradley Cove in Asbury Park is more commonly known as the 8th Avenue Dog Beach.

The 8th Avenue Dog Beach is a fun, sandy beach at the ever-popular Asbury Park in New Jersey.

In the off season, between October 1 and May 15, dogs are allowed off-leash all day. In the summer season, between May 16 and September 30, your pup is allowed on the beach before 8:30am and after 6pm.

There is no cost to access this beautiful stretch of New Jersey beach, as admission is free. You also do not need a beach badge or beach tag – and neither does your pooch!

Dogs must be licensed and wear collars, and must be properly supervised at all times. As to be expected, dog parents must always clean up after their dogs.

Please note that, year-round, dogs are NOT permitted on any of the other local beaches, other than the designated Eighth Avenue Dog Beach.

In the summer months, dogs are not permitted on the boardwalk. However, you are welcome to take a leashed dog on the boardwalk at all times during the autumn and winter months, from September 15 to May 15.

Wonder Bar and the Yappy Hour

Just across from Asbury Park Convention Hall, at 1213 Ocean Avenue, Lance & Debbie’s Wonder Bar is back offering its cleverly-named Yappy Hour at various times of the week.

This fabulous dog-friendly bar in New Jersey has plenty of fenced-in outdoor space where your pup can make new friends, get some exercise, or just chill by the water bowl!

To enjoy Yappy Hour at Wonder Bar, there is a charge of $5 per person per session.

With its friendly, convivial atmosphere and more laid-back approach to dogs, the 8th Avenue Dog Beach at Asbury Park Beach is definitely one of the best dog friendly beaches in New Jersey.

Try it out – we’re sure that you won’t be disappointed!

Beach address: 1740 Ocean Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

Beach and Boardwalk Dog Rules: Asbury Park Dog Rules

Official website: 8th Avenue Dog Beach at Asbury Park Beach

#6 Longport Dog Beach (off-leash)

Less than 10 miles from Atlantic City, the small city of Somers Point offers locals and visitors alike one of the best dog friendly beaches in the state of New Jersey.

Longport Dog Beach is a beautiful beach in Egg Harbor Township, and is part of the Malibu Beach Wildlife Management Area.

Longport Dog Beach is also known as Somers Point Beach, Malibu Beach, or simply Dog Beach.

The dog beach is washed by the wonderfully calm waters of the Great Egg Harbor Bay, which is situated between Atlantic and Cape May counties along the southern New Jersey coast.

The bay gets its delightful name from a Dutch explorer’s description of the copious amounts of birds laying eggs along the coastline.

Longport Dog Beach is completely free to use and if you’re able to find a space in the parking lot, then that’s free as well!

With the exception of portable toilets nearby, there are few amenities here, so make sure that you go well prepared.

Take plenty of snacks, water, and poop bags, and please make sure to clean up after your pooch. Oh, and unfortunately there are no trash cans on the beach either, so you’ll need to take all your garbage home with you at the end of your visit.

Off-leash Fun, All Day, Every Day!

On the plus side, Longport Dog Beach is the ONLY beach in the whole of New Jersey where dogs are free to run around off-leash all day, every day, all year round!

So you don’t have to clock-watch or worry about any time restrictions when you’re here – just go out there and have tons of fun with your furry friends!

Coupled with the fact that both beach admission and parking are free of charge, make this one of the best dog friendly beaches in New Jersey. Possibly even THE best!

Beach address: Ocean Drive, Somers Point, NJ 08244

Official website: Longport Dog Beach

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