Top 10 dog-friendly beaches in the United States

The weather's heating up, so perhaps it's time to cool down by splashing in the waves on some of the country's most pristine dog beaches.
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Jun 10, 2011
By dvm360.com staff

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Planning a vacation this summer? Why not take your pets along? PetVR.com, a travel website dedicated to pet lovers, has some advice for those who love the sand and surf. Here are the top 10 dog-friendly beaches in the United States, according to the site—share this list with your clients or use it to help plan your next trip. Pack a couple of tennis balls and a Frisbee, and you're sure to have a memorable adventure.

10. Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint
Pistol River, Ore.

PetVR.com says: "If your pooch isn’t fond of windsurfing, no matter. This windsurfers’ paradise will suit them just fine. The park is located just outside of Oregon State Park boundaries, south of Gold Beach."

Photo courtesy of Flickr user boxer_lover82.

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9. Fort Fisher State Recreation Area
Kure Beach, N.C.

PetVR.com says: "Just outside of Wilmington, N.C., this beach allows dogs in all areas except swimming areas with lifeguards."

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Andrea Schwartz.

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8. St. George Island, Fla.

PetVR.com says: "No wider than a mile at its widest point, and located near renowned historic towns in the Florida Gulf, there is plenty here for man and man’s best friend."  

Photo courtesy of Flickr user BillDenney.

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7. Fort Funston State Park
San Francisco, Calif.

PetVR.com says: "Fort Funston is a popular San Francisco dogwalking location. Most visitors walk the paved Sunset Trail, a north to south route on the bluff, and reach Ocean Beach via Fort Funston's northern section. Fort Funston's stretch of Ocean Beach is where you'll see scores of dripping wet dogs, romping across the sand with driftwood stick in their mouths."

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Fido Factor.

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6. Hunting Island State Park
Beaufort, S.C.

PetVR.com says: "This beach is doggie heaven on earth. At low tide, the beach on Hunting can literally appear to be a mile wide, with tidal pools and remote stretches rarely found today. This state park is located near the golf resort island of Fripp, and near Beaufort, S.C."

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Bill Swindaman.

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5. Carmel Beach City Park
Carmel, Calif.

PetVR.com says: "Only a short walk from the village of Carmel, the Carmel Beach is a beautiful and popular escape, with hotels and restaurants in walking distance. Other pet friendly beaches are close by, too."

Photo courtesy of Flickr user drrobertrobles.

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4. Cape San Blas, Fla.

PetVR.com says: "Just 35 miles south of Panama City, Cape San Blas beaches are peaceful, not overdeveloped. In fact, you can sometimes walk a mile or two in the off season without seeing another dog or person. The state park at the end of the cape was named 2002 Best Beach In America by Dr. Beach." 

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Old Shoe Woman.

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3. Dog Beach
Ocean Beach, Calif.

PetVR.com says: "This beach is doggie nirvana. Your buddy will have tons of company at this popular spot near San Diego. In fact, people may be outnumbered." 

Photo courtesy of Flickr user arbyreed.

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2. Fort De Soto Park
St. Petersburg, Fla.

PetVR.com says: "Dr. Beach judged this beach 2005 Best Beach in America. Showers and drinking water are provided. Enter the front gate by the parking lot, take your dog off-leash, walk through the L-shaped park to the back gate. Go out the back gate, down a short sandy path and onto the perfect beach for dogs and people."

Photo courtesy of Flickr user uberphot.

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1. Del Mar Beach
San Diego, Calif.

PetVR.com says: "For good reason, Del Mar is one of the most popular beach communities in San Diego County. Great beaches, fairgrounds, horseracing, and a quaint, upscale village provide plenty of activities for everyone. Powerhouse Park, with a full playground, is especially nice for families with young children."

Photo courtesy of Flickr user cynr.