Fido often enjoys a good romp in the salt and sand just as much as his human owners do. Public beaches, however, often have strict rules regarding whether dogs are allowed at all, as well as time and leash restrictions. Here’s a guide to the seven beaches in the state of New Jersey where both you and your pup can relax near the ocean.

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Best Dog Friendly Beaches in New Jersey

1. Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area - Manasquan

This beach, in Manasquan, New Jersey, has a designated area on the eastern side of the beach for dogs (though they must all be kept on leashes). The area is beautiful for a trip to the water and a stroll around the partially wooded area surrounding it, where dogs are allowed on the trails as well.


2. 8th Ave Dog Beach - Asbury Park

Though this is a dog beach, during the summer dogs are only allowed on the beach and boardwalk from 6 p.m.-8:30 a.m., when it is significantly less crowded. Dogs are allowed anytime from October 1- May 15, however, and many pet owners take advantage of the opportunity to let their dogs frolic off the leash.


3. Longport Dog Beach - Ocean City

This dog beach, in Ocean City, allows dogs the freedom to come year round, run around in the sand, and roam anywhere on the beach — just as long as they’re supervised by an owner that is. Ocean City is also known as a great ocean resort for families, so bring both the kids and the pets along.


4. Island Beach State Park - Ocean County

This state park in Ocean County is a barrier island that includes a sandy beach, sand dunes, tidal marshes, maritime forests, and a host of wild creatures including foxes. Dogs are not allowed on the beach during the summer season, but are allowed in other parts of the park year round as long as they remain leashed.


5. Poplar Avenue Beach - Wildwood Beach

This section of Wildwood Beach allows pets year round as long as they remain on a leash. There’s even a huge fire hydrant sculpture to welcome dogs and their owners. Wildwood, a summer resort destination, also has a boardwalk with multiple amusement parks. Though dogs can’t accompany owners on the rides, they are welcome to walk around the boardwalk.


6. Point Pleasant - Point Pleasant

Point Pleasant beach in the city of Point Pleasant is a family destination with a boardwalk, stores, and restaurants. Dogs are allowed on the beach in the off-season, from October through April, on a leash between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.


7. Gateway National Recreation Area - Sandy Hook

This large recreation area in Sandy Hook allows dogs on the bayside beaches of Plum Island and Horseshoe Cove year round and on the oceanside beaches during the offseason. The Gateway National Recreation Center is much more than just a dog park, though. Located in both New York and New Jersey, it comprises three units and 11 total park sites. Millions flock there each year to swim, bird watch, go boating, hike, and camp.


This article was written by Isabella Sayyah.