With more than 6,600 miles of coastline, Alaska is home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the world. Whether you’re looking forward to a quick swim with your dog or a relaxing dip after a long hike, this gorgeous state has something for everyone. As for accommodations, there are plenty of incredible Alaska vacation rentals to choose from. Take in panoramic views of the majestic mountains and enjoy the summer sunshine with your pet at these dog-friendly beaches.

vast expanse of water near the base of the mountains
Source: Flickr/Sitka National Historical Park

1. Bartlett Cove, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

Take in some of the most beautiful views in Alaska while your dog swims at the beach at Bartlett Cove in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. This stunning spot features panoramic views of snow-capped mountains and brilliant blue water; it’s particularly beautiful in the summer, when the temperatures are warm enough for swimming. Keep your dog on a leash the entire time, and be sure to stay within the pet-friendly beach area between the National Park Service administrative dock and the Bartlett Cove public use dock. Test the water before you let your pet run in; the temperatures can be extremely chilly during the colder months. If you’re looking for a home base near Glacier Bay, search for vacation rentals in Hoonah or Juneau. While you’re in the area, enjoy boat tours of the bay, kayak to Sebree Island, and enjoy fantastic sport of fishing.

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2. Bishop’s Beach, Homer

Spend hours exploring Bishop’s Beach, a long stretch of sand on Kachemak Bay. This enormous beach is open to dogs on leashes, so you can let your pet splash in the shallows or enjoy a stroll down the shore. If the water is too cold, head over to the nearby slough area, where the sunlight tends to warm the shallow pools faster. The Beluga Slough Trail starts nearby, providing a pleasant walking path to the popular Islands and Ocean Visitor Center. The beach is open for swimming if you can brave the chilly temperatures. Look for rental properties in Homer’s Old Town area; the beach is just two blocks away, so you can make it a part of your daily vacation routine. Elsewhere in the city, check out Beluga Lake, walk your pet through Stream Hill Park, and hike the lovely Ray Clapp Trail.

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3. Sitka National Historical Park, Sitka

More than 100 acres of rainforest cover Sitka National Historical Park, which borders the Sitka Sound and the Indian River. Plan to spend a leisurely afternoon at this beautiful park, which features a long beach and more than two miles of trails. Dogs are welcome everywhere in the park, including the beach, as long as they remain on a leash and near you. Work up a sweat along the coastal trail, stopping to see the towering Tlingit and Haida totem poles. Head down to the water for a refreshing swim – you can even join your pet during the summer. The best local rental homes sit along Sitka’s extensive waterfront; look for options east of downtown to enjoy an easy walk to the park. This gorgeous city offers plenty to do, including charter fishing, scenic boat rides, and fantastic wild salmon viewing from the Arched Bridge. The compact downtown core is walkable, so you can take your pet with you everywhere you go.

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4. Stormy Lake Beach, Captain Cook State Recreation Area, Nikiski

Bask in the Alaskan sunshine as your dog swims from the beaches on Stormy Lake, a small inland lake in the Captain Cook State Recreation Area. This small lake sits just across a small piece of land from the colder waters of the Turnagain Arm. Pets are welcome in the area, as long as they stay on a leash the entire time. You can swim with your dog, but be aware that the temperatures are extremely cold for most of the year. To make the most of the region, look for vacation rentals in Nikiski; many are situated on the numerous small lakes that populate the area. Keep in mind that many rentals are remote, so it’s a good idea to stop by a grocery store on your way into stock your kitchen with food for both you and your pet.

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5. University Lake Dog Park, Anchorage

One of the best urban dog beaches in Alaska is in University Lake Dog Park in Anchorage. This friendly spot features a sandy beach, plenty of other dogs, and a forested shoreline that’s frequently busy. While you probably won’t want to swim in the lake, your dog can swim as far as he likes. One of the park’s most exciting features is the loop trail that rings the lake; the entire path is off-leash, so you can enjoy a walk as your pet runs free. Along the way, there are many water access spots where your dog can splash or swim. Keep an eye out for beaver dams, and steer clear; the park is known for past issues with aggressive beavers. Dogs are allowed in the park year-round. Vacation rentals a few miles away in downtown Anchorage make a great home base to explore the city, take boat trips, and explore Chugach State Park.

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