With its border meeting the Gulf of Mexico, Mississippi is home to spectacular beaches and coastline. There’s something magical about bringing along your dog for a vacation. Your pet’s energy, unbounded curiosity, and non-stop excitement can transform an ordinary trip into something unforgettable. Look forward to splashing around in the water with your dog, and lounging in the sun all day. Book a stay at Mississippi vacation rentals close to these beach areas, so you and your best furry friend can easily explore the town and hit the water.

a dog at napatree point beach
Source: Flickr/Dangagga

1. East Beach and Front Beach, City of Ocean Springs

Known as the City of Discovery, Ocean Springs rests in the heart of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Vacation rentals in Ocean Springs put you in close proximity to East Beach and Front Beach. East Beach is a residential-style beach where you and your dog can splash around in the water, and Front Beach has shallow depths and sugary white sand, making it popular for water activities and sunbathing. Dogs are allowed at both beaches, but they must be kept on a leash and you’re required to pick up after them.

Front Beach features amazing views of the Ocean Springs-Biloxi Bay Bridge on one side, while the other side offers the Ocean Springs Harbor where you can take a pleasant walk across the 800-foot-long boardwalk. Head to the public pavilion at the end of the pier and relax with your furry pal while watching the sunset or shrimp boats venturing onto the water.

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2. Hancock County Beaches

Located along the coast, between the cities of Bay St. Louis and Waveland, Hancock County offers a variety of dog-friendly beaches. These beaches are somewhat secluded, allowing you to get some peace and quiet. Chase your dog across the beautiful white sands, or get your feet wet in the warm Gulf waters. While these beaches are dog-friendly, county regulations require your dog to remain on a leash, and it’s good etiquette to only let your dog greet others pets if you’re welcomed.

After building up an appetite playing on the beach, head to The Blind Tiger, located only a few miles from Waveland. This dog-friendly restaurant offers fresh food and cold drinks. Dine on a tasty cheeseburger with hand-cut fries, or enjoy a fresh fish sandwich or tacos. You can eat under one of the shaded tents to avoid the sun, or grab a bench near the water and people-watch or enjoy the incredible ocean view.

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3. Pascagoula Beach Park and River Park

Located in Jackson County, Pascagoula is a small town that rests along the Gulf Coast. Pascagoula Beach Park is a 14-acre park that overlooks the Mississippi Sound, and it features many exciting attractions, including a 1000-foot fishing pier, walking trail, and splash pad that’s open from May 1st to October 15th. The beach is a peaceful location to relax and enjoy the sights. Beach Park is a coastal birding trail site, so you can unwind on the sand and spot northern gannets in the winter months and magnificent frigate birds in the warmer months. According to Jackson county regulations, your pet is free to roam on the beach as long as it’s on a leash.

If you’re searching for an area where your furry companion can roam free, head to River Park at Lowry Island. This newly renovated, 8.6-acre park has an off-leash dog park where you can play fetch and watch your buddy run around and enjoy the outdoors. The park also features a boat ramp, a 650-feet fishing pier, picnic tables, and a kayak launch.

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4. Buccaneer State Park

Buccaneer State Park, which is located 50 miles from New Orleans, combines marshlands, large moss-draped oaks, and the beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. While the park suffered damage from Hurricane Katrina, Buccaneer State Park has been beautifully restored and now offers many attractions, including a water park, nature trail, and pavilion. Your dog is welcome at the park’s beach and on the trails; however, he must be on a leash up to six-feet-long. Don’t forget to bring some dog waste bags and a water bowl to help your dog stay hydrated.

Vacation rentals near the park put you close to many attractions, such as the New Orleans French Quarter where you can shop, browse art, dine at great restaurants, and attend festive events. If you want to see the amazing wonders of nature, take the family to the Aquarium of the Americas, or head to the historic French Market for a full day of fun.

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5. Bay St. Louis Beach

Found in the city of Bay St. Louis along the Gulf of Mexico, this family- and pet-friendly beach spans miles. Take your dog for a stroll by the water, as long as he’s on a leash that’s no longer than six feet, or get wet and swim around in the ocean. After a day of fun, rinse off at the showers at the spacious comfort station, so you don’t get your car dirty on your way back to your vacation rental.

If you’re craving some tasty comfort food, the Ugly Pirate sells what’s known as the “Ugly Pizza,” a combination of Italian and Greek pizzas with a multitude of toppings, such as Italian sausage, pepperoni, gyro meat, Greek olives, mushrooms, and feta cheese.

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