Bring along your furry, four-legged friend on your beach trip in New Hampshire. Although dogs are not allowed on any ocean beaches in New Hampshire state parks, there are several pet-friendly beaches along the state’s 17 miles of shoreline. There are also beaches at ponds and lakes to explore, as well as plenty of trails to ensure your dog has as much fun as you do. Find a pet-friendly New Hampshire vacation rental in charming towns like Portsmouth and New Castle, then check out one of these beautiful beaches.
1. Jenness Beach, Rye
Jenness Beach features sand and waves for your four-legged friend to enjoy on-leash or off-leash under voice control. Dog-friendly hours at the beach start in the early evening and end in the morning. On the Saturday before Memorial Day through the Saturday after Labor Day. The remainder of the year, dogs can use the beach at any time. Note that the city-owned portion of Jenness Beach is separated by a state park owned stretch of beach. As with other state park beaches, dogs are not allowed on this stretch, so to go from one stretch of city beach to the other, you can walk through the state park parking lot. After you drop your dog back at the vacation rental, dine with an ocean view at the Carriage House Restaurant, or see the shore from the sea with a kayak rental from Portsmouth Kayak Adventures.
2. Seabrook Beach, Seabrook
Located at the south end of the New Hampshire coast, Seabrook offers you and your family access to plenty of vacation activities in nearby towns both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. During your stay check out Buc’s Lagoon Mini Golf, Casino Cascade Water Slide, or Funarama for some adventure. After your time out, pick up your dog at the vacation rental and head to Seabrook Beach. The city beach allows leashed dogs from Memorial Day through Labor Day from the early evening until midmorning. The rest of the year your four-legged friend can join you any time of day.
3. Foss Beach, Rye
Another dog-friendly beach in Rye, Foss Beach welcomes dogs at any time during the offseason, as well as first thing in the morning and early evening in the summer. The long beach is accessed by wooden ramps that connect free parking along Ocean Boulevard. As with most of the beaches in the state, Foss Beach is adjacent to a state park beach, so be aware of boundaries. After you’ve had your fill at the beach, let your dog continue to tag along with a walk down Rye Town Forest Trail, which weaves through town and into the woods. Spend some time without your dog with a round of golf at the Breakfast Hill Golf Club, or simply leave him back at the vacation rental for a brief time while you dine at Hebert’s Restaurant or Jitto’s Supersteak. You can also see a bit of nature without being tied to the leash with a visit to the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, which is home to a variety of birds and wildlife, including raptors such as the American Kestrel and Osprey.
4. New Castle Town Landing, New Castle
The small town of New Castle consists entirely of islands at the mouth of the Piscataqua River, which means shorelines along the river and the ocean. The New Castle Town Landing welcomes dogs to roam off leash from midmorning to midevening every day. The landing includes beach access and plenty of space to play ball or chase. The island as a whole provide good walking routes for you and your dog. While dogs are not allowed May 15th to September 15th, during the offseason you can also take your dog to the 32-acre Great Island Common, which has green spaces and a beach. While on the island, check out the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse and pop into Henry’s Market Cafe for some coffee or lunch.
5. South Mill Pond, Portsmouth
In addition to the handful of dog-friendly ocean beaches in the state, New Hampshire also has lake beaches to explore with your dog. One of the best is South Mill Pond, which features an off-leash fenced dog park on the shores of a pond. There’s also a larger unfenced off-leash area for well-behaved pups. There are separate areas for large and small dogs, as well as water bowls. Portsmouth as a whole is dog-friendly with several off-leash areas and trails, as well as the Great Bog open area where dogs are welcome. When your dog’s all tuckered out, pack up your human companions to explore the town, which features dining such as Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Cafe and the Wellington Room. You can also enjoy activities such as the Water Country water park or tour the USS Albacore submarine.
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