If you’re always on the lookout for the next best pet-friendly destination, look no further than New Mexico. It might be a landlocked state, but New Mexico boasts plentiful lakes, ponds, and reservoirs offering beach areas to explore. Fortunately, many New Mexico vacation rentals are dog-friendly and situated close to amazing beaches. Some of these beaches are in state parks, while others are tucked away in local recreational areas. Here’s a look at the five most notable dog-friendly beaches in New Mexico.

1. Tingley Beach

Located in the heart of a big city, Tingley Beach is dog-friendly and a great retreat from a few days spent sightseeing. Dogs must be leashed during their time at the beach and this park. After playing on the beach and splashing in the water, take a walk on one of the many walking trails or opt to rent one of the pedal boats to get out on the water. This park has restroom and picnic facilities. You can bring your fishing gear but need a New Mexico fishing permit to cast a line.

Albuquerque is just a few minutes away with vacation rentals in all shapes and sizes that accommodate your four-legged friend. Other things to explore in the area include Petroglyph National Monument with petroglyphs from Native Americans. The Sandia Peak Tramway provides stunning views in every direction as you rise above the valley below for a day of hiking or just a short visit.

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2. Elephant Butte Lake

In southern New Mexico, Elephant Butte Lake sits inside the state’s largest park and along its largest lake. The beach provides plenty of sand to toss a blanket or jog along the water’s edge. Your dog must be on a leash that’s no longer than 10 feet at all times. Marina Del Sur rents pontoon boats that you can take out on the lake for a day or choose a speedboat to try your hand at waterskiing or tubing. The park offers winding walking trails that you and your pooch can explore together.

Stay in the small town of Elephant Butte for easy access to all the great activities. If you’re faced with a rainy afternoon, hop in the car and drive over to the Geronimo Springs Museum. This cool little museum houses Apache arrowheads and artifacts. There’s also a log cabin and windmill. For dinner, spice up your life at Casa Taco with its authentic Mexican dishes.

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3. White Sands National Monument

Okay, this one is cheating a little since it’s all white sand but no water. However, it’s sure to be a great day of playing like you’re at the beach. Start with a stop at the visitor’s center to enroll your kids in the Junior Ranger program. In the national parks and monuments, dogs are welcome but you can’t take them inside federal buildings or leave your furry friend unattended. The visitor’s center offers the Native Plant Garden Tour to learn more about the ecology of the area. One of the most popular activities in the park is sledding down the sand dunes. Purchase one of the plastic snow-saucers at the park’s gift store to use as your sled. Bring a picnic lunch from your vacation rental to dine al fresco at one of the park’s covered picnic areas. The closest town is Alamogordo, or make it a day trip from Las Cruces.

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4. Lea Lake

Inside Bottomless Lakes State Park, Lea Lake is the one with a beach area to stretch out and soak up the sun. Your dog must remain on a leash during his visit. The leash can’t extend longer than 10 feet. The lake is a great little swimming hole so your dog can get all wet before he rolls around in the sand. Hike on one of the three trails. Two of these trails are less than a mile walk, making them perfect for families with young kids. The park allows fishing from October to March, but you need a New Mexico fishing license. Bring your canoes or kayaks from home to get out on the water but don’t bring any watercraft with a motor.

Roswell is the closest town to this state park. If you believe, one of the must-see museums is the International UFO Museum and Research Center.

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5. Cochiti Lake

Almost to Santa Fe on the road from Albuquerque, Cochiti Lake is a dog friendly-recreation area with a couple of beach areas. Expect to pay a small day use fee throughout the year. Put Rover on a leash and mosey on over to the east side of the lake to explore all the coves and hop in the water for a refreshing swim. The park has to distinct recreation area: Cochiti on the west side of the lake and Tetilla Peak on the east side. The east side of the lake is where most dog owners flock.

Find a vacation rental in Santa Fe and make the short drive to this beach area. In the early evening, walk around the historic downtown area and check out the stalls set up by local Native Americans selling gorgeous jewelry. Explore the mystery of the Loretto Chapel and its helix-shaped stairs.

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