Your dog is an essential part of your family, and it’s hard to leave home for an extended weekend or week-long vacation without him or her. Bring your pet along for an unforgettable beach trip. There are numerous beaches in Rhode Island, and many are pet-friendly. After settling into your spacious Rhode Island vacation rental, head off to the shore for a day of fun in the sun. Check out the five top dog-friendly beaches in Rhode Island.

dogs running along the sandy beach
Source: Flickr/Laura K

1. Compass Rose Beach

Compass Rose Beach is a charming stretch of sand, where your family pet is welcome provided you keep him leashed. Your kids can play in the sand and surf with the pup. This small beach has a picnic area and a parking lot making it easily accessible. The beach is open throughout the year to visitors. The nearby town of Kingstown offers a variety of pet-friendly vacation rentals for your family to stay with your pup. In the evenings, take all the family members to the Kayla Jean Ricci Dog Park with its separate areas for small and large dogs, water bowls, and exercise areas to burn off excess energy. Walk around the nearby historic Wickford Village, which welcomes pets, for some eclectic shopping opportunities. Tavern by the Sea offers fresh seafood for a family meal.

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2. Sachuest Beach

Play in the surf and toss a ball for your puppy at Sachuest Beach, known by locals as Second Beach. During the summer season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, dogs are only allowed on the beach in the early morning hours; however, in the offseason, you can take your furry friends at any time. In the summer months, you need a beach pass for day use and a beach parking pass if you park your car at the adjacent lot. Purchase a daily pass if you’re only in town for a couple of days, but consider a season beach pass if staying for an entire week. There are bathrooms, a changing area, picnic facilities, and barbecue grills. During the summer season, you can rent surfboards, grab something to drink from Del’s Lemonade truck, or grab a snack at the concession stand. The town also has a smaller beach, but it doesn’t allow dogs and offers fewer amenities.

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3. Block Island Beach

For the most part Block Island Beaches welcome your dog for a day of playing in the waves and chasing balls up and down the sandy beaches. However, there are areas on the beach with restricted access by both humans and canines due to their popularity to protected bird species. These areas are well marked so keep a lookout for the signs. Also, the Fred Benson Town Beach doesn’t allow dogs during the summer season. All of the beaches on the island tend to run one into the next so be vigilant as to any changing rules. Block Island vacation rentals make room for some pets. Take tours of the island’s two lighthouses. The Block Island Southeast Light is the larger of the two with a brick facade while the Block Island North Light dates to the 1860s and sits on the tip of the island.

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4. Mohegan Bluffs

Also on Block Island, Mohegan Bluffs has a small beach at the base of the bluffs that welcome dogs and their owners to soak up the sun and cool off in the water. The bluffs rise 200 feet above the beach and to reach it, you must first enjoy the hike down along the Block Island Heritage Trail. There is a direct route down by stairs if you prefer a less scenic but more direct route. Dogs must stay on their leashes at all times on this beach. Walk around the Old Harbor Historic District in the early evening to watch the boats coming in after a day on the sea and to see the stunning historic buildings. Learn more about the local area and its history at the Block Island Historical Society. Kids love visiting the 1661 Farm and Gardens, which includes a kangaroo and other exotic animals.

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5. Napatree Point Conservation Area Beach

Beautiful landscape and grass dunes make a gorgeous backdrop to your day at the beach with the kids and your favorite furry critter. Napatree Point Conservation Area beach welcomes dogs on leashes at any time of day in the offseason and from the early evening to early morning between Memorial Day and Labor Day. After everyone has their fill of sand and water fun, look for the sign for Fort Mansfield. Climb over the sand dunes and follow the sand trail for about a mile until you reach the ruins of this old fort. Westerly is the closest town and offers many other activities. Stonington Harbor Light is the best place in town for a picnic lunch after you see the lovely stonework that dates back to 1840.

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