Yappy Hour
9 dog-friendly spots at the Shore
By Ruth Diamond

Four-legged friends love a change of scenery just as much as the rest of us. So next time you’re heading down the shore, skip the dog walker and bring your furry best friend with you for an adventure. Here are some pet-friendly places to go with a loyal friend by your side. 

Absecon Lighthouse

31 S. Rhode Island Ave., Atlantic City
The 2-acre lawn surrounding New Jersey’s tallest lighthouse welcomes leashed pets. And while it’s fun to climb all 228 steps for an amazing view, you will have to leave your furry friend on the ground. 

Brigantine’s North-End Beach 

1500 East Brigantine Ave., Brigantine
The only Brigantine beach for dogs in the summer is the North End Beach. Featuring a wide expanse of sand and dunes covered in slippery, lush vegetation, it’s a pretty spot away from the crowds. It costs $10 daily for access. You can enjoy swimming, fishing and paddleboarding. Canines need to be leashed.

Cape May Dog Park

705 Lafayette Street, Cape May
Open from dusk till dawn, the fenced park located near the corner of Broad Street features a gazebo, toys, water source and seating for humans. Dogs can be off leash but must have a dog park license, which can be obtained for $10 for the week or $20 for the season. Think of the license as a beach tag for your pooch. 

Cold Spring Village

720 Route 9 South, Cape May
Historic Cold Spring Village is a dog-friendly, open-air living history museum. Take your leashed pet with you around the 30-acre property where people in period costumes work 18th and 19th century South Jersey trades outside 26 historic buildings. Your pup will also enjoy a rest stop on the patio of the Cold Spring Brewery, the state’s first non-profit microbrewery. During the high season, which started in June, tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for children 3-12.

Stone Harbor Beach

Stone Harbor
Dogs are free to roam year-round on the beach between 80th and 83rd Streets, provided they’re on leashes. Other sections of the beach are off limits until after beach hours. Pets are permitted to wander the shoreline from 7 pm to sunset through Labor Day. 

Longport Dog Beach

152 and Ocean Drive Bridge, Somers Point
Located at the foot of the Ocean City-Longport Bridge, this beach is called Longport Dog Beach by some, Somers Point Dog Beach by others, Malibu Beach or simply Dog Beach. A small slice of undeveloped beach, the strip attracts tons of pet owners who let their dogs roam leash-free and swim in the tide. While most people think of the beach as for the dogs, it is a prime nesting area for migratory and nesting birds, according to the Department of Environmental Protection. There is no admission charge, but the parking lot is small and usually crowded. Also, there are no trash cans on-site, so you’ll need to take garbage with you when you leave.

Ocean City Dog Park

45th St. & Haven Ave., Ocean City
This fenced-in off-leash park features sandy soil and 3 separate areas. One is for small dogs, one for the big ones and a third area for canines that get along with their kind, no matter the shape and size. You will need a Paw Pass, which is $10 weekly for visitors or $40 annually for non-Cape May County residents. Park hours are from 8 am to dusk.

Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum

500 Forrestal Rd, Cape May
Located inside a real World War II hangar at the Cape May Airport, this pet-friendly museum is all about aviation and military history. The exhibits are made up of 90,000 square feet of paws-on fun, including a diverse selection of aircraft and impressive engines, helicopters, jets, and more. Admission costs $14 for adults, $10 for kids. Active-duty military and kids under 3 are free. The museum is open from 10 am to 4 pm daily through Nov 30. Dogs must be leashed at all times.

Wildwood Dog Park & Beach

3000 Boardwalk, Wildwood
Nothing says pet-friendly quite like the 30-foot-high fire hydrant that greets you on the sand between Glenwood and Maple Avenues. Your pet can make canine friends in the fenced-in, off-leash park complete with agility and climbing equipment, fresh drinking water and separate areas for large and small dogs. Like all Wildwood beaches, this one is free.     

July 2023
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