It's the dog days of summer and we've found the best pet-friendly beaches in North Carolina and South Carolina for you and your furry friends.

The dog days of summer are here and there is no better time to have a great day with your furry bestie on the pet-friendly beaches of North Carolina or South Carolina!

No, I’m not talking about your hippie girl pals! It’s a hot boi summer for your good boy (or girl) on four paws.

My pups are complete beach bums and I couldn’t ask for better company while we enjoy the wind and waves.

If you are in North Carolina or South Carolina, I’ve got great news for you, some of the country’s best pet-friendly beaches are just a car ride away!

Remember, always be a good guest and clean up after your pet. Let me know some of your favorite pet friendly water adventure spots!

The American Kennel Club also reminds you to watch your pets at the beach.

“Whatever activities you decide to pursue, always supervise your dog,” the AKC said on its pet beach guide. “It’s important for your dog’s safety, but it’s also part of responsible dog ownership. Don’t let your dog disturb wildlife, damage vegetation, or become a nuisance to other people or dogs on the beach.

“To ensure a safe and enjoyable beach day, there are certain behaviors your dog should know. First, your dog should have a reliable recall. Many beach activities require letting your dog off leash, so you need to be certain your dog will come back to you when called. In fact, all your dog’s basic obedience behaviors should be under your control with either a hand signal or verbal cue. If your dog isn’t ready for that kind of freedom, stick to on-leash pursuits like walks along the shore.”

  • Caswell Beach, NC

    This coastal gem welcomes well-behaved and leashed dogs year-round! It’s also one of the less crowded and more secluded beaches on our list so unleashed dogs under voice control may visit from dawn until 9:00 a.m., and from October 1 through April 30, unleashed but controlled dogs are welcome on the beach from 3:00 p.m. until dark. If you are visiting from a distance there are also ample pet friendly hotels and rentals nearly.

  • Corolla Beach, NC

    Corolla, NC | Things to Do, Rentals, 4x4 Beaches | Visitor Information

    Corolla (pronouced: "Kuh-RAH-Luh") is one of the most popular beach vacation destinations on North Carolina's Outer Banks. Its 24 miles of unspoiled shoreline is a unique treasure in these modern times, as are the distinct and charming communities dotting the area. Corolla is the kind of place where folks wave at each other, and the vibes are always good.

    The Outer Banks boasts this pet friendly gem, where leashed animals are welcome year round.  In addition to a lovely beach day there are many fantastic local dining options that offer outdoor seating that cater to people and pets.

  • Emerald Isle Beach, NC

    Beach & Sound

    Emerald Isle's oceanfront and soundside public accesses and parks offer a wealth of amenities. From picnic pavilions, boat and kayak launches, to volleyball courts and playgrounds, Emerald Isle has so many opportunities for your family to enjoy themselves! Paid parking is in effect from April 15 through September 15, 2022, at the Eastern and Western Ocean Regional accesses, from 8 a.m.

    Not only does Emerald Isle Beach allow leashed pets year round, there is also the Emerald Isle Woods Park Trail.  This 41-acre park includes walking and hiking trails, a floating dock and a pier on-site and ready for you and your dog to explore and enjoy.  

  • Fort Macon State Park, NC

    Fort Macon State Park

    Fort Macon State Park has multiple personalities as the site of a perfectly restored Antebellum-era fort, a museum-quality coastal education center, and an unspoiled shoreline for swimming, surf fishing, and beachcombing. Nearly surrounded by water at the eastern tip of Bogue Banks, the park offers undisturbed natural beauty and opportunities to explore and learn about salt marshes, estuaries, and dune fields.

    The 2015 winner of state park of the year and it’s easy to see why! With an unspoiled shoreline for swimming, fishing, and exploring with your pet, it’s a must see summer adventure. With loads of walking trails and beach access, it’s a great place to pack some puppy (and human) treats and enjoy a beach picnic.

  • Duck Town Park Boardwalk, NC

    Dogs in Duck - Town of Duck, North Carolina

    The following are a few things to remember while in Duck with your canine friends: Dogs are required to be vaccinated for rabies, collared with proper identification at all times, and controlled by a leash (10 feet or less) or restraint throughout Town including at the park, boardwalk, and Duck Trail.

    Well mannered pups are welcome off leash to frolic on the beach, but must have proof of proper vaccinations.  This area is so dog friendly, in fact, that several of the local bars and restaurants welcome them inside with their owners.  Many pet friendly beach rentals also available, so stay awhile!

  • RiverPark at Cooleemee Falls "The Bullhole", NC

    Veering slightly away from the beach but still in the realm of water adventures is RiverPark at Cooleemee Falls, known locally as The Bullhole.

    The Bullhole is a dog-friendly recreation area in Woodleaf, NC. Leashed dogs are welcome to accompany you to the impressive stone dam, sandy beach and wooded trails. Swimming, picnic areas, public restrooms, and benches abound, making for a perfect day trip for you and your pet.
  • Hatteras Island, NC

    Hatteras Island | Watersports, Villages & Lighthouses

    Hatteras Island is unlike anywhere else thanks in part to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, the first of its kind.

    With 70 miles of stunning shoreline, your pet is welcome year round as long as they are leashed. Be mindful of the local wildlife, interaction between pets and the local animals is prohibited.

  • Alder Lane Beach Access, SC

    Alder Lane Beach Access

    Beach visitors can make a quick stroll to the beach use the Adler Lane Beach Access, off of South Forest Beach Drive.

    Moving into South Carolina, Alder Lane Beach Access allows pet access April 1st through September 30th before 10 a.m. and after 5 p.m, or anytime in the off season. They must be on a leash or under positive voice control at all times! Much more intimate  than many of the other local beaches in the area, it’s become a favorite of beach going pet owners. Insider tip: bring quarters as the parking area is metered. 

  • Isle of Palm Beaches, SC


    Coast is Clean! The City of Isle of Palms boasts seven miles of wide, pristine beaches great for swimming, lounging, fishing, biking and kayaking. The City of Isle of Palms has been a destination for beach goers for generations. The City's Front Beach commercial district is located on Ocean Boulevard from 10th Avenue to 14th Avenue.

    Beach going pet owners are raving about South Carolina’s Isle of Palm Beaches! Isle of Palm Beaches allow dogs from 5:00AM until 8:00AM April 1st through September 14th and 4:00PM until 10:00AM September 15th through March 31st, either leashed or under strict voice control. Big, clean and quiet, there is even a pet fountain provided near the misters so your furry pal doesn’t overheat during your adventure.

  • Fish Haul Beach Park, SC

    Animals on the Beach

    Animals on the Hilton Head Island Beach

    Fish Haul Beach Park is Hilton Head Island’s only year round pet friendly beach. Shallow water (perfect for my water loving Shih Tzu and his short legs!), shell hunting, and an abundance of sea life this is one of South Carolina’s hidden gems as far as pet friendly beaches go.

  • Huntington Beach State Park, SC

    Huntington Beach

    Traffic Advisory: Due to increasing demand and limited parking, temporary park closures have become frequent on weekends and holidays from May through September. To avoid these closures, campers are encouraged to arrive on or after the 2 p.m. check-in time. Campers arriving prior to 2 p.m.

    Only the south side of the beach is pet friendly, be mindful of that when trip planning.  Pets must be leashed at all times and there is a $5 entrance fee.  Beach goers claim it’s never terribly crowded, and there is a dog friendly campground nearby.