Carolina Beach has you covered if you’re looking for a spot to vacation this autumn and winter but don’t want to leave Fido at home. There are lots of things to keep your four-legged buddy entertained, from playing on the beach to hiking at Carolina Beach State Park or eating at pet-friendly restaurants.
What is Carolina Beach?
Carolina Beach, on North Carolina’s northeast coast, allows dogs year-round as long as they are kept on a leash at all times. It’s a great location to bring your pet at any time of year since the restrictions don’t change according to the seasons.
From the north to the south strip of the beach, there are pet-friendly vacation homes, hotels, and inns, so you may stay wherever. Aside from pet-friendly lodging, there are plenty of fantastic locations to visit outside of the beach! Visit Corolla Outback Adventures, where you can enjoy a horseback tour of Corolla’s historic landmarks and local sanctuaries while your dog is at your side. Outdoor seating is available at local restaurants such as Steamers Shellfish, so your pets may join you for a delicious dinner. Dogs are permitted.
Leashed dogs are permitted on Carolina Beach from now until March 31. Dogs are always welcome at Freeman Park Recreation Area, especially during the summer months. This undeveloped stretch of beach near Carolina Beach’s northern end is where four-legged pals may frolic off-leash from October 1 to March 31 and on a leash all year. Make use of one of the many animal-friendly water fountains placed around Carolina Beach to keep your dog hydrated.
Can you take your dog to the Carolina Beach?
Yes, you will be able to take your dog to Carolina Beach.
Discover Carolina Beach State Park, a 761-acre dog-friendly park with trails and sea views. For an afternoon excursion with your dog, weave around the park’s seven miles of hiking paths. Then walk over to Mike Chappell Park’s fenced-in, off-leash dog park for a puppy playtime on the ideal playground. After a long day of play, take your dog to Four Dogs Pet Salon and Treatery for a trim or some delicious, handcrafted goodies.
Relaxing on the beach
Relax in one of Carolina Beach’s pet-friendly housing choices, which are ideal for both dogs and cats. The Carolina Beach Inn provides pet-friendly amenities such as on-site pet walking and pet sitting. The Beacon Home Bed & Breakfast, a rebuilt 1950s board house turned B&B, provides two-bedroom holiday cottages that can accommodate up to two dogs and four guests for a more comfortable and private stay. The Drifter’s Reef Hotel has a special pet park situated at the rear of the hotel for its canine visitors.
More than Just Treats Dogs playing
There are many restaurants in Carolina Beach that welcome dogs, so you don’t have to leave Fido to fend for yourself when you go out to eat. The Lazy Pirate has a pet-friendly outside eating area where your dog may relax on the back patio while you try your hand at cornhole or sand volleyball on the restaurant’s sand volleyball courts. At Good Hops Brewing’s Taproom and Beer Garden, you can have a drink alongside man’s best friend. Both the owner and the dog will have a good time with the tasty beer and dog goodies.
Carolina Beach is a dog-friendly beach
Carolina Beach is another dog-friendly neighborhood in the area. This gorgeous beach permits leashed dogs after 5:00 pm during the on-season, April 1st – September 30th, in addition to the various eateries that provide outside sitting for you and your pet. The following are some additional pet rules from the Town of Carolina Beach:
- All dogs must be kept on a leash at all times.
- Dogs are permitted on the beach during limited hours before 9:00 a.m. and after 5:00 p.m. from April 1st to September 30th.
- Dogs are permitted on the beach at all times from October 1st to March 31st.
- You must always have a plastic or paper container with you that may be used to clean up and retain canine feces until it can be disposed of properly. This container must be produced and presented to anyone who is authorized to enforce this law upon request.
- At any time, dogs are not permitted on the ancient wooden sections of the boardwalk.
- Dogs are not permitted on the Boardwalk Business District’s sidewalks, walkways, or public property east of Canal Dr. from the north side of Harper Ave. (Hampton Inn site) up to and including Cape Fear Blvd. at any time.
Dog-Friendly Public Beaches in North Carolina
Many beaches in North Carolina accept dogs, albeit most have leash rules and others only allow dogs during specific seasons of the year. If you’re going to North Carolina with your dog, remember to pack bags to pick up any waste, since all areas require you to clean up after your pet.
Leashed Access All Year
Throughout the year, the communities of Emerald Isle (emeraldisle-nc.org) and Nags Head (townofnagshead.net) allow leashed dogs on the beach. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year at Atlantic Beach (atlanticbeach-nc.com), but they must keep away from the water in places where lifeguards are present. Dogs must be kept on a 25-foot or shorter leash at all times at North Topsail Beach (ntbnc.org).
Off-Leash Access All Year
The municipality of Duck Beach (townofduck.com) is North Carolina’s only beach where dogs are permitted to run off-leash all year. Dogs must be escorted to the beach by a handler and be under the person’s supervision at all times.
Off-Leash Areas are Limited
Dogs are allowed on the beach all year at Topsail Beach (topsailbeach.org), however they must be on a leash between May 15 and September 30, and unleashed dogs must be under voice command when on the sand. Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, Kitty Hawk (townofkittyhawk.org) requires dogs to be on a six-foot leash between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. At all other times, dogs may be let off the leash as long as they remain under control and within 30 feet of their human guardian. While on the beach, the guardian should have a 12-foot or shorter leash with him at all times.
Restricted Leash Access
Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach at Kill Devil Hills (kdhnc.com) all year, but between May 15 and September 15, dogs are only allowed to visit between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. Between Labor Day and the Friday before Memorial Day, the town of Sunset Beach (sunsetbeachnc.gov) permits leashed dogs on the beach. Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach between 6 p.m. and 8 a.m. during the summer months. From May 20 to September 10, Holden Beach (hbtownhall.com) restricts leashed dog access to the beach to the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 a.m., while leashed animals are welcome to visit the beach at any time throughout the rest of the year.
Between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and at any time throughout the rest of the year, Ocean Isle (oibgov.com) permits leashed dogs on the beach between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.
Beach Access on a Seasonal Basis
From October to March, the communities of Kure Beach (townofkurebeach.org) and Wrightsville Beach (townofwrightsvillebeach.com) allow leashed dogs on their beaches. From November to February, leashed dogs are permitted at Carolina Beach (carolinabeach.org).
How to Have a Pet-Friendly Vacation on the Beaches of North Carolina
Whether you’re planning a trip to the Southern Shores or the Outer Banks, North Carolina offers a variety of beaches to choose from for your next holiday. You may bring your dog to the beach to enjoy a run on the sand and spend time splashing in the waves if you select the correct beach. The key to making a beach trip in North Carolina work for you and your pet is to familiarize yourself with the rules regarding dogs on the beach before you go. This assures that you and your canine friend have no unpleasant shocks when you arrive.
- STEP 1: Look for a beach that welcomes dogs. Dogs are welcome at Kure Beach, Kitty Hawk Beach, and Nags Head. Dogs are permitted in all state parks as long as they are on a leash, however bathing beaches may be closed to them.
- STEP 2 To find out when dogs are permitted on the beach, contact the beach’s tourist department or check the beach’s website. Some beaches, such as those in Kure and Kill Devil Hills, only allow dogs on the beach during the non-summer months, so plan your trip appropriately. During the off-season, Kitty Hawk Beach allows dogs to run free, however between Memorial Day and Labor Day, dogs must be kept on a 6-foot leash.
- STEP 3: Don’t forget to bring your leash. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times on most beaches, including Kure Beach and Wrightsville Beach. During the off-season, Kitty Hawk Beach allows dogs to run free, however between Memorial Day and Labor Day, dogs must be on a 6-foot leash.
- STEP 4 Inquire about the hotel’s pet policy before making your reservation. The Travelodge Nags Head Beach Hotel and the John Yancey Inn, both in Kill Devil Hills, are examples of pet-friendly hotels near beaches.
Beaches in South Carolina for Dog Owners: A Comprehensive Guide
It may be tough to negotiate the patchwork of laws and restrictions governing dogs on the beach, whether you live on the coast or are just visiting—but not anymore! This thorough beach guide for dog owners strives to make it easy to locate the ideal South Carolina beach for you and your four-legged companions.
The alphabetical list below outlines any posted restrictions about dogs on the beach and, when available, includes a link to the source of the information and/or necessary contact information. When there are no guidelines stated, Audubon South Carolina makes suggestions.
It’s beneficial to understand why the rules are in place in addition to understanding them. It’s usually to coincide with the tourist season and the influx of beachgoers. In the best-case scenarios, however, laws are in place to safeguard the dwindling shorebird and seabird populations that depend on these beaches for their existence.
Dogs are seen as predators by shorebirds and seabirds, so no matter how loving your dog is, the sight of your four-legged pet might prompt birds to evacuate their nests, placing eggs and hatchlings at danger of dying from heat or predation. It just takes a few minutes for eggs and chicks to perish in the blazing summer heat when mum and dad are away from the nest. During the spring and autumn migration seasons, dogs also increase the number of birds killed. Because birds see people and dogs as predators, they use valuable energy fleeing when you approach, which means they spend less time feeding and resting in preparation for their multi-thousand-mile trip.
If you encounter a flock of birds on the beach or signs that suggest a nesting location nearby, please keep your distance, keep your dog leashed at all times, and do your best not to disturb the birds, regardless of the printed guidelines. Their lives, as well as the lives of whole communities, are on the line!
With so much freedom for your dog, it’s no surprise that animal lovers and fellow pet owners appreciate these North Carolina beaches. Whatever coastal locale you choose, you and your animal best friend will undoubtedly be properly cared for and enjoy the beach vacation of a lifetime. Best of all, in addition to these fantastic options, North Carolina has a plethora of other pet-friendly beaches to visit and explore. Dogs and families will love places like Kill Devil Hills, Ocracoke Island, and Sunset Beach, to name a few. You can keep these facts in your mind and get the most out of time you spend in Carolina Beach with your dog.