The Best Off-Leash, Dog-Friendly Beaches in the South and Mid-Atlantic


A great alternative to hiking or the dog park, bring your pup on an off-season beach adventure!

In this series, we have pulled together the best beaches around the country that allow your dog off leash during fall. This week we're moving down the east coast to bring you some fabulous mid-Atlantic and southern beaches.

Tell us your favorites in the comments.


Photo by Quinton Coetzee on Unsplash


The Beach Days of Summer might be over for you, but October is the perfect time for your dog to enjoy the beach. The cooler weather is better for dogs that can burn their paws on hot sand or get dehydrated from the lack of shade in summer. Many beaches normally closed to dogs in peak times also now welcome dogs with some allowing dogs to run off leash. We have pulled together the best beaches around the country that allow your dog OFF LEASH during fall. Tell us your favorites in the comments!

Dewey Beach, DE 

Known as the party beach in summer, it becomes much quieter in the off season and it opens for dogs to run freely. Between 9/16-5/14, dogs are welcome off leash all day. The only catch is you need to get a Dewey dog license from Town Hall. They offer 3 day, 8 day and lifetime licenses. The kiosk outside the Town Hall is available 24X7 and sells the 3 & 8 day licenses. The beach is about a mile long and there are restroom facilities for you.


Consistently cited as one of the best beaches in the Hamptons, Main Beach allows dogs to run off leash starting October 1, ending the second Saturday of May. You just need to make sure that if your dog is within 300 feet of a road that you have them on a leash to avoid accidents and injury. East Hampton has another five or so beaches that also allow your dog to run free in the off season.

Photo by Jake Rajs

Photo by Michael Black/Getty Images

Asbury Park, NJ 

The Jersey shore is not known for having dog-friendly beaches. Most do not allow dogs during the summer and few allow dogs off leash in Fall. However, in Asbury Park there are two options in the off-season. Bradley Beach is just south of Asbury Park and allows dogs from 9/16-4/20 to run off leash. It’s a quieter beach than some of those close to Asbury, but it is clean and pretty and the parking is cheaper. 8th Avenue Dog Beach is one of the only NJ beaches that allows dogs in summer, but only between 6 pm and 8.30 AM. Starting 10/1, they are welcome to be on the boardwalk if leashed and on the beach unleashed at any time. Crowds die down and you and your pup can have an amazing socially distanced run around.


St. Simons Island is part of a set of barrier isles off the coast of Georgia. St. Simons has some of the most dog-friendly beaches in the South, allowing dogs on the majority of beaches in the summer during off peak hours. Between Labor Day & Memorial Day there are several beaches that allow dogs off leash and under voice command all day, including East Beach & Massengale Park. 

Photo from Getty Images

Photo by Maggie Riordan on Unsplash

Fort De Soto Park Paw Playground,      St. Petersburg, FL 

Dogs are welcome throughout the 1,136 acre Fort De Soto Park, which includes grassy & wooded trails for walking. The beach was named ‘Best Beach’ by TripAdvisor in 2009. Dogs are only welcome to enjoy the beach at the Paw Playground and can run off leash year around. Nearby are 2 fenced-in areas off the beach where dogs can play. There are showers provided just to hose down dogs after a fun day at the park. Poop bags are also provided. 


Part of a Northern set of barrier islands, Topsail Island features the town and beach called Topsail Beach Starting October 1, dogs can romp leash free the entire 26 miles of the beach. Look out for sea turtles as there are many hatching sites along the beach. Topsail Beach, the town itself, is quaint with less than 500 residents and lots of shops for strolling.


Worried about Your Dog Off Leash at the Beach? Just bring your SpotOn Fence to the beach and set up a perimeter keeping your dog away from hazards like rocks or a parking lot and inside the leash free area. If you need to brush up on your map-making skills, watch our video about creating a Spoton Fence map.

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