More than 60 talented dogs from across the nation will gather at Imperial Beach on Saturday June 16 for one of the most highly anticipated events in the canine world. The Loews Surf Dog Competition is in its seventh year, and promises to put on an unforgettable show and produce cute pics aplenty of dogs hanging 10. If you can't make it, do not fret. There's no need for you and your beach-loving mutt to miss out on the fun. There are dog-friendly sandy spots all over the U.S. waiting for you and your pet. Here are our picks for the country's 10 best dog beaches.
10. Del Mar Beach
Where: San Diego, Calif.
Why It's the Best: California's Del Mar Dog Beach is world famous even though it's only open nine months out of the year. From September to June, your dog can frolic free of its leash at this clean, laid-back beach. Del Mar Dog Beach is close to everything: the fairgrounds, horse racing and a playground. It's the perfect place to bring the family and the family dog.
9. Fort Funston Dog Beach
Where: San Francisco, Calif.
Why It's the Best: San Francisco dogs and their owners love going to Fort Funston Dog Beach. This gem is located on the dunes at the south end of Ocean Beach overlooking the Pacific. Once a military outpost, this popular dog hangout is now a huge open space for humans to make a day of it with their four-legged friends.
8. Fort de Soto Paw Playground and Beach
Where: Pinellas, Fla.
Why It's the Best: This popular dog beach destination gives its visitors three acres of sand and water to roam and romp around in. In addition to the vast dog-friendly amenities the park offers (dog drinking fountains, showers, etc.), Fort de Soto is also one of the few dog beaches that is both scenic and secluded. Dogs can run freely while owners kick back and enjoy the view.
7. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Dog Beach
Where: Empire, Mich.
Why It's the Best: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is a great spot for fit dogs and active owners alike. With its many scenic hiking trails and access to Lake Michigan, it is recommended that your pet be on a leash at all times.
5. Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint
Where: Salem, Ore.
Why It's the Best: Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint isn't solely for dogs, but canines are welcome to join in all the human fun. There are many parks nearby the beach where dogs are also allowed, although they must be leashed at all times.
4. Jekyll Island
Where: Between Savannah, Ga. and Jacksonville, Fla.
Why It's the Best: Jekyll Island Beach is famous for its pet friendliness. This dog-friendly beach is a great place to play frisbee with your pooch or splash around in the waves. If your dog is a music lover, plan on bringing it along to Jekyll Island's Annual Music Festival.
3. Hunting Island
Where: Beaufort, S.C.
Why It's the Best: With over five miles of land, Hunting Island is one of the most picturesque dog beaches in the country. Scattered with grassy patches, this white sandy beach is the perfect place for dogs and owners to explore the tide pools.
2. First Landing State Park
Where: Virginia Beach, Va.
Why It's the Best: This massive park is home to an authentic Indian Village along with over 2,700 acres of hiking trails perfect for humans and dogs. If you’re looking to spend the night at this gorgeous location, you can even rent a cabin or camp out with your furry pal. This is an ideal vacation spot where families can hike, swim, bike and boat, all while bringing a canine companion along.
1. Sunset Beach
Where: Cape May Point, N.J.
Why It's the Best: Sunset Beach is the premiere spot for water-loving dogs. It's considered one of the best beaches in New Jersey for both owners and their pets. Their restaurant, Sunset Beach Grill, even accommodates dogs with outdoor dining tables.
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