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Top 10 dog beaches around the U.S.

Barbara Alden Wilson is a writer specializing in health and medical topics. You can follow her on Twitter at @BAldenWilson and on her blog, muchtomyamazement.com.

places for your pooch to cool off

Hitting the beach this summer doesn't mean having to leave your dog behind. Here are the best places to enjoy some fun in the sun with your pup.
Bulldogs playing on the beach

These beaches allow off-the-leash fun all summer long. Busier resort areas tend to allow off-leash dogs on the beach only during off-season (usually late September through April), but you won't see them mentioned here.

1

Marina Beach Dog Park

Location: Edmonds, Washington
Entrance fee: None
Parking fee: None

Why people love it: Benches, complementary cleanup bags, gorgeous views of the Olympic Mountains, water hose for rinsing off and fresh water (water bowls are also available).

Why dogs love it: The beach park has complementary tennis balls and an agility course.

2

Longport Dog Beach

Location: Somers Point, New Jersey
Entrance fee:
None
Parking fee: None

Why people love it: No permit or tags required. There is lots of room for dogs to run and play in the water. Be sure to bring your own cleanup bags and water.

Why dogs love it: Plenty of room to run and play. Ideal for social dogs that like to make friends with others.

3

Cannon Beach

Location: Cannon Beach, Oregon
Entrance fee:
None
Parking fee: None

Why people love it: Beautiful scenery of the famous Haystack Rock and surrounding rock formations, close to town shops and cafes.

Why dogs love it: Few crowds and plenty of dunes in addition to the flat, wet sand.

4

Harbor Beach

Location: Provincetown, Massachusetts
Entrance fee: None
Parking fee: None

Why people love it: This beach is near the shops, galleries and cafes in popular Provincetown.

Why dogs love it: Harbor Beach is the only Massachusetts beach that allows dogs to be off leash from 6-9 a.m.

5

Ocean Beach Dog Beach

Location: San Diego, California
Entrance fee:
None
Parking fee: None

Why people love it: Restrooms, picnic tables, summer lifeguards, paved walking path, consumption of alcohol permitted on the beach from noon-8 p.m. (but prohibited at all times in parking lots, adjacent walkways and grassy parks adjacent to the beach).

Why dogs love it: They are allowed to run free on the beach. They must, however, be leashed to get to and from your car.

6

Mirror Lake

Location: Lake Placid, New York
Entrance fee: None
Parking fee: None

Why people love it: Sandy beach areas and a 2.7 mile walking trail around the lake. Water and doggie cleanup bags are available on the trail, but bring your own during the summer months (they tend to run out).

Why dogs love it: There are lots of areas to play and swim off leash. Walking trails offer a shaded stroll.

7

Dog Beach

Location: Panama City Beach, Florida
Entrance fee:
None
Parking fee: None

Why people love it: Beautiful white sand and turquoise-blue water just steps away from Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville.

Why dogs love it: Plenty of room for off-leash play, lots of soft and fluffy sand.

8

Anne's Beach

Location: Islamorada, Florida
Entrance fee:
None
Parking fee: None

Why people love it: This very secluded beach has plenty of shade. Cleanup bags, water and bowls available. There's also a deli within walking distance.

Why dogs love it: Off-leash play opportunities plus lots of shade.

9

Freeman Park

Location: Carolina Beach, North Carolina
Entrance fee: $10
Parking fee: None

Why people love it: You can drive your 4-wheel-drive vehicle onto the beach and camp overnight at the park.

Why dogs love it: Lots of room to run off leash and socialize with other dogs.

10

First Landing State Park Beach

Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia
Entrance fee: $4 on weekdays, $5 on weekends
Parking fee: None

Why people love it: Dog-friendly camping is within walking distance of beach.

Why dogs love it: Long expanses of sand and water for off-leash play.

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