Planning your summer vacation at the shore and worried about what to do with your dog while you’re away? Bring them with you! The Wildwoods (made up of Wildwood, North Wildwood and Wildwood Crest) have become a destination for canine lovers and USA Today ranked it number two of the ‘Best Dog Friendly Beaches in the US.’

While many New Jersey beaches only allow dogs on the sand during the off-season (October-May), The Wildwoods has an entire dog beach devoted to letting your pooches run free on the sand. The enclosed space at Glenwood Avenue in Wildwood is easy to spot, just look for the 25-foot tall fire hydrant sculpture that marks the entrance. There are two sections, to keep large and small breed dogs separate, but there’s plenty of room for every good boy and girl to play. This block and a half long space is almost two football fields wide and is open from 6 am until dusk, from May to October. The dog beach is equipped with water stations, shaded structures and play stations. There are also baggies around so you can clean up after your pets.

And new this summer, the beaches in North Wildwood will allow dogs to walk on the non-dog beaches anytime the lifeguards are off duty (lifeguards hours are 9:30am – 5:30 pm daily) all year round. As a reminder, all of Wildwoods’ beaches are completely free to visit for humans and canines alike.

The Wildwoods have a host of hotels and motels that will allow your furry family member to stay with you as well. Visit wildwoodsnj.com and select ‘pet friendly’ to see all the places that will allow you to bring your dog.

The PigDog Beach Bar, inside Raging Waters Water Park on Morey’s Mariner’s Pier is family and dog-friendly. You can grab BBQ classics and a cocktail with your most faithful companion by your side. MudHen Brewing Company also allows leashed dogs in their outdoor dining area. Other outdoor dining spots allow some dogs, but check ahead when making  your reservation for dinner to see their policies.

Many of the sightseeing charter boats and fishing/crabbing boats will allow your dog to embark as well, so long as they wear a lifejacket. This way your pet doesn’t miss out on whale and dolphin watching festivities.


Still need more puppy love? The Patriotic Pooch Parade is part of the Independence Day Parade in North Wildwood on July 4th, starting at 8th and Atlantic. Bring your pup dressed in patriotic garb and you could win a prize.

On September 12, Morey’s Piers hosts Morey’s Paws Dogfest. This annual event starts with a Doggie Dash, a 1 mile or 5K beach run/walk with your pup. Then head to Raging Waters where the pups can play in the pools and even go on some slides. The PigDog Beach Bar will offer “Yappy Hour” specials for you and your pet.

In the off-season, the Wildwoods Convention Center hosts the Boardwalk Kennel Club All Breed Dog Show, typically held in January.

Don’t have a dog, but want one? Morey’s Piers hosts monthly dog adoptions with Beacon Animal Rescue. Check their calendar for dates.