Just in time for summer vacation planning, PetVR.com recently announced their Top 10 Dog Friendly Beaches for 2012:
#1 Fort DeSoto Beach, Florida
Dr. Beach judged this the 2005 Best Beach in America and we voted best beach for dogs. Showers and drinking water are provided. Enter the front gate by the parking lot, take your dog off-leash, walk through the L-shaped park to the back gate. Go out the back gate, down a short sandy path and onto the perfect beach for dogs and people. Pet friendly destination guide
#2 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – Michigan
The Lakeshore also contains many cultural features including the 1871 South Manitou Island Lighthouse, three former Life-Saving Service/Coast Guard Stations and an extensive rural historic farm district. In 2011, the park was named by ABC’s Good Morning America as the “Most Beautiful Place in America”.
#3 Del Mar Beach San Diego, California
For good reason, Del Mar is one of the most popular beach communities and San Diego County. Great beaches, fairgrounds, horseracing, and a quaint, upscale village provide plenty of activities for everyone. Powerhouse Park, with a full playground, is especially nice for families with young children. Beachgoers can also find good, cheap eats at Roberto’s taco stand on Carmel Valley Road, overlooking Los Penasquitos Lagoon. Plus, the song Dog Beach Boogie helped this beach’s ranking.
#4 Cape San Blas, Florida
Just 35 miles south of Panama City, but feeling as if it is worlds away, Cape San Blas beaches are peaceful, not overdeveloped; in fact, you can sometimes walk a mile or two in the off season without seeing another dog…or person. The state park at the end of the cape was named 2002 Best Beach In America by Dr. Beach (a real person, not a doggie…but most doggies would agree).
#5 Fort Funston State Park, California
Fort Funston is a popular San Francisco dogwalking location. Most visitors walk the paved Sunset Trail, a north to south route on the bluff, and reach Ocean Beach via Fort Funston’s northern section. Fort Funston’s stretch of Ocean Beach is where you’ll see scores of dripping wet dogs, romping across the sand with driftwood stick in their mouths.
#6 Dog Friendly Cannon Beach – Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach is recognized by its well-known landmark, Haystack Rock, located to the southwest of downtown Cannon Beach, near Tolovana Park. This igneous rock has an elevation of 235 feet, and is often accessible at low tide, especially in the summertime. There is a small cave system that penetrates the rock and can be seen from the coastline. The rock is also protected as a marine sanctuary, Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, and events are not allowed within 100 feet of either side of the rock. Pet friendly destination guide
#7 Montrose Dog Beach – Chicago, Illinois
The Montrose Dog Beach is Chicago’s first legal off-leash beach. This dog beach is located on the Northwest corner of Montrose Beach (the point closest to the city). Just follow Wilson Avenue until it curves to the left at the lake. Look for the big corrugated steel walls of the old Boat Launch, and you’re there.
#8 Pistol River State Scenic Viewpoint, Oregon
If your pooch isn’t fond of windsurfing, no matter. This windsurfers’ paradise will suit them just fine. Located just outside of Oregon State Park boundaries, south of Gold Beach.
#9 First Landing State Park – Chesapeake Bay, Virginia
One of the finest state parks you’ll find anywhere features an ocean-type beach at the mouth of the Chesapeake. You can easily hike with your dog for over an hour on the beach with views of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel and ocean-going vessels in view the entire time according to Hike with Your Dog.
#10 Dog Beach – Key West, Florida
There are only a few small beaches on Key West, but Dog Beach is a Bring Fido favorite. Dogs will have some fun in the sun here, but be sure to keep a close eye on your pup, as this is a rocky beach. After getting a little exercise on the beach, head over to Louie’s Backyard, which is located next door to the Dog Beach and is a pet-friendly place to grab a refreshing beverage. Pet friendly destination guide