15 Amazing Dog Friendly Beaches in Delaware (2023 Update)


The beach is a beautiful place, so why not soak in some sun, salty waves, and serenity with your favorite pup? There are plenty of great places to do that in Delaware, from the popular Rehoboth Beach to Woodland Beach. If you’re a local looking for a new beach spot or headed there soon on vacation, take a look at the 15 best dog-friendly beaches in Delaware below.


The 15 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Delaware

1. Rehoboth Beach

  • The most popular beach in Delaware for families and pets
  • One mile of pristine beach for plenty of romps in the waves
  • Walk the year-round, family-friendly boardwalk with shops and restaurants
  • Pet owners here are mindful of pet waste, keeping the beach clean
  • Located in Delaware’s Cape Region

2. Lewes Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍 206 Bay Ave, Lewes, DE 19958
🕐 Open Times: 6 AM to 8:30 AM and 6:30 AM to midnight, mid-May through mid-September
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Includes dog parks and other pet-friendly activities nearby
  • Beautiful views of Delaware Bay, especially at sunset
  • Waves are usually much calmer here because of its location
  • Explore the many nature trails in Lewes when not enjoying the beach
  • Quaint downtown with shops and restaurants when you’re done with the water

3. Dewey Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍 Dewey Beach, DE 19971
🕐 Open Times: 5 AM to 9:30 AM and 5:30 PM to 1 AM, mid-May through mid-September
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes
  • Public bonfires on Tuesday and Wednesday nights
  • Plenty of shallow shoreline for quick romps or long walks
  • 5-star rated water quality by the NRDC (National Resource Defense Council)
  • One of the few beaches in Delaware to offer off-leash walking
  • Easy access to the beach from pet-friendly accommodations

4. Cape Henlopen State Park

  • Some beaches may be year-round (call ahead to confirm)
  • Enjoy hiking and biking opportunities in the State Park
  • Many return visitors and many residents bring their pups often
  • Wide beaches, so plenty of room to share with other park guests
  • 192 acres can get confusing to navigate

5. Fenwick Island

  • Pets allowed in designated areas only and not near nesting areas
  • 3 miles of shoreline and usually not crowded
  • Located in Little Assawoman Bay just north of the Maryland border
  • Fenwick Island is an ideal pet-friendly beach vacation destination
  • Not as busy as nearby Bethany Beach

6. Bethany Beach

  • 150-foot-wide beach with plenty of room to share with others
  • Boardwalk ideal for walking the one mile of shoreline
  • Ideal sand for digging, romping, and rolling
  • Must be careful of sand traps along the beach
  • One of the most family-friendly beaches in Delaware

7. Delaware Seashore State Park

🗺️ Address: 📍 39415 Inlet Rd. Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971
🕐 Open Times: 8 AM to sunset, October through April
💲 Cost: $5 residents/$10 non-residents
🐕 Off-Leash: Possibly, depending on the season
  • Dogs must stay away from lifeguard zones and picnic areas
  • Choose between a bayside or oceanside beach
  • 6 miles of beaches in the park
  • There may be off-leash areas available, depending on the season
  • Proof of rabies vaccination is required to enter state parks

8. Woodland Beach

  • A true “hidden gem” of Delaware with quiet, pristine beaches
  • A great vacation escape for you, the family, and your pup
  • Located in the Woodland Beach Wildlife Management Area
  • The closest town is Smyrna, about 10 miles away
  • A unique town with an interesting past (just ask the locals)

9. Broadkill Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍 Broadkill Beach, DE 19968
🕐 Open Times: 24 hours, October through April
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Located near the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
  • Feels quiet and removed from “city life” although still nearby
  • Is an unincorporated stretch of beach with white sands and calm waves
  • Rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard while you’re there for some fun
  • General store and several conveniences if needed

10. Prime Hook Beach

  • One of several beaches inside the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
  • Another hidden gem, even during the peak season
  • Serene surroundings perfect for relaxing with your pup
  • Leashes are essential here because of its importance as a wildlife refuge
  • View shorebirds, foxes, and more while soaking in the sun

11. James Farm Ecological Preserve

  • Features seven distinct habitats to explore
  • Most of the beach is only accessible at low tide
  • Current construction may make some features unavailable
  • Pups are allowed on some of the guided tours (be sure to ask)
  • Enjoy the beaches and the many walking trails

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12. Fowler Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍 Milford, DE 19963
🕐 Open Times: Sunrise to Sunset, year round
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Must keep a safe distance from wildlife
  • Closed during bird nesting seasons (call ahead to confirm)
  • Beautiful 0.4 mile walk from parking area to the beach
  • Let your pup romp through gentle waves
  • There are no amenities here for humans

13. Slaughter Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍 Slaughter Beach, DE 19963
🕐 Open Times: Varies with wildlife season
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Slaughter Beach is a quiet, residential community
  • Take a break with your pup at the pavilion for some shade or a picnic lunch
  • Most visitors enjoy the beach at low tide
  • Must stay off of the dunes due to rebuilding project
  • One of the oldest towns founded in Delaware with an interesting history

14. Bowers Beach

  • Calm waters ideal for swimming and romping
  • Ample parking available as well as a boat ramp
  • Ideal location for bird watching (including bald eagles and osprey)
  • Must stay off of the grass and dunes
  • Check out the Maritime Museum and Little Creek Wildlife Area

15. Beach Plum Island Nature Preserve

🗺️ Address: 📍 Lewes, DE 19958
🕐 Open Times: 8 AM until sunset, March through December
💲 Cost: $5 residents/$10 non-residents
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Dogs are only allowed at the northern end of the beach
  • Usually not very busy, even during the peak season
  • 4-wheel drive vehicles are allowed on the beach
  • Insect repellant is recommended for humans and pets
  • Entrance road is a little difficult to find

Conclusion

There you have it. We’ve wrapped up our list of the 15 most amazing dog-friendly beaches in Delaware. These beaches are hot spots for locals and visitors alike or secret spots that offer tranquil surroundings ideal for a day of relaxation with your doggo. Either way, we hope you’ve found one (or several) beaches to check out while you’re in Delaware.


Featured Image Courtesy of Pixabay



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