Jan. 27, 2022
Purchasing a luxury beach home or a vacation home at the beach is a significant investment for most people. If you're a dog owner and are considering purchasing a home in one of the beach communities in Southeastern NC then it will most likely be important for you to know whether your fur-baby will be able to enjoy the beach with you.
Some of the beach communities in Southeastern North Carolina have restrictions that depend on the time of the year, generally whether it's peak tourist season or the off-season. Here's a run-down of the rules for dogs on the beach in the numerous beaches and communities along the coast of Southeastern NC in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick Counties.
Wrightsville Beach, NC
The best time to enjoy the beach with your dog is the off-season from October 1 through March 31. Dogs are required to be on-leash and dog-owners must pick up and dispose of pet-waste. During the peak visitor season from April 1 through September 30, no dogs are allowed on the beach.
Carolina Beach, NC
During the off-season from October 1 through March 31, leashed dogs are allowed on the beach strand at any time of day. During the peak season from April 1, through September 30, leashed dogs are allowed on the beach during the hours before 9.00am and after 5.00pm. Dogs are not allowed on the beach strand during the hours of 9.00am to 5.00pm.
Freeman Park Recreation Area, Carolina Beach, NC
On the North end of Carolina Beach is the Freeman Park Recreation Area. Freeman Park, an undeveloped part of Carolina Beach, offers a special beach experience in Southeastern NC as overnight camping and 4-wheel drive vehicle access is allowed with an annual or daily permit. Your dog will be so excited to share your beach experience at Freeman Park OFF LEASH during the off-season from October 1 through March 31, so long as your dog remains close enough to be under voice command. During the peak season from April 1 through September 30, dogs are allowed on the beach as long as they remain leashed.
Kure Beach, NC
Your pooch can enjoy the beach off-season from October 1 through March 31 at any hour but must be on a leash. During the peak season from April 1 through September 30, no dogs are allowed on the beach strand at Kure Beach.
Fort Fisher State Park, NC
At the southern end of Kure Beach is Fort Fisher State Park which boasts about 6 miles of shoreline with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Cape Fear River on the other. The park has pedestrian beaches, marshes and trails and also a beach for 4-wheel drive vehicles. Fort Fisher State Park is an ideal beach experience to enjoy with your fur-baby as dogs are allowed year-round as long as they are leashed.
Figure Eight Island
Figure Eight Island is a private island, accessible only to owners and their guests by a swing bridge. Owners are allowed to have their leashed dogs on the beach from May 15 through September 30.
Masonboro Island Reserve, NC
Masonboro Island is an undeveloped barrier island located between the south end of Wrightsville Beach and the north end of Carolina Beach. It has over 8 miles of serene beaches on the Atlantic Ocean and is only accessible by boat or kayak from the mainland. Overnight camping is allowed on Masonboro Island and is very popular with dog lovers as dogs are allowed on the island year-round although they are supposed to be on leash.
Bald Head Island, NC
Bald Head Island is extremely dog-friendly. Dogs are allowed OFF-LEASH all year long although during turtle nesting season, May 1 through November 15, dogs must be leashed from sunset to sunrise. Bald Head Island is an idyllic island that is accessible by a 20-minute ferry ride from Southport, NC. No cars are allowed on the island so bikes and golf carts are a popular mode of transportation. Bald Head has 16 miles of white sandy beaches facing east, west and south for you and your family, including your furry-pals to enjoy.
Caswell Beach, NC
During the off-season from October 15 through March 15 UNLEASHED dogs are allowed on the beach as long as they are within voice command. From March 16 through October 14, UNLEASHED dogs are allowed on the beach strand during the early morning hours from sunrise until 9am. After 9am dogs are allowed on the beach but must be leashed.
Oak Island, NC
Dogs are allowed to be OFF-LEASH in locations marked by beach access signs from October 15 through March 15 from 6.00am to 8.00pm (generally sunrise to sunset). From March 16 through October 14, leashed dogs are allowed on the beach.
Holden Beach, NC
Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach during the off-season dates of September 11 through May 19 at all hours of the day. During the peak season from May 20 through September 10, leashed dogs are allowed on the beach only during the hours before 9am and after 5pm. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from 9am to 5pm during the peak season.
Ocean Isle Beach, NC
During the peak tourist season of Memorial Day to Labor Day, leashed dog are allowed on the beach before 9.00am and after 6.00pm. No dogs are allowed from 9.00am to 6.00pm. The rest of the year leashed dogs are allowed on the beach.
Sunset Beach, NC
After Labor Day and before the Friday preceding Memorial Day dogs are allowed on the beach but must be leashed. The peak tourist season spanning the Friday before Memorial Day and Labor Day, leashed dogs are allowed on the beach only during the hours before 8am and after 6pm. Dogs are not allowed on the beach at all during peak tourist season during the hours of 8.00am to 6pm.
Surf City, NC
Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round but must remain on a leash.
Topsail Island, NC
Dogs are allowed to be UNLEASHED during the off-season from October 1 through May 14. During the rest of the year dogs are required to be on a leash but the leash can be up to 20 feet long, giving your dog plenty of freedom to frolic in the sand and surf.
North Topsail Beach, NC
At all times of the year dogs on the beach must be leashed. The leash can be a retractable and up to 25 feet in length., giving dogs plenty of space to run and play in the sand.
Other Beaches, NC
For those who have access to a boat or a kayak there are plenty of other beaches to enjoy with your bestie dog friend. Dotted along the Intracoastal Waterway in New Hanover, Pender and Onslow Counties there are small uninhabited islands with natural vegetation and sandy shorelines. Anchor your boat or pull your kayak up on the beach and enjoy playing along the shoreline with your dog, but be sure pick up any pet waste.