When the mercury rises, we’re not the only ones who feel the burn. Yeah, we could use this post to remind you of the important things you can do to keep your dog healthy in the heat (plenty of water, no hot cars, watch for hot sidewalks that can scorch paws, etc.) but you guys are responsible pet owners who already KNOW that. And since no dog wants to spend all summer just sitting around in the AC, we went in search of some watering holes where dogs can actually take a dip!
Here’s a smattering of what our research turned up. We’re sure you have more suggestions for both “dog allowed” beaches and “dogs not technically allowed, but nobody bats an eye” ones. We welcome both!
This 1.5 mile trail through the woods overlooks Lonnie’s Pond, Little Pleasant Bay and Frost Fish Creek in Orleans. We love this spot for so many reasons. There are multiple loops so you can easily find privacy on a trail! Plenty of trees means plenty of shade cover along the walk. And best of all, each trail leads to multiple, picturesque swimming spots!
Cape Cod National Seashore
Not only are they some of the prettiest stretches of beach in the world, they’re also dog friendly! All you need to do is walk your pup through the lifeguarded area and into the unprotected stretch. So you lose a lifeguard, but you gain a dog and a ton of privacy…sounds like a fair swap to us!
The National Seashore beaches include Coast Guard (Eastham), Nauset Light (Eastham), Marconi (Wellfleet), Head of the Meadow (Truro), Race Point (Provincetown) and Herring Cove (Provincetown). Naturally there are some other restrictions around shorebird nesting, so heed the signs.
Nauset Outer Beach (South side)
Another GORGEOUS beach that stretches from Orleans into Chatham. The one caveat is that you need a special ORV permit to get out here and that the beach is often closed due to piping plovers. But when it’s open, the drive out is as magnificent as the beach itself! When you’re throwing the ball into the water for Fido, just don’t go too deep. Nobody wants their dog mistaken for a seal by one of the Great Whites that make their home here.
Sandy Neck Beach
It’s no surprise this is one of the Cape’s most popular beaches. This is another one that requires an ORV permit. You don’t have to be a Barnstable resident to get one (annual or seasonal only, no day permits), but you will pay more. There’s something so satisfying about driving onto the beach, popping open the hatch, plunking a chair down next to it AND having your dog by your side. That’s the way we like to beach!
This is one of those “technically dogs aren’t allowed here” during the summer months. But we’ve found that if you head out during low-tide, nobody will say anything. That’s partly because the flats are SO expansive - walk far enough out and you and your dog become nothing more than a tiny blip from shore. Between the tidal pools and the buffet of new smells, this is a little slice of doggie heaven. As a bonus, it also offers some of the prettiest sunsets on Cape Cod!
We told you about this Dog Park and watering hole in our recent post about Dennis, but it’s worth mentioning again. The Dog Park sits adjacent to a fresh water pond, perfect for a cool dip after a round of play! Small parking lot, but no fees!
Red River Beach
According to the Harwich Town website, dog walking is allowed in the parking lot area only from Dawn - 9:00 am and from 4:30 pm - Dusk Memorial Weekend through Labor Day. Ummm…what dog wants to go to the beach and have to stay in the parking lot? Seems like a silly policy to us!
Your turn - tell us your favorite spot for taking a dip with your dog!