If you’re searching for a relaxing getaway but don’t want to leave Fido at home, then Carolina Beach has you covered. From playing on the sand to hiking at Carolina Beach State Park or even dining at pet-friendly restaurants, there are plenty of ways to keep your four-legged friend involved.  

Sandy Paws

From October through March, leashed dogs are allowed on Carolina Beach any time of day. During the peak summer season, April through September, leashed dogs are allowed on Carolina Beach before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m. Dogs are allowed every day of the year at Freeman Park Recreation Area. This unspoiled section of beach at the northern end of Carolina Beach is where four-legged friends can run off-leash from October through March and on-leash year-round. Keep your pup hydrated by taking advantage of one of the several animal-friendly water fountains located around Carolina Beach.


Four-Legged Adventures

Explore Carolina Beach State Park, a 761-acre dog-friendly park surrounded by trails and views of the water. Weave through the park’s 8.5 miles of hiking along nine trails for an afternoon adventure with your pup – just be sure to use the leash. Or, explore the island along the scenic Island Greenway, a safe, convenient multi-use paved path, perfect for leashed pups. Afterward, let your pup run free at Mike Chappell Park's fenced-in, off-leash dog park, perfect for a puppy playdate.


Annual Fun

Each fall, join pets, their owners and pet-friendly businesses for the annual Pets in the Park celebration. The event includes activities such as K9 demonstrations, rescue groups, a costume contest, pet parade, food trucks – with fare for both pets and their humans – and more. All well socialized pets are welcome at this celebration held at Carolina Beach Lake Park.



Furry Friends and Slumber 

Relax comfortably at one of Carolina Beach’s pet-friendly lodging options – perfect for dogs as well as cats. Carolina Beach Inn is 100% pet-friendly, and the attention to detail even includes dog treats! If you are searching for something more spacious and private, check out some of the island’s many pet-friendly vacation rentals. Carolina Retreats and Victory Beach Vacations are just two rental agencies offering properties that accommodate furry-friends. The Drifter’s Reef Hotel provides its doggie guests with access to a private pet park located at the back of the property.  

More than Just Treats

Plenty of Carolina Beach restaurants allow pets so you don’t have to leave Fido to fend for himself or herself when you dine out. Grab some grub at Stoked Restaurant and enjoy the views of the waterway on the dog-friendly patio. The Lazy Pirate Island Sports Grill provides an outdoor, pet-friendly dining area so your dog can relax comfortably on the back patio while you test your skills at cornhole or on the restaurant’s sand volleyball courts. Stop by Nollie’s Taco Joint and order one of their fresh tacos for yourself and a doggie taco for your pup while you dine on their shaded dog-friendly deck.


Grab a drink with man’s best friend at Good Hops Brewing for delicious beer, dog treats and an on-site disc golf course that guarantee a great time for both owner and pup. Or, bring your furry-friend with you to Four Hounds Distillery and get a taste of their unique twist on barrel aged rums.


Let the pet sitter off the hook and forget about the boarding, because pups are welcome to get in on the fun in Carolina Beach.