Let’s state the obvious about Long Island: it’s long, and it’s an island, which means its surrounded by beaches! This strip of land east of New York City is home to an estimated 1,600 miles of shoreline. Thats roughly the distance from Portland, Maine to Miami, Florida! It’s the 11th-largest island in the United States, and is the most populated island in any U.S. state or territory. That means there’s plenty of sandy ocean waves and salty sea breezes for you and your dog to enjoy. Here are the best dog-friendly beaches on Long Island.
Be aware that due to the Coronavirus, certain beaches on Long Island have been opened to residents only. If you’re not a local, check the status before making the trip.
Before you head out, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Check the weather – You don’t want your dog to overheat! Make sure temperatures aren’t too high, and aim for early morning or late afternoon visits if it’s too hot during the day.
- Pack the right gear – Poop bags, water, treats and a towel. Be sure you’re prepared and well stocked before heading out.
- Rinse off any saltwater – Saltwater can irritate your dog’s skin. Give them a thorough rinse after your visit, or bring grooming wipes.
- Beware of ticks – Do tick checks on your dog through out the day, and make sure your dog is protected.
- Stay away from wildlife – Keep dogs out of protected nesting areas and away from wildlife.
We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips for taking your dog to the beach here. On to the dog-friendly beaches!
Port Jefferson Dog Beach
If you had to choose just one dog beach to visit on Long Island, Port Jefferson should be it.
This nice stretch of shore allows dogs to play and swim off-leash all year round. There’s beautiful clean water, epic views, paddle boarding and kayaking, small boats at sail and plenty of space for a walk on the harbor. There are bars and restaurants for food and drinks nearby, and free parking is available.
Port Jefferson is a pebble beach with some sand mixed in, so be prepared for rocks and seashells. Swimming is allowed for both humans and canines.
Location: Port Jefferson, NY 11777
Mud Creek Dog Park
Mud Creek Dog Park is an 11-acre Park that borders Mud Creek and the Great South Bay in Suffolk County. The secluded area is bordered by sand dunes, and there is a designated off-leash space for swimming and running on the 300-foot beach.
Location: 341 Roe Ave, East Patchogue, NY 11772
Gardiner County Park
Gardiner County Park was originally owned by the Gardiner family, Suffolk’s first non-native landowners. Today, it’s a 231 acre nature-oriented public park on the Great South Bay.
This park is an all in one – they have great trails, two fenced dog runs, for both large and small dogs, shoreline, picnic tables, and beautiful views of Fire Island Light House and Robert Moses Bridge.
The beach trail leads directly to the beach, where dogs can play and splash in the water. Leash laws are enforced on the trails, but they’re looser on the shore.
Parking is free, but be warned, the parking area is on the small side.
Location: Montauk Hwy, Bay Shore, NY 11706
Fire Island Beaches
Fire Island is a popular spot for both locals and animals. This dog-friendly island has no cars, and is reachable by ferry (where yes, dogs are welcome!).
Dogs are welcome on Fire Island National Seashore’s ocean and bayside beaches (Lighthouse, Sailors Haven, Watch Hill, Talisman, and Wilderness) outside of March 15 through Labor Day. The restrictions exist to protect wildlife.
Location: Fire Island National Seashore, Sayville, NY 11782.
Get fancy and head to the Hamptons for some beach fun. Way down at the easternmost tip of Long Island’s East End you’ll find Montauk, a picturesque town surrounded by water on three sides. It’s practically drowning in pristine beaches.
Since there’s so much shoreline, most of them are not protected by lifeguards and parking is not straightforward. Meaning you’ll get much more freedom and space with your dog if you pick the right spots.
Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach from May 15 to September between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., but the rest of the year they’re allowed on the beach at any time, and off-leash too!
Parking is free at the Kirk Park Beach, across from the 7-Eleven, and Amsterdam Beach (limited) but a fee is charged at Hither Hills State Park and Montauk Point. Many other beaches, such as Ditch and Gin, require a parking permit, which is only available to residents and available at Town Hall Annex in the Montauk Playhouse. Skip those, unless you’re a local!
Check out Camp Hero State Park, at the very tip of Montauk, a former Montauk Air Force Station. This 415 acre park features fishing, hiking trails, shoreline, and bridle paths. Dogs are permitted year round, on a leash not more than 6-feet in length, and on beaches that are not guarded.
Location: Old Montauk Highway and Lincoln Rd, Montauk, NY 11954
Shadmoor State Park
Ninety-nine acre Shadmoor State Park is located one quarter-mile east of Montauk Village. It features more than 2,400 feet of ocean beach accessed by two stairways.
The park has hiking trails, epic cliffs, and foliage that’ll knock your socks off (think black cherry trees and clusters of the rare and federally-endangered sand plain gerardia plant!).
Dogs are allowed year round, on a leash not more than 6-feet in length.
Location: 900 Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954
East Hampton Beaches
The Town of East Hampton is located in southeastern Suffolk County, on the South Shore of Long Island.
There are five beaches in East Hampton: Egypt Beach, Georgica Beach, Main Beach, Two Mile Hollow Beach, and Wiborg Beach.
Dogs are not permitted on the beaches between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily from May 15th through September 15th, but the rest of the year they’re allowed on the beach at any time.
Location: East Hampton, Long Island
Indian Island Beach
Indian Island beach is a crescent-shaped sandy strip located on a 275 acre park at the mouth of the Peconic River. Come for the beach, but stay for the dog-friendly camping. The park has tent campsites, picnic tables, hiking trails, grills and a playground.
It’s a calm area, and very family friendly. The grounds are clean and well maintained. Bring a kayak and paddle board, or rent them in Riverhead and have them delivered.
For those camping, you can reserve a camping spot online. If you are not a local resident, you will need a Suffolk County Parks Non-Resident Key card in order to make a reservation. Dogs are welcome with a leash.
Location: Cross River Drive Rt 105, Riverhead, NY 11901
Cedar Point County Park
This 607 acre park has commanding views of Gardiner’s Bay and the historic decommissioned Cedar Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1860 on an island 200 yards from shore. It was used to guide whaling ships in and out of Sag Harbor, back when Cedar Point was a busy port for shipping farm goods, fish and timber.
A 1938 hurricane transformed the shoreline, and today, you can hike on a narrow walkable strip to reach the lighthouse. The trail is 3.5 miles roundtrip, and a bit rocky, so wear comfortable shoes.
The park is spacious, and great for day trips or overnight camping visits, where your dog is welcome too! Spots must be reserved ahead of time.
Location: 5 Cedar Point Rd, East Hampton, NY 11937
Napeague Harbor & Napeague State Park
Napeague Harbor is a popular spot for kite boarding, kite surfing, paddleboarding and kayaking. The State Park stretches from the Atlantic Ocean across the neck of the South Fork to Gardiners Bay.
The area is pretty undeveloped, so don’t expect much. Just lots of space to hike, take a dip and let your dog run wild.
Public parking is available alongside the Napeague Harbor access road.
Location: Lazy Point Rd, Amagansett, NY 11930
Smith Point County Park
While it’s technically on Fire Island, Smith Point County Park is just a hop, skip, and a jump from the town of Shirley.
The Smith Point County park extends from the east end of the Fire Island Wilderness to the tip of the island at Moriches Inlet. It was named for William “Tangier” Smith, who owned 50 miles of Long Island oceanfront in the 1600s.
Most beachgoers walk to the beach through a tunnel under the dunes but dog owners need to walk past the campground entrance to the east. Wooden staircases lead over the dunes and you can take your dog all the way to Moriches Inlet.
The beach has white sand and rolling Atlantic surf, as well as extras like a Tiki Bar and camping sites. Reservations are required for all the sites in the campground.
Location: 1 William Floyd Pkwy, Shirley, NY 11967
Quogue Village Beach
This quiet, pristine and secluded beach is a great place to kick back and get away from it all. The gorgeous beachfront area is right off of Dune Road. There are beautiful sunsets, no large crowds, and salty sea air.
Head here in the off season when no resident parking permit is required and dogs are allowed to roam the beach off-leash.
Location: 172 Dune Rd Westhampton Beach, NY 11978
What’s your favorite dog-friendly beach on Long Island?
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