Dog at Coney Island Beach

A Guide to Dog-Friendly Beaches in NYC

New York City beaches are a decent getaway for New Yorkers looking to lay out in the sun, cool down in some water, and pretend they’re anywhere other than the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle. For those who can’t make the journey to Long Island or lakes upstate, NYC beaches are a great option. They’re just a subway stop away, and they’re good enough to get the job done. No summer in New York is complete without at least one trip to the shore, and why not bring your dog too? Here’s a guide to dog-friendly beaches in New York City.

Coney Island Beach
Coney Island Beach

Luckily for New Yorkers, there are places for your dog to swim other than the beach. We love options! Check out this list of the top spots for dogs to swim in New York City as well as doggie splash day information for those willing to travel a bit.

On to the NYC beaches!

Orchard Beach

Orchard Beach

The rule: dogs are not allowed on the boardwalk at Orchard Beach from May 20 to October 1.

Ok, ok, so dogs are technically not allowed on Orchard Beach during the summer months…but that won’t stop them from boogie-ing down at this Bronx waterfront in the off season. It’s a win/win, since the beach is much calmer and cleaner after the summer crowds have dispersed.

Orchard Beach is the Bronx’s sole public beach, with 115 acres and a 1.1 mile long waterfront. It was proclaimed “The Riviera of New York” when it was created in the 1930s.

It features a promenade, a pavilion, snack bars, food carts, two playgrounds, picnic areas, a parking lot and 26 courts for basketball, volleyball, and handball.

Location: Park Dr, The Bronx, NY 10464

Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach

The rule: Dogs are not allowed on the sand and boardwalk at Rockaway Beach from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

Outside of those dates, go wild! Head to Rockaway Beach in the off season, where you’ll see lots of dogs running free on the sand and frolicking in the water.

This haven of Queens is the largest urban beach in the United States, stretching from Beach 3rd to Beach 153rd Streets on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s also one of the cleanest and well kept beaches in all of New York City.

Visit the sandy beach, the concession filled boardwalk, and watch the surfers riding waves (it’s the city’s only legal surfing beach). There’s always tons to do in the Rockaways! If you’re hungry, head to the dog-friendly Rockaway Beach Surf Club for tacos and cold beer, or sign up for surf lessons at the New York Surf School.

Rockaway beach is easily accessible via car, train or ferry. There is a small parking lot, and street side parking is usually available.

Heads up: Rockaway Beach is both the name of the beach and the name of the neighborhood.

Location: 8601 Shore Front Pkwy, Far Rockaway, NY 11693

Coney Island Beach

Dog at Coney Island Beach

The rule: leashed dogs are always allowed on the boardwalk/promenade at Coney Island Beach. Leashed dogs are allowed on the sand at Coney Island Beach from October 1 until May 1.

What’s not to love about Coney Island? This iconic Brooklyn beach is home to the world famous Cyclone, Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and the Mermaid Parade. There’s always plenty to do and see at Coney Island, because seriously, this beach is a vibe.

Even though leashed dogs aren’t allowed on the sand during the summer, that doesn’t mean your dog has to miss out on all of the summer fun. They’re allowed on the boardwalk year round, and truth be told, you might spot one or two near the water anyway.

Location: 3052 W 21st St, Brooklyn, NY 11224

Wolfe’s Pond Beach

Wolfe's Pond Beach

The rule: leashed dogs are allowed on the sand at Wolfe’s Pond Beach from October 1 until May 1.

Wolfe’s Pond Beach is located in Wolfe’s Pond Park, a good sized public park in Staten Island, complete with a pond, two playgrounds, and basketball and tennis courts, as well as numerous walking and biking paths, open fields and the small beach on Raritan Bay. 

The area is usually calm, and not overcrowded. The beach is small, but secluded.

Heads up: there’s an oceanside dog park on the Atlantic Ocean off of Hylan Boulevard.

Location: Holton to, Wolfe’s Pond Park, Cornelia Ave, Staten Island, NY 10312

South Beach and Midland Beach

South Beach back in the day.
South Beach back in the day.

The rule: leashed dogs are always allowed on the boardwalk/promenade at South Beach and Midland Beach. Leashed dogs are allowed on the sand at South Beach and Midland Beach from October 1 until May 1.

These two Staten Island beaches are connected by a 2.5-mile long boardwalk and the Ocean Breeze fishing pier, one of the largest in the city. The fun doesn’t stop there, there’s also Ocean Breeze Park, a 110-acre park with sand dunes, wetlands, grasslands and shrub forest, as well as a small oceanside amusement park and a skate park.

When on the South Beach side, the more popular of the two, check out the fountain with six bronze dolphins that lights up at night, or the checkerboard tables and bocce courts. Locals love to come here to walk, fish and enjoy epic views of the Verrazzano Bridge.

After walking over to the Midland Beach side, you can see the sea turtle fountain, or the handball and shuffleboard courts.

Leashed dogs are welcome on the boardwalk year-round, so summer jaunts to these two beaches are a must!

Location: Fr Capodanno Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10306

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach

The rule: leashed dogs are allowed on the boardwalk at Manhattan Beach from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. They are allowed on the sand at Manhattan Beach from October 1 until May 1.

At the southern tip of Brooklyn, you’ll find a strip of four beaches: Coney Island Beach, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, and all the way at the end, Kingsborough Beach.

While Manhattan Beach is not as lively as the neighboring public beaches, it’s still got loads to offer. For one thing, it’s different from the surrounding beaches in that it’s completely surrounded by greenery. Manhattan Beach Park covers this sliver of shoreline, complete with playgrounds, a dog run, sports fields and parking lot.

Fun fact: Manhattan Beach was originally conceived as an exclusive and private vacation spot for the wealthy, but thankfully, nowadays it’s public and everyone can visit, even dogs (well, in the morning and in the off season!).

Location: Oriental Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Cedar Grove Beach and New Dorp Beach

Cedar Grove Beach and New Dorp Beach

The rule: leashed dogs are allowed on the sand at Cedar Grove Beach from October 1 until May 1.

Head further south on Staten Island, past South Beach and Midland beach, and you’ll find yourself in the Great Kills Park area. Here, you’ll find Cedar Grove Beach and New Dorp beach, two of the city’s newest beaches.

These side by side beaches are located on the former home of an oceanfront bungalow colony which has in recent years its been converted to public beaches, adding a staff of lifeguards and fully equipped comfort stations. Concessions stands are being added, as well as other amenities to attract travelers.

These two beaches are smaller and more tranquil than their neighbors, and popular with locals and families.

Location: Cedar Grove Beach Pl, Staten Island, NY 10306

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach

The rule: leashed dogs are always allowed on the boardwalk/promenade at Brighton Beach. Leashed dogs are allowed on the sand at Brighton Beach from October 1 until May 1.

Just a few blocks from the rides and the boa constrictor guy in Coney Island, you’ll find Russian pierogis and the fur shops of Brighton Beach.

Located right beside Coney Island is Brooklyn’s famous Brighton Beach, also known as “Little Odessa” for its Russian and Eastern European communities and restaurants.

Brighton Beach is a lively and bustling neighborhood, with traditional food markets and shops lining Brighton Beach Avenue. The beach and boardwalk are a bit more laid-back than nearby Coney Island, catering largely to locals, and with more actual swimmers and sunbathers.

It’s a great place to people watch, sunbathe, and of course, eat some delicious food.

Location: 601 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Jacob Riis Park

Jacob Riis Park

The rule: Dogs are not allowed in the ocean-side beaches of Jacob Riis Park between March 15 and September 15.

Down in the Rockaways, east of Fort Tilden and west of and Rockaway Beach, you’ll find Jacob Riis Park. Dubbed “The People’s Beach,” Jacob Riis Park is home to a restored art deco bathhouse, a pitch-and-putt golf course, ball courts, boardwalks and a mile-long stretch of swimmable ocean.

The park is named after the famed New York City journalist and photographer Jacob Riis, who documented the plight of the poor and working class in the city’s tenements.

Bonus: Jacob Riis is one of the area’s only beaches that can be reached by bus, subway, car or ferry.

Location: 157 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Queens, NY 11694

Fort Tilden

Fort Tilden

The rule: Dogs are not allowed in the ocean-side beaches at Fort Tilden between March 15 and September 15.

Fort Tilden has a long history of military use dating all the way back to the early 1800s. Today, it’s part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, and includes lifeguard-free three-mile stretch of sand, trees and grassy dunes.

Most of the old military installations are abandoned and covered in graffiti, although a few have been converted for local art organizations.

The area is calm and remote, and tough to get to – you’ll need a car or bike to get here, but it’s worth it! If you make it, be sure to go atop Battery Harris East, a viewing platform that has 360-degree views of the city, New York Harbor, and the Atlantic Ocean.

Fun fact: there’s a portion of the beach that’s clothing optional. Keep this in mind if you’re with kids or are a never nude. 

Location: 169 State RoadBreezy Point, NY 11697

Breezy Point Tip

Breezy Point Tip

The rule: Dogs are not allowed in the ocean-side beaches at Breezy Point Tip between March 15 and September 15.

At the western tip of the Rockaway barrier beach, you’ll find Breezy Point Tip, with over two hundred acres of ocean-front beach, bay shoreline, sand dunes, marshes and coastal grasslands.

Getting to Breezy Point is a bit of a trek, but the beach is nice and the views are even nicer. It’s a popular fishing spot, and there’s a very active bird population.

While Breezy Point has 500 acres of acres of land, only 200 of those acres are public (and belong to the National Park Service). The other 300 are private and for Breezy residents, who form a tight knit community. The beach, luckily, is part of the Gateway National Park system and open to the public.

Location: Breezy Point, NY 11697

Crescent Beach Park

A wet dog.

The rule: dogs are welcome year round, but must be on a leash.

Crescent Beach Park is a gem of a place located in Staten Island. This moon-shaped green space filled with marshes, woods and wetlands has an off-leash dog area where your dog can run, play and get their paws wet.

The park can be a little difficult to find – follow the paved path to the mulch path to a big furrow in the sand.

Location: 6549, 366 Tennyson Dr, Staten Island, NY 10312

Plumb Beach (Gateway National Recreation Area)

Plumb Beach

The rule: Pets are permitted on bay-side beaches at Plum Island and Horseshoe Cove throughout the year, but must always remain on a leash.

Located near Sheepshead Bay and tucked away off the Belt Parkway is a little beach called Plumb Beach (also known as Plum Beach). This stretch of Brooklyn shoreline is a picturesque hidden gem and an important habitat for horseshoe crabs – you’ll spot them all over.

There’s a kayak launch, hidden paths, sand dunes, marshes and streams. It’s a great place to explore and watch a sunset. 

The beach is usually calm and free of crowds since it’s not very well known. 

It’s open daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. There’s free parking for those with a car.

Location: Belt Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11228

Have you ever taken your dog to the beach in New York City? We’d love to hear about it!

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No summer in New York is complete without at least one trip to the beach, and why not bring your dog too? Here's a guide to dog-friendly beaches in New York City.

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  1. Not technically NYC, but Rye beach also allows dogs until early May! It’s a pretty short train ride away from the city.

  2. OFF LEASH BEACHES. Whats the sense. And hottest months closed to these babies. There needs to be an OFF LEASH BEACH they need exercise and summer is hot so makes no sense.

  3. Does anyone know what happens if you bring a (small, friendly) dog to Coney Island beach during the summer? How likely are you to be turned away?

    1. They’re not allowed, but that said, I’ve certainly seen them on the beach at Coney Island before! (That’s how I got some of the photos featured on this post haha). Just be careful, if a lifeguard or someone spots you, they could ask you to leave.

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