It’s hard to pick just 4 dog friendly destinations as we are very lucky here in Monmouth County!
We have dog parks in Wall, Oceanport, Lincroft and Tinton Falls and nearly all the shore towns allow dogs to visit the beach off season. However, these are our current favorites. Feel free to comment below and tell us why your town should be added to the list!
If you are looking to buy or rent in Monmouth County, ask your Realtor or check out the town website to find out what the dog rules are. Some have limits on how many you can have and every beach town has different dates for off season dog fun. We also get a LOT of calls looking for dog friendly rentals so dog friendly landlords have a definite advantage in our current market – added to the fact that pet owners are less likely to move.
1 – Asbury Park, NJ
Made famous for live music, Asbury’s comeback has attracted many new homeowners who happen to be dog lovers. The main shopping area is Cookman Ave which usually has a line of water bowls outside every bar, restaurant, juicery and coffee shop so it’s easy to bring dogs to lunch when sitting outside – including some shops for dogs.
Although the boardwalk currently doesn’t allow pets during the summer season, Wonderbar’s Yappy Hour is an even better option. Across the street from Convention Hall, Yappy Hour is an off leash beer garden/dog park where well behaved dogs can play off leash while their owners enjoy drinks. Hours are posted on the Yappy Hour Facebook Page.
Asbury Park Beaches allow dogs from October 1st to May 1st but the town is home to Monmouth County’s only official Dog Beach in the summer on 8th Avenue. Before 8.30am and after 6pm dogs can run and play in the water all summer long. Owners usually have the dogs off leash with no trouble although they should officially be on leash. Parking is easy and basically on the beach which makes this a great trip.
2 – Spring Lake/Manasquan, NJ
In the summer months, Manasquan’s Fisherman’s Cove on 3rd Avenue is the destination for hot dogs without their own private pool. Although the beach regulations in Manasquan do not permit dogs after March 31st, Fisherman’s Cove is a HUGE county park west of Manasquan Inlet with gorgeous trails through the reeds and a massive stretch of clean sand which becomes packed with their dogs and owners on summer days. Dogs are allowed year round at any time, though parking gets tricky on weekends. The water is clean enough to swim in but bring a long lead for your dog as the leash laws are enforced regularly.
As for Spring Lake, there is an unofficial dog beach at the Belmar/Spring Lake border that was open last summer for early morning dogs on leash. It will be worth checking this year to see if it’s a permanent fixture.
3 – Ocean Grove/Bradley Beach, NJ
Ocean Grove and Bradley sit side by side and make a great place to take your dog to the beach off season (May 1st for Ocean Grove, April 15th for Bradley Beach). Bradley is unique as the only town that officially allows dogs to run off leash during the winter months, as long as they are under voice command. Both towns have cafes that allow dogs to sit outside and the Grove’s main avenue has lots of small parks, a great pet store and places to explore.
4 – Highlands/Sea Bright, NJ
Two attractions in this area! Sandy Hook is a national park that allows dogs on the ocean side until March 31st but year round on the bay side as long as they are kept on leash, which is strictly enforced due to the endangered Plover population. There’s a fee in the summer to enter the park but it’s pretty enough for a day trip. Swimming is allowed but not recommended as there are no guards and occasional currents on the bay side.
Just across the bridge from Sandy Hook is Hartshorne Woods county park. Although we have many great parks in the area, Hartshorne Woods has a small secret beach which is a really fun place to go with your dog for beautiful views of Sea Bright. See if you can find it! Dogs should be kept on leash at all times!