Summer is swiftly approaching and many of our readers may be looking for dog-friendly vacation spots. Read on for a list (which is by no means is comprehensive) of pet friendly stops near Central PA. Whether you’re looking to spend a few days hiking the trails with your furry friend or just a day trip in the summer sun your family is bound to enjoy these fun summer destinations.
Cape Henlopen State Park – Located on the Delaware seashore you can take Fluffy for a dip on non-lifeguarded beaches as long she is kept on a leash 6 ft or shorter. No dogs are permitted on the lifeguarded beaches, sailboarding beaches or shorebird nesting areas during peak season (May 1- September 30).
Elm’s Beach Park – Located on the Chesapeake Bay there are 476 acres of pet-friendly fun. Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a leash.
Flag Ponds Nature Park – Another park located on the Chesapeake Bay, you can enjoy both short and long hikes through freshwater ponds areas, forested heights, and sandy beaches with your dog. Dogs must be leashed at all times.
John H. Downs Memorial Park & Dog Beach – also situated on the Bay, Downs offers paved and natural trails and a dog beach. On the dog beach you can even let your dog off leash if you’d like.
Knoebels Amusement Resort - With no admission fee, this pay-as-you-ride amusement park is popular with the dogs, too! Dogs are permitted inside the park but must be kept on a leash and you pick up after your pooch.
Lake Erie: Presque State Park – A bit of a distance from Central PA, but the pristine beaches may be worth the drive. Pooches are allowed on all non-lifeguarded beaches with a 6 ft or shorter leash.
The Landing Restaurant (New Hope, PA) – A rare occurrence in our area: a restaurant where you can dine with your furry best friends. Dine on The Landing’s riverside terrace where your pet is treated like a guest, not a pest. Be sure to say hello to Fred, the Burmese Mountain Dog who mingles with guests on the terrace.
Long Beach Island, NJ Dog Parks- Long Beach Island has two dog parks. Barnegat Light’s dog park, on the north end of the island, has a double gated entrance for safety. Long Beach Township’s Dog Park has installed dune fencing so that the dogs can go from the beach to the water in relative safely. All licensed and well-behaved dogs are welcome.
Be sure to take plenty of water, treats, toys, and don’t forget bags to clean up after the dogs! Plan ahead if you think you would like to spend the night. There are many hotel chains that are becoming pet friendly, but some have restrictions of the type or number of animals you may have with you while others charge an additional pet fee.
If you have a favorite dog friendly destination spot, be sure to leave it in the comments, we’d love to try out some new doggie vacation spots!
Photo courtesy of Eileen Maher