The Most Dog-Friendly Beach Towns in America
For many people, there’s no better traveling companion than man’s (or woman’s) best friend. But, unfortunately, when the BFF in question comes with four paws, fur, and a tendency to drool, not all vacation rental hosts are accommodating.
Fortunately for pet lovers, however, there are beach destinations that seem to attract a surplus of equally dog-loving homeowners—many of whom are willing to open their homes to their pets and yours. Vacation rental marketplace Vacasa recently pored through their offerings to determine which destinations in the U.S. have the highest percentage of pet-friendly short-term listings. Of those places, they narrowed the list down further to include only cities where pet-friendly rentals seem to garner more bookings and more positive reviews than non-pet-centric ones. Unsurprisingly, most pup-friendly destinations seem to cater to water dogs. Here are the top five beachside towns that made the list.
Panama City Beach, Florida
Vacationers with four-legged friends flock year-round to this pristine white-sand paradise on the Florida panhandle—and for good reason. Panama City Beach is notoriously friendly to furry visitors, with pets able to romp around local beaches, stroll through Pier Park (a well-known outdoor mall), and dine with their humans on many a breezy patio.
South Padre Island, Texas
Home to one of the Lonestar State’s most breathtaking beaches—Padre Island National Seashore—this charming southern city is a must for pooches who love to get their paws wet. From splashing around along the barrier island’s 34 miles of beaches to coming along for a ride on a stand-up paddleboard, there’s plenty of ocean-centric fun for families and their furry friends. When the sun sets and stomachs start to grumble, the whole clan can retreat to one of South Padre Island’s many pet-friendly restaurants, including some that offer extensive doggie dinner menus.
If you don’t know Neskowin, now’s the time to get acquainted with this quaint sliver of a beach town along the central Oregon coast. At just three miles long, the stretch of waterfront is easily explored on foot with Fido by your side, though count on the walk to take twice as long with numerous ‘Gram-worthy photo opps along the way. Pups are welcome on the town’s beaches, and in town, dogs are invited to dine outside with you at the local eateries.
Sea Ranch, California
The Northern California coast—from Doris Day’s dog mecca in Carmel to San Francisco, arguably one of America’s most pet-friendly big cities—is rife with activities you can do with Rover in tow. But venturing north of SF, Sea Ranch is a considerably less crowded alternative that still boasts all the California beauty and all the pet-friendly perks. Most homes in the planned community are built with a distinct type of contemporary architecture designed to blend in with the rugged surroundings. In addition to a killer vacation rental (you can rent the one pictured here), guests here also gain access to the city’s secluded, pet-friendly beaches and more than 40 miles of hiking trails.
Port St. Joe, Florida
Claiming its rightful place on the most dog-friendly throne, this small town on the Florida panhandle welcomes pups as enthusiastically as their human counterparts. While the city took a hit from Hurricane Michael in 2018, the quaint, resilient town wants travelers to know it’s back in business. That includes the many dog-friendly attractions, including most of Port St. Joe’s beaches, trails, local shops and restaurants, and even the Gulf County Welcome Center.