Looking for a dog friendly beach near New York? We loved pet friendly Sandy Hook, New Jersey, and it’s an easy trip by ferry from Manhattan!
Sandy Hook is the northernmost beach of what many consider to be “the Jersey Shore.” Lying within view of Staten Island and Brooklyn, the 1,665-acre peninsula was discovered by Sea Captain Henry Hudson in the early 1600’s. Throughout early American shipping history, ships entering New York Harbor anchored at Sandy Hook. And it’s been home to a military installation of some sort since the Civil War.
Today, the Gateway National Recreation Area encompasses most of the peninsula. Within the recreation area, leashed pets can join you on the bay-side beaches at Plum Island and Horseshoe Cove throughout the year. Pets cannot go on ocean-side beaches from March 15 through Sept. 15, in order to protect piping plover nests.
We started at Fort Hancock, a now defunct coastal artillery base. At the entrance is Guardian Park, a plaza dominated by two Nike missiles. Some of the buildings of Fort Hancock are off-limits because their questionable structural integrity; but the homes on “officers’ row” are still something to behold. And the picnic areas were popular with many families and their pets during our visit.
A cannon from the post-Civil War era is still on display. As you can see, Ty and Buster were available to fire when ready.
Within the fort grounds is Sandy Hook Lighthouse. Designed and built in 1764, it is the oldest working lighthouse in the US. During summer weekends, free tours are offered every half hour from 12:00 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.
You’ll also find a nice selection of restaurants with pet friendly patios at Sandy Hook. Some are only open for the summer season, so be sure to call in advance if you’re hoping to enjoy lunch or dinner with your pup.
All-in-all, Sandy Hook is a great place to spend some shore time with your dog. There are many open spaces to roam, roads and bicycle paths to walk, rich history to see, coastline and beaches to enjoy, and missiles to avoid. It’s extremely convenient to get to from the city, and a wonderful dog friendly beach experience near New York.
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