The Top 10 Dog Friendly Beaches in Alabama

Roll Tide! Alabama’s energy blankets the state from its major cities to its coastal city hotspots. The warm weather of the deep south means that you’ll spend lots of time outdoors—and don’t leave your pet indoors. So, plan a day for your dog at one of the many dog-friendly beaches in Alabama.

Alabama’s stunning coastline on the Gulf of Mexico stretches for 60 miles. It’s home to popular beach resort cities like Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Let your pet experience the immaculate beaches on these shores, venture offshore to the famous Dauphin Island, or discover nature preserves conserving the state’s treasured beaches.

And remember, whenever your dog is participating in a water activity, be sure to keep them safe with a dog life jacket or other flotation device.

Dauphin Island Public Beach

dog friendly Dauphin Island Public Beach

Although the mainland gulf shore is reserved for humans only, head right over the bridge to Dauphin Island for one of the more pet-friendlier beachfronts. Fine sand sprinkled along the island shore for miles give pets a piece of island paradise without even leaving Alabama.

Dauphin Island Public Beach is the main tourist beach on the island. Trade in the crowded tourist-filled Gulf Shore beaches for a serene atmosphere that is safe and fun for your pet. With fewer people, your dog can dash through the sand, leaving their paw prints in every direction en route to the water. Go for a refreshing dip in the Gulf of Mexico before returning to the soft sand to sunbathe.

Take your dog on a pleasant beach walk down the coast. You’ll encounter the historic fishing pier and see beach houses but turn back once you’ve reached the border to the West End Beach Park, which prohibits pets.

Dauphin Island Public Beach makes beach days convenient for pet parents. Rent a beach chair to lounge in while watching your dog play. Pets can also spend the night in your tent at the nearby Dauphin Island Campground.

Address: Dauphin Island, AL 36528

Orange Beach Waterfront Park

Free of crowds of beachcombers, Orange Beach Waterfront Park will be a beach oasis for your pet. It’s one of the only places on Orange Beach for your pet, and you can take advantage of the shores all year. You’re walking onto your pet’s sandbox as the grass transitions to sand.

Your dog will have a blast digging out imaginary objects from the sand or pouncing their way on top of your sandcastle masterpiece. Turn your sand fun into water thrills as your pet’s wagging tail slaps the water surface in excitement. The shallow shore water gradually becomes deep gulf waters. Your dog might meet another species—dolphins—if it paddles too far offshore. Evenings are popular at the beach, with pet owners and furry friends watching the sunset.

Orange Beach Waterfront Park is designed to make the beach experience enjoyable for all dogs. It has a divider to keep large dogs from running over small dogs. Also, shaded walkways cool down your pet’s paws. So, when you’re finished at the beach, end the day with a hike on the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail.

Address: 26425 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561

Fort Morgan Historic Site

dog friendly Fort Morgan Historic Site

While history buffs get their fix at the Fort Morgan Historic Site, pets can also indulge in the pleasures of the dog-friendly beach. These bays were once the site of events like the 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay, but the shore is infinitely more relaxing today for you and your pet.

The historic Fort Morgan was strategically built on a peninsula at the mouth of the bay in 1834. Thankfully, strolling the Mobile Bay shores no longer feels like a war zone. Instead, pets make the atmosphere livelier with tail-wagging excitement. Sink your paws into the squishy sand while beachcombing the beige sand. Sniff your way around the seashells decorating the beach, and the calm bay waters invite pets for a swim.

Fort Morgan Historic Site does not permit pets on the fort site. Instead, they must stay in the designated beach area between the Old Fisherman’s Wharf and ht Old Fort Morgan Pier. Dogs must remain on a leash while at the beach, and pet owners are required to clean up after their pets.

Address: 110 AL-180. Gulf Shores, AL 36542

The Dog Pond at Lake Shelby (Gulf State Park)

dog friendly The Dog Pond at Lake Shelby

“Arf, arf!” It will bring a smile to your face seeing your pet cheerfully playing at The Dog Pond. Follow the sounds of their doggy voice as they explore the lakeside beach. Bring a bag full of their toys, and they’ll have hours of fun.

Lake Shelby is one of the popular lakes in Gulf State Park. Hike the trail to the lake and find the sectioned dog area for four-legged fun. You must use a leash in the main park until reaching the dog beach to unleash them.

Give your pet the ultimate triathlon experience at The Dog Pond. ‘Ready, set, go!’ Test your dog’s speed on the agility course found in the grassy area. Next, send them on a wild dash to the lakeshore while chasing their favorite toy during fetch. Finish with a swim in Lake Shelby to see how long it takes them to swim to you.

Hopefully, your dog won’t get distracted by other dogs to finish the game! The Dog Pond has bench and picnic tables to give dog treats to your champion pup.

Address: State Park Rd, Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, AL 36542

Dauphin Island East End Beach

dog friendly Dauphin Island East End Beach

Dauphin Island gives pets and their owners a bonus for visiting the island. After some time on the main beach, continue east to reach the island’s second dog-friendly beach: Dauphin Island East End Beach.

The smooth tan sand at East End Beach is a blank canvas for your pet to decorate with their paw prints. Large and small dogs share the beach set along the shore of the Gulf of Mexico. Step into the gulf as the beach slopes gently into the water, then doggy paddle until their hearts are content (or get tired). While sunbathing on the beach, let your dog sand guard for your sand castle. Also, dog walks at this beach take you past historical coastal landmarks like Fort Gaines.

The eastern shore on Dauphin Island is more residential than the main beach, so it’s even more laid-back. The west end is the only restricted area for pets and try to keep your pet from disturbing the local bird sanctuary and other natural features on the barrier island.

Address: 51 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL 36528

River Sandbar Park

Nature provides everything you need at River Sandbar Park. Come for outdoor recreation with your pet or a place to relax and unwind after a busy week. Dogs are welcome on the beach to enjoy the natural scenery.

The cream-tone sand gets warmed up by the hot Alabama sun. If the ground is too hot for your pet’s paws, walk in the shade provided by trees overhanging the back of the beach. In front of you, you’ll have the gentle-flowing Little Choctawhatchee River. Although narrow, the beach still has space for multiple dog owners to enjoy the beach.

Go for a dog walk along the riverbanks until you find an empty spot on the beach. The natural setting means that you can let your pet spend the day without its leash. Play in the sun, relax in the shade, or go swimming. Be sure to keep watch on your pet since there isn’t a lifeguard present.

River Sandbar Park is a public beach that’s happy to welcome pets as long as their owners clean up after them to keep it nice for the next pets.

Address: 516 AL-92, Daleville, AL 36322

May Day Park

dog friendly May Day Park

Ever since 1887, the shores of Mobile Bay have attracted crowds. From its origins of hosting festivals for decades, all that’s left is a sandy shore ideal for pets itching for the bay. Visit Daphne, AL, to see why May Day Park is one of the top pet-friendly beaches in Alabama.

There is a lot of history on the shores of May Day Park. You and your pet are the newest addition to the beach timeline as you look forward to hours of excitement together. Dog walks on the beach boardwalk offer views of the clear blue sky and even bluer waters. Descend onto the sand, warmed by the gulf sun, that warms your pet’s paws with each step. Water flings off their fur from splashing around in the warm bay waters.

You succeeded in rinsing your dog in the bay, but all may be lost when the park’s grassy fields look irresistibly tempting to roll around in.

Address: College Ave., Daphne, AL 36526

Pirates Cove

Ahoy Matey! Pirate’s Cove is where your dog won’t have to walk the plank for being on the beach. Taking your pet out to enjoy the beach at Pirate’s Cove is always an excellent excuse to indulge in some beach fun for yourself! This beachfront restaurant is set on a beach and gladly welcomes four-legged patrons to enjoy the beachfront setting with their owners.

This aged shack is a beach bar letting you live the highlights of a pirate’s life. Enjoy drinks and dining right on the beach with your co-captain pet at your feet. After a few spirits, take a walk along the Gulf of Mexico beachfront. Trust us—wet fur makes pets heavier after swimming, so plant your feet well in the soft sand before picking them up!

In addition to beach fun, take your pet on a boat ride into the Gulf of Mexico and return to cruise along the Pirate’s Cove coastline. In the evening, relax on the beach with beach memories replaying to the backdrop of the sunset. You’re never far from home when staying in one of the dog-friendly cabins at the popular beachfront Pirate Cove Resort.

Address: Road 95, Elberta, AL 36530

Graham Creek Nature Preserve

Your dog with perk up when its nose catches a whiff of the familiar scent of the fresh outdoors. Nature waits at their paws in the Graham Creek Nature Preserve as they set off on trails leading to a dog-friendly beach.

Let your pet choose its shore of choice by giving it a preview of each one. Start on the shores of Graham Creek, where the calm stream massages their furry legs when standing in the water. Let your pet climb into a canoe with you and paddle down the creek. Alternatively, let them bask in the sandy shores at Wolf Bay. Off-leash fun means pets can dig in the sand, swim, and have other dog fun unrestricted.

If you’re like most pets, either beach will work! Graham Creek Nature Preserve gives plenty of activities for an entire beach day. When you get hungry, eat snacks and dog treats in the picnic area. Later, try to keep up as your pet leads the way on the dog-friendly hiking trails.

Address: 23030 Wolf Bay Dr., Foley, AL 36535

Gulf Shores Dog Park

The Gulf Shores are the top beach destination in Alabama. On this beach vacation, your pet is invited to join in the fun on the spectacular shoreline. Although the main Gulf Shores beaches prohibit pets, the Gulf Shores Dog Park always gives you the same beach experience.

Gulf Shores Dog Park is adjacent to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores. However, these tourist beaches become lined with dogs enjoying an area designated for them. There is an entire park for them to play with grass fields, but the beach portion is always a highlight. The beach is fenced in except on the waterfront, giving your pet direct access to the rich blue waters of the Gulf. Swimming is optional, and you can keep your pet clean afterward with the onsite dog washing station.

Let your pet experience the famous Alabama shoreline. Set your things on the picnic tables to find their favorite chew toys while you prepare the table for a beachside picnic.

Address: 308 Clubhouse Dr., Gulf Shores, AL 36542