The Top 10 Dog Friendly Beaches in Maine

Whether road tripping along the Maine Coastline or visiting its favorite destinations like Bar Harbor and Kennebunk, you can now bring your pet along for the journey! And with a 3,478-mile coastline (longer than California), you can bet a few doggy treats that you’ll stumble across one of the many pet-friendly beaches.

Maine is famous for the postcard lighthouses lining the rugged bays like Nubble Light. However, on closer examination of the coast, you’ll see dogs of all breeds. Travel up the scenic coast winding through charming beach towns and preserved natural areas to find the best Maine pet-friendly 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.

Kennebunk Beach

dog friendly kennebunk beach

Everyone knows that Kennebunk is a destination for a beach getaway. But did you know that it also has beaches that allow dogs? The Kennebunk community is very dog-friendly, with tons of resorts and accommodations in town. Now, everyone can go to the namesake Kennebunk Beach for a day on the coast.

Kennebunk Beach is one of many beaches on the coast. However, you’ll see plenty of canines accompanying their pet parents on these shores. Dogs must stay on a leash or be trained for voice control if you want to let them run around a bit.

Dogs can enjoy a range of water activities at Kennebunk Beach. Don’t be surprised to see dogs riding the waves into shore on a surfboard because even the waves are pet-friendly. You’ll also see pooches stroking their way through the water while doggy paddling to their owner. Then, dry off by sunbathing on the shore or take a walk with your dog on the Beach Ave sidewalk to enjoy beach views.

Kennebunk Beach prohibits pets during the day in the busy season from June 15th to Labor Day. Pets can only be on this beach before 9 AM and after 5 PM during these months.

Address: Kennebunk, ME 04043

Willard Beach

dog friendly willard beach

If it’s your dog’s first time on the beach, they may start slow before coming out of their shell to take advantage of the pet-friendly stretch of coastline. Willard Beach is an excellent place to get your dog used to the beach setting since it welcomes dogs any time of the year.

Keep an eye on the clock and calendar when planning your trip to Willard Beach. It’s dog-friendly during specified times. The peak beach season last from May 1st to September 30th and dogs are allowed on the beach from 7 AM to 9 AM and in the evening from 7 PM to 9 PM. During the off-season, they’re permitted all day but must be on a leash between 10 AM and 3 PM.

That’s right! Willard Beach lets your pet enjoy unrestricted fun without their leash. You’ll lag behind as they run up and down the coastline in excitement. Pets can dig through the sand, splash in the refreshing Casco Bay, or lounge on the shore for a mid-day nap. Be sure to grab a few bags from the onsite dog bag station to clean up after your pet has done its business.

Address: 46 Willow St #2, South Portland, ME 04106

Drake’s Island Beach

dog friendly drakes island beach

A historic fort has kept the gorgeous shoreline of Drake’s Island hidden for centuries. Today, sand castles are the only fortification you’ll find on the island, now open to the public with pet-friendly beaches. As a result, you can now live the island life just off the mainland.

The turquoise waters of the Plymouth Sound surround all 6.5-acres of Drake’s Island. Make a note of the tide reports to find the best time to visit the beach with your pet and what you might expect when you arrive.

Drake’s Island Beach changes drastically with the tide. During the high tide, a large portion of the beach is hidden. However, it’s a great time to go for a beach walk on the slender strip of sand and enjoy views of sea birds flying overhead. Low tide reveals the golden sands colliding gently with the sound. Pets have lots of room to run around, and the waters are perfectly safe for them to go swimming.

Be sure to keep your dog on a leash while visiting Drake’s Island and keep them away from disturbing Piping Plover eggs and nests found there.

Address: Drakes Island Beach, 28 Foster Ln, Wells, ME 04090

Fort Foster Beach

dog friendly fort foster beach

The tip of Gerrish Island preserves its lush natural scenery thanks to the help of the Fort Foster Park. The historical site makes for a tail-wagging good day with its dog-friendly beach.

Fort Foster formerly stood as a wartime fort between 1909 and 1946. Now you can enjoy the park whose grassy fields transform into sandy shores as you approach the waterfront. Walk across the natural trails with your pets’ paws feeling the dirt paths soften into a bed of sand stretching along the coast.

Walk the shoreline along the tide’s edge or let your pet get their fur wet in the water. It’s a scenic sight with views of Whaleback Lighthouse, boats wading in Portsmouth Harbor, and the Isles of Shoals. Go for a walk on the pier or explore other coastal trails extending from the beach.

Dogs must be on a leash during their time at Fort Foster Beach. Pets are permitted year-round. However, the park operates seasonally from April 1st to October 1st.

Address: Pocahontas Rd, Kittery Point, ME 03905

Long Sands Beach

Leap over the rocky barrier and step onto the squishy beach sands dampened by the water of the sea at Long Sands Beach. Located outside of York, Maine, this dog-friendly beach welcomes canines all year round.

Take advantage of any great weather days in Maine by planning a beach day at Long Sands Beach. Let the refreshing washes crash against your pet as it jumps around in the water. It will sniff its way around the beach rocks and see what it discovers that was left behind by the tide. And there will be plenty of relaxation lounging beneath a beach umbrella looking out towards the water. You can even see the famous Nubble Lighthouse.

Long Sands Beach assists you in caring for the beach by providing a dog bag dispenser for cleaning up after your pet. The busy season at the beach is from May 20th to September 20th. Dogs are only permitted on leash in the morning before 8 AM and in the evening after 6 PM. During the off-season, pets get a taste of off-leash fun from sunrise to 8 AM but must be on a leash the rest of the day.

Address: 189 Long Beach Ave, York, ME 03909

Hadley Point Beach

Exit off Highway 3 as you’re road tripping through the Mount Desert Narrows to spend kicked back and enjoy the pet-friendly shores at Hadley Point Beach. It gives pet parents something to do all year long as pets are welcome around the calendar.

Wake up from an overnight tent stay at the pet-friendly Hadley Point Campground before making your way to Hadley Point Beach for sunrise. The glowing sun peeks over Frenchman Bay. Walk your dog along the rocky beach, looking out at the tree-lined bay. Step over the pebbles to rinse your pet’s paws in the cool blue waters.

In the afternoon, throw some hot dogs and burgers on the onsite grills and sit around picnic tables. You’ll watch boaters at sea and a few other friendly dogs hanging out on the beach with their owners.

Hadley Point Beach is always open and requires pets to stay on a leash. As a bonus, check out the nearby Long Pond Leash-free Area to let them play in an off-leash park.

Address: 33 Hadley Point Rd, Bar Harbor, ME 04609

Goose Rocks Beach

dog friendly goose rocks beach

Shimmering sands smoothed by the tide extend for three miles at Goose Rocks Beach. Be the first paw prints in the sand when you enjoy the beach’s sunrise hours for pets or hang out at golden hour for the glowing sunsets over the bay. It’s one of the best beaches for pet owners looking for pleasant shores for their furry friends.

The calm waters of Goosefare Bay ripple on shore as you enjoy the fresh salty air with your pet. Stroll the beach past charming beachfront homes, likely someone’s vacation home or one of the man rentals available by the beach. Change perspectives of views of Timber Island against the backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean as you explore each tip of the crescent beach—avoid the west side of the beach where Piping Plovers nest their eggs.

Anytime you’re on Goose Rocks Beach with your pet, it must stay on a leash. During the busy beach period from June 15th to September 15th, dogs can only stick around before 8 AM and return to the shores to close it out after 6 PM.

Address: Kennebunkport, ME 04046

Gooch’s Beach

Turn on Beach Avenue and ride east until you reach Gooch’s Beach. Out of all the beaches near Kennebunk, it’s the largest and very popular for the local pet community. So, pack a bag full of their beach toys and dog treats and get ready for a day on the beach.

Gooch’s Beach is slightly longer than a half-mile-long. However, there is plenty of room for dogs to run on- and off-leash. The wide beach runs gently into the bay, like a ramp guiding your pet into an ocean full of fun. Let your dog pounce over the incoming waves ridden by surfers further offshore. The waters feel refreshing on your pet’s fur, regardless if you’re visiting in the summer or winter. Take a stroll to other nearby Kennebunk Beaches via a paved coastal route, but be sure your dog will be as welcome there!

If you’re visiting Gooch’s Beach with your dog from June 15th to Labor Day, they can be off-leash if you make it to the beach in the morning time before 9 AM and past 5 PM.

Address: Beach Ave, Kennebunk, ME 04043

Arundel Beach

Cool sea breezes whisk sand across the Arundel Beach to hide paw prints of the past. You and your pet will have a clean slate to enjoy the picturesque shores near Kennebunkport.

Also referred to as Colony Beach, you’ll see dogs jogging solo or in duos with their owners. The soft white sand feels delightful against their paws while exploring the length of the beach. Grassy patches dot the coast as you find a place to sunbathe. It’s a small beach, but it’s never too crowded to find a place for your pet’s beach day. You’ll have views of waterfront homes down the shore reflected in the waters of the bay. Be sure to keep an eye on your dog when they enter the water because it can get choppy at different times.

Arundel Beach is one of the many dog-friendly beaches in Maine that welcomes dogs all year. However, while dogs can experience the beach excitement without a leash, they must have a leash on beach days between April 1st and June 14th.

Address: 17 Seagrass Lane, Kennebunk, ME 04043

Wells Beach

Set your gaze to where the surf meets the turf at Wells Beach, and you’ll certainly see dogs running along it. It’s not everywhere dogs can enjoy outdoors without their leash, and you’ll see them taking full advantage.

Named after one of Maine’s oldest towns, Wells, the beach is one of the gems of this beach community. Hope your dog likes to be social because it will meet several other friendly dogs on the beach. Let them roam together or watch your dog break away from the pack and explore everywhere its keen sense takes it.

Walking the entire seven-mile length of Wells Beach is quite the exercise, but your pet won’t mind a bit. At least there will be stunning views of the vibrant blue Atlantic Ocean during the walk. Be sure to keep them away from the sea birds nesting on the shore.

The busy season at Wells Beach lasts from June 16th to September 15th. Dogs are only permitted on the beach before 8 AM for sunrise and after 6 PM for their evening walk.

Address: Wells, ME 04090

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Special Reports Team