Want to know the best beaches to take your pup to in the Wilmington area?Since getting Izzy, my poodle/schnauzer (schnoodle) ball of energy, 18 months ago, I've made a study of this. Just say the word, "beach," and Izzy starts running circles at the door. Dogs and beaches just seem to go together.
My personal favorite is the Fort Fisher State Recreation Area, one of the few remaining undeveloped stretches of shoreline on the southern coast. Beautiful, pristine and usually uncrowded. Free parking, too. (I'm so lucky -- Izzy and I can jump in the car and be there in about 15 minutes.) Most of the local beaches don't allow dogs on the strand during the summer season, but at Fort Fisher she can go year-round. The rules say she needs to stay on the leash, though. And do be sure to keep your dog away from any of the loggerhead turtle nests, which can be found on this beach.
|Fort Fisher. Just look at this amazing beach! |
Can you just see yourself here with Fido?
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area is on the southern tip of Pleasure Island, with the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the widening mouth of the Cape Fear River on the west. It is south of Wilmington, south of Carolina Beach, and south of Kure Beach.
If you want the opportunity to let your dog off leash for some real fun in the sand, there are some local options for that, too -- at least during off season. Freeman Park, north of Carolina Beach, on the far north end of Pleasure Island, allows dogs off-leash from November 1 - February 29. Dogs are allowed on the beach at Freeman Park the rest of the year as long as they are on leash. This is also one of the few beaches where you can drive and park your 4-wheel drive onto the beach and camp overnight. Lots of party fun goes on here! Don't forget to buy your permit for this beach.
Topsail Beach also allows dogs off-leash from October 1 to May 14, but better leash them up during the summer season. Topsail Beach is on the southern end of family-friendly Topsail Island, a 26-mile barrier island just south of Camp Lejeune and north of Wilmington. Historians says pirates used to hide in the channel behind Topsail Island, waiting to pounce on passing merchant ships on the ocean side -- but your dog will be more interested in trying to pounce on the numerous sea birds. (So far, I haven't seen any success with that.)
If you are one of those people who would rather not share your beach with other people's pets, you'll be happy to know that no dogs are allowed on the strand during the summer season at Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach, and Kure Beach.
|Is that a swim suit pose?|
I've included details of the local leash laws below. Keep in mind these laws change fairly often, so be sure to double check the town ordinances from time to time.
Go have some fun in the sun! And take Fido!
Wilmington, NC Leash Law
Wrightsville Beach Leash Law and Pet Rules:
Town of Carolina Beach Pet Rules:
Freeman Park, Carolina Beach Pet Rules:
Fort Fisher State Recreation Area Pet Rules:
Carolina Beach State Park Pet Rules:
Kure Beach Pet Rules:
Topsail Beach Pet Rules:
North Topsail Beach Pet Rules:
Surf City, NC Pet Rules:
|My Izzy with a sandy nose.|