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Top 8 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Alabama (2023 Update): Off- and On-Leash Places to Visit

Savannah Stanfield

By Savannah Stanfield

a dog walked by its owner on a beach

Alabama’s coastline along the Gulf of Mexico is one of the top attractions the state has to offer, attracting over 8 million visitors each year.  There are gulf, bay, river, and lakefront beaches, no matter what you prefer in the way of water leisure. If you’re visiting Alabama and traveling with your dog, you may be wondering if there are dog friendly beaches in Alabama, and if so, what are the best ones? In this article, we’ve rounded up 8 of the best beaches in Alabama where you can take your furry friend.

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The Top 8 Dog Friendly Beaches in Alabama

1. Dauphin Island Public Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍 1501 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL
🕐 Open Times: Always open
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Fewer crowds than other Alabama beaches
  • Island accessible by road: 2-hour drive from mainland Alabama
  • Can also access by ferry as long as dogs are leashed and well-behaved
  • Dogs are prohibited past the border of West End Beach Park
  • Island-wide leash law means your dog must be leashed at all times

2. Dauphin Island East End Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍 51 Bienville Blvd, Dauphin Island, AL
🕐 Open Times: Always open
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Closest dog-friendly beach to Dauphin Island ferry
  • Walk along the coast past historic Fort Gaines
  • Dogs must remain leashed to avoid disturbing sea turtle nests and bird sanctuary

3. Orange Beach Waterfront Park

🗺️ Address: 📍 26425 Canal Rd, Orange Beach, AL
🕐 Open Times: 8 AM to 6 PM Monday-Saturday, closed Sundays
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Bayside beach, not Gulf side
  • Dogs must remain on a leash
  • You must clean up after your dog
  • More crowded with other pet owners at sunset
  • Great for a leisurely stroll and relaxing in the sand

4. Fort Morgan State Historic Site

🗺️ Address: 📍 110 AL-180, Gulf Shores, AL
🕐 Open Times: Fort: 8 AM to 4:30 PM every day; Beach: Always open
💲 Cost: Fort: $8 adults, $5 children 6-12 and seniors; Beach: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Historic military fort with public beaches
  • Dogs are allowed on the fort and bayside beach, but not in the museum
  • On the bayside beach, dogs must remain between the Old Fisherman’s Wharf and the Old Fort Morgan Pier
  • Dogs must remain on a leash and you must clean up after them

5. May Day Park

🗺️ Address: 📍 College Ave, Daphne, AL
🕐 Open Times: 6 AM to 8 PM every day
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Park nestled on Mobile Bay
  • Walk your dog on the boardwalk, sandy beach, or in grassy fields
  • Watch for alligators and snakes
  • Canoe and kayak launches for boating with your dog

6. The Dog Pond at Lake Shelby in Gulf State Park

🗺️ Address: 📍 20115 State Park Rd, Gulf Shores, AL
🕐 Open Times: Always open
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes but on the beach only
  • Lakeside beach in Gulf State Park
  • Dogs must remain on a leash until reaching the dog beach
  • Grassy area with agility course
  • Benches and picnic tables for human companions

7. Pirate’s Cove

🗺️ Address: 📍 6664 Co Rd 95, Elberta, AL
🕐 Open Times: 8 AM to 9 PM Monday-Thursday, 8 AM to 10 PM Friday & Sunday, 8 AM to 11 PM Saturday
💲 Cost: Only if buying food; cost varies
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • One of the most dog-friendly spots in coastal Alabama
  • Beachfront restaurant and RV resort
  • Restaurant serves hamburgers and pizza
  • Boat launch for boating with your dog
  • Dogs must remain leashed

8. Graham Creek Nature Preserve

🗺️ Address: 📍 23030 Wolf Bay Dr, Foley, AL
🕐 Open Times: 10 AM to 4 PM Monday-Friday, 10 AM to 2 PM Saturday, closed Sundays
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Hiking trails leading to dog-friendly beach
  • Creek for dogs to play in
  • Canoe and kayak launch
  • Picnic tables and other visitor facilities
  • Dogs must remain leashed to protect wildlife

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So there you have it! If you want to enjoy some time near the water when visiting Alabama’s beaches, you need not worry about leaving your pet behind. There are plenty of dog-friendly beaches in coastal Alabama that you and your dog can enjoy together. Just make sure to follow any leash rules and keep a close eye on your furry friend to keep them from disturbing local wildlife.

Featured Image Credit: Juice Verve, Shutterstock

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