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Top 7 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Minnesota to Visit in 2023

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

golden retriever dog lying on the sand beach

golden retriever dog lying on the sand beach

Minnesotans love their pets, with over 54% inviting one into their homes.1 About 35.5% have dogs. Of course, if you have a pup, you have to take it with you when going on vacation or to the beach. Fortunately, you’ll find plenty of places to take your pooch for a swim in the lake. You’ll also have lots to choose from that go beyond our list.

It’s worth mentioning that state parks and many public recreational areas don’t allow dogs unless they are service animals. Many sites claim these places are dog-friendly, but the reality is a different story. We recommend doing your homework before you visit a new beach to avoid a fine. Our list takes some liberties with the term “beach,” but they all promise a good time with your pet.

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Top 7 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Minnesota

1. White Bear Dog Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍4810 Lake Avenue North White Bear Lake, MN
🕐 Open Times: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
💲Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: Only if under control in designated areas only
  • Reservable gazebo
  • 4 acres of shoreline
  • Walking path
  • Public restrooms
  • Boat launch (permit required)

2. Meeker Island Dog Park

🗺️ Address: 📍471 Mississippi River Blvd N Saint Paul, MN
🕐 Open Times: Sunrise to 11 p.m.
💲Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: Only if under control in designated areas only
  • Three dog limit
  • Unfenced park
  • Check for closures due to high water
  • Dog run and beach

3. Minnehaha Creek Off-Leash Dog Park

🗺️ Address: 📍5399 Minnehaha Park Drive S, Minneapolis, MN
🕐 Open Times: 6 a.m. to midnight
💲Cost: Off-leash permit required
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. in designated areas only
  • Adjacent to National Park Service (NPS) land where leashes are required
  • Partially fenced
  • Minnehaha Falls is a must-see
  • Three dog limit

4. Cleary Lake Regional Park

🗺️ Address: 📍6246 190th St E, Prior Lake, MN
🕐 Open Times: 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.
💲Cost: Daily or annual off-leash permit required
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, during open hours
  • 28-acre part of the larger regional park
  • Wetland pond in the fenced area
  • Campground and golf course in the park
  • Proof of rabies vaccination required
  • Two dogs maximum

5. Voyageurs National Park

🗺️ Address: 📍360 Hwy 11 East International Falls, MN
🕐 Open Times: Open year-round, but check for updates
💲Cost: Free to visit
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Guided auto tours
  • Several trails for beginners to seasoned hikers
  • No pets in backcountry sites
  • Restricted pet areas throughout the park
  • Proof of vaccinations required

6. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

🗺️ Address: 📍8901 Grand Ave Place, Duluth, MN (Superior National Forest admin building)
🕐 Open Times: Open year-round, but check for updates
💲Cost: Permit required
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, if controlled
  • Leashed pets only allowed at portages
  • Bears and wolves—oh, my!
  • Mosquito and tick repellents are highly recommended
  • No potable water available
  • Multiple entry points

7. The Paw Pet Resort

🗺️ Address: 📍1741 Premiere Drive, Mankato, MN
🕐 Open Times: 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Saturday; 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sunday (Reservations required)
💲Cost: Varies with the service
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes, in designated areas only
  • On-site retail shop with pool toys
  • Excellent for first-time swimmers to advanced paddlers
  • On-site self-serve bathing station
  • Outdoor play area
  • Proof of vaccinations required

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The Land of 10,000 Lakes has a lot to offer pet owners, with places that welcome you and your canine best friend. The great thing is that you can find fun sites to visit whether in the city or traveling the backroads. It’s safe to say that Minnesota is probably one of the most dog-friendly states in the country. The trick is deciding which one to visit first.

Featured Image Credit: alexgo.photography, Shutterstock

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