Southern Delaware is Pet Friendly
The beautiful beaches of Southern Delaware are not just for humans to enjoy and with the dog days of summer just around the corner, it’s simple to include your four-legged family member in all the fun! Delaware beaches have it all from pet friendly hotels and events to parks and beaches for your pup to run. In this article we’ll highlight our famous coastal beach towns of historic Lewes (pronounced LOO-IS), Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island. The ocean view coastline is about 25 miles from historic Lewes to Fenwick Island, which makes it a perfect length to explore all of our dog-friendly offerings!
WHERE TO STAY:
Let’s start with where you can stay with your pet. There are many, many pet friendly accommodations ranging from Lewes to Fenwick Island. Keep in mind that some have certain restrictions such as limited availability, size restrictions and added fees so be sure to contact each location to confirm their pet policy and availability.
Lewes Pet-Friendly Accommodations:
The King’s Inn: 302-645-6438 www.kingsinnlewes.com
Lazy L at Willow Creek: 302-644-7220 www.lazyl.net
Rehoboth Beach Pet-Friendly Accommodations:
Dewey Beach Pet-Friendly Accommodations:
Bell Buoy Inn: 302-227-6000 www.bellbuoyinn.com
Gold Leaf Hotel: 800-422-8566 www.bestwesterngoldleaf.com
Hotel Dewey: 302-227-4343 www.hoteldewey.com
Hyatt Place Dewey Beach: 302-864-9100 www.hyattplacedeweybeach.com
Sea Esta Motel: 800-436-6591 www.seaesta.com
Bethany Beach Pet-Friendly Accommodations:
WHERE TO EAT: (Leashed dogs are permitted on licensed outdoor patios or beer gardens at the discretion of the business owner. The following establishments have traditionally been pet friendly.)
Purple Parrot, Rehoboth Beach
Woody’s , Dewey Beach
Irish Eyes, Lewes and Milton
Grotto Pizza, Rehoboth Beach
Fish On, Rehoboth Beach
Dogfish Brewing and Eats, Rehoboth Beach
Lori’s Cafe, Rehoboth Beach
Striper Bites, Lewes
Crooked Hammock, Lewes
Crabby Dick’s , Rehoboth Beach
Meding’s Seafood, Milford
Matt’s Fish Camp, Rehoboth Beach
Bluecoast, Rehoboth Beach
Salted Rim, Ocean View
The Wheelhouse, Lewes
Surf Bagel, Rehoboth Beach, Lewes
The Greene Turtle, Rehoboth Beach, Lewes
Zogg’s Raw Bar & Grill, Rehoboth Beach
Rusty Rudder, Dewey Beach
Rigby’s Rehoboth, Rehoboth Beach
Kaisy’s Delights, Lewes
Green Man Juice Bar & Bistro, Rehoboth Beach
Cilantro Cocina de México, Rehoboth Beach
Baja Beach House Grill, Bethany Beach
Arena’s, Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, Georgetown
On the Rocks, Lewes
Off-Centered On the Rocks, Lewes
The Counting House, Georgetown
J.D. Shucker’s, Georgetown
Half Full, Lewes
Off the Hook, Bethany Beach
Eden, Rehoboth Beach
The Point Coffee House and Bake Shoppe, Rehoboth Beach
Big Oyster Brewery, Lewes
HOW TO GET HERE:
Pet Friendly Transportation
The Cape May-Lewes Ferry is the way to go! The beautiful 85-minute, 17-mile trip from Cape May, New Jersey drops you off right in beautiful, historic Lewes. Pets are welcome on all exterior decks aboard all Cape May-Lewes Ferry vessels. They do have a policy that your pet must remain on a leash, under control at all times and stay off of the seats and benches. Don’t forget that if you need to leave your pet in your vehicle, allow for temperature and air circulation conditions. Keep in mind that summer temperatures in a car can reach around one-hundred fifty degrees in a matter of minutes!
WHAT TO DO:
Coastal Delaware has three State Parks (Cape Henlopen, Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island) and over 25 miles of beautiful beaches to explore, however each town and park has different pet policies in place. Here is some helpful information:
State Park Pet Policy:
Pets are allowed in our seashore state parks, but Delaware State Law prohibits them from all swimming and sunbathing beaches from May 1 to September 30. Park rules and regulations also restrict pets from areas such as surfboarding and sailboarding beaches and shorebird nesting areas. For the safety of our visitors both human and wildlife, the picnic areas, nature trails, bird nesting areas and park buildings are closed to pets year-round. Pets are allowed in areas designated for surf fishing vehicles but must remain on a leash. Below is a link to a handy map of state park pet beaches and access points, you’ll see that quite a large area of our state park beaches are open to leashed-pets year-round! Make sure you print this out and keep it readily available in your vehicle. Delaware State Parks pets map can be found here.
Please visit https://destateparks.com/Know/Pets for additional details and important information.
Town/Refuge/Preserve Pet Policies:
The general rule is that from May 1-September 30 dogs are not allowed on beaches and boardwalks, dogs must remain leashed at all times and you must clean up after your pet. This applies for all beach towns however there are some specific rules as mentioned below. We do suggest that you call each township office to confirm what rules are in place prior to your trip.
- BETHANY BEACH Dogs are allowed on the beach and boardwalk areas from October 1 to May 14 only.
- BROADKILL BEACH Dogs must be leashed unless extremely well trained in voice command. Owners must respect other beach-goers and must clean up after their dog and dispose of the waste properly. Broadkill Beach is “carry in-carry out.”
- DEWEY BEACH Dogs are allowed on the beach year-round, but there are limitations from May 15 through September 15. During this time, dogs are permitted on the beach before 9:30 a.m. and after 5:30 p.m. Dogs do not have to be leashed. Dogs must have a Dewey Beach dog license, available for purchase at Dewey Beach Town Hall or online at www.idewey.com.
- FENWICK ISLAND Dogs are allowed on the beach from October 1 through April 30 only.
- LEWES Between May 1 and September 30, dogs are permitted on the beach strand before 8 a.m. and after 6:30 p.m. only.
- REHOBOTH BEACH Dogs are permitted on the beach or boardwalk only between October 1 and April 30.
- SOUTH BETHANY Dogs are allowed on the beach from October 16 through May 14 only.
- JAMES FARM ECOLOGICAL PRESERVE in Ocean View is a great pet friendly spot and it's free. Just be sure to keep your dog on a leash as it's a safe haven for wildlife.
- PRIME HOOK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE Dogs are permitted in the refuge. They must be leashed at all times.
WHERE TO SHOP
There are numerous tax-free pet stores and boutiques along the coast of Delaware. All of these shops are pet-friendly so make sure you bring your pup to pick out their favorite locally made dog treats! Visit DJ’s Pet Depot on Coastal Highway in Lewes, Critter Beach on Rehoboth Avenue in Rehoboth Beach and Yuppy Puppy on Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach!
DOG FRIENDLY EVENTS
Since the summer months at the beach can be a bit hot, coastal Delaware offers a few dog events in the Spring and Fall. Please be sure to join us!
- Bark on the Boards Dog Walk: October in Rehoboth Beach
- Sea Witch Pet Parade: October in Rehoboth Beach
- Greyhounds Reach the Beach: October in Dewey Beach
- Springtime for Greyhounds: April in Dewey Beach
- Dewey's Golden Jubilee: Spring and Fall in Dewey Beach
EMERGENCY VETERINARY SERVICES
Savannah Animal Hospital, Lewes. (302) 645-8757
If you find it necessary to board your pet while in the area, here are some options: