The beautiful beaches of Southern Delaware are not just for humans to enjoy. It's simple to include your four-legged family member in all the fun! Delaware beaches have it all from pet friendly hotels and restaurants 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 Inn at Canal Square: 888-644-1911 www.theinnatcanalsquare.com
The King’s Inn: 302-645-6438 www.kingsinnlewes.com
Lazy L at Willow Creek: 302-644-7220 www.lazyl.net
AmericInn Lodge & Suites: 800-634-3444 www.derooms.com
Atlantis Inn: 800-245-2112 www.atlantisinn-rehoboth.com
BEDazzled Bed & Breakfast and Bewitched Bed & Breakfast: 302-226-9482 www.rehobothbandb.com
The Breakers Hotel & Suites: 800-441-8009 www.thebreakershotel.com
Canalside Inn: 866-412-2625 www.canalside-inn-rehoboth.com
The Homestead at Rehoboth Bed & Breakfast: 302-226-7625 www.homesteadatrehoboth.com
Lighthouse Inn: 302-226-0407 www.lighthouseinn.net
Shore Inn: 302-227-8487 www.shoreinn.com
Silver Lake Guest House: 302-226-2115 www.silverlakeguesthouse.com
Sleep Inn & Suites: 302-645-6464 www.rehobothsleepinn.com
Dewey Beach Pet-Friendly Accommodations:
Atlantic Oceanside Suites & Efficiencies: 800-422-0481 www.atlanticoceanside.com
Bellbuoy Inn: 302-227-6000 www.bellbuoyinn.com
Best Western Gold Leaf: 800-422-8566 www.bestwesterngoldleaf.com
Hyatt Place Dewey Beach: 888-216-2801 www.hyattplacedeweybeach.com
Sea Esta Motel (three locations): 800-436-6591 www.seaesta.com
The Resort at Massey's Landing: 302-947-2600 www.masseyslanding.com
Fenwick Island Pet-Friendly Accommodations:
Sands Motel and Apts.: 302-539-7745 www.sandsmotelfenwick.com
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. http://www.destateparks.com/downloads/maps/pets.pdf
Please visit www.destateparks.com/rules/pets.asp for additional details and important information.
Local 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. I do suggest that you call each township office to confirm what rules are in place prior to your trip.
Lewes allows dogs on the beach year-round however during the summer months dogs are not allowed on the beach from 8:00am to 6:30pm.
Dewey Beach allows dogs on the beach year-round however during the summer months dogs are not allowed on the beach from 9:30am to 5:30pm. Dogs must be licensed with the Town (may be obtained at Town Hall or at iDewey Visitor Center.) Various licenses are available and range from $35 to $5. Additional information can be found here: http://www.townofdeweybeach.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=trees.pageDetails&p=255-20-1799
For State of Delaware animal laws and regulations, click here.
Sussex County Dog Control and Licensing, click here.
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!
WHAT TO EAT:
If you want to bring your pup along for lunch or dinner, try visiting a few of the many pet-friendly, human food establishments along the Delaware Coast. All pet friendly restaurants are outdoor deck or patio seating. Please check with each restaurant before bringing your pup to ensure they are accepting dogs that day. Often if a restaurant becomes busy, there are limited areas for dogs to lay or relax. Make sure you bring a spare water bowl and some pet food. To find out whether your favorite restaurant is pet-friendly (or to find a new favorite!) click her to explore your options...
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!
- Golden Jubilee, May and October in Dewey Beach
- Bark on the Boards Dog Walk: October in Rehoboth Beach
- Seawitch Pet Parade: October in Rehoboth Beach
- Greyhounds Reach the Beach: October in Dewey Beach
- Springtime for Greyhounds: April in Dewey Beach
If you find it necessary to board your pet while in the area, here are some options:
- Neverland Kennel and Cattery, Lewes
- Doggies at the Beach, Rehoboth
- Savannah Animal Hospital and Hotel, Lewes
Contributed by Lisa Iszard, owner of Tumbleweed & Eddie’s Natural Pet Treat Company located in Fenwick Island, Delaware. Tumbleweed & Eddie’s uses ingredients from local farms and fisherman and their products can be found at various pet stores and boutiques.
For more information visit www.tumbleweedandeddies.com