Dog Friendly Beaches in CT

Visiting a dog friendly beach is a great way to get your furry friend some exercise. It gives fido an opportunity to swim, run around, and dig holes in the sand.

Although not every beach in the state permits pets, Connecticut does have a handful of beaches that allow dogs. These are the best dog friendly beaches in CT.

A family at a dog friendly beach in CT.

Dog-Friendly Beaches in Connecticut

1. Jennings Dog Beach – Fairfield

Jennings Beach is widely regarded as the best beach for dogs in the state of Connecticut. Owners can let their dogs roam the entire beach off-leash as long as they are under the control.

The only places your dog can’t go are the boardwalks, pavilions, and playgrounds. It’s a great spot to get your pup some playtime with other dogs in the area.

Just know that the pet-friendly rules only apply from October 1 to March 31. Jennings Dog Beach is changed back into a normal human beach during the summer months, so pets aren’t allowed.

  • Location: 880 S Benson Rd, Fairfield, CT 

2. Compo Beach – Westport

Compo Beach is another one of the top dog-friendly beaches in Connecticut. Located in Westport, this is one of the most popular places for dog owners to congregate in Fairfield County.

Rest assured, your pooch will meet plenty of other dogs. The beach itself is beautiful, and there’s a ton of space for your dog to run around.

Just be aware that your dog must be kept on a leash at all times. Also, the dog-friendly rules only apply from October 1 to March 30.

  • Location: Compo Beach, Westport, CT

3. Hammonasset Beach State Park – Madison

Hammonasset Beach State Park is a fantastic beach in Madison. It’s Connecticut’s largest shoreline park with over 2 miles of beach to enjoy.

Once the water gets too cold for the season, this spot turns into a dog beach. Leashed pets and riding animals (like horses) are allowed to roam the area.

Similar to the other dog beaches, pets are only allowed from October through March. However, the adjacent campground allows dogs until May.

  • Location: 1288 Boston Post Rd, Madison, CT

4. Cove Island – Stamford

Cove Island is home to another dog friendly beach in CT. This 83-acre park beach and recreation area is the perfect place to walk your dog in Stamford.

Dogs of all sizes and breeds are welcome at the beach as long as you pick up after them. Keeping a leash on your pet is also strongly encouraged.

In addition to the beach, there’s a walking trail and a playground for kids. If you live in the area, there’s no better place to bring your dog.

  • Location: 1125 Cove Rd, Stamford, CT

5. Esker Point Beach – Groton

Esker Point Beach is one of the dog friendly beaches in Connecticut found in New London county. Dogs are allowed to play off-leash on the beach as long as owners remain in control of them.

There are no seasonal restrictions at Esker Point Beach, so you can bring your dog here year-round. The only time pets are not allowed is during planned events like concerts.

The beach usually has a few other dogs, so your pooch will be able to make friends while running around and swimming. This is also one of the few free beaches in Connecticut.

  • Location: 900 Groton Long Point Rd, Groton, CT

6. Penfield Beach – Fairfield

Penfield Beach is another one of the dog-friendly beaches located in Fairfield. This beach is less popular than Jennings Dog Beach, so it’s an excellent spot to visit if the other beaches are too crowded for your dog.

However, the rules here are more strict than at Jennings Beach. Your dog must be on a leash at all times, and pets are only allowed from October through March.

Overall, it’s a fun place to take your dog for a run in the fall in winter if you live in the Fairfield-Bridgeport area.

  • Location: 323 Fairfield Beach Rd, Fairfield, CT

7. Bayley Beach – Norwalk

Bayley Beach is one more beach that allows dogs in the southern part of the state. This Connecticut dog beach is small, but it’s super clean.

There are usually a handful of other dogs running around, so your pet will be able to make friends. The park will allow your dog to run around the beach off its leash as long as it’s friendly and under control.

Just like most of the other dog-friendly beaches, pets are only allowed from November 1 to March 31. You can find Bayley Beach in Norwalk.

  • Location: 11 Pine Point Rd, Norwalk, CT

8. Mixville Recreation Area – Cheshire

Mixville Recreation Area is a pet friendly beach located in Cheshire. It’s a great place to take your dog if you live in the central part of the state.

The beach is part of a pond, so it’s a bit smaller than the other beaches. With that being said, your dog can still run around in the sand and swim in the water.

It’s important to keep your dogs under control since there are people that also swim in the lake. Remember to clean up after your dog as well.

  • Location: 1300 Notch Rd, Cheshire, CT

9. Bluff Point State Park – Groton, Connecticut

Bluff Point State Park is the final dog-friendly beach in CT on this list. The dog owners here are always friendly, plus there’s plenty of space for your dog to run around.

Officially, only leashed dogs are allowed, but I’ve seen plenty of other owners let their dogs run around without a leash.

There are also a number of wooded hiking and biking trails in the area to explore with your dog. Just know that pets are only allowed on the beach from October to March.

  • Location: 55 Depot Rd, Groton, CT

Other Dog Friendly Beaches in CT

Aside from the main beaches already mentioned, there are other places to take your dog swimming in Connecticut. Most coastline towns have a handful of smaller beaches and marinas, where your dog can jump in the water. A few of them include:

  • Sea Bluff Beach in West Haven
  • Southport Beach in Fairfield
  • Sunnyside Boat Ramp in Shelton
  • Railroad Beach in East Lyme

Best Beach for Dogs in Connecticut – Final Thoughts

Those are the top dog-friendly beaches in Connecticut. Most of them are located on Long Island Sound, but you can find a few other areas for your dog to swim more inland.

If you live in northern Connecticut, these dog-friendly beaches may not be easily accessible. That’s why I recently put together a list of the best dog parks in CT. Regardless of what part of the state you live in, that article will help you find a nearby dog park.

Be sure to check out this complete list of CT beaches: