Starting this week, we’ll be answering your travel questions on Tuesdays–everything from how and when to get the kids a passport to the best beaches in the United States. We’re starting it off with a question close to my family’s heart: Where to take your pet in the literal “dog days” of summer:
Q: Is there an easy to reach New Jersey beach destination where I can take the kids AND bring the dog? – Ken
A: Happily, the answer is YES. The Jersey Shore has gotten a lot pet friendlier recently and there are two travel-worthy options in the southern beach towns that my family and I uncovered:
First, Wildwood unleashed a dog-friendly beach last summer, smack between the two ride-laden Morey’s boardwalk piers. Pups and their families can enjoy the ocean and sand at Wildwoods Dog Beach, located on Poplar Avenue between Morey’s Mariner’s Pier and Surfside Pier. The designated dog beach area stretches one city block wide and 1,500 feet long, offers fresh water and dog clean-up bags, and is open every day from 6:00am until dusk (it’s the only centrally located beach we’ve found in New Jersey where dogs are welcome during prime time hours in summer season). We had a great time visiting with our pup, Pepper, even though he chose not to go swimming. And mark your calendars for Sunday, September 13, when Morey’s Raging Waters waterpark is “Going to the Dogs” with an event where dogs can swim in the lazy river and play in the waterpark. Proceeds will go to NJ SPCA. Many of the fun, retro motels are offering special rates and pet-friendly packages that weekend, including funky Blue Palms Resort.
A little further down the parkway in Cape May, is Cape Resort’s Beach Shack hotel, which has pet packages that include dog bowls and beds, and their huge rooms and a beachfront location that makes it a family no-brainer. Plus, it’s the home of kid-magnet Rusty Nail restaurant where there’s live music, a sand filled played area, great food and drinks, plus a dog menu (think bunless burgers and grilled chicken) in addition to kids’ meals served in Frisbees.
It will be a win/win/win for your kids, pooch, and you.
Have a family travel question?
Email Melissa at firstname.lastname@example.org