Winter is the best time to bring your dog to Cape May's beachesBringing your pets to Cape May

Cape May is a great destination if you like to vacation with your pets, but we want to caution you that Cape May City's beaches are not pet friendly in season, and the Lower Township beaches along the Delaware Bay are the only beaches which are dog-friendly all year.

Why leave your pet at home? A family vacation need not be without the most important member of the family. Be it a guest house or hotel, Cape May has a nice selection of Pet Friendly places to stay. Mind the rules though, almost all Pet Friendly Accommodations take dogs, some take cats and dogs. Many have restrictions regarding the weight of the dog and the number of pets which can be accommodated.

Dog-Friendly Beaches in Cape May

Beach Dog Policy
Cape May City beaches are light blue Cape May City
Dogs are permitted only during the months of November, December, January, February and March. Dogs shall be kept on a leash at all times and be accompanied by their owner or caretaker. The owner or caretaker shall carry a dog waste disposal device. Any owner or caretaker of a dog who permits such dog to leave animal waste on the Boardwalk, Promenade, beach without disposing of same shall be subject to penalties.
Higbee Beach Higbee Beach Wildlife Management Area Allows dogs from September 1 to April 30. Higbee is owned by the State of New Jersey and is open from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Although you may see dogs year-round, it is not technically permitted. We would recommend reading NJ Department of Fish & Wildlife WMA Regulations for more information.
Cape May Point Cape May Point Dogs are permitted from November 1 through March 14. Dogs must be leashed at all times on a leash no longer than 6 feet. Dogs must be accompanied by an owner over 12 years of age.
Sunset Sunset Beach Allows dogs September 15 to April 15
Lower beaches Lower Township, along the Delaware Bay Leashed animals are permitted anytime of the day during the off-season. Animals are prohibited at the beach between the hours of 11:00 am and 4:00 pm in-season (Memorial Day - Labor Day). Dogs are to be leashed at all times when they are off of the premises of the possessor and it is mandatory that people clean up after their animals. Lower's beaches run along the Bay coast and are quite narrow compared to Cape May's. Follow directions to the Ferry terminal, then make a right rather than turn into the Ferry complex. The beach will be on your left as you drive north. Park where you can find a space and enjoy!

Dogs are prohibited at Cape May Point State Park and the Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge in an effort to protect vulnerable chicks of the federally-threatened Piping Plovers and Least Terns.

Pet-Friendly Cape May Accommodations

Accommodation Type Pets Allowed
Beach House Rentals House There are also pet-friendly rental houses available. Be sure to find out what type of pets the accommodation allows.
Beachcomber Camping Resort Campground  
Beach Shack Hotel Dogs
Billmae Cottage Guest House Dogs
Blue Fish Inn Motel Dogs
Holly Shores Campground Dogs (2 per campsite)
Highland House Guest House Accepts "just about all pets"!
Madison Avenue Beach Club Motel Dogs and cats. Ask about other types.
Marquis de Lafayette Hotel Domestic dogs and cats. Ask about other types.
Victorian Lace Inn Bed & Breakfast Dogs are permitted in Seabee's Seaside Retreat and the Bantry Cottage.

Cape May City dog ordinances

  • First, keep your dog on a leash that is no more than 6 long.
  • You must clean up after your dog! Droppings must be disposed of in a sanitary manner (scooper, paper towel and plastic baggie are the tools for this task). Failure to do so could result in a $100 fine for each violation.
  • Dogs shall be permitted only during the months of November, December, January, February and March. Dogs shall be kept on a leash at all times and be accompanied by their owner or caretaker.
  • No dog shall be permitted on the Washington Street Mall, under any circumstances, whether or not controlled by a leash.
  • Finally, one from the State of New Jersey: No dogs in the back of pick-up trucks. This no-no violates state laws governing cruelty to animals.

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

Several eateries have sidewalk seating where it's okay to bring your dog along. Try Zoe's at 715 Beach Avenue (next to the Beach Theatre). Aleathea's at the Inn of Cape May also offers dog-friendly seating on their patio. Others include the Ugly Mug, Rusty Nail, Gecko's, Tisha's, and the Blue Pig at Congress Hall.

Dog-Friendly Activities

Cape May Winery, Hawk Haven, and Natali Vineyards are all dog-friendly wineries which offer tastings year-round and outdoor seating during the summer.

Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum and Historic Cold Spring Village are also dog friendly.

Cape May dog park, Cape May doggie parkCape May Dog Park

Located on Lafayette Street near the corner of Broad, the dog park has a gazebo, toys, and a water source for when the dogs get thirsty during play. The park is double gated for easier entry and introduction. View park rules on the City website

Duration Cost
Weekly Permit $10
Annual Permit $20

Passes are available at City Hall. Please call the city Clerk's office at 609-884-9525 or visit them on the second floor.

Emergency Veterinary Care

Ocean View Veterinary Hospital
2033 Route 9 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
(609) 486-5025

24-hour emergency veterinary services and extended care hours during the evening and at weekends.

Red Bank Veterinary Hospital
535 Maple Ave
Linwood, NJ 08221

A 24-hour emergency animal hospital in Linwood, New Jersey, about 45 minutes from Cape May. No appointment needed.