Traveling with Pets

Why leave your pet at home? A family vacation doesn't have to be without the most important member of the family.

Where should you stay in Cape May with a pet? Be it a guest house or hotel, Cape May has a good selection of pet-friendly accommodations and several restaurants that offer outdoor seating so your dog can accompany you to brunch!

Cape May City's beaches are not dog friendly during the summer, but you can take them on the beach from November through March. That makes the off season a great time to visit with your dog.

Additional reading:

Dog-Friendly Beaches in Cape May

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

Beach Dog Policy
Cape May City beaches are light blue Cape May City
Dogs are permitted on Cape May City Beaches 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!
Cape May Point State Park 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 Accommodations

Almost all pet-friendly accommodations take dogs, and some take cats and dogs. However, many have restrictions regarding the weight of the dog and the number of pets which can be accommodated.

Accommodation Type Pets Allowed
Cape May House and Condo Rentals House and condo rentals There are many pet-friendly rental houses available. Be sure to ask what type of pets the accommodation allows.
Beachcomber Camping Resort Campground  
Beach Shack Hotel Limited dog-friendly rooms. Policies apply.
Billmae Cottage Guest House Dogs
Blue Fish Inn Hotel Dogs
Boarding House Hotel Dogs under 80lbs welcome! There is a nightly fee for up to 2 dogs.
Holly Shores Campground Dogs (2 per campsite)
Highland House Guest House Accepts "just about all pets"!
Madison Avenue Beach Club Hotel Dogs and cats. Ask about other types.
Marquis de Lafayette Hotel Domestic dogs and cats are welcomed. Please ask about other types. The hotel has 20 pet-friendly room on the first floor for easy outdoor access.
Rhythm of the Sea Bed and Breakfast The Cape Carriage House is pet-friendly, but the main buildling is not.

Dog Etiquette and City Ordinances

  • First, keep your dog on a leash that is no more than 6’ long.
  • Your dog may not ride in the back of a pick-up truck, as this violates state laws governing cruelty to animals.
  • 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 are permitted on Cape May City beaches only during the months of November, December, January, February and March. Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times and be accompanied by their owner or caretaker.
  • By city ordinance, dogs are not permitted on the Washington Street Mall under any circumstances, whether or not controlled by a leash. There are signs to this effect posted at mall entrances. Although people break this rule, we would urge you to follow it so that you aren't subject to any penalties.
  • Some stores in Cape May are pet-friendly, but not all, so please ask the shopkeeper before entering.

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 on 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.

Cape May City 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.

Kid-friendly things to do in Cape May
Dog-friendly Cape May restaurants

Several eateries have sidewalk seating where it's okay to bring your dog along. Explore dog-friendly restaurants

Kid-friendly things to do in Cape May
Things to do with dogs in Cape May

Your dog doesn't have to spend the whole vacation in your hotel room. Explore dog-friendly activities