When the temperature rises, there’s nothing better than cooling off with a refreshing swim. We’ve rounded up some of the best pet-friendly parks and beaches where your four-legged doggy paddler can go for a dip. Beat the heat and get some exercise at these dog-friendly swimming holes across the U.S.
Posted by Erin Ballinger
Bark Central Dog Park
When the Florida heat becomes too much to bear, head to Bark Central Dog Park in Inverness. This 15-acre dog park includes separate sections for small and large dogs, plenty of shade, picnic tables, restrooms, and best of all, naturally-filtered swimming ponds for Fido! Each section features its own pond as well as toys to play with in the water. After a day of swimming, clean your pup up in the on-site dog wash which includes warm water, elevated tubs, professional shampoos, an air dryer, and more. Membership to the dog park is required, but day passes as well as weekly, monthly and annual memberships are available.
Once Fido’s all cleaned up, head to Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Inverness for a good night’s rest and take advantage of the on-site walking trail before bedtime.
Smugglers’ Notch State Park
Smugglers’ Notch State Park is THE place to enjoy cool air on a hot summer day in Vermont’s Green Mountains. After a quick 20-minute hike to Bingham Falls, Fido can wade in the swimming hole at the base of a 25-foot waterfall. The park also has ponds and streams where your pooch can practice his “beast” stroke. Less than an hour away, Fido can enjoy more off-leash swimming at Niquette Bay State Park’s pet swim area in Calm Cove.
Book a dog-friendly room at The Stowehof Hotel, which is surrounded by 26 acres and features mountain vistas. Explore the property with your pup and allow him to go for a swim in the on-site pond.
James Island County Park
A visit to James Island County Park is a great way to spend a hot and humid Charleston day with your pup. Fido can cool off with a swim at the park’s man-made dog beach or run and play with new friends on four acres of open grassy space. Once your canine is dog-tired, clean him up at the on-site dog wash station.
Enjoy more views of the water with a stay at the pet-friendly La Quinta Inn & Suites Charleston Riverview. Located next to Wappoo Creek and the Ashley River, the hotel welcomes you and your pooch with a clean and comfortable room. Before tucking in for the night, take an evening stroll along the West Ashley Greenway.
Lauded by locals as one of Salt Lake City’s best parks for dogs, Tanner Park offers a couple of cool swimming holes where pups can take a dip. The 10-acre park near Parley’s Canyon has a river and several nature trails where furry friends can run and splash off leash. Be sure to hike Parley's Historic Nature Park Trail Loop, a dog-friendly, 1.9-mile trail that cuts through Tanner Park and is suitable for all skill levels. For more doggie paddling in Utah, visit Willow Creek Dog Pond, just 40 minutes away in Park City.
Tune into a unique stay at the Art Cottage at Baldwin Radio Factory. The building that houses this historic home once produced the world’s first headphones, and now serves as a warm and inviting retreat for you and your pooch to enjoy together.
Tom Harvey Memorial Dog Park
From state parks like Hocking Hills and Hueston Woods, to dog parks like Bow Wow Beach, Ohio is full of dog-friendly off-leash swimming holes. A favorite among doggie paddlers is at Tom Harvey Memorial Dog Park. Canines are free to explore nine acres of fenced grassy areas, woods, trails, and of course, a pond for swimming. Humans can watch from benches dotted throughout the park, or from the swing nestled among the trees. The park is privately owned, but open to the public and donations are welcome.
Cozy up in a cabin at Cowan Lake Retreat. Fido can relax on the deck and soak up nature while enjoying lake views.
Timber Creek Pooch Park
Timber Creek Pooch Park is a nine-acre fenced dog park for off-leash play and swimming located in a 128-acre wooded park in the Garden State. Your pooch can practice her doggy paddle in Big Timber Creek before strapping on her leash for a walk on one of the park's many trails.
Stay nearby in the City of Brotherly Love. Kimpton Hotel Palomar Philadelphia’s 19 pet-friendly spa rooms or suites offer large jetted tubs for a pampered stay with your pooch. Located in Downtown Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square, you’ll be close to all the action when you feel like stepping out.
Norman F. Kruse Park
Let Fido off his leash in the cool waters of Lake Michigan. Dogs need to be leashed while on the sand, but can swim free at Norman F. Kruse Park. The park can get crowded on the weekends, but luckily there’s over one mile of beach to explore and find your spot!
Pet-friendly vacation rentals in the area include Savannah Sands Beach Cottage, a vintage, waterfront two-bedroom cottage on Lake Michigan. Laze on one of the decks with your dog after a fun day of swimming.
Downs Memorial Park Dog Beach
Located off the perimeter trail in Downs Park, Downs Memorial Park Dog Beach is a great spot for new doggy paddlers to learn to swim or veteran canine swimmers to enjoy some time in the waters of Chesapeake Bay. Once she’s done with her water fun, leash your pup up for a walk on more than five miles of paved and natural trails in the park.
The quaint Admiral Fell Inn in nearby Baltimore is a charming spot to rest your head after hiking and splashing around the park. The bed-and-breakfast welcomes pets with no fees and is close to dining options and attractions.
Stodder’s Neck Dog Park
Located on a peninsula at the mouth of Weymouth Back River, Stodder’s Neck Dog Park is a “pawfect” swimming hole for your pup. Canines can splash and play in the crisp waters of the river, and then hike the harborside walking trails to be rewarded with amazing hilltop views. Dogs are allowed off leash in designated areas of the park.
Located on George Lane Beach, you and your pooch are invited to enjoy oceanfront living at this modern home with a fenced space.
Enjoy Lake Coeur d’Alene by visiting Tubbs Hill for an afternoon swim. The park encompasses over 120 acres of trails, overlooks, caves, and beaches along the lake. Let Fido take a dip before or after you explore the two-mile interpretive loop trail that outlines the perimeter of Tubbs Hill. The walk takes you past historic points of interest and breathtaking scenery.
The Getaway at Emerald Glen Farm
At The Getaway at Emerald Glen Farm, dogs are always welcome to play off leash on the property’s 175 acres of meadows, trails, forests, dog beaches and, of course, ponds and creeks. It's a unique escape for you and your furry friend, set in the scenic countryside of Upstate New York.
After a full day of fun, retire in pet-friendly accommodations on the farm, which range from creekside tents to well-equipped cottages and cabins.
Beavers Bend State Park
Water-loving hounds will want to visit Beavers Bend State Park because of its pristine lakes and rivers surrounded by towering pine trees. Pups can take a refreshing dip in Broken Bow Lake after hiking along one of the pet-friendly trails. For those looking to spend the night in the park, there are several dog-friendly cabin rentals.
For a unique stay, book the Redwood Retreat, a cozy, pet-friendly vacation rental. The four-bedroom, two-bath cabin sleeps eight and has a front porch and a large back deck equipped with a jacuzzi. Plus, you can keep warm beside the cozy fireplace.
South Llano River State Park
Bring Fido to the heart of Texas Hill Country at South Llano River State Park, where in addition to swimming, he can join you on the river in a kayak, canoe or on a tubing excursion. The state park also boasts 18 miles of multi-use trails to explore with your leashed pup.
Located on six acres just outside of Kerrville, White Chapel Cottage sleeps four to six and is perfect for weekend getaways. Your pup will love frolicking underneath the large oak trees on this picturesque property.