Cape May is dog friendly
Visiting Cape May

Cape May is Dog Friendly

Our dog Lance does not always join us on our visits to Cape May but when he does, he is in doggy heaven. Why? Because Cape May is dog friendly! First, it really is a super walkable town. He can’t get enough walking time when we are on the island. I would guess most dogs would feel the exact same way. There are so many other reasons for dogs to love Cape May.

Where to stay

More and more private home rentals are becoming pet friendly. See my post on beach house rentals at How to find an awesome beach rental for more details on how to find one.  Several hotels and Bed & Breakfast also welcome dogs in Cape May.  Some of them have size limitations or specify certain floors as dog friendly. It is always best to check with them directly for their current criteria. Here are some great options to investigate:

Across from the beach

A little bit of a walk to the beach

dogs for a walk

Where to grab food and drink

Outside patios and porches frequently welcome dogs in Cape May. You can usually spot them by the freshwater dog bowls sitting between tables. Lance’s favorite is The Rusty Nail, which is adjacent to The Beach Shack (mentioned above) right on Beach Avenue. His “go to meal” off the doggie menu is a tasty grilled chicken bowl washed down with a refreshing bowser beer. He also loved when the kids were little and they got a bright orange frisbee with their meal (which became his frisbee)! Check out these great options for dog friendly patio or porch dining:

Black Lab with toy

Things to do

Unfortunately, the Cape May City beaches are off limits to dogs from May 1st to September 30th per the Chamber of Commerce Visitors Guide.  However, there is a dog park located at 705 Lafayette Street. There is a short application to fill out and a small fee of $10.00 for a week or $20.00 annually. 

Does your dog like the water? Your furry friends are welcome aboard the outside deck areas of both the Cape May Whaler Watcher vessels and Cape May-Lewes Ferry. 

Does your dog like to watch you drink? You can bring your pup to join you in the outdoor patio areas of Cape May Winery, Naughty Spirits Distillery and Cape May Brewing Company

Does your dog like to shop? Well, they can’t actually go shopping themselves, but I am sure they would love the treats and toys at Dog Days at Washington Commons. Lance gets a new toy every year that he absolutely loves.  Last year he got Larry the Lobster (pictured above). He goes nuts for the peanut butter treats at Cape May Peanut Butter Company (see what I did there).

Do you have a full day event planned and you can’t bring your pooch with you? Just call Shore Puppy Walks and schedule a walk or two while you are gone. They make it super easy and will even send you a real time report on each walk.

Fun Doggie Events and Activities

Did you know there is a doggie ice cream bar and boutique on Washington Mall (412 Washington Street)? Collar and Bone has so many yummy pooch friendly treats that your pup will be over the moon! They also have a wide selection of accessories. Access by the dog friendly Lyle Lane entrance.

The Rusty Nail typically holds an annual Doggie Pageant in September. The winner is the official Rusty Nail Mascot for the following year. Harry’s Ocean Bar and Grill holds Dog Day at the Pool Party in October at the Montreal Inn pool. The proceeds go to the Animal Outreach of Cape May County.

I think you will find so many ways for you and your dog to enjoy Cape May together.  If you are very lucky, you will catch a glimpse of Wilbur the Facebook famous collie around town. We have spied him a few times at the Rusty Nail.

Another source of dog friendly info in general is Bring Fido a searchable website for all types of ideas.

Did I miss anything?  Do you have a favorite that I didn’t mention?  Please let me know! 

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  • Brady

    I realize the blog does focus on the City of Cape May, but I do see several Lower Township wineries and breweries mentioned. A really cool place to stop while in Lower is Harpoons on the Bay, a waterfront restaurant with a Key West vibe. Featuring live music nightly (plus afternoon World music Sat & Sun), Harpoons’ real feature is its front row view of the most amazing sunsets in North America! Best part is, it’s dog friendly! Well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome at umbrella deck tables, at the tiki bar and patio or at our picnic tables. Bring your dog by and meet our resident four-legged hostess, Isabella the LabraDane!

    • Jane Gober

      Yes, I typically stick with City of Cape May things, but mostly because it is hard to know when to stop. I don’t want to try to cover too much. That said, thanks for your comment and I will gladly add you to my doggie post!!!

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