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While Charleston, SC is known for its hospitality, it’s incredibly dog-friendly too! Whether you live locally or simply like to bring Rover along when you travel, the walkability and mild climate in Charleston make it a popular destination for spending time outdoors with your pooch. Charleston has a strict leash law in place, and good dog-manners are a “must have,” but if there’s a restaurant with a patio or porch, your dog is more than likely welcome — though it’s always a good idea to call ahead. But if you’re planning on bringing your dog to one of our beautiful beaches and giving your pup the full sun, sand and surf experience there are a few rules to know, and it starts with being a responsible pet owner and always cleaning up after your pet.

Folly Beach

Folly Beach loves its pups! Many restaurants have outdoor spaces for you to dine al fresco with your dog by your side. However, if you’re looking for a fun walk on the beach, know that dogs are not allowed on the beach from 10am to 6pm from May 1st to September 30th.  At all other times, dogs are welcome but must remain on the leash or under voice control.

If you’re looking for alternatives when the beach is too packed, there’s a dog park located on the island at 512 E Erie Ave!

family and dog playing on the beach Charleston SC

Sullivan’s Island

Known as the widest beach in the Charleston area, Sullivan’s Island is a dog’s playground with tidal pools and expansive beach! However, all dogs, including those of both residents and visitors, must have a dog permit from the Town of Sullivan’s Island. Non-resident permits are $50 per dog annually and resident permits are $25 annually.  Permits are issued at Town Hall at 1610 Middle Street. Make sure you have proof of your rabies vaccine as well!

Summer hours for dogs on the beach run from May 1st to September 30th. During that time dogs can be off leash from 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m., on leash from 6:00 p.m. to 5 a.m. No dogs are permitted on the beach between the hours of 10:00 a.m and 6:00 pm. Winter hours for dogs on the beach run from October 1st to April 30th. During that time dogs can be off leash from 5:00 a.m. to noon and on leash from Noon to 5:00 a.m.

Isle of Palms

The City of Isle of Palms recommends you obtain a dog permit if you plan to have your dog on the beach. Permits are free of charge, and you must have proof of up-to-date rabies inoculation signed by a licensed veterinarian.

Dogs are allowed to be off-leash during summer hours, from 5am to 9am from April 1st through September 14th and then for winter hours, 4pm to 10am beginning September 15th to March 31st. If you’re on the beach during other hours, just make sure your dog is on the leash!

You can also visit the spacious dog park on Isle of Palms located behind the Recreation Department at 24 28th Avenue.

Pet Safety Beach Tips

Remember, if it’s hot at the beach for you, your dog will be extra toasty underneath all their fur! Limit the time your dog has on the beach and make sure you provide plenty of water throughout the day.  Additionally, never leave your dog in the car.  Within minutes, a car can reach dangerous temperatures.

If you’re planning a Charleston vacation and wonder if you should bring your dog, we’ve put together some tips to help you and your furry friends have the best vacation possible.  Whether they’re sniffing their way through charming and historic downtown Charleston SC or splashing in the waves and digging in the sand on Folly Beach, your dog will be happy that you brought them along – after all, their favorite place in the world is wherever you are! So grab their leash and book one of our pup-friendly luxury vacation rentals today.