From Boston we traveled to the seaside town of Nahant to spend the day on “Dog Beach” to play a little fetch on the beach and let our dog swim to his heart’s content. There are only a few beaches on the North Shore where off-leash dogs are allowed during the summer, Dog Beach in Nahant is one of them. Long Beach, on the parking lot side of the causeway, dogs are allowed only between September 30th and May 1st. As usual, there are a few things you will want to know before you go to either beach.
Dog Beach, a beautiful beach for your dog
Nahant’s Dog Beach has great sand and the water calm on the Dog Beach side of the causeway. There are also rock wall which protects the road from erosion which also creates a pretty good barrier to keep dogs on the beach. You will still need to have control of your dog to keep them out of the road and from jumping on the other beach goers.
Dog Beach is also a popular spot for kiteboarding and windsurfing on windy days. I learned from first hand experience, that a dog can quickly destroy an expensive kite, as our dog demonstrated with one of my own kites. For the most part, kiteboarders and windsurfers stay out on the water and just add to a beautiful scene.
Make sure you bring poop bags, a leash and some fresh water for your dog. In a grassy area just above the beach you will find a garbage can to dispose of waste. Please make the effort to keep this beach nice.
Find parking and walk the dog to the beach
All beach goers will face the challenge of parking when visiting Nahant, at least if you plan to park on the nearby streets which require a resident parking permit. There is however a very large parking lot at the main beach where we paid $3 to park for the day. Compared to Boston parking I can live with the $3 charge. The walk from the parking lot to Dog Beach is quite easy and rather beautiful once you cross the causeway. Here is a map for direction to Dog Beach.
In Town Dogs vs. Out of Town Dogs
I posted this article about our experiences at Dog Beach in Nahant on September 8th, two days later an article was pointed out to me about out of town dogs vs. resident dogs visiting this beach. While we were at Dog Beach there were only a few dogs on the beach at any given time (Labor Day Weekend). During our visits I have yet to see this, however, access at this beach is delicate. This is an excerpt from an email sent to me from a long time Nahant family with dogs.
The reason I think Nahanter’s are so protective of doggie beach is because they fought long and hard for the creation of this beach. Up to about 8-10 years ago Nahant was a place sort of stuck in neutral politically, and they went by the if it’s not broke, don’t fix it mentality. New blood came into office and really shook up the town, cleaning it up, raising more money and creating dog beach. The change and advancements continue to this day and it’s great to see.
I don’t think it discrimination by Nahant residents, but a protective attitude. They don’t want to see unregistered, aggressive dogs or people who don’t pick up after their dogs. Dog owners know that Doggie Beach will always skate on thin ice and constantly be on a trial basis, which could be taken away very quickly.
If you decide to visit Nahant beaches with your dog, please be very respectful of the delicate situation, pick up after your dog, have current rabies vaccinations and a dog license. If have a dog with aggression issues you should avoid places with off-leash dogs, especially a multi-use beach. It would be a shame if a visitor or meet-up group ruined a good thing for those who created it.