Earlier this year a stat was floating around social media that stated “43 people are moving to Charleston on average everyday”. Even if that stat isn’t true, the fact is, the secret is out and a lot of people are moving here. After they move and realize how dog friendly it is they inevitably get a dog. And in predictable fashion, these new owners name their pooch after a famous landmark around the Holy City. It has become commonplace to meet dogs with Lowcountry-inspired names like Capers, Marion, Santee, Sullivan and Cooper. It’s obvious that humans love it here and love their dogs, but why do dogs love Charleston?
Dog Friendly Beaches In Charleston
Approaching the beach from the access path on station 25, the faint sounds of dogs barking playfully becomes discernible over the sound of crashing waves and seagull calls. As I look down the beach towards the Sullivans Island lighthouse, a group of dogs splash freely in and out of a small tidal pool chasing minnows while a man a couple stations over flings a tennis ball into the surf for his black lab. The atmosphere is alive, yet laid back and calming at the same time.
Sullivans Island as well as many of the beaches around Charleston are some of the cleanest, quietest dog-friendly beaches on the East coast. These beaches offer dog owners a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and a natural space for your canine companion to explore and exercise. Each beach has a unique set of dog and leash laws that change seasonally so check to see what your favorite beach’s rules are:
Folly Beach – In the off-season, from October 1 through April 30, your dog is welcome on Folly beach. Your pup must stay on a leash and under control, but running, walking, fetching, and swimming are all allowed. Dogs are not allowed on the beach from May 1 to September 30 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. All dogs must be leashed at all times.
Isle of Palms – Dogs must be on leash, except during the following hours: 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. from April 1 through September 14 and 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. from September 15 through March 31. Owners must clean up after pets.
Sullivans Island – all dogs must have a valid Sullivan’s Island permit – residents and visitors. On October 1st through April 30th dogs can be off leash from 5 a.m. – noon and on leash from noon – 5 a.m. On May 1st through September 30th, dogs can be off leash from 5 a.m. – 10 a.m., however after 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. there are no dogs allowed on the beach at all. After 6 p.m. dogs can be on the beach with a leash.
Kiawah Island – Dogs must be leashed from March 16th –October 31st from the Critical Habitat Area west of the Beachwalker County Park to the eastern boundary of the Beach Club. Dogs may be off leash from Nov. 1st – March 15th from the Critical Habitat Area west of the Beachwalker County Park to the eastern boundary of the Beach Club. View the pet restraint map here.
Edisto Beach – From May 1 to Oct. 31, all dogs must be on a leash at all times. Owners are required to clean up after their pets as well and there are waste bags available on the beach. In the off-season, dogs should be on a leash, although it isn’t a requirement.
Dog Friendly Restaurants in Charleston
Fall is the perfect time to walk your pooch to the local watering hole or outdoor restaurant for a drink and bite to eat. Many of the restaurants around Charleston accommodate the canine kind and actually encourage them. Some restaurants even keep water bowls and dog treats on hand to keep your four-legged family member content. Here’s a list of our favorite restaurants who are dog friendly:
Hometeam BBQ on Sullivans Island – Take your canine companion for a walk on the beach and then stop in to Hometeam on Sullivans Island for some of their mouth watering wings and their signature Gamechanger. Hometeam is pet-friendly in the outdoor-seating area and perfect for dogs to come and relax after a day on the beach.
Red’s Ice House on Shem Creek – This is one of the best locations to go for an awesome sunset while you dolphin-watch with your canine wingman. Red’s has one of the best views in Mt. Pleasant, great cocktails and is totally dog friendly.
Poe’s Tavern on Sullivans Island – The quintessential beach bar is located two blocks from the water. They serve freshly ground burgers, fish tacos, salads, quesadillas, and chicken sandwiches. Wash it all down with a selection of import and domestic beers on tap, and in bottles. Well-behaved dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio.
Lost Dog Cafe on Folly Beach – This is a laid back beach cafe that serves breakfast all day featuring huge breakfast burritos, bagel sandwiches and some good coffee. This is a gathering place where the staff is friendly and the locals and tourists alike eat, meet and mingle. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor-seating area!
Taco Boy in downtown Charleston – Fido will love the fiesta atmosphere at Taco Boy in Downtown Charleston. Spend the afternoon with old or new friends on the dog-friendly patio sampling freshly made guacamole and salsas with chips, grilled fish tacos, and pineapple-infused or Cadillac margaritas. Taco Boy is very dog friendly, so your pup may make some new friends, too!
Search All Charleston Real Estate