HILTON HEAD BEACH DOGS
HILTON HEAD BEACH DOGS: THE HAPPIEST CREATURES ON THE PLANET
Next to human beings walking Hilton Head Island beaches, are the happiest dogs you’ve ever seen. It doesn’t matter what kind of dog – Lab, Poodle, Schnauzer, Retriever, Pointer, Spaniel, Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Bloodhound, or any combination thereof, these dogs are ecstatic! Maybe it’s because their owners are so happy. Anyway, dogs are smiling on the beaches. Running, sniffing, swimming, catching frisbees, balls, and sticks, old dogs seem young, and young dogs, well, are delirious with wiggling joy.
If you think about it, dogs are happy at the beach for the same reason people are. Waves are absolutely undaunted by anything creatures attempt to do, and constantly entertaining in their foamy ebb and flow. Waves bring gifts to everyone, regardless of need or want – jellyfish, driftwood, bottles, life preservers, plastic containers, old tennis balls, shells, starfish, tree stumps. Watch the dog ahead of you and you will see a nose to the sand, a rapidly wagging tail, a dart here and there where the smells of old picnics linger, a lolling tongue, and inevitably, a smile.
Hilton Head Beaches are open to dogs (on leashes or under absolutely positive voice control) from morning to night after Labor Day to Memorial Day. From Memorial Day to Labor Day dogs are welcome on beaches BEFORE 10 a.m. They must be off beach by 10 a.m., but may return after 5 p.m. Waste Bags are provided at the entrances to beaches, as well as containers for disposal.
One of the beaches that is a great choice for dogs as well as humans, is Islander’s Beach Park near Folly Field. It has what is essential to any great beach for dogs, a hose off station right as you come off the boardwalk, with benches for toweling off both four legged and two legged participants. Like people on Hilton Head, we expect dogs to be polite, friendly, and respectful of all other creatures enjoying the beach. If you are not sure your dog will respond appropriately, please leave him/her at home.
Hilton Head also has some restaurants with alfresco dining, some of which allow well behaved dogs to celebrate with their owners while enjoying their meal. Street Meet Tavern in Port Royal Plaza is one of them, but obviously there are others. There are plenty of dog parks also, dotted here and there across the island. But ask any dog and he’ll tell you-nothing beats a romp on the beach!