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Dogs on Salisbury Beach in MA

Dog Friendly Salisbury Beach MA

During the months of October through May, I love doing dog portrait sessions at dog friendly beaches north of Boston. Salisbury Beach in Salisbury, MA, is one of my favorites! In this post I am referring to the “Reservation” which has both the ocean and the river side. Both areas are great for an adventure with your dog!

sunrise dog silhouette on Salisbury Beach
Stunning Sunrise with Black Lab, Lucy

Where is Salisbury Beach Reservation?

Salisbury Beach overlooks the point at which the Merrimack River feeds the Atlantic Ocean. The address is State Reservation Rd. in Salisbury, MA.

Hours and Parking

Salisbury Beach Reservation is open from sunrise to sunset – woohoo! There is a daily parking fee from May 14th through October 30th which can be paid at the kiosk by credit card when you drive through the gate. If you are a resident here in Massachusetts, it’s $14. If you are from out of state, you are out of luck as the parking fee if $40 – OUCH!

Thinking about going regularly? You might want to grab a parking pass: MA State parks yearly parking pass It is $60 and will pay for itself with just a few visits.

If you are going off season, you will not have to pay the parking fee. Enjoy!

River or Ocean Side?

There are two sides to choose from and I guarantee your dog will love either one that you visit! I’ve done dog portrait sessions on both.

River Side

The river side of Salisbury Beach is where the beach meets the Merrimack River. This area can be found on the opposite side of the ocean and offers a different kind of coastal experience. As you drive up the road and go through the kiosk, you will park in the lot to the right before you loop around. The river side tends to be more peaceful and calmer than the ocean side. It’s a great spot if you prefer a quieter environment and want to avoid the crowds that are often found on the ocean side.

The river side is a great option for you and your dog, especially if your dog enjoys playing in calmer waters, or if they prefer a more peaceful atmosphere for walks and playtime. Always make sure you check the updated info on the parks page for guidelines.

Little dog running Salisbury Beach
Angel running at sunrise – river side of beach

Ocean Side

The ocean side of Salisbury Beach refers to the stretch of beach that faces the Atlantic Ocean. This side typically offers the classic beach experience with sandy shores, crashing waves, and the vast expanse of the ocean stretching out to the horizon.

This is a great spot to run your dogs or play some fetch. There is so much space! Catch a beautiful sunrise on the beach side. One of my favorite facebook pages is Salisbury Sunrises – give it a follow to see this photographer’s stunning photos daily!

Labrador Retriever sunrise salisbury beach
Sunrise silhouette of Lucy oceanside

Dogs on the Beach

The rules regarding dogs on the beach at Salisbury Beach Reservation may vary depending on the time of year and specific areas of the beach. To be safe, I do photo sessions there from October to May and I am arriving either 30 minutes before sunrise or an hour and a half before sunset. The seasonal restriction is usually no dogs Memorial Day to Labor Day. Between me and you, the river side might have a bit more flexibility, but you didn’t hear that from me!

Always check first with DCR or the Salisbury Beach Reservation website for latest updates. Most MA beaches do not permit dogs during the summer, but off-peak season varies from beach to beach.

doodle dog salisbury beach
Milo enjoying the sandy beach

There is so much shoreline on Salisbury beach for dogs to run and play and do zoomies! At certain times, they do allow dogs to be off leash. Please make sure that you follow the rules that are posted.

Are you a morning person? Once you do the sunrise adventure with your dog and witness the beauty, you will be hooked! You AND your dog will have a blast and you will be sure to make a few new dog friends.

Get on my list for sunrise sessions this winter:

Do you have a favorite dog friendly beach north of Boston? Drop a comment below and tell me a bit about it!

Around the Circle

This post is part of a blog circle featuring some amazing pet photographers from around the world. This week we are blogging “beaches” so be sure to follow along and click on the link at the end of each post. Next up Carol Mudra from Apawture Studios in Milan, Italy shows you around the most Beachin’ Dog Beach in all of Italy. I guarantee you will love Carol’s post! Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “Dog Friendly Salisbury Beach MA”

  1. Great that you have two options to choose from to use for your photo sessions, Ocean Side or River Side. I agree with you $40 OUCH!!

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