Downs Memorial Park Dog Beach
With "dog" in its name, you know this park has to be canine friendly. For pups that love to swim, this is the perfect five-mile stretch of off-leash heaven. If you're trying to teach your dog how to swim, the soft currents and mild waves make Downs one of the kindest places for novice swimmers. After a long swim, you and the pooch can dry off by taking on the park's perimeter trail, play a game of catch along one of the grassy areas or let loose in one of the large wooded natural areas.
If you're heading to the area via Baltimore, take State Route 10 going south for about 24 miles toward Pasadena. The park is located along Locust Cove Road.
Above: Chesapeake Bay
Most of Maryland's waterways are part of the Chesapeake Bay
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Assateague National Seashore
Although this island is most well known for its wild horse population, many dogs take up "residency" during open hours. Unfortunately, fido is not allowed to traverse Assateague Island's nature trails with you, but we bet that you'll have more than enough fun hanging out seaside anyways! Play a game of fetch along the long stretches of smooth golden sands here, or watch as the native horses run near the surf - be careful about keeping your dog on the leash (leashes are required at all times on this national seashore) when wild horses are near, though, as they can spook at times. Also, be aware of when the Maryland part of the island ends - Virginia's section of Assateague prohibits any pets from entering, so you could end up paying hefty fines if you decide to take your pup beyond any state lines.
However, the national seashore isn't the only dog-friendly attraction in the area - to let your dog roam a little more freely, head to the Ocean City dog playground. Split into two sections - one for dogs under 28 pounds and one for dogs over that weight - the park will let every pooch feel comfortable socializing and enjoying some free time in this seaside town. You'll probably enjoy the views just as much as well!