Charleston, SC, is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the country. You can have your pup at your side as you stroll through the historic city center, splash in the waves, or savor the delicious local cuisine. Keep reading to discover some of our favorite things to do with your furry friends during your time on the coast.
If you want to discover more ways to make the most of your Lowcountry getaway, be sure to request access to our complimentary Destination Guide.
Tips for the Ultimate Pet-Friendly Trip to Charleston, SC
Play on the Beach
There’s nothing better than running around on the sand under the sun with your dog during your Charleston vacation. Here are some important rules for frolicking on the beach with your pup!
Folly Beach Dog Rules
October through April, leashed dogs may run, walk, fetch, and swim any time of the day. From May through September (summer), dogs may not go on the beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Isle of Palms Dog Rules
Isle of Palms is the most pet-friendly beach in Charleston, SC. Dogs may be on the beach all day, year-round. From September 15th through March 31st, dogs may be off-leash from 4 p.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. from April 1st through September 14th. You can walk your dog on a leash all other times of the day.
Sullivan’s Island Dog Rules
The dog rules on Sullivan’s Island are among the strictest in the Charleston area. All dogs must have a permit ($40 for visitors). Dogs may be off-leash from 5 a.m. to noon from October through April. Dogs may be off-leash from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. during summer, and on-leash from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. (not allowed on the beach from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).
Take a Stroll Along the Battery and Waterfront Park
Grab your leash and take your dog on an exciting adventure through downtown Charleston. Soak in the historical sites along the Battery before taking a stroll through Waterfront Park. The scenic views of the harbor are incredible, and the ocean breeze will keep you and your pup cool!
Tip: The pavement can get excruciatingly hot during the summer months, so we recommend walking your dog here in the morning or evening when the crowds are lighter.
Explore James Island County Park
If you want to let your dog run around off their leash, James County Island Park has a large four-acre dog park! There is a $2 admission fee to enter the park.
Pet-Friendly Restaurants in Charleston
If you want to let your furry friend run around while you enjoy a cold beer, then you need to head over to The Barrel. This James Island establishment is less than 10 minutes from Folly Beach and is a dog-friendly Charleston hot spot. Check their website for upcoming food trucks and entertainment on site.
The Windjammer is the premier entertainment destination on Isle of Palms, and the back deck is the perfect place to sit with your pup as you gaze out across the ocean with your favorite drink. The front has a “No Dogs” sign, but you are allowed to sit on the deck as long as you have a leash.
Red’s Ice House
Shem Creek is the pulse of Mount Pleasant and home to sensational sunsets. Hopping Red’s Ice House is one of the best pet-friendly bars in Charleston, SC, and it’s only 10 minutes from Sullivan’s Island and 15 minutes from IOP.
If you’re craving a local craft brew while exploring downtown, head over to Revelry Brewing. This local hotspot has plenty of outdoor seating on the ground floor and the rooftop patio, where you’ll find plenty of dogs soaking in the rays.
Home Team BBQ
Home Team BBQ has a few spots around town, but we recommend visiting the ones in downtown and Sullivan’s Island if you have pets. Both allow leashed dogs.
Both the downtown and Folly Beach Taco Boy locations are some of the best pet-friendly restaurants in Charleston, SC. Serving up delicious guac, margaritas, and tacos (of course!), these fantastic places to eat offer plenty of outdoor seating for you and your pooch.
Bring the Entire Family on Your Charleston Vacation
After a day of exploring Charleston with your furry friend, head back to your Charleston Coast Vacations pet-friendly rental and unwind. Our collection of rentals in Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, and Folly Beach provide you with tons of incredible choices for your family beach trip. Our rentals feature new renovations, flawless decorations, ocean views, and special amenities to ensure you have a top-notch comfortable stay. Plus, our concierge team can help you plan your trip every step of the way.
Start planning your Charleston getaway by browsing our vacation rentals. We look forward to welcoming you to the Lowcountry!