nugget the puggle stands on a dog-friendly beach in orleans, ma

orleans, MA: dog-friendly activites

There are lots of fun things to do with your dog in Orleans, MA. There’s some great dog-friendly beaches, restaurants, hotels, and hiking trails.

We’ll help you find the best dog-friendly activities that Orleans has to offer.

Dog-friendly beaches in Orleans, MA

Most beaches in Orleans are only pet-friendly in the offseason. For more info on dog-friendly beaches in towns near orleans that allow dogs in the summertime, visit our page on dog-friendly beaches on cape cod.

Nauset Beach

Nauset Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on Cape Cod. Long, sprawling sandy beach backed by grassy sand dunes. The slight curl of the coastline as you walk keeps the path ahead just out of view, giving the impression of isolation.

The water is freezing cold. The surf and rip currents can be huge. And the beach is loaded with Great White Sharks. Ready to go swimming yet?

Frequent shark sightings aside, the beaches strong waves are great for surfing. Most swimmers keep it close to shore for good reason. Seals are being actively hunted here.

Dogs are allowed on the main area of nauset beach only in the offseason, from Labor Day to May 15. The ORV trails at nauset beach in orleans are open to dogs all year long, including summers. but there is a catch.

Nauset Beach ORV Trails

Nauset beach’s off road vehicle trails south of the main parking lot are usually closed or greatly restricted for most of the summer due to piping plover nests (often memorial day through labor day).

rosco enjoying dog-friendly nauset beach in orleans
rosco enjoying dog-friendly nauset beach in orleans

In recent years special rules to allow vehicles to pass known plover nests have been implemented. But to be safe, before going to get an Orleans ORV beach sticker it is wise to check with the town to verify that the beach is actually open.

When nauset beach’s ORV trails aren’t closed due to piping plovers, they’re an awesome place to take your pet.

Nauset beach’s dog rules

  • dogs must be on a leash up to 30 feet, unless below high tide mark
  • dogs not allowed on areas closed to human or vehicle traffic due to nesting piping plovers
  • watch out for great white sharks – there’s tons of them at Nauset!
  • In the offseason, off-leash dogs are allowed in the OSV area of Nauset beach

Skaket Beach

Dogs are allowed at Skaket Beach in Orleans during the offseason, from Labor Day to the Friday before Memorial Day.

Skatet beach is bay-side, so the water is much warmer and the water is very gentle. The sand is nice and soft. The tide goes out to reveal a long expanse of beach that disappears as it comes back in.

No rip currents or big waves, so it’s great for dogs and kids to swim. There’s also no great white shark sightings to speak of (although like any ocean beach on cape cod there’s always a chance, since sharks are everywhere).

Skatet beach is one of the best beaches to see a sunset on this part of cape cod.


Rock Harbor Beach

Dogs allowed at Rock Harbor Beach only after Columbus Day up until the Thursday before Memorial Day. The Eastham Side of Rock Harbor allows pets during the summer only in the morning and evening. Rock Harbor offers some legendary sunsets, and lots of tidal pools and sandy areas to explore when the tide goes out. The main beach has a short jetty. If you can time the tides right you’ll get to see the charter fishing boats returning to Rock Harbor, silhouetted by the setting sun against the row of “clam trees” that mark the path into the harbor. Watch out for sand fleas at night.


Dog-friendly dining in Orleans

Orleans has some cool restaurants that allow dogs. Like most towns on cape cod pets are allowed only in outdoor seating areas.

Want to learn more?


Dog park in Orleans, MA

there isn’t a dog park in orleans, but there are a few in towns nearby.


Dog walks and pet-friendly hiking trails in orleans

Cape Cod Rail Trail

view rules view map

Kent’s Point Conservation Area

Paw Wah Pond Conservation Area


Have any suggestions for dog-friendly activities in Orleans, MA on Cape Cod? Please let us know.

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