Where: North Hampton State Beach, North Hampton, NH and Plum Island, Newburyport, MA
Duh! It's the beach! Sun, sand, waves.birds- it's great! The beach is one of the few places I'll play fetch with Skye in a social setting. She gets very intense about fetch, which makes her antisocial. But for whatever reason people like to stick to themselves at the beach. It's usually a quick sniff as you pass and that's about it. With the wide open spaces, I can bring a tennis racquet and send tennis balls flying.
Both dogs tend to be on their best behavior at the beach, which is a great chance to show them off a little. And unlike all our freshwater spots, Parker loves to get in the water here. He runs through the waves like a brave little toaster and likes to make the seagulls run for their lives. Skye is too focused on fetch to really care much, but she'll take the occasional romp in the surf as well.
Since the beach can be a popular place in the summer, dog's aren't allowed from Memorial Day until Labor Day. There are some really great days to be there, but a lot of the time we go in the winter. Sure, it's freezing and windy, but there isn't snow most of the time!
There were also a few months this year that dead seals kept washing to shore. There was a disease going through the adolescent population, and my beach was like a magnet for the bodies. It didn't make for a very fun time, so we had to avoid the beach for a while. The only other down side is that we can't just go any time. High tide comes all the way up to the seawall, so I need to check the tide chart before I go.
All in all:
When the stars align, the beach is one of my favorite spots to go for fun and exercise. Skye loves it because she can play fetch and Parker likes to be 'King of the Beach." Plus, walking in the sea air never gets old.