15 of the Best Dog Friendly Parks in Virginia Beach, Virginia

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At the southeastern tip of Virginia, on the border of North Carolina, you can find Virginia Beach. The city is part of the coast on the Atlantic Ocean, where it meets the Chesapeake Bay and includes miles of beaches as well as some islands off the coast, like Rock Island, Ragged Island, and Cedar Island. It can be found in the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest pleasure beach in the world, with 35 miles of beautiful sand. 

The population is only about 460,000, but during the summer, there can be over a million people vacationing here. But Virginia Beach is more than just beaches. In fact, there are 293 parks in the city, including the First Landing State Park, where the land was first settled in 1607 by English colonists. But what you are looking for is off-leash dog parks where your fur baby can run wild and free. We found quite a few. Here are our top 15 choices for dog parks in Virginia Beach. 

Bayville Farms Dog Park

First up, Bayville Farms Park is just 11 miles northwest of downtown Virginia Beach up Highway 60. It is right by the main parking lot in the northwestern section of the community park between the baseball fields and playground by the tennis courts, basketball court, and skate park. There are three large fenced sections. One is for small dogs, one for large dogs, and the other is closed for rotation so the grass can regrow. That way, the pooches will always have some green space to play on. 

Much of the park is shaded so that you and your fur puppy can always get out of the sun if you need to, but there is also plenty of space to play in the sun. There are huge water containers to refresh both you and your pup, and there are waste bags for easy poop pickup. However, it is always a good idea to bring your own. 

Bea Arthur Dog Park

Also known as PETA Dog Park, the Bea Arthur Dog Park was named after the comedian and actress who played Dorothy on The Golden Girls. She was an honorary director at PETA and won many humanitarian awards after joining in 1987. You can find this great pooch play area less than 20 miles west of downtown Virginia Beach in Norfolk, right on the water. The grass is always green, and the park is always clean, thanks to the monitoring by PETA volunteers right there on the property. 

What’s more, the one-acre park also features a toy bin with lots of safe toys, a picnic area in the shade, and an access ramp and dock if your pooch wants to do some doggie paddling. It is the perfect spot all year long, and you can always check online to see if it is crowded before you go with their live webcam. They keep the doggie bags well-stocked, too, but bring some along anyway. 

Chesapeake City Park

You can find Chesapeake City Park about 20 miles southwest of Virginia Beach in Chesapeake. To use these dog parks, as well as several others in the town of Chesapeake, you have to be a member either or purchase a day pass for $3. However, to get that pass, you have to show proof of vaccinations, a rabies shot, and licensure. This city park really loves its dogs as it has two different dog parks. One is in the front of the park, and the other is in the back by the skate park. 

Both of the dog parks have separate sections for dogs 25 pounds and under, as well as water access, mutt mitt stations, and seating for pet parents. The newest park is the one next to the skate park, and it has 1.5 acres of space to enjoy a game of fetch or frisbee or just let the pups chase each other. Either way, your cuddly buddy is sure to have a blast!

Colonial Place Dog Park

Bring your pup to play the day away at Colonial Place Dog Park in Norfolk, just 20 miles west of Virginia Beach. The first thing to note is that they have no separate sections for different-sized pooches. So if you have a little dog that is afraid of big dogs or vice versa, you may want to skip this dog park. There are plenty of others. It is also known as Riverview Dog Park. Probably because of the awesome view you get of the Lafayette River. 

This was the very first fully fenced Norfolk dog park, and it is well-loved by all. You will see right away that there are dog toys, frisbees, and balls all over the place, just waiting for your canine companion to pick it up. They also have two waste stations with poop bags in case you forgot yours, and there is a water spigot to fill water bowls. 

Deep Creek Dog Park

You can find Deep Creek Park about 12 miles west of Chesapeake City Dog Park right on the northeastern edge of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. Since it is part of the Chesapeake Dog Park system, you will have to either have a membership or get a day pass. The same rules apply to vaccinations and licensure. The massive fenced area is at the back of the park, just past the baseball fields. 

Dogs of all sizes and breeds are allowed to play together here, too so if this is a problem, try one of the other parks. You do not want to pay for a membership or day pass if your dog is going to feel uncomfortable playing there. The park provides benches for pet parents, water fountains for pups and humans, and doggie bag dispensers for picking up whatever your dog drops. But bringing your own just in case is recommended. 

Elizabeth River Dog Park

Located in South Norfolk under the Jordan Bridge, the Elizabeth River Dog Park has separate sections for different-sized dogs. The small section is for dogs 25 pounds and under, and the other section is for all dogs, no matter the size. It is just a short 10-minute drive from Virginia Beach and features more than just a dog park. There is also a river with a boat dock and a large family park too. 

While you are inside the fenced areas, your fur puppy can run wild off the leash with the other pooches. But if you want to go out and enjoy the rest of what Elizabeth River Park has to offer, he will need his leash. They offer fishing, crabbing, picnic shelters with tables and barbecue grills, a playground for the little humans, and even a snack shack in case you forgot to bring something to grill. After, you can work off your food at the outdoor fitness area or walking track. 

Ghent Dog Park

Less than 20 miles to the west, Ghent Dog Park in Norfolk’s Stockley Gardens has over a half acre of fenced off-leash space for pupsters to romp around and get wild. It is a long strip of grass with shade trees, benches, and a sidewalk running down the middle. There are several poop bag dispensers for your convenience and plenty of trash cans around. Also, people have donated toys to the park for your fur pups in case you forgot to bring your own. 

If you or your fur baby get parched, there is a working water spigot to refill water bottles and dog bowls. However, there is no separate space for small dogs. All sizes and breeds play together here, and it has worked well so far. But if your little one is afraid of big pooches or the other way around, you should skip going to Ghent Dog Park. 

Lafayette Dog Park

Just two miles northeast of Ghent Dog Park across the Lafayette River, the Lafayette Dog Park can be found in Norfolk. In fact, the park runs along the banks of the river, which gives you and Fido a nice view. It is also right next to a wonderful playground with modern climbing equipment, slides, swings, and more. This is perfect for pup parents who have little ones, as everyone can have fun playing at the same time. 

If you have a little pooch that has big dog anxiety or vice versa, this park is probably not for you, either. Like several of the dog parks on the list, there is no separation between sizes. But there is wooden agility equipment like a long ramp with steps and a slide, jumps to jump over, and a tunnel to race through. There is also a water fountain and doggie bag dispensers, but it cannot hurt to bring your own anyway. 

Maple Avenue Ocean View Dog Park

Also in Norfolk, less than five miles northeast of Colonial Place Dog Park, Maple Avenue Ocean View Dog Park is another mixed-size pup park. There are barriers or discrimination here. All pooches play together here. Big dogs that have small-dog anxiety (and vice versa) may not be comfortable playing here. The large fenced area is sandwiched between the Norfolk Fire Rescue Station #13 and the water tower right next to a playground that the little humans will love. 

The park provides several seating options for pet parents, including picnic tables, chairs, and benches, some in the shade and others where you can soak up some sun. There is a water hose and sometimes a kiddie pool for the pups to cool off too. But if you want to let your fur baby swim, take him right down the road to Ocean View Beach, where leashed dogs can play in the Chesapeake Bay. 

Marshview Dog Park

Only two miles southwest of downtown Virginia Beach, you will find Marshview Dog Park in Marshview Community Park. The main park has over 100 acres of mostly wooded green space on and around Lake Rudee. Completely different from the other parks so far on the list is the separation. This one has four different sections, so all pooches will find their perfect spot. One of the sections is totally wooded and is great for hunting dogs or sniffers. 

There are doggie bag dispensers all over the place in case you forget to bring some, and you will find water fountains in each fenced area. And for pet parents who need to go, there is a portapotty right in the park, or you can leash up your pup and head out to one of the restrooms. Fido is welcome out and about in the community park as long as he is on a leash and you bring bags to pick up after him. 

Meadowbrook Dog Park 

Another Norfolk park, Meadowbrook Dog Park, is about three miles north of Ghent Dog Park across the Lafayette River and features two separate spaces for big and small dogs. So the tiny Terriers and huge Hounds have their own areas just in case they (or you) feel the need. However, small dogs are allowed in the large dog area if you (and they) are comfortable with it. There are nice dog fountains that also have spouts for pup parents, and they are on concrete so it does not get muddy. 

However, after it rains, your fur puppy will almost definitely be able to find a mud puddle to have a bath in, so bring a towel. You can rinse him off in the hose and dry him before getting back in the car. Your canine companion is also welcome in the rest of the park as long as you put his leash back on. They have a huge playground for the kiddos, a basketball court, and a nice walking path. 

Pups and Pints

You do not have to leave your cuddly canine companion behind when you want to go have a beer with friends. Pups and Pints was the very first dog park bar in Virginia Beach. This fun pup is just seven miles southwest of downtown on London Bridge Road. It has indoor and outdoor play areas, so you can bring him along any time of the year. There are two acres outside with a splash pad to cool off pooches in the summer. 

But that is not all! They also have a full bar and restaurant with spaces for pups to join their pup parents. If you live in the area and plan to visit often, get a membership for less than a dollar a day or get a day pass if you are just passing through. Dogs have to be at least six months old, have all vaccinations, and be spayed or neutered. 

Red Wing Dog Park

Head south from Virginia Beach for almost five miles to get to Red Wing Dog Park in Red Wing Park. Unlike many dog parks, this one is divided evenly between the large and small dog sections. With one acre of space, it is split down the middle so big pups and small pooches get equal shares. You will find it at the western end of the park, right by the parking lot, which makes it totally easy to get to rather than having to cut through the 97 acres of the gardens and other park space. 

The dog park also features agility equipment like a ramp for climbing, a balance beam, and a tunnel that pups love to chase each other through. Or, bring a ball to play a game of fetch with your cuddle buddy. You know he loves that one-on-one time with you. You can also just sit back on one of the benches and watch him go. 

Ridgway Bark Park

Take Highway 64 over the bridge to Ridgway Bark Park in Hampton, where there is over an acre of pup play area for fur puppies to enjoy. The awesome pooch paradise is sandwiched between two lakes and has a massive large dog section for the big pups to enjoy. The small dog section is not as big, but you will find that it is perfect for little dogs under 30 pounds. Then again, you can take your little one to the big dog section if they are not afraid. 

Pet parents can enjoy covered or open seating for chilling while the pups play, and although there is an annual membership fee, it is only $10 for a whole year. Even if you are just passing through, that is cheaper than a day pass in some parks. And it has eight acres of space for running, playing fetch or tossing around a doggie disc. 

Woodstock Dog Park

Do not let Google Maps fool you! Woodstock Dog Park is still open and is pup popular at Woodstock Park in Virginia Beach, just a few minutes from the coast. The space that used to be reserved for the park here is now just to the east, past the tennis courts. The dog park has one acre with a separate spot for small pooches to play with others of their size. Both sides are almost equal, but one side has more grass than the other due to the popularity of the other.

There is plenty of space to run and play here no matter what size your dog is, and if it is too crowded, just take your canine compadre for a walk through the rest of the park. He will have to keep his leash on, but it will still be plenty of fun. There is a kids’ playground, picnic shelters with barbecue grills, pickleball, tennis, and a skate park. Bring plenty of doggie bags and water!

The Final Woof

Have you done all the dog parks and looking for something else to do with your furry canine companion? Take him on a ghost tour with Neptune Ghosts. They will show you haunted historical spots and fill you in on the stories that go with them, and leashed dogs are welcome. Ready for a cold one? The Big Ugly Brewing Company has plenty to choose from, and they welcome leashed pooches. It was the first microbrewery in Virginia and has a variety of brews and other beverages to pick from. Looking for something harder than a beer? Check out Beach Vodka. The locally-owned vodka distillery allows dogs on their patio and you can try their homemade vodka flavors. 

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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