RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — As anyone with a dog would tell you, they are part of the family. When it comes time to vacation as a family, these are some spots that are pet friendly along North Carolina’s coast.

The first stop is Fort Fisher State Recreation Area at Kure Beach. It’s a drive of about two and a half hours from Raleigh. The state says leashed dogs are allowed. But dogs are not allowed on the swim beach or inside buildings.

Now, let’s check out Freeman Park at Carolina Beach.

During the busy season, from April first through September 30, dogs must be on a leash.
But from October through March, they can be off leash as long as they are under voice command.

Onslow County Beach Access #2 at Topsail is a dog friendly paradise. This spot is also about about two and a half hours from Raleigh.

Dogs can access sand and water at the pet beach located south of the sand dollar shores pavilion, but they must be on a leash.

The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a bit of a drive at about four hours from Raleigh but offers a great beach and camping for the entire family.

Dogs must be on a leash on the beach and on the grounds surrounding the Bodie Island Lighthouse, the boardwalk and the nature trail.

Fort Macon State Park at Atlantic Beach is another option for families where dogs are allowed on the beach but must be on a leash.

Wrightsville Beach is one of the closest options to those in the Triangle, about a two-hour drive from Raleigh and a popular weekend beach spot. The thing is, dogs are only welcome during the off season from October to April and they must be on a leash at all times.

For more vacation spots to keep on your radar, check out the full Destination Vacation series.