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10 Of The Best Pet Friendly Beaches In Florida

Millions of families plan vacations to Florida every year. And, while there are many attractions that make Florida a great destination, none tops the stunning pet friendly beaches. With 663 miles of shoreline, there’s a beach for everyone — including your furry family members!

Let’s take a look at 10 of the top pet friendly beaches in Florida, so you can start planning a beach vacation with your best friend.

Map with stars marking the 10 best pet friendly beaches in Florida

 

1. Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida, and an excellent place to bring your pup. In fact, there are two beaches in Fort Myers that are great for dogs!

Pier at Fort Myers Beach, FL at sunset

The primary beach, Fort Myers Beach, is a stretch of immaculate soft white sand adorned with beach shops, bars, great restaurants, and pet friendly hotels to round out your experience. The beach is pet friendly as long as leashes are attached, and it’s perfect for activities from jogging to lounging.

The second location, just a bit southeast, is aptly-named the Dog Beach. This free beach is beautiful, and dogs are able to run around off-leash while their humans lounge. The amenities here are limited to a portable bathroom and a shower to rinse off people and paws before hopping back in your car.

2.  Brohard Paw Park

Brohard Paw Park is the only dog friendly beach in Sarasota County, making it a hot spot for both locals and tourists. It’s open from 7 am until sunset, accommodating both early risers and sunset watchers who want to enjoy the sand and surf.

White dog in red life vest laying on the a pet friendly beach in Florida

This beach is so dog friendly, in fact, that they provide exclusive dog showers, water fountains, and fire hydrants for bathroom breaks. This is a very popular dog beach, so social pups will have a blast here.

3. Fort De Soto Park (Paw Playground)

This incredible beach was Trip Advisor’s choice for America’s Top Beach in 2009, and our pick for the #1 Pet Friendly attraction in Florida!

Florida's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Fort De Soto Park and Dog Beach | GoPetFriendly.com

One look reveals why this quarter-mile dog beach is so popular! Pet lovers can stretch out and soak up the sun, while their dogs run off-leash and play in the clear water. There’s also a 2.5-acre fenced dog park next to the beach.

Water fountains and hoses are provided to keep pets cool when they’re not romping in the surf. When you’re done enjoying the beach, be sure to check out the many trails that Fort De Soto Park has to offer!

READ MORE ⇒  A Dog Friendly Day at Fort De Soto

4. Gulfside City Park Beach

This beach is located on Sanibel Island, which has a nice collection of dog friendly beaches. However, Gulfside City Park Beach is the best for spending a day with your pup. Dogs must be kept on a leash and be picked-up after, but that doesn’t stop owners and dogs from having a great time!

Florida's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Fort De Soto Park and Dog Beach | GoPetFriendly.com

The beach itself is generally very quiet and naturally beautiful with some excellent shells along the shore. It’s also home to endangered shorebirds and sea turtles! As far as amenities go, there are picnic tables, restrooms, showers, and water fountains.

 

5. Bonita Beach Dog Park

Bonita Beach Dog Park is an excellent place for energetic dogs to enjoy off-leash play in the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico. The beach itself is secluded from the main road, so dogs are safe from wandering too far off-course.

Corgi dog enjoying a dog friendly beach in Florida

The water is clear and shallow, which is perfect for dogs to splash and play in. With soft, clean sand, it’s a great place to spend the day. Plenty of waste bags and a shower station round out this beach’s offerings, making it one of the best.

6. Smyrna Dunes Park

Smyrna Dunes Park has a popular pet friendly beach, and is located about an hour’s drive from the Orlando Airport. Friendly people, soft sand, and nice surf define this beach where dogs must be leashed.

The amazing pet friendly beach along the east coast of Florida

In addition to the pet friendly beach, the park has a boardwalk (dogs are permitted on the boardwalk before 10 am), nature trails, picnic areas, and showers. If you choose to visit Smyrna Dunes Park, note that it’s very busy during the summer time. Arrive early in the morning or near dusk to avoid the large crowds.

READ MORE ⇒  Tips for Keeping Dogs Safe at the Beach

7. Davis Islands Dog Beach

Located just south of downtown Tampa, the Davis Islands Dog Beach offers a nice retreat from the city hustle. There are two parts to this beach. The first is a 1.5-acre dog beach, and the other is a 1-acre dog park. Both areas are fenced, allowing dogs to socialize unleashed.

Tampa, Florida skyline where the Davis Island dog friendly beach is located

The beach itself has more than 200 feet of shoreline, and the dog park is kept in excellent condition. Water stations and waste bag dispensers are available, but the beach does get a bit busy during peak times.

8. Panama City Dog Beach at Pier Park

If you’re in the panhandle, Panama City Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area. Just to the right of the pier is beach #56, where leashed pets are welcome.

White dog in red life vest laying on the a pet friendly beach in Florida

This is a nice stretch of beach for the number of dogs and dog owners that enjoy it. In addition to the great beach, there is a nice variety of pet friendly restaurants in Panama City Beach that allow your dog to relax on the patio while you grab a bite to eat.

 

9. Canova Dog Beach

Canova Beach Park spreads across 9.1 acres and offers amenities such as a pavilion, grills, covered picnic area, restrooms, water fountains, and showers. This is Brevard County’s only dog friendly beach, and leashes are required. In order to use the beach, dogs must be up-to-date on their shots and have current tags.

10. Walton Rocks Dog Beach

This off-leash dog friendly beach along Florida’s Treasure Coast features 24 acres of fine, soft sand and great Atlantic Ocean views. It’s an easy beach to access with a nearby parking area, and the entire beach is gorgeous. The beach is large enough not to feel crowded, even during peak times. Just make sure that you’re respectful of the protected dunes and always clean up after your pup!

 

Looking for more pet friendly beaches in Florida? Explore Florida’s forgotten coast!

Forgotten Coast - Cape San Blas, FL

 

Zach from Beyond the Treat with his dogAbout the Author: Zach is a life-long pet owner and enthusiast. He was born into a family with a dog named Murphy, and since then has owned several dogs, mice, ferrets, fish, geckos, and a cat. This experience has given him the knowledge necessary to help others become excellent pet owners on his website Beyond The Treat with detailed gear, housing, and feeding guides for all pets.

Guest Posts on GoPetFriendly.com: We love sharing stories from people having fun traveling with their pets! And reading your pet travel experiences may be just the nudge someone else needs to pack up and head out with their own best friend. If you’re interested in writing a guest post for Take Paws, let us know!

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  • Nancy Deutsch says:

    St Augustine is our favorite go to place with the dogs. On leash, you can walk with them for literally hours in any direction and it’s a wide sugar sand beach. Beverly Beach just north of Flagler is also a great walk and swim beach but the sand is less fine and the beach not as wide. Our dogs are big and we are not sit on the sand beach goers so we opt for places where we can get lots of exercise with the fur kids.

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Thanks so much for sharing, Nancy! St. Augustine sounds like a perfect beach for active dogs and their people. I appreciate you for sharing your experience.

  • SimonF says:

    Our terrier, Scruffy, loves all the pet-friendly Gulf beaches near us, including Fort De Soto Park and Brohard Paw Park. It looks like these two are switched on the map vs. the list- Brohard is at the #2 star, and Fort De Soto is at the #3 star. Can’t wait to check out these others around the state!

    • Amy at GoPetFriendly.com says:

      Thanks for the heads up, Simon! We hope you and Simon have a great time exploring the other beaches in Florida!

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