Anyone who owns a dog knows how quickly they can go from ordinary household pet to beloved family member. From their little personality quirks to the unconditional love they give, we start to see our dogs as children, as siblings… as friends.
Dogs love the outdoors. The history of their species is rooted in the freedom of wide open spaces. Floridians love the beach. Something about the white sand and deep blue water urges us to sit back, forget our worries and relax. So, what better way to exercise, socialize and bond with your pooch than a fun-filled trip to one of Florida’s beautiful dog-friendly beaches.
Fort De Soto Dog Beach and Paw Playground– 3500 Pinellas Bayway South, St. Petersburg
Fort De Soto is an awarding winning park that has consistently been named “America’s #1 Beach” by Trip Advisor. The beautiful landscape holds a lot of history and is home to one of the gulf coast’s most raved about dog beaches. Fort De Soto Dog Beach and Paw Playground offers a safe place for your dog to romp and play leash-free along the mile stretch of beach dedicated solely to man’s best friend. In addition to the sun, sand and surf, dogs can run free in one of the two large fenced paw playgrounds that cater to small and large dogs, complete with shade trees, drinking water stations and hose rinsing and cool down platforms.
*Offers picnic areas and a snack bar within walking distance of the dog beach
Jupiter Dog Beach– Ocean Blvd & Marcinski Road, Jupiter
Jupiter Dog Beach is a beautiful beach located in North Palm Beach County that caters to their 2 and 4-legged visitors by offering a 2.5 mile stretch of dog-friendly beach complete with waste disposal stations and plenty of room to roam off leash. Jupiter Dog Beach is one of the only non-publicly funded dog beaches and is monitored by a small group of residents known as the “Friends of Jupiter Beach”. This group is dedicated to working diligently to promote health and safety among beach goers through various beach clean-up activities, all funded with donation monies and through volunteer efforts. It’s a great place for dog lovers to show their support and appreciation.
Honeymoon Island State Park and Dog Beach– Causeway Blvd, Dunedin
Honeymoon Island State Park is incredibly popular among vacationers and locals alike, as it boasts a beautiful landscape with gorgeous mangroves, nature trails and bird watching stations. The dog beach is located a bit of distance from the parking area but is well worth the hike. While dogs are required to remain leashed while visiting the beach, there is plenty of room to exercise with little pools of shallow ocean strewn along the coastline of Honeymoon Island for your pooch to dip, dive and doggie paddle the day away. With all the excitement Honeymoon Island has to offer, prepare for a sleepy pup on the drive home.
*Shower stations, concessions and a gift shop are available for visitors and located on the far West end of the park
Walton Rocks Dog Beach– 6700 South Ocean Drive, Jensen Beach
Walton Rocks Dog Beach is a popular shore located on 24 acres of white sand on Hutchinson Island in St Lucie County. Walton Rocks offers a vast area of beach placed far enough away from the busy state highway A1A for your dog to run and play in the sand or in the surf without worrying about being too close to traffic. Picnic areas and cleanly restrooms are available for its visitors with activities like fishing and hiking for both you and Fido.
*Dog-friendly eateries are nearby
Lee County Dog Beach– 8800 Estero Blvd, Ft Myers
Lee County Dog Beach is a beautiful off leash sandy playground located at the South end of Lovers Key between Ft Myers Beach and Bonita Springs. Local residents describe the beach as the perfect place to run and play Frisbee with loads of friendly dogs and their owners. The group SOODA (Save Our Off-Leash Dog Area) that promotes and maintains the dog-friendly area of the beach recently put in a doggie shower station provided by a private donor to enhance your pooch’s experience. Get ready to have some fun in the sun with your dog on Lovers Key.
Know of any other great dog-friendly beaches in Florida? Let us know in the comments below.