Florida boasts some of the most amazing beaches in the United States, which draw travelers from all around the world—including travelers with a furry companion or two. Many sandy spots welcome four-legged friends to their shores throughout the year, which makes for fun-filled doggy days of fetching, swimming, and rolling around in the sand. To enjoy a Florida vacation with your pets, we’ve created a list of the best dog-friendly beaches in Florida, none of which have fees or restrictive hours (beyond the usual hours of operation) year-round.
1. Brohard Paw Park, Venice
Located in Venice, Brohard Paw Park is the only beach in Sarasota County where dogs are allowed. The beach features a fenced area for off-leash play, water fountains and showers for both humans and dogs, and picnic tables for a lovely afternoon meal.
2. Bonita Beach Dog Park, Fort Myers Beach
Take a trip down to southeast Florida to Bonita Beach Dog Park in Lee County. It’s open from 7 a.m. to dusk and allows dogs to run free. Doggie shower stations have been privately donated, but there aren’t any human restrooms available—just a portable toilet. Still, it’s hard to beat as a relaxed beach for you and your dogs.
3. Davis Islands Dog Park Beach, Tampa
The Davis Islands Dog Beach is 1.5 acres with 200 feet of waterfront access for dogs and their owners to enjoy in Tampa. There are two parks—a grassy one and one on the beach—and dogs are allowed off of their leash at both. Visitors might want to use the provided wash station for pooches and humans before leaving the beach.
4. Fort DeSoto Park Beach, Tierra Verde
Dog owners won’t want to miss a day frolicking at Fort DeSoto Park Beach with their beloved pups. It offers two fenced areas on the beach—one for large dogs and the other for small dogs, both with water stations. There are a few rules: Owners must not bring more than three dogs at a time, dogs must be leashed when entering and exiting the parks (though no leash is required inside the parks), and owners must carry a leash at all times. Puppies under four months of age are not allowed at the beach.
5. Jupiter Beach, Jupiter
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Jupiter Beach is very welcoming of four-legged friends. Dogs are allowed off their leash on 2.5 miles of beach between the Juno Beach life-guarded area and the Carlin Park life-guarded area (#25–#29). Free doggie bags are provided by the Friends of Jupiter Beach to clean up after your pooch, and there are drinking fountains at the crossovers between beaches.
6. New Smyrna Beach’s Dog Park, New Smyrna Beach
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New Smyrna Beach Dog Park pulls out all of the stops for dogs and their owners. There’s a 1-acre, fenced-off area that has designated sections for large and small animals. A shelter offers shade, while water fountains keep everyone hydrated. Once you’ve left the park, your day at the beach doesn’t have to end. Many of the restaurants along the beach are dog-friendly, too!
7. Canova Beach, Indialantic
Canova Beach is the only dog-friendly beach in Brevard County. Dogs are welcome to roam about with their owners (as long as they are on a leash and wear tags with their latest vaccinations and current license), but pay attention to signs that show which parts of the beach are open to them. Doggie bags and water dishes are provided on-site so you don’t have to bring your own.
8. Doggie Beach, Panama City Beach
If visiting Panama City Beach with your dogs, be sure to check out the 400-foot Doggie Beach. Dogs and owners may enjoy this section of the beach, as long as dogs are kept on their leashes. Afterwards, you can take your pets across the street to Pier Park, an outdoor shopping mall that is dog-friendly.
9. Bayview Dog Park & Beach, Pensacola
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Pensacola understands that dogs need vacations, too, which is why they offer the wonderful Bayview Dog Park & Beach on Bayou Texar. It’s a fenced-in area where dogs can run off their leashes. Though it might not be a beach on an ocean, it’s a wonderful green-filled area that’s far too noteworthy not to mention—especially as it’s the only Pensacola beach to allow dogs off their leashes.
Don’t underestimate how dirty your pup’s going to get by only bringing one towel–it’s better to bring a few. Three for your canine’s wet endeavors, and one for the inevitable mess your furfriend will leave on you.
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