Is there anything more relaxing than a stroll down a sandy beach with the family dog? The trouble is that there are only a handful of beaches in Florida that allow dogs – and even then usually with a slew of restrictions. Here are the Florida beaches that appear most welcoming to dog-lovers.
Fort Myers Beach
The Gulf Coast of the state features soft, white sands and gentle waves – seemingly the perfect place for a pet.
Brohard Beach and Paw Park, Venice
This area is the only dog-friendly spot in Sarasota County, but it’s a great one, thanks to its fenced dog play yard.
Amenities for your pup include waste bags, showers, benches and drinking fountains – for humans and dogs. It’s open from 7 a.m. to dusk.
Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde
This county park is just a short drive from St. Petersburg and is often lauded as the best beach in the U.S. by experts. It’s the only park in Pinellas County where dogs are allowed on the beach.
Fort De Soto has two fenced-in areas near the beach – for large and small dogs. Each has water stations. There’s a beach entrance at the dog park’s southwest corner.
Smyrna Dunes Park, New Smyrna Beach
With amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean, there’s a lot to love at this park along the southern shoreline of Ponce de Leon Inlet.
Dogs are allowed on the inlet shore beach area – but never the Atlantic beach – and must be leashed at all times. Dogs are also not allowed on the boardwalks after 10 a.m.
Panama City Dog Beach at Pier Park
Panama City is a laid-back, family-friendly town in Florida’s panhandle. It has many dog-friendly businesses and restaurants.
“Dog Beach” is a 400-foot stretch of bright white sand on the west side of Russell-Fields Pier. Leashes are required, and there’s a limit of three dogs per visitor.