15 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Florida You’ll Love

dog smiling at the dog beach

Looking for a beach to take your furry friend for the day? Look no further!

Florida is home to many dog-friendly beaches that will make both you and your pooch happy.

From Tampa Bay to Miami, we’ve got you covered with a list of the best beaches in the sunshine state where dogs are always welcomed!

So grab your sunscreen, water, and tennis balls and get ready for some fun in the sun!

Overview

Best Dog-Friendly Beaches Near Orlando

New Smyrna Dunes Beach

We mean it when we say New Smyrna Beach is ideal for the entire family.

Every good girl and boy is welcome to vacation on the barrier island.

The neighborhood warmly welcomes four-legged pals with open arms, from lodging to restaurants to parks.

Whatever type of accommodation you choose, there is a pet-friendly alternative available.

There’s no need to board your dog back home because many of the area’s bed & breakfasts, hotels, motels, and condominiums welcome your best friend.

Pet resorts and kennels are available if you need or wish to board your animal during your vacation.

Just make sure Fluffy is up to date on all of his/her vaccines before you leave.

When it’s time to eat, there are pet-friendly eateries all across town.

On both Canal Street and Flagler Avenue, there are restaurants with pet-friendly patios, gardens, and outdoor spaces.

Many restaurants will provide water bowls for your dog to keep him hydrated.

Others, such as our old Dairy Queen, will even provide a small snack, such as “doggie sundaes.”

If you’ve ever imagined lounging on the beach with your dog, you may do so here.

At the northern extremity of New Smyrna Beach, Smyrna Dunes Park is 73 acres of magnificent seaside area.

This park is a favorite among locals and tourists alike because it is the only dog-friendly beach in NSB.

Dogs enjoy splashing in the waves and lounging in the sand, and so will you.

Remember that pets must be kept on a leash at all times for their protection.

Ormond Beach Central Park/ Flagler Beach – Dog-Friendly Beaches in Florida

Although dogs are not allowed on the beach.

Volusia County has made this city a bit more dog-friendly where you are not only closer to the beach but there are plenty of parks that you can go to.

The best place to take your dog in the Ormond Beach area is Central Park at Ormond Beach.

Another great option is to take the North of Ormond to Flagler Beach.

St Augustine Beach

If you’re fortunate enough to have a dog, you undoubtedly regard your canine companion as an integral part of your family.

When it comes to taking a trip, though, incorporating your little fur face can be difficult.

Do not be alarmed: dogs are welcomed with open arms and water bowls at St. Augustine, Florida’s ancient northeast coast.

The greatest part?

Your well-behaved four-legged companion will be welcomed at all of St. Augustine’s attractions and establishments. They’ll almost certainly be greeted with sweets.

Attractions follow CDC-recommended safety rules, but hours of operation and ticket pricing can vary from day to day, so check websites or call ahead to be sure they’re open.

Put on some sunscreen, grab a bottle of water (or two), and head to one of these St. Augustine sites where your canine companions will be just as welcome as you.

Best Dog-Friendly Beaches In Florida Gulf Coast

white dog sitting in dog friendly beach in florida

Fort DeSoto Park

Southern Living magazine named Fort De Soto, a 1,136-acre county park, one of Petside.com’s Top 10 Dog-Friendly Beaches, and one of the South’s Best Dog Parks.

On a six-foot leash, dogs are allowed anywhere in the park except on the main beaches.

That’s because they have their own beach, which is part of a fenced-in Paw Playground with parts for little and large dogs.

Your four-legged buddies can run free in the warm Florida sun or swim in the Gulf of Mexico.

There are also facilities for your pet’s comfort, such as cooling stations with showers and dog-level water fountains.

Just before you reach the fort’s turnoff, you’ll come across the playground.

Unless otherwise noted, Paw Playground is open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk, 365 days a year.

The Bay Pier parking lot is available for use.

Honeymoon Island State Park

Spend time in the water with Fido or enjoy a walk along the beach on Honeymoon Island’s dog beach.

Keep your pet on a six-foot portable leash at all times.

The crystal-clear, shallow water will appeal to both you and your dog since it is the ideal depth for canines to wade through comfortably and cool off.

On the nature trail, dogs must be on a leash.

The dog beach rests on Honeymoon Island’s southernmost tip, giving you and your dog lots of space to run around and a wonderful view of award-winning Caladesi Island and the Gulf.

About 500 yards away is where you’ll find parking.

Honeymoon Island and its dog park are available 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to sunset.

Bathhouses, concessions, nature paths, picnic spots, a playground, restrooms, showers, and wheelchair access are among the human amenities.

De Soto National Memorial Beach

At the De Soto National Memorial Beach, where dogs can wander along the trails or spend time at the beach with their owners, Florida-Fido-fun happens on a daily basis.

This is a dog-friendly beach with few restrictions, except that all dogs must be on a leash that is no more than six feet in length.

This provides plenty of space for woofers to run around or cool off in the Atlantic.

There is a lot of history here, since Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer, arrived in 1539 with 600 men and orders to settle the area.

Every year, residents commemorate this historic event by recreating the landing.

Best Dog Friendly Beaches Near Florida Panhandle

dog in de soto beach florida

Destin

The town of Destin, located on the Gulf Coast of Florida’s Panhandle, boasts white sand beaches, more than a dozen local golf courses, and boating, fishing, and dolphin watching activities just off the coast.

Whatever draws you to Destin, there’s no need for your dogs to stay at home while you’re gone.

Bring them along to one of the area’s pet-friendly hotels and take advantage of the many pet-friendly activities available.

Topsail Hill Preserve Park is a state park with 3.2 miles of white sand beaches where you may enjoy Destin’s coast with your dogs.

The park’s sand dunes are over 25 feet tall, and fishing is permitted in the park’s freshwater lakes.

Pets on leashes no longer than six feet are allowed throughout the park if they are well-behaved.

Pet owners must clean up after their pets, just like they would at any other Florida state park.

Henderson Beach State Park also allows pets on its nature walks.

You cannot, however, bring them to the beach or to the playground.

Panama City Beach

Since it was once branded the “Redneck Riviera,” Panama City Beach has come a long way.

Sure, it’s overdeveloped, traffic can be a headache, and it has a spring breakers paradise.

However, PCB, as it’s affectionately known, has also become a little high-end to match its gleaming beach-side condo high rises.

To combat what has traditionally been a hostile beach regulation regarding pets, the area is also turning to pet-friendly beach areas in Bay County.

According to the source, the dog beach has been established to the west of Russell Pier, across Front Beach Road from the Pier Park shopping and entertainment complex.

Thanks to the work of local citizen groups such as Bay Families with Dogs Inc.

St. George Island

dog sitting in dog-friendly beaches in florida

The most dog-friendly beach in the Panhandle is on St. George Island, a 28-mile barrier island in Apalachicola that is popular with families who prefer to bring their pets on a getaway.

St. George has a flat, wide beach where dogs are allowed to run free as long as they are under voice control at all times.

Otherwise, a leash law is in effect.

At beach access sites, there are water spigots, plastic bags, and garbage cans.

The island’s center comprises a few retailers and restaurants, some of which allow dogs on their outdoor patio areas. Collins Vacation Rentals offers a wide range of pet-friendly lodgings on the island.

Cape San Blas

Cape San Blas is a small spit of land that juts out from the mainland like an elongated, crooked finger, and it’s most known for what it lacks on its beaches: crowds.

There are no swarms of beachgoers staying in high-rise hotels here.

This is a lonely strip with a few convenience stores, a few beach cottages, and condo units in the dunes, and that’s about it.

There’s no great dining, amusement parks, or mini-golf here; just a beach for people looking for a sandy retreat with their canine companions.

The pet waste disposal facilities with plastic bags at each public beach access point are really useful.

Cape Escape Vacation Rentals features a number of pet-friendly rentals.

Pensacola

Pensacola, located on the far western Panhandle, is a historic city on a big bay with a few dog-friendly areas, including a dog beach in Bayview Park.

This is a fenced-in beach where dogs have the unusual opportunity to run about freely on the sands and even swim in a safe area of water.

The beach at Bayview Park isn’t on the Gulf of Mexico.

Instead, it’s on a bayou off Pensacola Bay, close to the city’s many retail and dining options, including several restaurants with pet-friendly outdoor dining spaces.

Other Friendly Dog Beaches in Florida To See

Jupiter Beach

Another beach that welcomes dogs off-leash!

SCORE!

The dog-friendly section of the beach is near Ocean Cay Park, along A1A.

Do you want to park for free?

Of course!

There are parking lots at the intersection of Ocean Blvd and Marcinski Rd, as well as along A1A.

If you can go on a weekday, you and your dog will have the beach almost entirely to yourselves.

That’s what you call a private island. Enjoy the small things in life!

Haulover Beach

dog watching sunset beach

Haulover Beach Park is the place to go if you’re looking for a little adrenaline.

Haulover Beach Park, one of Miami Beach’s most dog-friendly beaches, draws visitors and their canines from all over the world to its sandy shores.

Not only does this awesome beach welcome dogs, but it also has a walled, off-leash dog park.

Haulover Beach Park offers a plethora of positively wonderful activities.

Take a walk along the neighboring dock or have a picnic at the surrounding tables.

Better still, pay a visit to Haulover Beach Park’s “Bark Park”, an off-leash dog park.

Sombrero Beach

Sombrero Beach is a beautiful Florida beach where you can spend the day with your favorite dog.

Sombrero Beach, located in Marathon, Florida, is the ideal spot for a refreshing swim.

Sombrero Beach is located in the Florida Keys and provides beachgoers with a variety of activities.

Sombrero Beach, unlike many other beaches in the vicinity, lacks mangroves.

The water has a beautiful turquoise color, and the sand is smooth.

Sombrero Beach hasn’t gotten overrun with tourists and the locals think of it as a charming little hidden gem.

A picnic pavilion, playground, volleyball court, restrooms, and showers are all located on the beach.

Dogs are permitted on the beach if they are properly leashed.

Dogs and their owners frequently enjoy romping in the sand and splashing in the water.

You can take your pet to the beach and swim on the beach as long as they don’t bother the other visitors.

7 Beach Tips for Dogs

Summertime is all about having fun in the sun, so why not bring your dog along as well?

Beach holidays offer plenty of opportunities to unwind in the sand, jump around in the water, work on your tan, and spend quality time with your dog.

Check out these recommendations for bringing your dog to the beach to make your beach vacation a success for both you and your dog.

1. Check If Your Dog Likes the Beach

Make sure your dog enjoys walking in the sand and in the water before organizing a fantastic beach vacation with her.

While it may appear that all dogs enjoy going to the beach, certain dogs don’t like sand and water.

2. Beware of Loose Dogs at Dog-Friendly Beaches in Florida

dog walking in beach

The majority of dog-friendly beaches allow dogs to play off-leash, which can rapidly become a problem.

Beaches with dog parks are not the safest places because some dogs may not be trained.

Keep an eye on your dog at all times.

Some dogs can be unpredictable.

I once had a problem on a hiking trail, when a Doberman was off-leashed and attacked my cocker spaniel.

So just be wary.

3. Use a Long Leash

When it comes to leashes, it’s ideal to use a long leash (6-10 feet) with a harness to keep your dog safe while walking on the beach.

With the protective gear on, your dog can still swim, but you’ll be able to pull her back to shore if she swims too far out or the waves grow too rough.

While it may be amusing to imagine your dog chasing seagulls, many dogs flee and become injured while chasing animals and birds.

Keep your dog safe by using leashes as safety lines.

4. Beware of Hot Sand

women and her dog

Hot sand is excruciatingly uncomfortable.

If it’s too hot for you to stand on, it’ll be too hot for your dog as well.

To avoid paw burns, carry your dog to moist sandy regions.

Alternatively, place rubber bottom booties on huge dog paws until you arrive at your shady beach resting location.

Check your dog’s paw pads for burns or irritations caused by sea animals or saltwater on a regular basis.

You can also visit our blog, the best 15 accessories to bring your dog to the beach.

5. Provide Shade & Water

It’s scorching on the beach, so make sure your dog has plenty of shade.

Bring a huge umbrella, a cooling pad (which you should store in an ice-filled cooler), and frozen food-filled Kongs.

Bring a gallon of cold water or more and store it in your cooler.

6. Don’t Forget Sunscreen

Sunscreen is required for short-coated breeds or dogs who have recently been shaved.

Purchase a chemical-free sunscreen with at least 30 SPF and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

If your dog swims, use a chemical-free, waterproof sunscreen to ensure maximum protection.

Don’t forget to coat your dog’s ear tips, nose, and paws with sunscreen!

7. Rinse with Clean Fresh Water

Wash your dog with gentle dog shampoo and thoroughly rinse once you’ve returned home or to your hotel.

Sand in their hair irritates and scrapes the skin, causing rashes and hot spots.

Furthermore, saltwater can harm your dog’s coat.

Wash and rinse your dog twice, then rinse again as a best practice.

Map of Dog-Friendly Beaches in FL

infographic map of dog beaches in florida US

FAQ’s

Does Clearwater Beach allow dogs?

Yes, dogs are allowed on Clearwater Beach.

Dogs must be leashed at all times and owners must clean up after their pets.

What is the best dog beach in Florida?

There really is no best dog beach in Florida!

They have something unique for your pup.

I personally love New Smyrna Beach Dunes, as it is quiet and gorgeous and allows you to have a wonderful time with your pup.

It’s a great place to bring your dog for a swim, a walk, or just to play in the sand.

Honeymoon Beach is another favorite.

There is plenty of room for your pup to roam free and the gorgeous beach is perfect for a stroll.

What are the rules for bringing dogs to the beach?

The rules for bringing dogs to the beach vary from beach to beach, so it’s always best to check with the local authorities before heading out.

In general, though, dogs must be leashed at all times and owners must clean up after their pets.

dog sleeping in dog-friendly beaches in florida

What places in Florida allow dogs?

There are many places in Florida that allow dogs.

Dogs are allowed on most beaches, in many parks, and in some restaurants.

However, it’s always best to check with the local authorities before bringing your dog to any new place.

Is the Gulf Shores Pet Friendly?

Yes, the Gulf Shores has some of the most dog-friendly beaches in Florida.

For the most part, dogs are allowed on most beaches and parks throughout Florida.

However, it’s always best to check with the local authorities before bringing your dog to any new place.

Conclusion

dog splashing in water

Whether you’re looking for a place to take your furry friend on vacation this summer or just want to know which beaches are the best for dogs, we’ve got you covered.

All of the beaches on our list allow dogs and have amenities that will make both you and your pooch happy.

So, pack up your sunscreen, water, and snacks and head to one of these amazing dog-friendly beaches in Florida!

Have you visited any of these beaches?

Let me know in the comments below -we would love to hear about your experiences!

More Awesome Blogs

Jess and Jeanette
About Jess and Jeanette

Jess and Jeanette are two sisters who created Unseen Beaches. This beach travel site was inspired by their family beach vacations while growing up. Helping you discover the best U.S. beach destinations worth visiting, staying, and eating.

unseenbeaches about us pic

Hi! This is Jess and Jeanette. Two sisters & beach travelers. We built this blog to share our travels in hopes of helping you plan your next beach vacation. Cheers! ❤️

 

You May Also Like…

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Download Your Free Ebook Of The Best California Beaches To Visit

 

• Plan your summer break around these beaches

• List of 21 beaches to visit in California

• What expect at each beach

 

 

 

 

You have Successfully Subscribed!