10 Best Dog Beaches in Florida

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When traveling to the Sunshine State, and looking for the best dog beaches in Florida, look no further. Here we’ve collected 10 of the best places to take your dog in an easy guide to plan your beach vacation with Fido.

With so many beaches to choose from, this dog-friendly state has much to offer it’s furry vacationers! From the Southernmost point to the Northeast portion of the state, there’s a dog beach in every direction, each as beautiful and enjoyable as the last. Find 10 great, dog-friendly seaside locations here:

West Florida Dog Beaches

Fort De Soto Park, Dog Beach and Paw Playground

fort desoto

Located on Florida’s West Central Coast in Pinellas County is Fort De Soto Park, a very dog-friendly place! This beautiful and serene park was voted America’s Top Beach in 2009 by Trip Advisor, and also one of the top five dog parks in the South by Southern Living magazine in 2010. 

Dog parents can enjoy picnic areas, and areas with beach access, where the dogs are allowed to play off leash. Along with dog beach access, there are also 3 acres of fenced-in grass fields for dogs to play- separated into large and small dog sized parks. 

With water fountains and hoses to quench your dog’s thirst, this park offers just about everything! Additionally, the beach is free admission, and parking is $5 for the day. 

Key Features:

  • Dog-Friendly Community
  • Multiple Picnic Areas
  • Off Leash Beach Access
  • Separate Large and Small Dog Areas
  • Water Fountains for Dogs and People
  • Free Beach Admission

Davis Islands Dog Beach, Tampa

Davis Island Dog Beach

South of Tampa, at the most southern point of Davis Islands, lies the lush 1.5 acre dog beach known as Davis Islands Dog Beach. This park is one of two fenced-in areas for dogs to play off leash, offering plenty of room to explore and play. 

The Davis Islands Dog Beach offers water stations available to both keep your dog well hydrated and to rinse them off after playtime, before getting in your vehicle. This park also features waste bag dispensers to provide ease in cleaning up after your dog, making it a one stop destination for beach adventures. 

Key Features:

  • 1.5 Acre Beach Access
  • Fenced-In Play Area
  • Water Stations for Dogs and People
  • Dog Waste Dispensers

Gulf County Dog Beach

gulf coast

At the Gulf County dog beach in Gulf County Florida, your best four-legged friends can play gleefully in the sand and splash in the waters. This area is so well known for it’s dog-friendly beaches, that two of the Top 20 Dog Beaches in Florida are located in Gulf County. 

Dogs are welcome on this beautiful beach, and must remain on leash at all times as it’s the law. This beach features many pet waste disposal stations, and receptacles for ease in cleanup. Additionally, with many local dog-friendly rentals, this area is as pet-friendly as they come!

Key Features:

  • Sandy Shore Access
  • Leash Laws
  • Dog-Friendly Community
  • Dog Waste Disposal Stations
  • Local Dog-Friendly Eateries and Rentals

Honeymoon Island Dog Beach

Honeymoon Island Florida Dog Beach

A short drive from Tampa, Florida, the incredibly beautiful Honeymoon Island features many amenities for visitors and their four-legged friends. Aside from a vacation from city life, this land features more than four miles of beach access to explore. 

The perfect place to spot wildlife like osprey, owls, eagles, armadillos and more, Honeymoon Island beaches offer plenty of space for you and your dog to explore together. 

Enjoy learning about the park’s history and natural resources with a trip to the Rotary Centennial Nature Center. 

Key Features:

  • 4 Miles of Beach Access
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Dog-Friendly Community
  • Local Nature Center

East Florida Dog Beaches

Palm Coast Beaches

palm coast

Palm Coast Beaches are located on the East Coast of Florida, between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, along the scenic River to Sea Preserve. Palm Coast offers a lovely landscape of beautiful nature preserves. This destination is quite fondly known for its pristine beaches, fabulous weather and for being one of the most pet-friendly beach destinations in the state! 

When you’re planning to take your dog for some ocean front fun, Flagler Beach, The Hammock and Beverly Beach are just 2 of the many wonderful fido-friendly beaches in the area. 

Make sure no matter which beach you visit that you bring a leash, and leave nothing behind but pawprints!

Key Features:

  • Beautiful Nature Preserve
  • Dog-Friendly Community
  • Leash Laws
  • Tranquil Beaches

Hutchinson Island Dog Beach

Florida’s east coast has endless dog beaches to choose from, each a new and exciting adventure for you and your best four-legged friend. Located on the southern East Coast of Florida in the beautiful Jensen Beach and Hutchinson Island area, the Hutchinson Island Dog Beach is very dog-friendly, great for exploring and serene. 

This area features plenty of room for dogs to run freely off leash on the soft, sandy shores of Florida. Remember to pack plenty of fresh water for drinking, dog waste disposal bags, and towels for after beach cleanup! 

Key Features:

  • Dog-Friendly Community
  • Off Leash Park
  • Sandy Shore Access

Canova Beach Park

canova beach park

Located in Indian Beach, Florida, the Canova Beach Park features over 9 acres of beachfront park featuring a picnic pavilion, swimming areas, outdoor showers, restrooms and more! 

The whole family, including your four-legged members, can enjoy this beautiful beach. Dogs are required to stay on leash, and must have proper tags proving current rabies vaccination. These regulations ensure the safety of all individuals, and make this location an ideal destination for dogs and their people. 

Dog waste disposal materials are provided here along with disposal stations to create ease in cleaning up after your pets. Always opt to remove your dog’s waste from the environment to prevent harm to local wildlife, or a mess on someone’s shoe.

Key Features:

  • 9 Acres of Beachfront Park
  • Picnic Pavilion
  • Outdoor Showers
  • Leash Laws
  • Dog Waste Disposal Resources Provided

Southern Florida Beaches

Bonita Beach Dog Beach

Bonita Beach Dog Beach

Located in Southwest Florida, in Lee County, Bonita Beach Dog Beach is an off-leash beach just outside of Lovers Key State Park. Near Fort Myers, this dog beach welcomes dogs of all sizes, and provides space for them to play freely in the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

This location features a doggie shower for after-play cleanup, and an on site toilet and restroom for humans. Parking is free in this location near the West side of the New Pass Bridge, making traveling here a breeze. 

The future of these wonderful facilities depend upon your ability to self-monitor your animals, so please make sure to always follow all rules and restrictions. 

Key Features:

  • Sandy Shore Access
  • Doggie Shower
  • Free Parking
  • Off Leash Park

Key West Dog Beach

key west

If you’re looking for both a dog friendly beach and community, this beach is sure to please! Key West Dog Beach is the only dog-friendly beach in the Florida Keys. Here your dog will enjoy playing with other dogs in the sand and waves on the sandy shore, on the beautiful Southernmost point. 

This area provides endless adventure opportunities, and your next discovery is likely only a few sandy steps away. With much to do in the area, after enjoying time with your dog on this beach, grab dinner and a drink right next door at one of the local pet-friendly and ocean-front restaurants. 

Key Features:

  • Dog-Friendly Community
  • Off Leash Park
  • Local Dog-Friendly Eateries
  • Sandy Shore Access

Miami Beach's Bark Beach

Miami Beach Bark Beach

Miami is well known for many things, and it’s dog beaches are certainly one of them. The Bark Beach here is great for an adventure on the seaside and in the sun with your best four-legged friend. This beautiful Miami dog beach sits next to the North Shore Open Space Park, which is another dog-friendly place and great for an after swim stroll. 

Nearby Miami Beach’s Bark Beach you’ll find plenty of outdoor dog-friendly restaurants and eateries. At this serene beach, dogs must be kept on leash at all times, unless in the designated play areas. Additionally, this park does require proof of your dog’s vaccinations on hand, and a daily permit fee. Find out more here. 

Key Features:

  • Dog-Friendly Community
  • Local Dog-Welcome Eateries
  • Leash Laws
  • Beach Access

Florida FAQ’s

What is Florida famous for?

Well known as the “Sunshine State,'' the state of Florida heavily focuses on hosting tourist attractions. From theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios, to the famous wind sandy beaches, Florida is known for drawing a crowd from all around the world.

What is the best time to visit Florida’s beaches?

The best time to visit most beach destinations in Florida depends entirely on the weather and activities that you prefer. If you like warm weather and water, crowd attractions, and plenty of socializing, then the warm months from May to September are likely ideal for you. On the other hand, if you prefer less heat and humidity, smaller crowds, and quiet tranquil beaches, then the fall and winter months from October to April may best suit your needs at the beach. 

Additionally, keep in mind that June through August are typically the hottest months of the year, and also the months with the highest rainfall. Choose the time that’s best for you to create a memory that’ll last a lifetime. 

What is the most visited city in Florida?

Florida hosts many cities that are deeply loved by tourists. From Orlando to Miami, Key West, St. Augustine and more, the Sunshine State has a city for everyone! According to USA Today, the most visited cities in Florida are as follows:

  • Orlando
  • Miami
  • Key West
  • St. Augustine
  • St. Petersburg

What is the coldest month of the year in Florida?

January and February are typically the coldest months of the year in Florida with average temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

When is it least expensive to visit Florida?

During the off season, during the months of January, February, and March, the cost of accommodations while visiting Florida is typically less expensive. This is because many families travel home after the holiday season, and tourists are less active, leaving accomodations less expensive than during peak tourism months.

Is it safe to swim in Florida waters?

Home to more than 8,400 miles of coastline, most of Florida’s beaches are perfectly safe to swim in year round. Certain conditions, however, like water quality, rip currents and the presence of marine wildlife may make a beach location temporarily unsafe. Always check local beach flags, and adhere to safety rules and regulations. These things are designed to keep you safe, and are there for your protection.

What is Florida’s state animal?

The state animal of Florida is the American Alligator, as designated by the Florida legislature in 1987. The alligator was originally intended to represent the state’s untamed wilderness and swamps.

Final Thoughts

Traveling to Florida with your best four-legged friend can make for a wonderful vacation! Here we’ve collected many of the best beaches in Florida,  a state which is quite dog-friendly when it comes to beach access. Check the area you’re traveling to for local areas where Fido can join in on the fun, or choose a specific beach ahead of time with plans to visit a new area. 

Prepare ahead of time to ensure you and your dog have the best time possible. Always bring your dog’s collar and leash, with proper identification and vaccine information if required by the park. Bring waste pickup bags, even if the park states that they offer them- just in case. Pack plenty of fresh water, and a convenient travel bowl for ease in keeping your dog hydrated. With these tips, and dog beach suggestions, you’re sure to have a lovely vacation with your dog! 

Have you visited another dog beach in Florida that you think should be added to the list? Let us know about your adventures in the comment section below!

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