Heading on a Florida vacation with the pooch? You should have a blast! Florida has a lot to offer four-footers and their families, and just about any vacation to the sunshine state will entail a trip or two to the beach.
We’ll try to help you make the most of your Florida vacation below, by sharing some of the state’s best dog-friendly beaches, so you can let Spot play in the surf.
27 Best Dog-Friendly Beaches in Florida
There’s nothing worse than taking a 3-hour road trip to the beach, only to find out that your pooch isn’t allowed to bask under the sun with you.
But don’t worry, the Florida beaches below are worth the long drive and accommodate fluffy companions! We’ll also include information about fees, dog-related restrictions, and some nifty facts about the place.
Keep in mind that in every beach featured here, dogs must be well-behaved, licensed, vaccinated, and have proper identification. Owners must also pick up after their pooch.
1. Fort De Soto Park
Fort De Soto Park in St. Petersburg is a coastal paradise for humans and canines alike. The park is made up of breathtaking scenery, a diverse natural ecosystem, and over three miles of white, sandy beach.
Fort De Soto has a beach area where off-leash canines are allowed to run freely, surf, and play. There are also two, spacious fenced-in areas nearby for both large and small pups. Doggy showers and water stations are available, as well.
- Owners are limited to 3 dogs
- Owners must carry a leash at all times, even in off-leash areas
- Canines in heat are prohibited
- Handlers must be at least 16 years old
- Dogs must be older than 4 months old
- Owners must discourage digging behavior
- No excessive barking
- No dog bathing in the park
2. Jupiter Beach
Jupiter Beach is one of the few remaining off-leash dog-friendly beaches in Florida. It spans 2.5 miles (from crossover 26 to 57) and is open from sunrise to sunset, allowing dogs to play, swim, and relax throughout the day. Parking is free and restrooms and showers are also available nearby.
Jupiter Beach has plenty of awesome amenities to elevate your beach day experience, including picnic areas, walking trials, and a fishing pier. You can also rent a beach pavilion to offer your dog some shaded area. Pup owners love that the beach is well-taken care of and regularly cleaned.
- Dogs aren’t allowed in lifeguarded areas or Town of Jupiter parks
3. Canova Beach Park
Canova Park is the only dog-friendly beach in Brevard County. The 9.1-acre sandy beachfront park is free to enter, open to the public throughout the year, and packed with amenities, including a picnic shelter, grill, restrooms, drinking fountain, outside showers, and a small pavilion. There are three entrances, one of which is wheelchair accessible.
Dogs must be leashed at all times, so make sure to bring a leash (as well as plenty of poo bags!) with you. Once you’re done basking in the sun, you can pop down to Lou’s Blues Bar & Grill, a nearby dog-friendly restaurant that serves up hearty meals.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times
4. Davis Islands Beach
Situated in Tampa, Davis Islands Beach offers a small but beautiful, laidback space for dogs to roam freely off-leash. There are two fenced areas: a 1.5-acre area located on the beach, and a 1-acre grassy park nearby. The beach section also includes 200 feet of waterfront, allowing your dog to swim, splash, and cool down under the sun.
While there aren’t many amenities, water stations are available, and the dog park is kept in excellent condition. Make sure to bring your own beach supplies (such as towels, umbrellas, and foldable chairs).
Need a pick me up after hanging at the beach all day? Take a quick, 10 to 15-minute drive and treat yourself to a cold brew at Buddy Brew Coffee. The cafe also keeps watering bowls outside for four-legged pals.
- Dogs must be leashed outside of fenced areas
5. Picnic Island Beach
This is another free, dog-friendly beach park located in Tampa. Pups are welcome to play off-leash in the designated fenced area, which offers a mix of grassy and sandy spots. Within the park, there’s also plenty of shade, hoses, seating, and picnic tables. The water level is also shallow, making the beach ideal for small dogs and nervous swimmers.
Both Davis Island and Picnic Island are fairly small, laidback beaches. However, stick to Davis Island if you don’t need all the additional amenities. Picnic Island has a reputation for… ahem, “smelly” water due to the high levels of algae.
- Dogs must be leashed outside of designated area
6. Brohard Beach
Brohard Beach is the only dog-friendly beach in Sarasota county. The beach is clean, maintained regularly, and allows pups to bathe off-leash in shallow waters. There’s also a separate fenced play area for both small and large dogs, known as Paw Park. The park features amenities such as benches, drinking fountains, showers, and dog waste bags. Entry is free, and on-site parking is available.
Brohard Beach opens at 6:00 AM daily until dusk. There isn’t much natural shade at the beach. So, make sure to bring an umbrella, shade screen, or doggy tent.
- Female dogs in heat are prohibited
7. Carrabelle Beach
Carrabelle Beach is famous for its soft, white sands and gorgeous palm trees — but also for letting dogs roam, splash and play too! There’s a dedicated dog-friendly area on the beach, which spans 1.5 miles in length. Restrooms are in close proximity, and there are also sheltered picnic tables, grills, and an outdoor shower.
The water is usually shallow and gentle here, making the beach ideal for small breeds.
Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times, and considering the beach is next to a road — and the fact that it’s a refuge for turtles and birds — it’s no surprise why.
When you visit, don’t forget to also check out the awesome sightseeing attractions around, like the Carrabelle bottle house and world’s smallest police station.
- Dogs must be kept on-leash
8. Fort Myers Beach
Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers is a 7-mile white sand beach where on-leash dogs are welcome to play, splash, and frolic. The beach offers 26 different access points, making it easy to get to the beach no matter where you are, or where you have parked. There’s also a good mix of shady and sunny areas, which will help your pooch regulate his temperature.
The beach opens from 7:00 AM, and the northern parts offer the most shade for pups. Along the beach, you’ll find clean-up bags, doggy showers, pup-friendly restaurants, and shops to browse.
Keep in mind that Fort Myers Beach is a tidal flat. Familiarize yourself with the tide times before making the trip.
- Dogs must be kept on-leash (no longer than 6 feet)
- No glass containers or alcohol
9. Algiers Beach (aka Gulfside City Park Beach)
Sanibel Island, Florida, is known for its plentiful dog-friendly beaches, but Gulfside City Park stands out from the rest. It offers soft white sand, gorgeous natural vegetation, and shallow waters where dogs can splash safely. The beach is also located right next to a federal nature reserve.
While dogs are allowed to roam the waterfront, they must be kept on a leash at all times, with a max leash length of 8 feet. Digging is also discouraged since it’s a haven for turtle nests (sorry, dachshunds). The beach is easy to access and free to enter, though on-site parking will set you back $5 an hour.
There are plenty of sport activities available here, including beachcombing, wildlife watching, paddle boarding, kayaking and parasailing. While there are restaurants nearby, you can also bring your own food; there are tons of picnic spots and BBQ grills available, as well as a shaded pavilion.
- Leashed at all times (no longer than 8 feet)
10. Honeymoon Island State Park
Honeymoon Island State Park is as idyllic as its name suggests. It boasts 4 miles of white sandy shoreline, with a designated beach area for dogs, and a 3-mile nature trail. Dogs are also welcome to explore the natural trail, as long as they’re kept on leash.
Honeymoon Island State Park is ideal for families, with plenty of activities and attractions. You can go kayaking, hiking, bird watch from one of the many observation decks, and even rent bicycles to explore the surrounding nature. The entrance fee varies:
- $8 per vehicle (up to eight people)
- $4 single-occupant vehicle
- $2 pedestrians, cyclists, and extra passengers
- Leashed at all times (no longer than 6 feet)
- Live shelling (harvesting shells containing live organisms) is prohibited
11. Haulover Beach Park
Gorgeous rolling dunes, picturesque turquoise water, 1.4 miles of beachfront — Haulover Park is widely regarded as one of the best beaches in Miami. So, if it’s that good for humans, it’ll definitely be good enough for your furry pal too!
The dog-friendly area spans between lifeguard towers two and three, and there’s also an off-leash dog park with dedicated large and small dog sections. The dog beach is open from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Admission is free, but parking costs between $5 and 17.
Thanks to the strong ocean breeze, Haulover beach park has also been recognized as one of the best places to fly kites in Florida. You can rent kites, wind spinners, and windsocks in various shapes and sizes.
- Limit of 2 dogs per person
- Dogs must older than 6 months
- Flotation devices aren’t allowed
12. Smyrna Dunes Park
Smyrna Dunes Park is a scenic, inlet park situated in New Smyrna Beach. The park is known for its thriving natural ecosystems, elevated boardwalks, hiking trails, and picturesque views. Doggos are welcome to enjoy the area and bask in the sun, as long as they’re kept on a leash.
The park offers a wheelchair accessible fishing pier, among several other amenities, including restrooms, picnic pavilions, and parking spaces.
Smyrna Dunes Park opens at 6:00 AM until late evening (6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, depending on season). Admission is $10 per vehicle, or $20 for an annual pass.
Near the park, you can find a range of art galleries, palm-lined streets, and the New Smyrna Museum of History. Keep in mind though that pets aren’t allowed at these places. There are, however, plenty of awesome, dog-friendly cafes and restaurants. Our personal favorite spot is Third Wave Cafe & Wine Bar.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times
- Pets aren’t allowed on park boardwalks after 10:00 AM
- Dogs aren’t allowed on the Atlantic Ocean beach
13. Hobie Island Beach Park
Want to give your doggo a slice of paradise? Then start your road trip to Miami-Dade county. There, you’ll find Hobie Island Park, a man-made, off-leash beach where dogs can lounge, play, and surf to their heart’s content.
Hobie Island Beach is open from sunrise to sunset, and is popular among dog owners thanks to its shallow, calm waters. The beach isn’t usually crowded, but can get busy during peak times.
Hobie Island Beach is well-known for watersports. Take a glimpse out to sea, and you’ll no doubt be greeted with the sight of windsurfers battling against the tide. You can rent a wide range of water sports equipment, including kayaks, paddle boards, and quad water bikes. Admission is free.
- Dogs must be kept on-leash outside of designated areas
14. Bonita Beach
This small but beautiful off-leash dog beach is located in Lee county. The water is calm, warm, and shallow, and dogs of all sizes are welcome to splash and play. The natural world is thriving here, and you might even get to see dolphins during your trip!
Bonita Beach Dog Park is a bit of a hidden gem, but you’ll be able to navigate your way here by following the signs. Amenities include portable toilets, parking, and a shower area where you can clean up your buddy’s sandy paws. Parking and entrance is free.
Keep in mind that Bonita Beach is a tidal flat, and when it hits high tide you often have to wade through water. Familiarize yourself with the tide times before the trip.
- Maximum of 2 dogs per person
15. Mickler’s Landing
Located in Ponte Vedra Beach, Mickler’s Landing is famous for its gorgeous, pink coquina-sands. On-leash dogs are welcome to play in the surf, and you’ll find clean restrooms, outdoor showers, and a wooden walkway nearby. There’s also plenty of scenic hiking trails, where you can spot rare species of wildlife.
Mickler’s Landing is a well-known scavenging spot. As well as shells, you can hunt for both fossilized and modern shark teeth along the waterline. Horseback riding is also permitted during specific times (and with a special permit).
The beach is open from sunrise to sunset, but there is an entrance fee of $10. Off-site parking is available.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times
16. Pier Park Beach
Pier Park Beach is one of the largest dog-friendly beaches in Florida. The dog-friendly area spans 400 feet, and is well-maintained, clean, and home to plenty of aquatic wildlife.
Outside of peak times, you can easily find a spot that’ll give you plenty of distance from other puppers. Plus, Pier Park is also a great spot for shelling.
- Dogs must be kept on a leash (no longer than 6 feet)
- There’s a maximum of 3 dogs maximum per person
- Dogs with a bite history must wear a muzzle
- Dogs must be older than 4 months old
- Do not bring female dogs in heat
- Do not bring food bowls or long-lasting chews to the dog beach
17. Salinas Park
Located in Cape San Blas, Salinas Park is a quiet, quaint beach which has all the necessary amenities to enjoy a day out in the sun, including covered picnic tables, BBQ grills, and restrooms. There’s plenty of unspoiled nature to admire, and your pupper will be able to find shady spots throughout the beach. Access is free and parking is available.
What makes Salinas Park particularly unique is that it’s not just dog-friendly; it’s horse-friendly too! So yep, you can take a horse ride along the white sands and feel like a total movie star. Of course, because there’s horses about, you’ll want to keep your dog on a short leash at all times.
- Dogs must be leashed while on park grounds
18. Keewaydin Island
Located just off the coast of Naples, Keewaydin Island isn’t the easiest to get to — it’s only accessible by boat — but it’s definitely worth the visit. The island is bursting with untouched nature, mangrove estuaries, and gorgeous clear blue waters.
Dogs are allowed to visit and enjoy the island, as long as they’re leashed and kept away from turtle nests (these areas are clearly taped off).
Keep in mind that the island’s remoteness is a double-edged sword. While you get to experience thriving wildlife, there are no showers or restroom facilities on the island. There are also no structures to protect your pupper from the sun, so make sure to bring an umbrella. With that said, you will find colorful food boats serving the likes of hot dogs, sandwiches, and ice cream.
- Dogs must be leashed while on the island
- Not all boat travel services are dog-friendly — check in advance
19. Walton Rocks Dog Beach
Walton Rocks Beach offers 25-acres of shorefront where puppers can explore, splash, and socialize off-leash. The beach is open from 6:00 AM to sunset and there’s plenty of amenities for humans, including restrooms, picnic tables, and pavilions. The beach is also ideal for shelling.
Entrance to the dog beach is free, and there’s a washing station near the restrooms where you can clean your pup’s messy paws. Doggy waste bags are also provided, though it’s always a good idea to bring your own as well.
- Keep a leash on you at all times
20. Bark Beach, North Beach Oceanside Park
Let’s be real: You can’t go wrong with a beach literally called Bark Beach!
Situated in North Beach Oceanside Park, Bark Beach offers an off-leash haven, with clear water, soft white sand, and scenic grape trees. The dog beach — which spans between the 80th and 81st streets — is open to canines on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, from 1.30 PM to 5.30 PM.
Nearby, there’s also a dedicated dog park with two-fenced areas (for small and large breeds). Amenities in the park include doggy water fountains, pooper scooper stations, benches, and trash cans.
After the beach, you can take an evening stroll through the lively nearby streets, and have a bite at one of the many dog-friendly restaurants. Our personal favorite? Yard House.
- No digging allowed at the beach
- There’s a 2-dog maximum per human
- Dogs must be leashed when outside of the designated area
- Female dogs in heat aren’t allowed
21. Bayview Dog Beach
Bayview Dog Beach is a 1-acre, dog-friendly beach situated in Pensacola, Florida. The area is lined with fencing on all sides, making this spot safer than most other off-leash doggo beaches.
While small, the park offers a wide range of amenities including picnic tables, washing stations, benches, and a sun-blocking canopy. The shoreline is lined with soft sand, and the waters are calm enough for small puppers. The dog beach is open daily from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
- Dogs must be leashed when outside of the designated beach area
22. South Pointe Park
South Pointe Park is home to South Point Pier — a 450-foot pier situated at the southern tip of Miami Beach. The beach offers plenty of walking trails, barbecue areas, benches, a cafe, and most importantly, a 17-acre, off-leash doggo park (there are actually tons of other great Miami dog parks in the area)!
The park is located right next to the waterfront, so you’ll get to admire the gorgeous views of the bay while your dog socializes and romps about. The park is off-leash at specific times; from sunrise to 10:00 AM, and from 4:30 PM to 8:00 PM. Entrance is free.
South Pointe Park Pier also has a playground and miniature splash water park, making it ideal for kids too.
- Dogs must be leashed outside of off-leash park times
23. Fernandina Beach
Situated on Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach is a haven for both humans and four-legged woofers. It boasts over 10 miles of glistening, white sandy coastline, a dedicated off-leash dog park, volleyball courts, mini-golf, and a good range of amenities, from picnic shelters to outdoor showers. Shelling and scavenging for shark teeth are also popular activities at the beach.
Most areas offer shaded spots, and there is plenty of public parking available. The park is open from sunrise to sundown.
- Dogs must be leashed outside of dedicated dog park
24. Peanut Island
Peanut Island is an 80-acre island located at the mouth of Lake Worth Inlet. The island is accessible by boat, water taxi, or kayak, and is known for its wide range of recreational activities, including overnight camping, fishing, birdwatching, and snorkeling.
Well-behaved, on-leash puppers are welcome to explore the many attractions the island has to offer. There are also amenities for pups, such as water fountains and poo bags.
Keep in mind that there are no cafes, restaurants, or food stalls on the island, so pack accordingly.
Peanut Island is home to the historic John F. Kennedy bunker. However, this attraction is currently closed to the public.
- Dogs must be on a leash (no longer than 6 feet)
25. Stuart Beach
Located beside the Elliott Museum, Stuart Beach is a tranquil, on-leash beach known for its vibrant blue waters. It’s open 24 hours, is free to enter, and boasts plenty of amenities, including covered picnic grounds, restrooms, changing rooms, and outdoor showers. Plus, there are plenty of shaded areas for your doggo to retreat to when temperatures get too hot.
Stuart Beach offers water sport equipment rentals, and also has volleyball courts and basketball courts. There’s even a playground for little (two-footed) ones.
Stuart, Florida, is also known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” So, if fishing is up your alley, this is definitely a spot you’ll want to have on your radar.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times
26. St. George Island
St. George Island, situated in the northern Gulf of Mexico, is an ideal vacation destination, for humans and pets alike. The island offers over 20 miles of tranquil shorelines, plenty of scenic walking trails, and rental opportunities (from kayaks to scooters). On-leash dogs are welcome across most of the island, and there are also eateries, local shops, and vacation rentals that accommodate furry companions.
St. George Island is a popular birdwatching destination, and is also home to the endangered loggerhead sea turtles. The state park has an admission fee of $6 per vehicle, $4 per single-occupant vehicle, or $2 for pedestrians and bicyclists.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times (leash should be no longer than 6 feet)
27. Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park Beach
Hannah park, Jacksonville, is an on-leash dog-friendly park and beach. Within the 450-acre space, you’ll find picturesque ponds, a freshwater lake, hiking trails, biking paths, a water park, surfing beach, and dog-friendly campgrounds. There are also plenty of amenities throughout the area (restrooms, showers, and water stations). Admission is $5 per car, or $3 per pedestrian or bicyclist.
Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park Beach is usually quiet, especially during the week, so it’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. The park is open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times (leash no longer than 8 feet)
Visiting Dog-Friendly Beaches: Tips & Tricks
Visiting the beach makes for a great day out, but you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared and keep these safety tips in mind:
- Prepare for the heat. Bring plenty of fresh water, a drinking bowl, cool packs, and a shade screen or beach umbrella. You should also visit the beach during the coolest times of the day (just after sunrise or early evening).
- Know the signs of overheating. Dogs are more prone to overheating than humans, especially brachycephalic breeds. Signs of overheating include excessive panting, noisy breathing, collapsing, vomiting, and changes in gum coloration. If your dog starts to exhibit any of these signs while at the beach, safely cool him down and contact a vet immediately.
- Check the temperature before traveling. You shouldn’t take your dog to the beach in scorching temperatures, regardless of the time of day. Doing so can put your dog at risk of overheating and paw injuries (from hot asphalt or sand). Most dogs can comfortably tolerate temperatures up to about 80 degrees or so, as long as water and shade is provided.
- Pack a dog life jacket. If your woofer loves splashing around in the water, make sure to pack a dog life jacket. It’ll ensure he stays safe in the water, no matter how tired he gets.
- Don’t forget the essentials. There’s nothing worse than turning up to the beach, only to find out you forgot your pup’s kibble! Double-check that you have everything packed before setting off. Must-have items include food, water toys, treats, water, a leash of appropriate length, food bowl, water bowl, poop bags, and towels for your dog.
- Make sure the area is safe. Broken glass and sharp debris can often lurk within sand, so inspect the beach first before allowing your dog to roam freely. If he unfortunately cuts his paw pad or leg, wash the wound out with fresh water and cover it with clean material. Take a trip to the vet if the wound is deep, doesn’t heal, or shows signs of infection.
- Be cautious of wildlife. Make sure to stop your pup from disturbing turtle nests, tangling with birds, or otherwise harming wildlife at the beach. You should also ensure your dog doesn’t interact with washed-up jellyfish — they can still cause a nasty, painful sting!
- Ensure your dog doesn’t eat too much sand. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional bite of sand, if your dog consumes an excessive amount, it can potentially cause stomach upsets, diarrhea, and in some cases, internal blockages. Keep an eye on your pup and discourage him from ingesting the sand whenever possible.
- Wash your doggo after the trip. Make sure to rinse away salt, sand, and debris that’s trapped on your pup’s fur. You should also clean out his ears to prevent infections, especially if he went for a dip in the water.
- Familiarize yourself with swim safety. Swimming is a pawfect exercise for furry companions; it lets them work out every muscle without putting stress on their joints. However, you need to be aware of the possible dangers and also what to do in an emergency.
A trip to the beach with your pup in tow should be worry-free! Below, we’ll answer some common questions to clear up any doubts or confusion.
Florida’s Dog-Friendly Beach FAQ
Have lingering questions about Florida’s dog-friendly beaches? Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered! We’ve answered some of the most common questions owners have to make it easier to get your pooch some much-deserved beach time!
What is the most dog-friendly beach in Florida?
The most dog-friendly beach in Florida is Fort De Soto Park. Dogs can roam freely on the beach in the designated area, and there is a park with fenced-off sections for small and large breeds. The beach also offers plenty of dog-friendly amenities.
Are dogs allowed at Florida beaches?
Several Florida beaches allow pups, though usually this comes with regulations (for example, dogs must stay in designated areas or be kept on a short leash). However, some beaches in Florida, like Jupiter Beach, allow well-behaved canines to roam off-leash.
What beaches along the Gulf Coast are dog-friendly?
Dog-friendly beaches along the Gulf Coast include Pensacola beach, St. George Island, Fort Myers Beach, and Panama City Beach.
Is Clearwater Beach dog friendly?
Unfortunately, dogs and other pets are not allowed on Clearwater Beach.
Is Sanibel Beach dog friendly?
Yes, all of Sanibel Island’s beaches are dog friendly! Just make sure to abide by the beach rules and keep your woofer on a leash no longer than eight feet.
Are there dog-friendly beaches near Orlando?
Yes, dog-friendly beaches near Orlando include Canova Beach Park, Smyrna Dunes Beach, Flagler Beach, and the Davis Island Dog Park.
Are there dog-friendly beaches near Destin?
Unfortunately, there are no dog-friendly beaches within Okaloosa county. The best option in Destin is the Nancy Weidenhamer Park, which offers some sand areas for pups to play in. Outside of Destin, nearby dog-friendly beaches include Panama City Beach, Bayview Dog Beach, and Carrabelle Beach.
A beach vacation should be fun and relaxing for every member of the family — and that includes four-legged pups! The beaches above accommodate everyone, and most offer plenty of amenities to enjoy.
Always familiarize yourself with each beach’s specific regulations before arriving; some allow dogs to roam freely off-leash, while others have leash laws in place.
We would love to hear your thoughts on our top picks! Have you been to any of the beaches above? What’s your personal favorite? Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.