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The 7 Most Dog-Friendly Beaches in Florida

The 7 Most Dog-Friendly Beaches in Florida

If you’re heading to the Sunshine State for some rest and relaxation, you may want to take your best friend along for the adventure. If you have a four-legged and furry best friend, then you’ll want to know a little about the dog-friendly beaches in Florida.  

Whether you want a quiet vibe or a more upbeat situation, Florida boasts dog-friendly beaches to suit the needs of all sorts of visitors. Which beach will you hit first? 

dog off leash on beach
Florida boasts dog-friendly beaches to suit the needs of all sorts of visitors.

Are Florida Public Beaches Dog Friendly?

The mainstream public beaches in Florida aren’t completely dogless. You just have to do a little searching in the right part of the state.  

If your dog is a registered service animal, you can bring them to any beach you like. However, there is a distinction between a service animal and an emotional support animal. ESA dogs don’t have the same privileges.  

Flagler, St. Augustine, and Jacksonville Beach all allow the public to bring their dogs onto the sand, but you have to keep your furry friend on a leash at all times. You also have to pick up after your pup.  


Do Dogs Have to Be on Leash at a Dog Beach?

Keeping your dog on a leash at the beach may not sound like much fun for your pet. Don’t assume that a “dog” beach automatically means you don’t have to keep your pup on a leash. 

Some beaches require leashes at all times. Luckily, some dog-friendly beaches in Florida don’t require owners to leash their pets.  

The Fort Lauderdale Canine Beach requires you to keep your dog on a leash at all times, and you have to pay a fee to access the water. Do a little research before picking a place to dip your paws in the sand.  

Mortons on the Move pup running in sand dune.
Before you hit the waves, make sure to research whether or not your dog must be on leash at the beach.

The 7 Best Dog-Friendly Beaches In Florida

Let’s get you started on your research and layout a few of the best dog-friendly beaches in Florida. Skip the hassle when vacation time comes and start planning now.  

#1. Fort de Soto Park – Tierra Verde, Florida

You can bring your dog and your RV to Fort de Soto Park in Tierra Verde, Florida.  The park has all the ingredients for a great time on your next vacation.  

Address:  3500 Pinellas Bayway S., Tierra Verde, FL 33715. 

About Fort de Soto Park:

Fort De Soto, located near St. Petersburg, Florida, is the largest park in Pinellas County. It consists of more than 1,000 acres of land spanning five little interconnected islands or keys.  

The natural ecosystem on the island chain is impressive. You’ll see beach plants, mangroves, wetlands, palm hammocks, and a range of different hardwoods as you explore the park grounds.  

Fort De Soto is home to more than 300 different species of birds.  Loggerhead sea turtles also take refuge in the park for five months out of the year.  

Best Features:

The dog park is definitely the best feature, allowing your pup to explore their surroundings.  The beach even has water fountains for your dog to play in. 

You can also stay at the camping area that contains more than 230 different sites. Some of those sites provide all the hookups you’ll need to bring the RV along.  

dogs running with man on beach
Pamper your pups at Fort De Soto park.

#2. Bonita Beach Dog Park – Fort Myers, Florida

Don’t miss out on Bonita Beach Dog Park on your search for dog-friendly beaches in Florida in Fort Myers. In this cozy spot, your pup can run free and play in the water as long as their heart desires.  

Address: 8800 Estero Blvd Fort Myers Beach, Florida 33931.  

About Bonita Beach Dog Park:

You’ll find this dog-friendly beach in Florida on Lover’s Key, just off the coast of the mainland.  It’s a beautiful place to rest. Tree signs will help you find it as you approach the area.  

The tide vastly changes the size of the beach, so little dog owners should plan their visit around the low tide. Otherwise, you’ll have to carry your pooch to the dry beach area.  

Best Features:

No leash rules make this the perfect place to run in circles and splash around in the surf.  The water is calm and shallow for quite a way out, making this a chill spot to hang with your four-legged pal.  

The best feature is the handy little doggie shower that has two different heads for big and little dogs. Bring your own drinking water, though. There aren’t any water fountains.  

Pro Tip: Be careful to make sure you and your pup Avoid These Insects When Camping in Florida!

two dogs running along beach with man
Let your dogs jump in the waves and run in the sand at Bonita Beach Dog Park.

#3. Jupiter Beach – Jupiter, Florida

Jupiter Beach is one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Florida. You don’t want to miss out on this Florida gem.  


The official address of the beach is Dog Beach 48 Ocean Blvd Jupiter, Florida 33477.  However, it’s good to know that the dog area starts at Beach Marker #25 and ends at Beach Marker #59.  Pull up a beach map to make it easier to find.  

About Jupiter Beach:

Make sure you have a well-socialized pooch when you visit Jupiter Dog Beach, as you’ll see quite a few tails wagging around the sand.  

A local non-profit group cleans the sands regularly, but you should always practice picking up after your pup.  

Best Features:

The beach provides dog owners with sanitary disposal bags for picking up after your doggie.  You can also use showers on the beach for cleaning up.  

#4. Davis Island Dog Beach – Tampa, Florida

Davis Island offers a dog-friendly beach and a nice little picnic area on the other side of the road. You can visit both sites to make the most of your day out.  

Address: 1002 Severn Ave. Tampa, Florida 33606.  

About Davis Island Dog Beach:

This is a busy dog beach, especially in the morning. Nevertheless, it’s a clean and safe space to take your dog to play and enjoy the sunshine.

You won’t find much built-in shade, so make sure you bring provisions for your crew. Clean water, sunscreen, and a huge umbrella will do the trick.  

Best Features:

Davis Island Dog Beach is a great place to swim with your pet. The beach is fenced in and has benches that you can sit on while your pup is playing. 

Mortons on the Move dog smelling seashell.
Swim with your pet at Davis Island Dog beach.

#5. Pier Park Dog Beach – Panama City, Florida

Visiting Panama City Beach sounds like fun, but visiting with your pup is even better. 

Address: 16201 Front Beach Rd Panama City Beach, Florida 32413. 

About Pier Park Dog Beach:

The Pier Park Dog Beach lies across the street from the main park area. You can access the beach area from access points 56, 57, and 58. This is an on-leash park, and your leash must not measure more than 6 ft.  

Best Features:

The beach boasts white sands and crystal blue waters, making it a dreamy spot to enjoy. However, the real perks come with what’s nearby. Many of the area’s restaurants and shops allow you to bring your pup with you.  

Pro Tip: On your next adventure with your four-legged friend, make sure to follow these 5 Rules for RVing with Pets.

happy young family in white clothing have fun and play with beautiful dog at vacations on beautiful beach

#6. Pensacola Dog Beach West – Pensacola Beach, Florida

There’s an east and a west dog park in Pensacola Beach, but take your doggie west for the best adventures. Just make sure to understand the beach rules as Animal Control is on duty daily.  

Address: 1481 Fort Pickens Rd. Pensacola Beach, Florida 32561.

About Pensacola Dog Beach West:

Of all the dog-friendly beaches in Florida, Pensacola Dog Beach West is one of the more strict spots.  Make sure you follow the rules while enjoying this beach, and you will have a beautiful experience.  

The rules make it so dog owners like you can rest assured there will be no problems or undue danger for your dog. Your pet also needs to present a visible rabies tag to be permitted on the beach.  

Best Features:

The beach area is small, so bringing your little dog is probably best. You and your pup can enjoy white sandy beaches and plenty of friends to help make the time more fun. They provide doggie bags and even wipes.

Mortons on the Move pup running in the sand at the beach.
Let your doggo dig for sand crabs at Pensacola Dog Beach West.

#7. Hollywood Dog Beach – Hollywood, Florida

A park ranger monitors the Hollywood Dog Beach, so you know you won’t encounter any aggressive dogs.  

Address: 4999 N. Surf Rd. Hollywood, Florida 33019.  

About Hollywood Dog Beach:

This dog-friendly beach in Florida has some pretty specific hours of operation, so it’s best to check the schedule before you start planning a visit. You also have to pay a fee to bring your dog, so bring some pocket cash.  

Best Features:

The best feature about Hollywood Dog Beach is the beautiful beach. Your pup may love digging in the sand and splashing in the waves.  

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Planning Your Next Dog-Friendly Beach Adventure in Florida

Overall, visit Florida to find some beach adventures with your canine buddy. Most Florida beaches will offer nearby camping areas, too, if you need some lodging.

Remember to check for any fees, rules, or restrictions before heading out. All-in-all your experience will reflect your research efforts. Don’t forget to pack the sunscreen, a doggy treat, and have fun!

What Florida beach do you want to take your furry friend to first? Drop a comment below!

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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Rush Burkhardt

Sunday 28th of November 2021

I don't know if bay beaches count; if they do, Bayview Dog Beach, on the Escambia Bay has to be mentioned! Clean, well-protected, plenty of convenient parking and in all ways, well-maintained, this is canine heaven. With a bin of tennis balls, at the ready, plenty of bags if you forget your own, a washing station on a raised concrete slab, plenty of bowls of drinking water are available! Seating and shade for humans takes notice of our role in this whole episode. PS It's close to Shaggy's restaurant, dog-friendly (water and treats), a great menu for humans, and cold beer! What's not to like!

Mortons on the Move

Monday 29th of November 2021

Excellent Tip Thanks!