5 Dog-Friendly Beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast

5 Dog-Friendly Beaches on Florida’s Gulf Coast


Walking out the door for everyday obligations and leaving with the image of your dog’s pouting face has to be one of the hardest parts of owning a dog. Going somewhere as fun as the beach without your pup is practically sinful, which is why we’ve rounded up the best dog beaches in Florida. Whether you’re a Florida resident or vacationer traveling with your four-legged friend, there’s a dog-friendly beach nearby for your pup to enjoy.

Pack your pup in the car, roll down the window and prepare for smiling dog faces everywhere you look, ’cause we’re going to the beach!


Brohard Paw Park, Sarasota

For a town with so many pawsome pups, it’s surprising that Brohard Paw Park is the only dog beach in Sarasota County. Just south of Venice Beach, Brohard offers a lively atmosphere (especially on weekends) for pups of all sizes and plenty of room to roam. The fire hydrants, doggie water fountains, showers and leash posts are a nice addition as well. If you’re visiting on a weekend, prepare to arrive early to get a parking spot.

If you want to explore other Venice beaches, be sure to grab an old strainer from your kitchen or pick up a sifter on the way. Venice is known as the shark tooth capital of the world and you don’t want to miss out on finding shark teeth in all shapes and sizes on Venice Beach and Caspersen Beach.


Davis Island Dog Beach, Tampa

If you worry about your dog going rogue once off the leash, Davis Island Dog Beach’s gated area will give you peace of mind. Just 10 minutes from Downtown Tampa on the south end of Davis Island, you’ll find a gated area with hoses, dog bags and plenty of fun. Be sure to bring plenty of towels to dry your pup off and an umbrella to keep your dog from overheating.


Honeymoon Island State Park, Dunedin

Honeymoon Island State Park is one of the most beautiful dog beaches on the West Coast of Florida. There’s an $8 parking fee per vehicle and the dog beach is about a 5-10 minute walk from the parking lot. The four-mile beach has a section specifically for dogs and requires they stay on a leash. There are no restrooms on this section of the beach but there’s plenty of room to roam. When you’re ready to leave, there’s a hosing station to wash off your dog. If you want to enjoy peaceful ocean views, be sure to stop along the Dunedin Causeway on your way out.


Fort De Soto Park, Clearwater

Visit the Paw Playground at Fort De Soto Park for an afternoon of off-leash fun. This clean dog beach offers white sand, crystal-clear water and freedom for dogs to be dogs. There are restrooms on site, showers to wash off dogs and a concession stand, gift shop and pirate ship playground on the North Beach. In any off-leash area, it’s of the utmost importance to keep an eye on your dog at all times and stay within reach in case of an altercation with another dog or an accident. Only take your dog off-leash if you have voice control over them. Riptides area also common on Fort De Soto beaches so keep an eye on any dogs in the water, especially small dogs.

Fort De Soto Park offers much more than just a day at the dog beach. This expansive Tampa Bay park has camping areas, a fishing pier and even a historic fort with mortar battery cannons and a museum. Fort De Soto’s seven-mile trail is filled with runners, walkers and rollerbladers on any given day. Dogs are allowed on-leash anywhere in the park other than the quarter-mile dog beach and enclosed dog park. You will have to pay parking and bridge-crossing fees to access the park.


Dog Beach, Fort Myers Beach

If you’re visiting Lee County with your pooch, you don’t want to miss out on Dog Beach on Lover’s Key. This small, white-sand beach is the only beach in Lee County where dogs are allowed off leash. The free parking, shallow water and freshwater rinse-off station make it a hassle-free play spot for your pup. While there is a portable toilet near the parking lot, there are no shaded areas so be sure to bring an umbrella.

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