Millions of families plan vacations to Florida every year. And, with 663 miles of shoreline, there’s a beach for everyone — including your furry family members! Here are the top pet friendly beaches in Florida.

Girl and Golden Retriever Dog playing frisbee on a pet friendly beach in Florida

Florida’s Best Pet Friendly Beaches

1. Fort Myers Beach

Fort Myers Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Florida, and an excellent place to bring your pup. In fact, there are two beaches in Fort Myers that are great for dogs!

The primary beach, Fort Myers Beach, is a stretch of immaculate soft, white sand adorned with beach shops, bars, restaurants, and pet friendly hotels. The beach is pet friendly as long as leashes are attached, and it’s perfect for activities from jogging to lounging.

Pier at Fort Myers Beach, FL at sunset

The second location, just a bit southeast, is aptly-named the Dog Beach. This free beach is beautiful, and dogs are able to run around off-leash while their humans lounge. The amenities here are limited to a portable bathroom and a shower to rinse feet and paws.

2.  Brohard Paw Park

Brohard Paw Park is the only dog friendly beach in Sarasota County, making it a hot spot for both locals and tourists. It’s open from 7 am until sunset, accommodating both early risers and sunset watchers who want to enjoy the sand and surf.

This beach is so dog friendly, in fact, that they provide dog showers, water fountains, and fire hydrants for bathroom breaks. This is a very popular dog beach, so social pups will have a blast here.

White dog in red life vest laying on the a pet friendly beach in Florida

3. Fort De Soto Park (Paw Playground)

This incredible beach was Trip Advisor’s choice for America’s Top Beach in 2009, and our pick for the #1 Pet Friendly Attraction in Florida!

One look reveals why this quarter-mile pet friendly beach is so popular! People can stretch out and soak up the sun, while their dogs run off-leash and play in the clear water. There’s also a 2.5-acre fenced dog park next to the beach.

Florida's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Fort De Soto Park and Dog Beach |

Water fountains and hoses are provided to keep pets cool when they’re not romping in the surf. After enjoying the beach, be sure to check out Fort De Soto’s many pet friendly trails!

READ MORE ⇒  A Dog Friendly Day at Fort De Soto

4. Gulfside City Park Beach

This beach is located on Sanibel Island, which has a nice collection of dog friendly beaches. However, Gulfside City Park Beach is the best for spending a day with your pup. Dogs must be kept on a leash and be picked-up after, and people and dogs alike are sure to have a great time!

The beach itself is generally very quiet and naturally beautiful with some excellent shells along the shore. It’s also home to endangered shorebirds and sea turtles! As far as amenities go, there are picnic tables, restrooms, showers, and water fountains.

Florida's Top Pet Friendly Attraction: Fort De Soto Park and Dog Beach |

5. Bonita Beach Dog Park

Bonita Beach Dog Park is an excellent place for energetic dogs to enjoy off-leash play in the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico. The beach itself is secluded from the main road, so dogs are safe from wandering too far off-course.

The water is clear and shallow, which is perfect for dogs who like to splash and play. With soft, clean sand, it’s a great place to spend the day. Plenty of waste bags and a shower station round out this beach’s offerings, making it one of the best pet friendly beaches in Florida.

Corgi dog enjoying a dog friendly beach in Florida

6. Smyrna Dunes Park

Smyrna Dunes Park has a popular pet friendly beach, and is located about an hour’s drive from the Orlando Airport. Friendly people, soft sand, and nice surf define this beach where dogs must be leashed.

In addition to the pet friendly beach, the park has a boardwalk (dogs are permitted on the boardwalk before 10 am), nature trails, picnic areas, and showers. If you choose to visit Smyrna Dunes Park, note that it’s very busy during the summer time. Arrive early in the morning or near dusk to avoid the large crowds.

READ MORE ⇒  Tips for Keeping Dogs Safe at the Beach

The amazing pet friendly beach along the east coast of Florida

7. Davis Islands Dog Beach

Located just south of downtown Tampa, the Davis Islands Dog Beach offers a nice retreat from the city hustle. There are two parts to this beach. The first is a 1.5-acre dog beach, and the other is a 1-acre dog park. Both areas are fenced, allowing dogs to socialize unleashed.

The beach itself has more than 200 feet of shoreline, and the dog park is kept in excellent condition. Water stations and waste bag dispensers are available, but the beach does get a bit busy during peak times.

Tampa, Florida skyline where the Davis Island dog friendly beach is located

8. Panama City Dog Beach at Pier Park

If you’re in the panhandle, Panama City Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the area. Just to the right of the pier is beach #56, where leashed pets are welcome.

This is a nice stretch of beach for the number of dogs and dog owners that enjoy it. In addition to the great beach, there is a nice variety of pet friendly restaurants in Panama City Beach that allow your dog to relax on the patio while you grab a bite to eat.

Looking for more pet friendly beaches on the Florida Panhandle? Explore Florida’s forgotten coast!

White dog in red life vest laying on the a pet friendly beach in Florida

9. Canova Dog Beach

Canova Beach Park spreads across 9.1 acres and offers amenities such as a pavilion, grills, covered picnic area, restrooms, water fountains, and showers.

This is Brevard County’s only pet friendly beach, and leashes a must. In order to use the beach, dogs must be up-to-date on their shots and have current tags.

Couple playing with puppy on a pet friendly beach in Florida

10. Walton Rocks Dog Beach

This off-leash dog friendly beach along Florida’s Treasure Coast features 24 acres of fine, soft sand and great Atlantic Ocean views. It’s an easy beach to access with a nearby parking area, and the entire beach is gorgeous.

The beach is large enough not to feel crowded, even during peak times. Just make sure that you’re respectful of the protected dunes and always clean up after your pup!

Forgotten Coast - Cape San Blas, FL

11. St. Augustine Beaches

The oldest city in Florida is very pet friendly with plenty of accommodations and things to do, but we’re focusing on its beaches! The good news is that leashed pets can go on all of the beaches in St. Augustine, except for Anastasia State Park. In addition, most of the public parking areas that lead to the beach have dog showers, so you can rinse your pal off before hopping back in the car.

When you’re done playing on the beach, be sure to take a stroll around the historic downtown. Or drive across the bay to Vilano Beach, where pets on leash are also welcome, and have some more fun in the sun!

View of downtown St. Augustine, FL

12. Flagler County Beaches

Flagler County, Florida, between St. Augustine and Daytona Beach. boasts miles of pet friendly beaches to explore! Grab a leash and check out Palm Coast, Beverly Beach, and Flagler Beach. The only are that doesn’t allow pets is between North 10th Street and South 10th Street in Flagler Beach.

Man greeting two strange dogs for the first time on a beach
Zach from Beyond the Treat with his dog

About the Author: Zach is a life-long pet owner and enthusiast. Born into a family with a dog named Murphy, he has owned several dogs, mice, ferrets, fish, geckos, and a cat. This experience has given him the knowledge necessary to help others become excellent pet owners on his website Beyond The Treat with detailed gear, housing, and feeding guides for all pets.

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  • AGREE!! It’s sad that you can’t even vacation without having to limit your dogs’ interaction. Honestly, my dog behaves better than most people’s children, BUT we are still allowing them to roam free. :) I feel it should be responsible pet parenting and hold owners accountable for their pets, instead of limiting us that want to enjoy our companion and ensure he/she has a happy life.

    • Thanks for your note, Stephine! I agree. And my hope is that if enough pet owners are good ambassadors, that communities and businesses will decide that it’s better for them to be pet friendly!

  • Category: Travel Destinations / Tagged with: Beaches, Florida