Dog Friendly Beaches in Florida

By Gretchen Staab

Owner of Dawg Swim, Orlando, Florida




  At most Florida beaches you will see a “No Dogs Allowed” sign. It’s easier to find a dog friendly house for rent or hotel room. Now, there are lots of dog friendly restaurants and business. Dog parks are also becoming more common, but few are close to the ocean. Dog friendly beaches are still hard to find.

 
  My three dogs and I have visited four dog friendly beaches. First place goes to Fort De Soto Park in Tierra Verde. Second place, Sombrero Beach in Marathon. Third and fourth places go to our least favorites: Key West Dog Beach and Smyrna Dunes Park in New Smyrna Beach.

 
  The best, hands down, is Fort De Soto Park. This park has won numerous awards for being among the best beaches in Florida and has one dog friendly beach. Here, your dog is allowed to be off leash!

 
  From the parking area, it’s only a few steps to a beautiful dog park (and rest rooms for humans). Enter the small or large dog area and you will find the same things, a large grassy area, poopy scoopy stations and a bathing and watering station. After walking through the dog park, you arrive at the back gate, a few steps away from the beach where you, and your dog, can enjoy the ocean together.

 
  You have to spend a little bit of money to get there. Recently I paid $1.50 for toll roads and an entry fee of $5.00 per car. Once inside the park, you and your dog can stay all day for free. After seeing your dog romp and play in the park and in the sand and surf, I’m sure you will agree that it’s the best $6.50 you’ve ever spent. For more information about Fort De Soto Park visit: fortdesoto.com.

 
  Second place goes to Sombrero Beach in Marathon. This beach and park is free (excluding the cost of getting to Marathon). It’s crowded on holidays and weekends and dogs must be on a leash but, don’t let that stop you from enjoying this beautiful place. Sombrero Beach Road dead ends at parking spots along a lovely park where you will find a path around a playground, covered picnic tables with cooking grills, volleyball courts, restrooms and poopy scoopy stations. Several walkways provide direct access to the beach. Go from car to park to beach in any order you prefer easily at Sombrero Beach.

 
  If you want your dog to have some time off leash in Marathon, they have a very nice dog park located on 75th Street. Last time I was there, they had not installed water so, bring your own and enjoy.

 
  If you drive to Key West, you have to go through Marathon. I recommend visiting Sombrero Beach along the way. The dog beach in Key West is hard to find, small and usually crowded. The best place to take your dog in Key West is, Higgs Beach Dog Park, located at 1000 Atlantic Blvd. It’s across the street from the beach but, it’s a great park and the ocean breeze is delightful. Smathers Beach isn’t too far from downtown Key West and is a nice place to walk your dog. Your dog is not allowed on the beach but, you can stroll along the sidewalk and enjoy an unobstructed view of the ocean and a fabulous sunset without the crowded chaos you will find at Mallory Square.
 

  Last on the list is Smyrna Dunes Park in New Smyrna Beach (2995 N Peninsula Ave.). Some people enjoy this dog friendly beach but, we did not. It’s a long walk to the nearest beach which is very small and crowded. We tried to find the other beaches but overheated before we reached or could see them. We’re not the only ones. As we headed back to the car, we passed several people with dogs, all sweating and panting, who asked, “Is it much further?”.  Back in our car, relishing in the cold water from our cooler with the air conditioning on high, I thought, “Thank goodness we didn’t come in the summer!”

 
  Regardless of our opinion, we hope you and your dog will visit these dog friendly beaches. Gretchen and the Dawg Swim dogs would love to hear about your experiences or recommendations for other places we may have missed. Please contact us by emailing: followurbliss@outlook.com or calling: 407-982-9415.

Dog Friendly Beaches in Florida

By Gretchen Staab

Owner of Dawg Swim, Orlando, Florida


 

  At most Florida beaches you will see a “No Dogs Allowed” sign. It’s easier to find a dog friendly house for rent or hotel room. Now, there are lots of dog friendly restaurants and business. Dog parks are also becoming more common, but few are close to the ocean. Dog friendly beaches are still hard to find. 

  My three dogs and I have visited four dog friendly beaches. First place goes to Fort De Soto Park in Tierra Verde. Second place, Sombrero Beach in Marathon. Third and fourth places go to our least favorites: Key West Dog Beach and Smyrna Dunes Park in New Smyrna Beach.

 The best, hands down, is Fort De Soto Park. This park has won numerous awards for being among the best beaches in Florida and has one dog friendly beach. Here, your dog is allowed to be off leash!

 

From the parking area, it’s only a few steps to a beautiful dog park (and rest rooms for humans). Enter the small or large dog area and you will find the same things, a large grassy area, poopy scoopy stations and a bathing and watering station. After walking through the dog park, you arrive at the back gate, a few steps away from the beach where you, and your dog, can enjoy the ocean together.

 

  You have to spend a little bit of money to get there. Recently I paid $1.50 for toll roads and an entry fee of $5.00 per car. Once inside the park, you and your dog can stay all day for free. After seeing your dog romp and play in the park and in the sand and surf, I’m sure you will agree that it’s the best $6.50 you’ve ever spent. For more information about Fort De Soto Park visit: fortdesoto.com.

 

  Second place goes to Sombrero Beach in Marathon. This beach and park is free (excluding the cost of getting to Marathon). It’s crowded on holidays and weekends and dogs must be on a leash but, don’t let that stop you from enjoying this beautiful place. Sombrero Beach Road dead ends at parking spots along a lovely park where you will find a path around a playground, covered picnic tables with cooking grills, volleyball courts, restrooms and poopy scoopy stations. Several walkways provide direct access to the beach. Go from car to park to beach in any order you prefer easily at Sombrero Beach.

 

  If you want your dog to have some time off leash in Marathon, they have a very nice dog park located on 75th Street. Last time I was there, they had not installed water so, bring your own and enjoy.

 

  If you drive to Key West, you have to go through Marathon. I recommend visiting Sombrero Beach along the way. The dog beach in Key West is hard to find, small and usually crowded. The best place to take your dog in Key West is, Higgs Beach Dog Park, located at 1000 Atlantic Blvd. It’s across the street from the beach but, it’s a great park and the ocean breeze is delightful. Smathers Beach isn’t too far from downtown Key West and is a nice place to walk your dog. Your dog is not allowed on the beach but, you can stroll along the sidewalk and enjoy an unobstructed view of the ocean and a fabulous sunset without the crowded chaos you will find at Mallory Square.

 

  Last on the list is Smyrna Dunes Park in New Smyrna Beach (2995 N Peninsula Ave.). Some people enjoy this dog friendly beach but, we did not. It’s a long walk to the nearest beach which is very small and crowded. We tried to find the other beaches but overheated before we reached or could see them. We’re not the only ones. As we headed back to the car, we passed several people with dogs, all sweating and panting, who asked, “Is it much further?”.  Back in our car, relishing in the cold water from our cooler with the air conditioning on high, I thought, “Thank goodness we didn’t come in the summer!”

 

  Regardless of our opinion, we hope you and your dog will visit these dog friendly beaches. Gretchen and the Dawg Swim dogs would love to hear about your experiences or recommendations for other places we may have missed. Please contact us by emailing: followurbliss@outlook.com or calling: 407-982-9415.

407-982-9415

Orlando, Florida