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During the dog days of summer, you’re not the only one who could use some R&R. So if you’re planning on traveling with Fido for your next vacation, consider these dog-friendly Sunshine State beaches. We’ve also made some recommendations for nearby hotels (also dog-friendly, of course!) where you and your four-legged friend can chill out for the weekend.

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Fort De Soto Dog Beach. | Credit Pinellas County/Flickr.

St. Petersburg

St. Pete offers an abundance of pet-friendly restaurants and festivals. But Fort De Soto Park, just south of downtown in Tierra Verde, has bragging rights as the only beach in the county with a designated area for Fido to run free. Fenced-in areas for small and large pets, plus water stations, make Fort De Soto top dog. After a dip in the Gulf of Mexico, splurge on a room at the Don CeSar, a pink palace of a hotel with perks like pet beds, dog-sitters and even a room service menu just for pets.

Miami Beach

Bark Beach at North Shore Open Space Park is the place for dogs to see and be seen. This off-leash park offers an escape from the bustle of South Beach, plus jogging trails for getting in shape with your four-legged workout partner. After a sweat session, treat yourselves—yes, both of you—to massages at The Betsy.

Key West

Your dog can’t drink at Margaritaville, but he can get into the Key West spirit at Clarence Higgs Beach Park. This historic Civil War-era site is home to a popular dog park, with separate areas for small and large pets. Recharge at Pier House Resort and Spa, where the pet-friendly perks include dog beds, treats, flashlights for late-night poop scooping and more.

Canova Beach Park. Credit Ricardo’s Photography/Flickr.

Cocoa Beach

About 70 miles southeast of Orlando, Canova Beach Park is the only dog-friendly beach on Florida’s Space Coast. Let your leashed pet splash in the Atlantic waves, then retire to a room at Best Western Cocoa Beach Hotel and Suites, which allows dogs of all sizes. Whether you’re exploring Kennedy Space Center, visiting the Brevard Zoo or preparing to cruise with your pup out of Port Canaveral, your pooch has a place to stay when she’s dog tired.

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Leashed dogs can go pretty much anywhere in Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park. Frolic in the Atlantic waves, stroll along the freshwater lakefront trails or use the barbecue pit to throw a steak on the grill for your best friend. After your day of fun in the sun, lay your heads at pet-friendly Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park, which provides free bowls, beds, treats and toys for dogs up to 40 pounds.

Jupiter Beach

Treat your dog to a getaway at this beach, about 20 miles north of swanky West Palm Beach. Well-behaved pups are welcome to frolic off-leash on a 2.5-mile stretch of sand. Roaming untethered is definitely a privilege, so do your part by using the free bags to pick up after your dog. Afterward, your BFF can enjoy the suite life at the Chesterfield Palm Beach, which offers a pet room service menu, leashes, dog-walking service, pet first aid kits and more. Lucky dog.

Flagler Beach. Credit Laura Smith/Flickr.

St. Augustine

On Flagler Beach, leashed pets can enjoy the Atlantic waves and then join you for an alfresco meal at a handful of dog-friendly restaurants. After the beach, let loose at nearby Wadsworth Park, a shaded park with separate areas for large and small dogs wanting an off-leash romp. Retire to your room at the Vilano Beach Garden Inn, where there’s a fenced dog run for Fido to let off any extra steam.

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Tagged: Florida, Miami

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Dalia Colon

Dalia Colon

Dalia is a multimedia journalist in Tampa and the Smart Travel Insider for VISIT FLORIDA. Follow her on Twitter @daliacolon.

One thought on “7 great Florida dog beach escapes”

  1. It is one of my bucket list to take my beloved dog with me on the beach. I know she will love it and she will have the time of her life there roaming around getting wet and having lots of fun. It’s a good thing to spend some quality time with your pet out there.

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