Dog-Friendly Vacationing in the Florida Keys

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September 3, 2010
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The Florida Keys consist of approximately 1,700 islands off of the southeastern tip of Florida. They are surrounded by water, and enjoy tropical climate. There are plenty of outdoor attractions for people to have fun with their dogs in this area, like off-leash dog parks, beaches, fishing trips and wildlife refuge areas.

Where to Stay

The Keys are a long drive for a day trip from most places, even if you’re just heading to Key Largo and it can take upwards of 5 hours to make it all the way out to Key West by car when the road is packed. The keys fill up very quickly during peak season, so we strongly recommend booking a hotel in advance. Here’s a couple options to help you find the right place for you and your non-human family members:

Attractions

Dirty Water Charters

The Dirty Water Charters is a charter boat rental company that arranges fishing trips from the Upper Keys to the Florida Bay, Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay. They allow leashed dogs under 50 pounds on some of these journeys, so long as they behave well.

National Key Deer Refuge

The National Key Deer Refuge is meant to protect deer and other endangered local wildlife in Big Pine Key, Florida. There are over 9,000 acres of land, which has pine forests, mangrove forests and wetlands. Dogs are allowed on this refuge if they stay on a short leash and do not bother the animals. They cannot go near the turtle nesting grounds, and should steer clear of water areas that may have alligators.

Beaches

Veteran’s Memorial Park

The Veteran’s Memorial Park is located in Little Duck Key, Florida, and they allow leashed dogs. There are picnic areas and restrooms as well.

Anne’s Beach

Leashed dogs may go on Anne’s Beach, which is located in Islamorada, Florida. There is a shallow swimming area, a boardwalk, picnic areas and restrooms.

Parks

Higgs Beach Dog Park

This off-leash dog park is located in Key West, Florida. It is divided into large and small dog areas, and each section has drinking water.

Long Key State Park

Long Key, Florida, has a state park is located on a former luxury fishing resort that was destroyed by a hurricane. Today, there are several nice nature trails to explore the area, as well as its plants and wildlife. Leashed dogs are welcome to hike with their owners.

Curry Hammock State Park

Curry Hammock State Park is located in Marathon, Florida, and is made up of a group of islands. There are some mangrove swamps, seagrass beds and wetlands around its premises, as well as an abundance of thatch palms. Leashed dogs are allowed in some areas of this park.

Outdoor Restaurants

Key Largo Conch House

The Key Largo Conch House serves things like seafood and pastries. Leashed dogs can sit at the outdoor tables.

Comments

One Response to “Dog-Friendly Vacationing in the Florida Keys”

  1. Hank Freid says:

    I once read an article that listed dog-friendly hotels in new york, and I thought I found the perfect one. When I got there with my big lab, it turned out they changed their policy and were no longer allowing dogs. Lesson: always call beforehand – you never know if a hotel will change its policies!

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