If you want to spend some beach time with your pet, Florida is not the easiest state to do it in. Pretty much across the board, Florida state parks prohibit pets from their beaches, as do most cities and townships. Fortunately there are some exceptions (and certainly in the case of Sanibel, exceptional exceptions), which we’ve gathered together for you here. And if you’re going to be traveling to the Florida Panhandle, check out our guide to pet-friendly Panhandle beaches.

Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge
Cedar Key, FL 32625
This refuge consists of 13 small islands just off the coast of Cedar Key, all accessible only by boat. You and your pet (on a 10-foot leash) are welcome to explore the beaches of all these islands, with the exception of Seahorse Key during bird nesting season (March 1 through June 30).

Honeymoon Island State Park
1 Causeway Boulevard
Dunedin, FL 34698
This coastal park includes mangrove swamps, a stand of virgin slash pine, tidal flats, and its own dedicated dog beach, located at the southern tip of the island. Keep your pet on a 6-foot leash.

Davis Islands Dog Park
1002 Severn Street
Tampa, FL 33606
This dedicated dog park includes 1 1/2 acres of beach area with 200 feet of shoreline where your dog is welcome to romp off leash. Drinking water and waste receptacles are provided.

Fort DeSoto Park Paw Playground and Beach
3500 Pinellas Bayway South
Tierra Verde, FL 33715
Your pooch is going to love this. Dog on a 6-foot leash are allowed throughout Fort DeSoto Park, but in the Paw Playground, they are allowed off leash, with large fenced-in areas for large and small dogs. Fresh water is available, as well as doggie showers. A short walk down a sandy path will lead you to the dog beach, a 200-yard stretch of sand where your canine can go au naturel—off leash on the beach and free to go swimming as well.

Brohard Beach and Paw Park
1600 Harbor Drive
Venice, FL 34285
The only beach in Sarasota County that permits dogs. Your pet can romp off leash through the 22 acres of park, including the beach, but be sure to keep him under control.

Sanibel Beaches
The island of Sanibel has some of Florida’s most beautiful beaches and they are all pet friendly. You must keep your pet on a leash and please pick up after your pet so that these beaches remain pet friendly.

Sanibel Lighthouse Beach
Perwinkle Way
Sanibel, FL 33957
This beautiful dog-friendly beach offers views of San Carlos Bay and the gulf. A good beach to go search for shells with your pooch on leash.

Algiers Beach/Gulfside City Park
2100 Algiers Lane
Sanibel, FL 33957
This secluded pet-friendly beach is adjacent to the N.W. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Your pup is welcome on leash.

Tarpon Bay Beach
111 Tarpon Bay Road
Sanibel, FL 33957
A beautiful pet-friendly sand beach and a good location to go shelling. Keep your pooch on leash

West Gulf Beach
West Gulf Drive
Sanibel, FL 33957
A quiet, pet-friendly beach for your and your pup to relax.

Bowman’s Beach
Bowman’s Beach Road
Sanibel, FL 33957
A remote, lovely beach and about a quarter mile walk in; great for looking for shells.

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