It’s a dog eats with dog world

By Karen Murphy
Splash! Magazine
Canine friendly parks, beaches, restaurants, etc.
By Karen Murphy
Splash! Magazine

Pet lovers have many more options on bringing along their beloved dogs. Several parks cater specifically to canines and provide the opportunity to dine and stay in hotels.

Splash Magazine! found these resources for pet lovers, along with some information to make your trip a success.

Pet Friendly Parks

Scott Complex Dog Park
Summit Blvd
Pensacola, Florida 32503

About an acre in size, this off leash doggy play area offers water fountains for hounds and humans, a pooper scooper station, benches, and picnic tables. Dogs must be sociable, current on all vaccinations, licensed, and under their owner's control at all times. Dogs must be leashed when not in designated offlead areas.

Bayview Dog Beach
In Bayou Texar off E Lloyd Street
Pensacola, Florida 32503

This water park for dogs offers pets beach and water fun, and there are benches, picnic tables, trash cans, pooper scooper stations, and a washing station on site. Dogs must be sociable, current on all vaccinations, licensed, and under their owner's control at all times. Dogs must be leashed when not in designated off-lead areas.

Gulf Breeze Dog Park
800 Shoreline Drive
Gulf Breeze, FL 32561

Our new park is on Shoreline Park South Drive on the way to the boat ramp on the right in Gulf Breeze proper. It is be 175x175 with a 175x25 small dog area. Plans include n, more tables and benches, benches out of the park along the fence and exercise equipment for dogs. This dog park has a separate small dog area and benches. This park is supported by Gulf Breeze Dog Lover's Association (GBDL).

Gulf Islands National Seashore
1801 Gulf Breeze Parkway
Gulf Breeze, Florida 32563

Dogs must be on a leash and must be cleaned up after in the camping and trail areas. Dogs are not allowed on beaches or in buildings. This park features hiking, camping, 19th Century forts, and more. Located in Florida and Mississippi.

Russell Harbor Landing
Off Leash Area
Old River Rd, Milton, FL

There is an off leash area at the northern part of the park; there is a sign at the road leading to the north landing.

Niceville Dog Park
Hwy 85 and College Blvd
Niceville, FL

A great place to exercise your dog, this unsupervised pet walk area is located at the Mullet Festival fairgrounds, just north of Niceville on Florida Hwy. 85.


The park is open dawn to 10 p.m., at which time lights will shut off automatically. This is a completely fenced-in (double gates), shaded area of about 5-acres with large oak trees. Each pet owner is responsible for their dog’s waste clean-up. For more information call the Niceville Recreation Dept at 1-850-729-4062.

Can I Bring My Dog To The Beach?



No pets are allowed on the beach itself. Pets on a leash are allowed on public parking lots, sidewalks, etc. provided that a "pooper scooper" is used to clean up after your pet. Escambia County has a leash law that prohibits pets on the beach due to health and safety concerns.


Henderson Bch State Park
17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy
Destin, Florida 32450

Yes. Land and water recreation is offered here with about 6000 feet of white sandy beaches, a boardwalk, and nature trails. Quiet and well behaved dogs of all sizes are allowed at no additional fee. Dogs may not be left unattended at any time, and they must have current rabies and shot records. Dogs must be on no more than a 6 foot leash, and be cleaned up after. Dogs are not allowed in buildings, on the beach, or on the Boardwalk. Dogs are allowed on all the trails. The camping and tent areas also allow dogs. There is a dog walk area at the campground.



No. For safety reasons dogs are not allowed on the beaches in Okaloosa County. This policy is mandated by County Ordinance No. 77-19, Section 6, restricting dogs in public parks, beaches, school grounds, restaurants and food stores (except service dogs).


No. It shall be unlawful for the owner of an animal to allow his animal in public places of Santa Rosa County such as school grounds, public parks, beaches and playgrounds.


The above two subsections shall not be construed to prohibit the showing and training of dogs in appropriate locations of auditoriums, schools, parks, parking lots, armories, theaters, and similar public or privately owned areas.

Pet Friendly Restaurants & Accommodations

Camping on the Gulf
Destin, FL * 877-226-7485
Destin RV Beach Resort
Destin, FL * 877-737-3529
Rodeway Inn
Fort Walton Beach, FL
Comfort Inn
Milton, FL * 850-623-1511
Inn on Destin Harbor
Destin, FL * 800-874-0470
Days Inn Destin
Destin, FL * 850-837-2599

Beach Etiquette for Dog Owners

- Always keep your dog leashed when there is a leash law

- Always clean up after your dog by using a poop bag or pooper scooper

- Do not let your dog visit with other beachgoers or dogs, unless welcomed

- If using an official off-leash area, your dog needs to be well-behaved and must listen to your verbal commands.

- In an off-leash area, always pay attention to your dog.

Find A Dog Park at: