Dog Friendly Beaches in the Florida Keys
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Most people associate the Florida Keys with palm trees, warm weather, great fishing, Jimmy Buffett and frozen margaritas. A playground for outdoorsmen who come here to fish, dive and kayak; as well as the choice destination for snowbirds and middle-aged businessmen looking to cut back, don their favorite Hawaiian shirts, drink to their heart’s content, and request songs the locals have heard one too many times before.
But what most people don’t realize about the Florida Keys is that the islands From Key Largo to Key West are a tropical playground for dogs as well.
It’s true! Unlike in some of the “classy” towns throughout the state Florida (see Boca Raton), where our four-legged companions are prohibited from enjoying the most natural of natural resources- the Florida Keys are extremely dog-friendly, and our pets may do as they please (to an extent) at ANY of the Monroe County parks or beaches.
So the next time you embark on your weekend getaway to Key West, or tow the flats skiff down for a week of stalking bonefish in Islamorada, bring the pooch along! There are so many places for them to explore and swim that they (and you) will have the time of your lives.
And when you’re ready for a cold beer or a mojito after a long day on the water, bring the dog along with you to the bar. Many Florida Keys restaurants have outdoor seating and actually don’t mind if you bring your dog along with you. Just pour a cool glass of water into his or her bowl, sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Just remember to always keep your dog outside.
One of my favorite places to bring my pup is Sparky’s Landing in Key Colony Beach.
My favorite Dog-Friendly Spots in the Keys
- Founders Park Dog Park – Islamorada, MM 87- Bay
- Anne’s Beach – Islamorada, MM 73- Ocean
- Coco Plum Beach – Marathon, Coco Plum Drive- Ocean (access limited during turtle nesting months April- October.)
- Sombrero Beach – Marathon, Sombrero Beach Road- Ocean (access limited during turtle nesting months April- October.)
- Events Field – (Hopefully soon to be Marathon Dog Park), Marathon, 98th-99th streets- Bay (behind City Hall.)
- Horseshoe – Lower Keys, MM 35-Bay (great place for dogs to swim while you snorkel!)
- Boca Chica Beach – Lower Keys, MM 10.8- Bay
- Higgs Beach Dog Park – Key West, South Roosevelt- Ocean
Note that all of the Florida Keys bridges (Long Key Bridge and the Seven-Mile Bridge are my favorites), or turnoffs along US-1, are great places to park the car and walk and/or let your dog go for a swim.
ALWAYS remember to try keep your dog from drinking saltwater. Too much saltwater can make your dog very ill, and worse, it could kill them. Always have enough fresh water on hand for your dog to drink when you take them to the beach, that way they won’t be as tempted to drink seawater.