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Unleash the Fun! Dog-Friendly Beaches and Vacation Rentals Await You and Your Pup!

by Alison Large Ketcham on September 22nd, 2023
A wet French bulldog laying on a dog-friendly beach.
Fido loves relaxing on dog-friendly beaches just like his owners.

He or she may be your family’s best friend, but when it comes to including Fifi or Fido on your next beach excursion, knowing where your pooch will be welcome can take extra planning. There are plenty of dog-friendly beaches in Florida and Alabama, including the ones highlighted below.

We’ve also featured several pet-friendly vacation properties you can book online at Simply click the links beneath the property photos for more information, lots of additional photos, and availability calendars. Then you can book right there onsite, or by calling one of our vacation planners seven days a week — including some evenings — at 1-888-286-1829. Please note our inventory sometimes changes. But we always have hundreds of pet-friendly properties on our website.

St. George Island

Well-behaved pets are always welcome on this 28-mile-long barrier island, part of the Forgotten Coast near Apalachicola. Dogs can roam free on the island’s flat, wide beach, as long as they obey verbal commands. Otherwise, they must be leashed. Running water, trash cans, and plastic bags are available at beach-access points. Many of the island’s stores and restaurants allow pets in their outdoor areas as well. There are plenty of pet-friendly accommodations available on St. George Island and bookable on BeachGuide. Here are a few favorites.

Macon Memories beach house on St. George Island, Florida.

Macon Memories – St. George Island

This stunning 5-bedroom home accommodates up to 12 guests. Complete with an elevator, this home also provides kayaks, paddleboards, and beach chairs for your enjoyment. Nearby, you’ll find a shared community pool and tennis courts. Best of all, this welcoming home is pet-friendly, allowing up to two dogs to join in the vacation fun.

The swimming pool at Ocean Mile condominiums on St. George Island, Florida.

Ocean Mile H-9 – St. George Island

Experience contemporary charm and gorgeous Gulf views at this renovated 2-bedroom townhome, comfortably accommodating up to six guests and two dogs. Located in a highly sought-after beachfront community near the state park, this property on the East End promises an idyllic retreat.

Exterior photo of Pelican's Perch beach house on St. George Island, Florida.

Pelican’s Perch – St. George Island

Experience breathtaking Gulf views from this spacious 4-bedroom home with direct beach access. Exclusive community amenities include a swimming pool and tennis court.

An exterior photo of See Escape beach house on St. George Island, Florida.

See Escape – St. George Island

This relaxing beachfront 4-bedroom home sleeps 10 guests. The covered deck offers a relaxing spot to watch the dolphins swim and enjoy the Gulf breezes. Relax in your private hot tub after a full day at the beach.

Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach – And More Forgotten Coast Communities

Like St. George Island, Cape San Blas, Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach have no high-rises and no crowds – just miles of white-sand and turquoise coastline. And if that isn’t enough to make this area alluring, add the fact that your best friend is welcome to join you on almost every one of its many beaches. The only exception is the beach at St. Joseph Peninsula State Park. Convenient pet-waste-disposal stations with plastic bags are positioned at all beach public-access points. Please remember to clean up after your pet to leave the beautiful beaches as pristine as you found them. Many local accommodations — ranging from small condominium properties to large single-family homes — also welcome pets. Use our search filters online for pet-friendly rentals in these areas­.

Blond woman sitting on sand hugging her dog on a dog-friendly beach.

Pensacola Beach and Navarre Beach

Experience the perfect getaway at Pensacola Beach, where you and your best friend can frolic on two pet-friendly beaches and find ample accommodations including large homes and cozy cottages along the beaches, the sound, and in-between. Beautiful Navarre Beach does not allow dogs on any beaches, but it’s just a short scenic drive from Pensacola Beach.

  • Pensacola Dog Beach East is on State Road 399, Lot E at the first parking lot past Portofino Island Resort, Beach Walkover 28B.
  • Pensacola Dog Beach West is on Fort Pickens Road, Lot B at the first parking lot past Last Gulf Condos, Beach Walkover 21E.

Pets romping on these two beaches must be on a leash and have up-to-date tags on them. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs.

Pet lovers also will find a fenced-in playground at Bayview Dog Park and Beach. It’s on a bayou off Pensacola Bay where dogs love running free and swimming in its protected waters. Fences extend into the water to keep paddling dogs corralled. Conveniently located within the park, you’ll find a platform with a hose, allowing you to easily rinse sand and salt water off both you and your furry friend.

Other Pensacola-area pet-friendly destinations include the Roger Scott Athletic Complex Dog Park, near the airport, and the Shoreline Bark Park. Located across the bay in Gulf Breeze, the Bark Park includes a special section for smaller dogs. Many local restaurants also offer pet-friendly outdoor dining areas, including Perdido Key Oyster Bar Restaurant & Marina.

An exterior photo of Ariola 310 beach house on Pensacola Beach, Florida.
Ariola 310 beach house's den with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Ariola 310 – Pensacola Beach

Indulge in the beauty of this stunning contemporary 3-story home, which comfortably accommodates up to 15 guests and boasts a prime Gulf-front location. Take
in the serene surroundings from the multilevel decks and enjoy convenient beach access via a dune walkover right from the home.

An exterior photo of San De Luna condominiums on Pensacola Beach, Florida.
San De Luna condo 27's living room with sliding doors providing a view of the Gulf of Mexico.

San De Luna #27Pensacola Beach

Located on a beautiful strip of land between Santa Rosa Sound and the Gulf of Mexico, this townhome has 2-bedrooms and offer panoramic views of sand and surf on all sides.

The Oyster beach house in Navarre Beach, Florida's living room with a wall of windows providing sweeping views of the beach.

The Oyster – Navarre Beach

This magnificent 4-bedroom home on Navarre Beach sleeps 22 and is the ideal setting for creating cherished memories during family gatherings.

The deck of Piece of Paradise house on Santa Rosa Sound in Navarre Beach, Florida.

Piece of Paradise – Navarre Beach

Elevate your vacation experience in this lavish 4-bedroom home that boasts an exquisite view of Santa Rosa Sound. Accommodating up to 15 guests, this dog-friendly retreat promises a truly luxurious and unforgettable stay.

Dog on a leash and owner enjoying a dog-friendly beach.
Dog-friendly beaches are a blast even on a leash.

Dauphin Island, Fort Morgan and Gulf Shores

Two of Dauphin Island’s three beaches welcome dogs to enjoy the sand and surf with their owners. The island’s Public Beach and the East Beach are dog friendly, while the West End Beach Park does not allow dogs. This barrier island’s two uncrowded, unspoiled dog-friendly beaches are the perfect spots for you, your family, and your pets to enjoy the soft sand and emerald waters. Dogs are welcome on the bayside area of the Fort Morgan Historic Site in Gulf Shores, running from the Old Fort Morgan Pier to the Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Your buddy must be on a leash at all times.

Exterior photo of Sea of Love beach house in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
The furnished deck of Sea of Love beach house looking out over the water in Dauphin Island, Alabama.

Sea of Love – Dauphin Island

Discover the serenity of Sea of Love, a dog-friendly retreat on tranquil Dauphin Island. This 4-bedroom home accommodates up to 15 guests and two dogs.

Exterior photo of Above the Dunes beach house in Fort Morgan, Alabama.
The deck with a private pool of Above the Dunes beach house in Fort Morgan, Alabama.

Above the Dunes – Fort Morgan

An unforgettable vacation awaits at this 7-bedroom home with a private pool located right on the beach in Fort Morgan

French bulldog running on a dog-friendly beach living his best life.
This French bulldog is living his best life running on a dog-friendly beach.

Panama City Beach, Destin and 30A

Long a beachgoer’s favorite destination, Panama City Beach welcomes pets. In addition to a dedicated dog beach and several dog parks, many local restaurants are dog friendly, including First Watch, Salty Sue’s, Diego’s Burrito Factory, and Hook’d Pier Bar & Grill.

A great place to treat your four-legged friend to all-things-beach is to the west of Russell-Fields City Pier across Front Beach Road from Pier Park. Dogs on this 400-foot stretch of beach must be on a leash or under voice command. There’s also another dog-friendly beach on the Gulf at the foot of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. Leashed dogs are welcome in the outdoor areas of Pier Park.

As popular a vacation spot as Destin is, you might think there would be a dog-friendly beach along this stretch of coast. Not so. However, if you want to bring your best friend to Destin and need a place for outside romps, there is the Destin Dog Park, three acres of Bermuda grass, and pine and oak trees. It’s separated into large-dog and small-dog areas, has watering stations, benches, and waste receptacles.

There’s also the Alaqua Unleashed Bark Park at 342 JD Miller Road, Santa Rosa Beach. This sprawling fenced dog park is separated into small-, medium-, and large-dog areas, and has lots of shade trees, seating, water, and even a dog-digging area.

In Walton County, Florida, along Highway 30A, the beaches are dog-friendly only if you have a permit proving you are a resident or property owner. A limited schedule is strictly enforced, which is currently 3:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m.

The rooftop swimming pool and seating at Hotel Effie in Destin, Florida.
A dog sitting in the lobby of Hotel Effie in Destin, Florida.

Hotel Effie – Destin

Guests at the popular Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, stretching between the Gulf of Mexico and Choctawhatchee Bay, enjoy letting their pets play in the fenced-in Sandestin Bark Park. Hotel Effie, the newest luxury hotel within the resort, welcomes dogs with a bed, water bowl, doggy bags, toy, and a bag of treats.

The swimming pool at Carillon Beach Inn in Panama City Beach, Florida.
The living room and kitchen of Carillon Beach Inn unit 205 in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Carillon Beach Inn #205 – Panama City Beach

Indulge in a luxurious getaway at this exquisite condo nestled in a tranquil gated community at the edge of Panama City Beach, just around the bend from Rosemary Beach.

The exterior of Cassie's Beach Cottage in Destin, Florida.
The resort-style lagoon pool at the Villages of Crystal Beach in Destin, Florida.

Cassie’s Beach Cottage – Destin

Discover the epitome of vacation luxury in Miramar Beach when you book this exceptional 6-bedroom home, perfectly situated just a few steps from the resort-style lagoon pool, and a mere half mile from the pristine sandy shores of Destin.

Exterior, fenced-in yard, and swimming pool of Waterdog 1 house near the beach in Destin, Florida.

Waterdog 1 – Destin

Experience the pinnacle of luxury in this exquisite 7-bedroom home in Destin, expertly designed to accommodate up to 22 guests. Indulge in the convenience of a short walk to the beach, savor the delights of a high-end kitchen, and unwind in the privacy of your own pool and hot tub.

Exterior of the Sunset Manor home with fenced-in yard, swimming pool, and hot tub in Destin, Florida.

Sunset Manor – Destin

Discover ultimate luxury and pet-friendly comfort in this magnificent 7-bedroom home that sleeps up to 26 guests. Walk to the beach and soak in the breathtaking Gulf views. With an inviting pool, hot tub, and opulent amenities, indulge in a truly unforgettable vacation experience.

Little boy with dog on a dog-friendly beach.
Dog-friendly beaches are great places for kids — and adults alike — to make memories with four-legged friends.

So, now you, your friends and family — including the four-legged canine kind — can make wonderful memories! Book an exciting and fun vacation at one of BeachGuide’s fantastic properties on or near one of many dog-friendly beaches!

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