We know that many of our visitors love to bring their furry friends along on vacation. We get it – your pup is part of your family! So bring along your pet, but be sure to prepare. Many of the public beaches on the Gulf Coast do not allow dogs (or other pets.) But, there are places along the coast that give your dog a chance to run free and get wet! Here’s our list of Gulf Coast dog friendly beaches to get you started.
Pensacola Beach is the most dog-friendly beach in this region! It is home to the only two approved Gulf-front beaches that allow dogs. The dogs must be on a leash at all times and owners must be prepared to dispose of dog waste.
True to their dog-friendly reputation, most downtown Pensacola and Pensacola Beach restaurants with a patio welcome dogs to join their dining guests.
Gulf Shores/Orange Beach
We love the trails (with or without your pup) at Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail, the bay-side beach between Old Fisherman’s Wharf and Old Fort Morgan Pier and Wade Ward Nature Park and The Wharf. They even have an etiquette guide.
There are many leash-free areas in the area as well. Check out the dog parks in Gulf State Park, The Dog Pond and River Road Dog Park in Perdido Key. Both include places for dogs to roam, run and swim. There is also a shaded dog park in Orange Beach called Unleashed. Dogs are also allowed on the beach at Pirates Cove Marina in Josephine.
And if you plan to bring your pet to dinner, there are a few restaurants in the Gulf Shores area are pet friendly. Luna’s at Cosmos Restaurant & Bar, Rita’s Italian Ice, Southern Grind Coffee Shop and Moe’s Original BBQ, to name a few.
Leashed pets are allowed at most Florida state parks, including Grayton State Park, Topsail Hill Preserve and Camp Helen. Dogs are only allowed on trails, not on the beach. All the beach towns, like Rosemary and Seaside are very walkable and welcoming to pets. You may even find water bowls outside many of the establishments. For leash-free play areas, try Alaqua Unleashed, an animal rescue that has a dog park open to the public. There is also a leash-free park in nearby Destin.
A note about Walton County: You may be confused to see some dogs on the beaches of the 30A. That is because residents and property owners in the county can obtain a permit, but all other visitors are not permitted to bring dogs on the beach.