POSTCARDS FROM FLORIDA

Florida's got beaches for dog day afternoons

Dogs on the beach in Florida

Some Florida beaches put out the welcome mat for dogs. (Orlando Sentinel)

My recent travel story on Florida beaches generated some nice email responses, including a terrific request from reader Jeanine Vaerewyck of Orlando:

"With so many dog people around, could you maybe do an article on 'dog beaches' in Florida?"

In Jeanine's honor, here's a list of dog-friendly Florida beaches, as compiled by bringfido.com, a canine-oriented travel site.


Photos: Partying in Fort Lauderdale on Thanksgiving Eve

•Fort DeSoto Paw Playground and Beach, St. Petersburg: The playground has fenced areas for both large and small dogs, with doggy showers. Pets are allowed anywhere in the park on a six-foot leash and also allowed leash-free on a designated beach area.

•Walton Rocks Dog Beach, Jensen Beach: This destination features an off-leash dog park with covered picnic tables, restrooms and plenty of roaming space for pets and their people.

•Algiers Beach/Gulfside City Park, Sanibel Island: A pet-friendly escape with picnic tables and restrooms adjacent to a nature preserve. Dogs are allowed on a leash.

•Anne's Beach, Islamorada: This very secluded beach has plenty of shade in the Florida Keys. Doggy clean-up bags and fresh water bowls for pets are available.

•Dog Beach, Panama City Beach: Nestled at the foot of Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Cafe, this canine-friendly beach has access to the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

•Brohard Paw Park, Venice: Dog drinking fountains and canine-only showers are among the useful touches. There's a small-dog area and an additional fenced yard that leads to a pet-friendly beach.

•Bonita Beach Dog Park, Fort Myers Beach: The dog beach is at Lover's Key State Park along the Fort Myers/Bonita Springs line. There is a portable toilet, but no running water, so bring along something for your pet to drink.

•Key West Dog Beach, Key West: Dogs are allowed, but this is a rocky beach. Louie's Backyard, next to the beach, also is pet-friendly.

•Juno Dog Beach, Juno Beach: Free parking, showers and doggy clean-up bags.

•Sand Key Dog Park, Clearwater: Small and large dog areas, with water stations.
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