Best Pet-Friendly Beach Destinations in Florida: Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches
Tucked between Daytona Beach and St. Augustine, Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches destination is known for pristine beaches, fabulous weather and tasty seafood. But it’s also—and possibly more famously—known for being one of the most pet-friendly beach destinations in the state and even the country. USA Today ranked Flagler Beach as one of the best places to take your pets when planning a beach vacation. But where can you take your pets? And what are the best things to do during your “dog-cation?” Here’s a guide to some of the best things to do with your pets in Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches.
Hit the Beach
The town of Flagler Beach has a family-friendly beach policy, allowing furry friends to roam most of the beach in the area north of Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreational Area. Leashed dogs can play in the sand and hit the waves along with their owners. Dog owners are advised to keep their dogs on a leash no more than 5 feet long. Pet-friendly beaches are located north of North 10th Street and south of South 10th Street.
Roam Freely at Wadsworth Park
Located off Highway 100 near the Matanzas River, Wadsworth Park is Flagler Beach’s most popular dog park. The fenced-in park has more than 60,000 square feet for your dogs to roam freely and unleashed. The park overlooks a pond and has several wooden benches for owners to relax and sit in the shade. There are two separate off-leash destinations for smaller and larger dogs. There’s no need to bring your own water for your furry friend; the park provides many water bowls. Wadsworth Park is currently undergoing an expansion to its dog park to make more room for owners and their pups. Come check out the newly renovated, James F. Holland Memorial Park, where dogs will be inspired to run and play. A new secure entry to the 1.5-acre Dog Park will open onto two separate play areas, one for large dogs and one for small. Wash-down stations have been installed for cleaning up after a day of play!
Take Your Pup Out on the Water
Thanks to calm waters in the Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches area, kayaking and canoeing are ideal watersports to do with your dogs (really)! When visiting the area, dog owners will be delighted to find many kayak and canoe rental venues allow your pets to accompany you on the trip. Both you and your pets will catch glimpses of Florida’s wildlife like egrets, manatees and turtles along the route.
Dine with an Oceanview
Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches area pride itself for having countless dog-friendly restaurants and cafes. Dog-friendly oceanfront restaurants include Turtle Shack Cafe, Johnny D’s Beach Bar and Grill, and High Tides at Snack Jack. However, for a laid-back day of sipping coffee, enjoying breakfast, and reading, visit Java Joint with your pet.
Spoil Your Dog at One of the Many Pet Boutiques
Looking for stylish collars or doggie uniforms? Flagler Beaches and the Palm Coast area have several top-of-the-line pet boutique shops like The Bark Spot. There, pet owners will find high-quality gourmet pet foods, snacks and baked doggie goods. Additionally, shoppers can send in photos of their pets to create customized mugs, shirts, magnets and shop for holiday-themed costumes. PetSmart and Pet Supermarket Inc. are other stores to swing by and shop for your favorite furchild.
Bed and Board with Your Pets
The area has a variety of accommodations that welcome you and your pets. Several dog-friendly beachside properties and vacation rental homes include Si Como No Inn, Flagler Beach Motel and Vacation Rentals, Tropical Bird and Bee, and Vacation Rental Pros. Dog owners can opt to camp beachside with their canines at Flagler by The Sea Campgrounds Inc, Beverly Beach RV Camptown Resort or Gamble Rogers Memorial State Recreational Area. Camp under the stars with man’s best friend.
Enjoy 125 Miles of Shaded Trails
Time to stretch those legs and explore Flagler’s 125-miles of scenic trails, where pets and their owners are shaded by canopied trees. Popular locations to bring Fido along include Graham Swamp Preserve Trail and Mala Compra Plantation Greenway Trail for rugged terrain. Central Park in Town Center and the Lehigh Greenway Rail Trail where biking and in-line skating enthusiasts will enjoy the trails with their forever friend.