Mile Marker 73.5, Overseas Highway
Islamorada, FL 33036
This is not only a great beach for families, it's pet-friendly in every way. The water is warm and so shallow that you can walk out quite a ways and the water will still only be up to your knees. There are fresh water dog bowls and poop bags so you can take care of your pet. However, you should be prepared with additional fresh water. Shelters and shade are also available. Since Anne's Beach is right off US 1, keep your pet safe by keeping a leash on until they are out of harm's way and in the water. Hours are sunrise to sunset. Admission and parking is free.
David T. Kennedy Park
2600 South Bayshore Drive
Coconut Grove, FL 33133
The David T. Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove has a dog park split into two separate fenced-off sections, one side for dogs less than 35 pounds and the other side for dogs over 35 pounds. Kennedy Park has something for everyone; it's right on the water and the bay views are so beautiful, it will make you feel lucky to be living in South Florida. Treat yourself to a frozen lemonade while you're here from AC's Icees, you'll see his food truck in the parking lot.
Tropical Park's Bark Park
7900 S.W. 40th St.
Miami, FL 33155
Over a million people a year visit Tropical Park for its numerous amenities, but for dog lovers, the top attraction is the Bark Park. It's two acres in total size, divided into two: one area for dogs over 35 pounds and the other for dogs that weigh less than 35 pounds. Both sides have fun play features like a tire jump, window jump, king-of-the-hill ramp and many others. You'll also find 'dog comfort stations' with doggy drinking fountains and water sprayers. There is even a shade structure that overlaps both areas, along with a lake, park benches, walkways and shade trees. A walkway connects all areas of the dog park and makes it ADA accessible. Admission is free.
Related: Best Spots For a Picnic In Miami
Perrine Wayside Dog Park
16425 S. Dixie Highway
Palmetto Bay, FL 33157
This is a favorite of locals because of the shade trees and benches. For dogs, this park is a favorite because of the lake where they can swim. If your dog's a swimmer, he or she will run right for the water, and stay there, so be sure to bring a towel or two. As this park is right off US 1 and the parking lot in the back may be full, keep your dog safe by keeping him or her on a leash until you get inside the gate. In addition to the lake, there is agility equipment, large and small dog areas and drinking fountains. Hours are 8 a.m. to sunset. Admission is free.
Dog Beach at Key Biscayne
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
With a gradual slope into the water, this is a great place to get a tan and take your dog swimming. You can choose either side of the causeway; just get there early as the best spots get scooped up. There are no facilities here for your dog so come prepared with your own water, bowl, towel and even shade. If your dog doesn't get along with others, it's best to not bring it to this type of open atmosphere. It's an actual beach, there are no fences, so every dog owner must be responsible and pick up any messes. Hours are sunrise to sunset. Admission is free.
Related: Best Place to Dine With Your Dog
Jill Martin is a family travel expert, appearing on numerous television and radio shows. She spent five years as the VISIT FLORIDA Family Insider, has penned children's books, and is the creator of Sunshine Brain Games – trivia cards about Florida. A Miami native, Jill resides in Redland. Her work can be found onExaminer.com.
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