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Dog Friendly beaches in Florida

Dog Friendly beaches in Florida

Dog days of summer are here. There is only one cure – grab your leash and water bowl and head for the beach!

Obi, a Welsh Corgi, and I did just that, winding our way down A1A south of St. Augustine, looking for a dog-friendly beach recommended by Brenda Flynn and her Scottish Terrier Pearl.

Dog Friendly Beaches in Ormond Beach

“It is a well kept secret, not even the locals know it is here,” said Flynn who lives in Ormond Beach. So secret we passed right by the street sign in Palm Coast for the turn because, silly me, I thought that there would be a dog beach sign. Hey, then it wouldn’t be a secret.

The street is named Jungle Hut Road. About half way down you cross a parkway that goes to Ginn Hammock Beach and Hammock Beach Vacation Rentals. Just stay on Jungle Hut until it ends. Surprise! Here is a public entrance to the beach with a paved parking lot, restroom, showers and a dune walkover. Very nice.

dog friendly beaches -Dog signs at Ginn Hammock Beach, Palm Coast Florida
Dog signs at Ginn Hammock Beach, Palm Coast Florida

Leashed dogs are welcome. Clean up after your dog. Brenda is a regular here. She tells me low tide is the best time and in the evening, you are likely to see a dog coming down the steps from a waterfront home – carrying his leash in his mouth, his master trotting faithfully behind him.

Dog friendly baches - walk over to beach
Obi at the top of the walkover stairs to the beach

Obi, urban dog that he is, quickly decided walking on hot sand was not his thing so naturally I carried him to the dune walkover. It is so nice have a dog small enough to pick up and sit in my lap. The sand by the water was much cooler.

Pearl thought the waves were wonderful and she liked Obi a lot, charging at him in the dog version of “let’s play!” He gave me that shocked look “Mom, the women are chasing me” and ran the other way. He got his feet wet at my encouragement but water wasn’t his thing.

We moved on to the Golden Lion Café in Flagler Beach. Dogs can sit outside the rail. Brenda, Per Hans and I sat at a table right next to the rail.

Dog friendly beaches are often near a dog friendly cafe!

Dog friendly beaches - Golden Lion Cafe, Flagler Beach
Lunch with dogs at Golden Lion Cafe, Flagler Beach. Photo by Per Hans

The fish taco was excellent, so were the onion rings. How sweet to smell salt air and look across the street to blue sky, white clouds and an ocean still clean, not yet spoiled by the oil spill.

Finding dog friendly beaches and dog parks in Florida is a challenge. Some are, some are not. Best to know ahead of time before venturing out. One good source is Florida Pets. Get on their E-mail list for regular updates on everything from places to play, restaurants that accept dogs and places to stay. Their motto: “They’re part of the family, so take them along!”

Dog friendly beaches - lunch place at Flagler Beach
Waiting for lunch at Golden Lion Cafe in Flagler Beach. Photo by Per Hans

Another good resource is the Dog Lover’s Companion Guide to Florida by Sally Deneen and Robert McClure. This book is in its fourth edition.

Some towns get two paws up for being dog friendly. Apalachicola comes to mind; here people even bring their dogs to work. Sanford puts out the welcome mat, or at least the water bowls. We found several water bowls at the Farmer’s Market on Saturday.

Dog friendly - dog water bowl in Sanford, Florida
Dog water bowl at Farmer\’s Market in Sanford, Florida

Do you know of more dog friendly places? Let me know in the “comment” section and we’ll post the places. Your best four-legged friend will be happy with new places to explore.

Lucy Beebe Tobias is the author ‘of “50 Great Walks in Florida” and a freelance Florida environmental writer.

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Photographs of Life Moments at Villa Lucia

Photographs. As a reporter it used to get to me when people said “a picture is worth a 1000 words”, hey, I was the one writing those words! Why should the photographers have all the fun?But sometimes they do. This is one of those times.

Photographs tell the story ever so well

Here are four photos capturing current moments from my home Villa Lucia – they are worth 4000 words! Enjoy

An iris in bloom next to the pond. There are four in bloom right now, on tall spikes about four feet high. Very showy. This is the lovely thing about seasons in Florida. With planning, something can be blooming every month all through the seasons of summer, spring, fall and winter.
Photographs = iris

Finally! A swallowtail butterfly caterpillar on the fennel in the back yard. I’d been hoping the swallowtails would lay their eggs on the fennel, conveniently located right next to a bright red penta. They got the message! Now I’m going to add a cassia plant. Swallowtails like to lay eggs there too.
photographs - swallowtail caterpillar

Mexican pentas in bloom. The pond area is full of them, all volunteers. Perhaps the birds bring the seeds?
photographs - Mexican penta

And last, but certainly not least, please join me in welcoming Obi, a two-year old Corgi from Sunshine Corgi Rescue and the newest family member. He is the missing piece of the puzzle for us! Obi joins Annie, a Golden Retriever/Terrier mix, and five cats, all of whom like the fact that Obi has short legs and isn’t much taller then they are. Here’s to great walks, playtime and bonding.
photographs - Obi the welsh corgi

Lucy Beebe Tobias is the Authentic Florida Expert for VISIT FLORIDA and the author of “50 Great Walks in Florida”, University of Florida Press, February, 2008. ©2008 Lucy Beebe Tobias. All rights reserved.

 

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