As we start to open up around Tampa Bay again, you may be eager to get out of your house. If your dog has been your quarantine buddy, he may be eager for new scenery too. According to Visit St. Pete Clearwater, thousands of locals and visitors voted for these five places as the top 5 pet-friendly spots to visit in Pinellas county:
1️⃣Fort De Soto: This is the largest of the county parks and is actually five interconnected islands. There is a Paw Playground with separate areas for big and small dogs. Dogs are allowed anywhere in the park on a 6-ft. leash, except for the beaches. However, there is a special beach just for people and their pooches where the dogs are free to roam untethered.
2️⃣Downtown St. Pete: This area is great for EVERYONE! And when it comes to your dog, you have so many options. North Shore Park has a great park just for dogs. The large dog area is pretty big; we've driven by and seen easily twenty dogs running around, and there's still plenty of room for all the pups and their owners. The area for little dogs is also a nice size. Another bonus is all of the shade in the area, and there are plenty of benches and picnic tables where you can sit and relax while your dog plays. Most restaurants up and down Beach Dr. and Central Ave. are pet friendly. Moreover, when you're out walking, you'll find that many shop owners leave water bowls out front, and the Coldwell Banker office on Beach Dr. usually has a container of treats near the entrance. The Saturday Morning Market, once it's up and running again, is always very welcoming to dogs.
3️⃣Honeymoon Island: When we had our Bindi, this was our favorite beach to visit with her. Some people like that dogs can roam unleashed at Fort DeSoto, but we always felt better having her with us, and we liked other dogs to stay with their owners too (we just never knew how Bindi was going to feel about other dogs). At Honeymoon Island, there is a special area on the beach for dogs where Fido must stay on a leash. Once you walk back to your car, there are stations set up to rinse off your dog.
4️⃣Sand Key Park: Although located on the Gulf of Mexico, there is no dog beach here. However, there are pet playgrounds.
5️⃣Dunedin: Otherwise known as Dogedin, like downtown St. Pete, if you're eating outside at a restaurant, chances are there will be dogs at some of the surrounding tables. Dunedin is so dog-friendly, there are even murals on sides of buildings in a few spots dedicated to beloved pets. Check out #4 on this list to see what I'm talking about with the Murals for Mutts. After your meal, you can enjoy a nice walk with your dog on the Pinellas Trail (it runs right through the town) or go down by the water to the park or marina.
We are only in Phase 1 of our reopening, so you may want to call ahead or check websites for any of these places before setting out for a trip with your pooch.