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About 30 miles northeast of Key West, Big Pine Key is known for its white sand beaches and adorable Key deer. This largely undeveloped island has no malls or night life, making it the pawfect destination for those who are seeking a low-key vacation. Big Pine Key has one vet who makes house calls, while the nearest animal hospital is five minutes away in nearby Ramrod Key.
Leash up for an outdoor adventure with Fido at the Bahia Honda State Park, one of Florida's southernmost state parks. Bahia Honda welcomes well-behaved furry visitors to some areas of the park, including the campground, picnic areas, and trails. The main nature trail follows the old route of US 1 and leads to a bridge where you and Fido can get a bird's-eye view of the entire island.
From the Bahia Honda State Park, you and your pooch may access the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail, a 106-mile corridor that stretches from Key Largo to Key West. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail and are requested to walk near the edge. Note that the park has very little shade, so bring enough sunscreen and water.
Come experience the natural beauty of the Florida Keys in Big Pine Key with your best friend!
The Big Pine Key experience isn't complete without a trip to the National Key Deer Refuge! Established in 1957, this 9,200-acre refuge protects hundreds of plant and animal species, including the endangered Key deer. Make the visitor center your first stop to find out where to see these cute, dog-sized deer, and to pick up some brochures and souvenirs. Then head a few miles north to the Blue Hole Observation Platform, where you might spot the American alligator, white-crowned pigeon, anhinga, and other native wildlife. Not far from the Blue Hole are two trails that you and Fido can follow if you want to explore the area's freshwater wetlands, pine rockland, and hardwood hammock. Remember to always keep Fido on a leash, stay on the trails, and don't feed the wildlife.
Is Fido looking for playmates? Head down to the Big Pine Key Dog Park so he can make some new friends. With two separate areas for large and small dogs, this fenced-in bark park offers plenty of room for your pooch to run around off-leash. Drinking water, bowls, toys, waste bags, trash receptacles, and benches and chairs are provided for your convenience. There are also some doggie pools for the pups to cool off in on hot days. And unlike most other dog parks, the Big Pine Key Dog Park is part sand and part grass, giving your pooch an assortment of textures to play on.
Don't keep your pup indoors all day, take him for a leashed walk at the Big Pine Key Community Park! With a fitness trail and lots of grassy areas, this park is pawrific for staying active and getting some daily exercise with your pup. Picnic pavilions and benches along the water offer spots to take breaks and enjoy a snack with a view. The Big Pine Key Community Park also houses multi-use fields, athletic courts, a playground, and a skate park. Don't forget to bring doggie waste bags and pick up after him to help keep the park clean and beautiful!
Enjoy a relaxing Florida Keys vacation with your pupper at the pet-friendly Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina. Set in a tropical island environment, this RV resort houses nearly 400 sites with electric hook-ups. Amenities include boat docks and a marina, a swimming pool, athletic courts, a convenience store, a gas station, and high-speed Internet. While four-legged guests are welcome at the resort, they must be kept on a 6-foot leash when outside your vehicle. The Sunshine Key RV Resort & Marina is located on the 75-acre island of Ohio Key, which is only 8 miles from Big Pine Key.
If your doggo loves to dig in the sand and play in the water, take a 30-minute drive to Sombrero Beach in nearby Marathon. This sandy beach on the Atlantic Ocean is completely dog-friendly, which is a rare find in the Keys! In addition to the beach, you and Fido can explore the abutting park with paved walkways, picnic shelters, and grassy areas. Show your appreciation for this gem by following the park rules: leash, curb, and clean up after your pooch. Sombrero Beach is a turtle nesting beach, with loggerheads coming in from April through October to lay their eggs.
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