Nestled on the Emerald Coast of the Florida Panhandle, Santa Rosa Beach is a classic beach town with a rich history. Aside from white sand beaches and clear turquoise waters, Santa Rosa Beach is home to a number of dog-friendly places, ensuring your pooch will feel right at home from the get-go. This pet-loving community has five animal hospitals to keep Fido's tail wagging while you're in town.
Let your best friend socialize and play in a safe environment at Alaqua Unleashed! The largest secured, off-leash dog park in Walton County, this 2-acre site features separate areas for large and small dogs, shade trees, chairs, and running water. It is run by the Alaqua Animal Refuge, a non-profit, no-kill animal sanctuary and adoption center located in nearby Freeport. Alaqua opened the dog park to keep the community's canines happy through exercise.
If Fido's not in the mood to socialize, take him for a leashed walk at the nearby Padgett Park. A pawpular venue for events, this park has paved walkways, multipurpose and athletic fields, playground equipment, pavilions, and a splash pad.
After getting some exercise in, grab dinner at The Bay. This pup-friendly restaurant has a deck overlooking Choctawhatchee Bay where well-behaved dogs are welcome.
Head to Santa Rosa Beach for a pawsome and unforgettable time with Fido!
Step back in time with Fido at the Eden Gardens State Park! Once part of the historic Wesley homestead, this beautifully landscaped, 163-acre park features a renovated 1897 mansion, flower gardens, and hiking trails. Dogs are not allowed inside the house, but leashed and well-behaved pups are welcome at the gardens, trails, and picnic areas. If you and your pooch are up for an outdoor adventure, head to the 15,407-acre Point Washington State Forest, which is home to several threatened or endangered plants and animals, including the American kestrel and white-topped pitcher plant. There are three double-track loop trails in the forest's Eastern Lake Trail System, so you get to choose the length of your hike.
The Grayton Beach State Park is a 2,000-acre park that offers a myriad of recreational opportunities, whether on land or water. While puppers are not permitted in some areas such as the beaches and playgrounds, there's still plenty to see and do here with your furry buddy. The Grayton Beach State Park has a 1-mile nature trail that travels along a salt marsh, and a 4.5-mile hiking/biking trail that goes around the backwaters of Western Lake. For dog-friendly accommodations near the park, book one of the three pet-friendly rooms at the Hibiscus Coffee & Guesthouse. All rooms have an Old Florida feel and are equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot, Wi-Fi, and satellite TV.
Named for a dune that resembles a ship's topsail, the Topsail Hill Preserve State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities that you can enjoy with your pooch. This 1,640-acre park comprises diverse habitats, including freshwater coastal dune lakes, wetlands, beaches, and longleaf pine forests. To help you and Fido explore the site, there are over 10 miles of marked hiking trails, each with its own points of interest. The Turpentine Trail winds among remnants of the turpentining industry in the 1800s; the Deer Track Trail lets you see carnivorous plants; and the Morris Lake Trail travels past the remainders of a WWII missile testing program. For overnight trips, you and Fido can stay in your tent or RV at the Gregory E. Moore RV Resort, located within the park.
Foodies, rejoice! This waterfront neighborhood is home to several eateries with outdoor seating, so you can bring your pooch along as you eat and drink your way through the area. For coffee or tea with a view of the ocean, head to Amavida. They also serve pastries, which you can enjoy at one of their many sidewalk tables. If you eat vegan and organic, Raw & Juicy serves cold-pressed juices, fresh salads, and more out of a converted trailer with outdoor seats. For southern classics with a modern twist, the Great Southern Cafe is the place to be. They have a beautiful patio that welcomes furry customers, and they'll even offer Fido a treat and water!
Pamper your pooch at the Bow Wow Meow Pet Company, a specialty pet store that has everything that Fido could possibly want and need! From natural and organic dog food to pet gear such as eco-friendly beds and designer collars, the Bow Wow Meow Pet Company strives to provide the best products for your beloved pup. They also run the only dog bakery in Santa Rosa Beach, so don't expect to leave the place empty-handed! Founded by dog lovers, for dog lovers, the Bow Wow Meow Pet Company is a must-visit whenever you're in the area.