Want to take a pet-friendly camping trip to a beautiful, pristine island? Cayo Costa State Park, located on a barrier island to the south of Boca Grande, should definitely be on your list of must-visit destinations.
This spectacular park covers 2,426 acres of unspoiled coastal terrain, boasting nine miles of gorgeous beaches and plenty of recreational activities to enjoy. For many visitors to the island, the highlight is of course swimming or sunbathing on one of Cayo Costa's many stretches of sandy beach. Beachcombers will delight at finding a fascinating array of shells, while great snorkeling is also available just off the shore.
Away from the water, Cayo Costa State Park boasts pine forests, oak-palm hammocks, and mangrove swamps. There are several miles of hiking and bicycling trails to help you take in the best of the natural scenery, with plenty of opportunities for bird watching and nature exploration along the way.
The island is only accessible by private boat or ferry. Captive Cruises runs a ferry service to the park from Punta Gorda, Pine Island, Fort Myers, Sanibel Island, and Captiva Island, but you'll need to reserve your spot ahead of time.
The Cayo Costa State Park campground is home to 27 tent-only sites, all of which welcome pets. Please note that while there are also 12 cabins available, they don't permit pets.
If visiting the park with your dog, make sure you abide by Florida State Parks' pet policies. These stipulate that pets must be confined, leashed (maximum leash length of six feet), or otherwise under the physical control of a person at all times. Your pet will also need to be well behaved, while it's your responsibility to clean up after your pet and dispose of their waste in the trash receptacles provided.
Take care of these simple responsibilities and you and your canine pal are free to enjoy a relaxing camping getaway in this paw-some park.