Do you love underwater adventures almost as much as you love your dog? If so, make sure you add Florida's John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park to your list of mutts-visit destinations. Located on Key Largo, this spectacular park includes some 70 nautical square miles of Atlantic Ocean waters, which themselves are home to a diverse array of marine life. Best of all, the park offers a great pet-friendly campground so you can stay for a night (or longer) with your furry friend.
Affectionately known as Pennekamp, this park gives visitors the chance to experience life under the sea. The best way to take in the protected coral reefs is via glass-bottom boat or snorkel tour, but there are four different types of boat tour available. Canoe and kayak rentals are also offered for those who want to paddle their way around.
The reefs are home to an abundance of underwater life, and so too is the park's 30,000-gallon saltwater aquarium. Located in the visitor center, it's well worth checking out for visitors young and old.
There are many other opportunities for outdoor recreation throughout the rest of the park, with its upland areas featuring mangrove swamps and tropical hammocks. There are walking trails, picnic areas, a playground area, and swimming beaches, so you'll never be short of things to do.
If you're staying the night, the campground features 42 pet-friendly sites for tents and RVs. Some sites could do with a little more shade, but all other essential amenities are provided.
Unfortunately, pets are not allowed on beaches, on boats or in buildings, but they are welcome in the campground as long as they're on a leash of six feet or shorter. Remembering to always clean up after your dog is also a must.
If you can stay on top of these simple responsibilities, you and your pooch can enjoy a relaxing and memorable getaway in one of Florida's best state parks!