For an unfurgettable experience on the Gulf Coast, look no further than Caladesi Island State Park! Drawing visitors with its pristine beaches and warm gulf breezes, this untouched island has been named one of the best beaches in the country by coastal ecologist Dr. Stephen Leatherman. Though the site is only accessible by boat, it is well worth the effort. Enjoy this piece of paradise with the whole family, including your four-legged members!
To reach Caladesi Island, visitors may ride the ferry service from Honeymoon Island State Park or take a private boat. However, since furry adventurers are not allowed on the ferry, you will have to choose the second option if Fido is tagging along. The beach is off-limits to doggos as well, so water-loving canines can leave their barkinis at home. The rest of the park is pup-friendly, though, and you and your pooch can check out the flora and fauna of the area by following the 3-mile nature trail.
Enjoy the seclusion of the island as you and your four-legged pal take an easy stroll among slash pines, live oaks, and cabbage palms. Eventually, you will reach the historical homestead where the Scharrer family used to reside. Today, only a foundation and chimney remain. If you and Fido are quiet, you might encounter ospreys and gopher tortoises as well during your hike. Be sure to keep your pupper on a 6-foot leash and clean up after them at all times.
Paddling is another furrific way to experience the island. You are welcome to bring your own kayak or canoe, or you may rent one from the park's cafe. Spanning 3 miles, the paddling trail winds through an extensive mangrove forest and provides several opportunities to spot various wading and diving birds. Not ready to go home yet? The park has a 108-slip marina with electric service and water hookups for overnight boat stays.
Expect to have a barking good time with your canine BFF at Caladesi Island State Park!