I partnered with Hotels.com to bring you this dog-friendly guide to the Florida Keys.
If you’ve been wanting to escape to the tropics, planning a dog-friendly visit to the Florida Keys might be right up your alley. The quintessential road trip spans 100-miles connecting the various keys.
While many of the beaches do not allow dogs, there are a few that do.There are also a number of other fun activities you can do with your dog on the Florida Keys.
Things to Do with Dogs in the Florida Keys
The Florida Keys have quite a few things to do with with dogs and become increasingly more dog-friendly the further south you go.
There are several state parks located throughout the Keys, most don’t have a ton of dog-friendly options, but some do allow dogs on the trails. Dogs are not allowed on the beaches in the state parks.
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Key Largo – The first underwater park in the US, does not allow dogs on the beach, however you can hike along the many trails and enjoy picnics in the mangroves.
Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park – Saved from development, this state park is home to one of the largest tracts of West Indian tropical hardwood hammock in the US. Visitors can also find 84 protected species of plants and animals.
Leashed dogs are welcome on the six miles of nature trails within the park.
National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key – Unique only to the Florida Keys, Key Deer are the smallest subspecies of North American white-tailed deer. There are a few short trails you can hike with your dog on leash.
Be sure to stay away from the turtle refuge area and watch out for alligators.
Curry Hammock State Park, Marathon Key – The largest uninhabited stretch of land between Key Largo and Big Pine, Key this state park sits on 1000 acres of mangrove swamp, hammocks, and seagrass beds.
Dogs are not allowed on the beaches, but are permitted in the campground.
Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Gardens – This 15-acre garden includes plants native to the Keys, Cuba, and the Caribbean, with a focus of threatened and endangered species. Dogs are welcome on leash.
Easy Day Charters, Key West – Rent a private charter to explore the Keys and snorkel with your dog! Easy Day Charters can take you away from the crowds and visit sandbars and remote beaches.
Lazy Dog Kayaking and Paddle board Rentals – Lazy Dog rents out paddle board and kayaks to explore a protected mangrove and have the chance to see manatees. Dogs are permitted and the shop has their own pups to assist.
Dog-Friendly Beaches in the Florida Keys
There are a few dog-friendly beaches in the Florida Keys. Unless you hire a boat or paddle to a remote beach, the beaches will all require your dog to be on leash.
Anne’s Beach, Middle Keys – This calm and shallow beach is located at MP 73.4 and features a boardwalk, restrooms, and picnic tables. Dogs allowed on leash.
Sombrero Beach, Marathon Key – This low-key beach is a bit off the tourist trail and features a nice sandy strip you can walk along with your dog. Near MP 50.
Coco Plum Beach, Marathon – One of the best dog-friendly beaches in the Keys, Coco Plum has a mile of sandy beaches for your pup and shallow water in which they can play.
Dog-Friendly Hotels in the Florida Keys
There are plenty of pet-friendly accommodation options in the Florida Keys, ranging from budget to quite luxurious, depending on your preference.
Since travel today looks a bit different from normal, I encourage you to keep your safety and the safety of others in mind. Please travel responsibly.
If you do decide to travel during the pandemic, here is how I recommend doing so safely:
- Wear a face mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands regularly
- Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures, and status of local businesses.
- Fill up with gas before you leave
- Bring your own food and limit trips to local shops
- Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans
The Palms Hotel, Key West – This hybrid guesthouse hotel is a great option for travelers who want the comfort of a fully-equipped home with hotel amenities.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Marathon Key – If you prefer something classic and familiar, the The Fairfield Inn on Marathon Key is located right on the water and offers paddle board and kayak rentals.
Fisher Inn Resort & Marina, Islamorada – This relatively new resort features bright rooms with kitchenettes and paddle boards, bikes, and kayaks are included in the rental.