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Top 6 Dog-Friendly Beaches Outside Destin, FL (2024 Update)

Written by: Jeff Weishaupt

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

dog lying on the sand at the beach

Top 6 Dog-Friendly Beaches Outside Destin, FL (2024 Update)

Destin, Florida might be a place you are considering to go if you’re looking to take a vacation with your dog. The city is home to multiple parks that allow you to explore the trails with your furry friend.

While Destin has some dog-friendly parks, unfortunately, this does not apply to the beaches. Dogs are not permitted on the beaches in Okaloosa County, where Destin is located. However, since Florida is surrounded by beaches, we came up with a list of places around Destin where you can take your dog if you want to venture outside this famous fishing village.

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Top 6 Dog-Friendly Beaches Outside Destin, FL

1. Miramar Beach

️ Address: 599 Scenic Gulf Dr, Destin
Open Times: 24/7
Cost: Free
Off-Leash: No
  • Ideal spot for picnicking and strolling
  • Your dogs can explore the beach trails
  • Dogs can only enter the beach from 5 AM to 7 PM.
  • Permanent residents must obtain a permit to walk their dogs on the beach

2. Crystal Beach

️ Address: 518 Pennsylvania Ave, Palm Harbor
Open Times: Dawn to dusk
Cost: Free
Off-Leash: No
  • Clean and well-maintained area
  • Various pavilions
  • Restrooms, showers, and picnic tables are also available
  • Parking is somewhat limited
  • Leashed dogs are only allowed on the north section of the beach
  • Free Wi-Fi and parking are available

3. Henderson Beach State Park

️ Address: Henderson Beach State Park, 17000 Emerald Coast Pkwy
Open Times: 7 AM to 7 PM
Cost: $6
Off-Leash: No
  • Restrooms and shower stations are available
  • Dogs are allowed to swim in the water
  • Features six pavilions for picnicking and grilling
  • Kids can play in the nearby playground
  • Parking is wheelchair accessible

4. Jungle Hut Road Park

️ Address: 125 Jungle Hut Road
Open Times: 8 AM to PM
Cost: Free
Off-Leash: Yes
  • Wheelchair-accessible parking lot
  • Accepts credit cards and offers a military discount
  • Dogs are allowed to explore off-leash
  • Bring your own waste bags!

5. Rocky Bayou State Park

️ Address: 4281 FL-20, Niceville
Open Times: 8 AM to 5 PM
Cost: $45 for an annual pass
Off-Leash: No
  • Pet owners must keep their dogs on a leash no longer than 6 feet
  • Pet owners must clean up after their dogs
  • Dogs can explore the hiking trails
  • Bike parking is available
  • Shaded areas to keep you cool

6. YOLO Board + Beach

️ Address: 11610 US-98, Miramar Beach
Open Times: 9 AM to 5 PM
Cost: Free
Off-Leash: No
  • Ideal place for beginners to rent a board
  • Leashed dogs can explore the beach and shop
  • Wheelchair accessible area
  • Private lot parking is available
  • Friendly and helpful staff

Final Thoughts

Some vacation spots may be exciting and beautiful, but they’re often far from pet friendly. While we would not call Destin “unfriendly” toward pets because there are dog parks, no dogs are permitted on the beaches. The main reasons for setting up this policy are health issues regarding left dog feces and owners not controlling unruly dogs. It is unfortunate that situations in the past led to the current policy. However, there are other places outside of Okaloosa County where you and your dog can play on the sand.

Featured Image Credit: Bertrand Bouchez, Unsplash

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