3500 Pinellas Bayway S
Saint Petersburg, FL, US 33715
Saint Petersburg, FL, US 33715
Ft. De Soto Paw Playground and Beach Overview
Hours:The Paw Playground has large fenced areas for both large and small dogs, including dog showers for those hot days. Dogs are allowed anywhere in the park on a six-foot leash, except on any beach. The Paw Playground area is the exception -- dogs are allowed on the beach, and they are allowed off leash on that area of beach. They can also run free inside the fenced areas. On a hot summer day, you can cool off your dog by hosing him down, and drinking water is available too. The park also has plenty for two-legged visitors too -- an old Spanish fort to explore, gorgeous parks, overnight camping with plenty of amenities, and picnic areas. The north beach was named "America's #1 beach" in 2008 & 2009 by Trip Advisor.
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Average Rating:Ft. De Soto Paw Playground and Beach in Saint Petersburg, FL, US has an average rating of 4.7 based on 46 member reviews.
Great for large dogs!
Mandi in Tampa
Great dog beach for locals and visitors. I have a 50-60 lb boxer/shepherd/pit bull puppy (6 months) and we took him there for the first time a few weekends back. He loved it! There are a lot of dogs small and large and most all off leashes. I was worried at first but he played well with all of the larger dogs. Couple things I learned as a first time goer: 1)DO NOT bring a bone for your dog to relax with as all of the other dogs will smell and want it and it will cause issues. 2) Do not bring a blanket to lay out on as every dog nearby will be on your blanket at some point and spray it with sand and water. 3) bring chairs instead 4) Bring a ball to throw in the ocean for your dog to fetch - he loved this! 5) Dogs sometimes get protective of their little beach space. Just an FYI for behavior lookouts. All in all - it was great and we are heading back this weekend to do it all over again.
best place ever!
kiera in Atlanta
4 days in a row. My dog LOVED this beach!!! Excellent facilities and great dog shower hoses!! Really convenient! I suggest early mornings and weekdays.
Sharon in Washington, DC
This was heaven for our Portuguese Water Dog, 50 dogs to play with, joyful humans interacting with each other, sand, sun, water. What I love the most about this dog beach is how it connect people through their love of dogs.
Playtime in Paradise
Chihuahuas are King in St. Petersburg
This is one of those very special places that you will make memories with your furbabies. I share my home with 5 very small dogs, 3 are special needs taking them to the dog beach for the first time I was not sure what to expect. Beach is spotless clean. There is a dog park also on their property for a more shaded experience where small dogs and large are separated by a fence. That said, it’s the dog beach that we come for. We have been 3 times now. Since they added the $5.00 toll to get onto Fort Desoto it had for the most part kept some of the crowds away, which is very nice. It also seems to keep away the “riffraff” ie. People who don’t raise respectful or happy dogs or people who don’t clean up after theirs. Overall the experience of swimming in the Gulf of Mexico with your dogs, watching them sniff seaweed and run and play for days is well worth the five dollar admission.
Best dog beach I know
Franziska in Eustis, FL
Nice, leash free beach where they can enjoy playing and swimming. Room to spread out, always friendly dogs and people. There's a little fenced in play area near the parking lot where the dog can be hosed down. Bathrooms and open air shower for the humans are available too. Snacks are sold on the pier. Everything is very clean and well cared for. Just wish we'd live closer.
Lisa B. in Brandon
When we entered the park we were confused where the dog beach was. We drove around a few times but we parked by the paw playground dog park and saw signs near the beach that the dog beach was located BEHIND the dog park. I feel they should add a sign indicating to where the dog beach is. FYI There is another beach when you enter the T after you enter the park to the left that allows dogs on a leash at the dead end but signs saying no swimming. We loved the beach and had a wonderful time with our aussie. The sand was nice no rocky areas. There were parts of the beach no one was at incase you wanted a private spot away from other dogs. No aggressive dogs was a plus nor dogs fighting or playing too rough. The owners kept a watch on their dogs. People were friendly and talkative but beware there is ZERO shade so bring an umbrella. Bring your pooch some water because they do not proivde a watering station on the beach. When it was time to clean up and go there is not a human shower(that we could find.) However, there is a dog washing station inside the empty dog park. You cannot use shampoo or soap as posted by signs. All in all we had a great time and would return again. We loved it more than a few other dog parks here in tampa.
Rebecca in Atlanta
And their humans were friendly! The beach was packed. The fenced in dog park was HUGE! The dog friendly beach area is also HUGE! The beach wasn't the most beautiful.. but honestly , to be able to take my dog was amazing! The parking lot was full, so we hard to park across the street. So, therefore, it was a small walk to the beach. Pack light! And enjoy!
My dogs heaven
Kristen in Pickford, MI
This dog beach/park is amazing. I lived in Florida for a few short months and traveled to this dog beach whenever I had a day off since I lived 3 hours away. All I have to say is go here with your dog! Everyone pretty much understood the rule of "if you have an aggressive dog, keep the dog on a leash". The beach is huge for a dog beach and the water is not too deep, it is good for all dog sizes.
Laurie in Atlanta
We visited both Davis Island and Picnic Island today. We enjoyed both but preferred Picnic Island. We visited Ft. DeSoto yesterday. Our favorite was Ft. DeSoto, second was Picnic Island and third was Davis Island, mostly based on the Iroom for the dogs to run and play but certainly liked all. It's really nice to have so many good choices. This area seems very dog friendly almost everywhere and we are very happy we came with our three four legged buddies.
Bodhi in California
Our first visit was a hit! Our Golden Retriever, Bodhi, had so much fun at the beach! Friendly pets and responsible owners. We look forward to revisiting!
Ft. DeSoto Dog Beach
Leslie A. in Rocky River, Ohio
We took our dog to this beach and absolutely LOVED it !!! VERY clean beach. The people and dogs are ALL very friendly. This is our 2nd dog beach in FL and this one is the "best" one for sure. They even have a dog playground so the dogs can run inside the fenced area. We will continue to come back to this beach for sure. Thank you to all the people who posted the past reviews about Ft Desoto..... they were "right on" and very helpful. This beach is not only dog friendly but family oriented as well. I would recommend this beach to anyone.
Adam in Clearwater, FL
Fun beach for dogs, they can play, socialize and swim. Most dogs are friendly and fun even with small dogs. I don't understand why some people bring aggressive dogs to the beach, though it's rare, please keep your aggressive dogs at home! we don't want them here. Otherwise this beach is perfect just watch your dog at all times. To those who complain about dogs being curious or running all over the place, get over it! it's what dogs do.
Biggest Park & Beach yet!
Matthew Ellis in Maryland
My girlfriend & I drove down from Maryland this past week with our ten month old 90 lb chocolate lab. By far this was the best & biggest dog area I've been to. The fenced in area for big dogs is hugeee! And the beach is pretty sandy not many rocks or shells at all. Great place to swim for everyone. Also lots of space on the beach. Everything you & your dog would want is here.
Robin in Sandwich IL
We come to different beaches everytime we come to Florida so this time we brought our dog and was still able to enjoy the beaches!
Samantha in Ocala
Perfect place for dogs of all sizes. Off leash really is a treat. Plus a great place for dogs who love to swim and run around
Another dog friendly beach
albert goldwyn in pasa grille, florida
I wanted everyone to know, that the gandy beach is a high bacteria area, the sewage treatment plant is very close by..but if you want the PERFECT beach to play without a leash, the back side of Pasa Grille beach, a small beach, IS dog friendly, NO LEASH EITHER..everyonne enjoy
best idea ever
carole in haliburton highlands
what an awesome idea I would rather spend the day with 50 dogs and their owners. Than kids the dogs play with each other and steal each others balls and frisbees. It truly is amazing. Though I wish my fur baby would stop drinking the salt water
Nadya in Melbourne
Loved it!!! Dogs can be without a leash on the beach, totally recommend it!!!
Erin in Ellenton, Fl
I drive from the Ellenton area to take my sweet girl here! The water is nice, the sand (isn't like Bradenton Beach) a little more "shelly" then "sandy" but with my little girl I prefer that since the really fine sand is bothersome to her. Dogs are happy, dog-parents are friendly. If your dog is a wanderer though be careful because they really have free range. Plenty of parking, and two different enclosed big/dog parks with a rinse off station which is nice when you're on your way out! Love coming here and will come back many many times! (There is a 5$ fee to get into Ft. Desoto, and a about 2$ worth of tolls, but it's worth it when it's for your fur-kid!)
So much fun
Sharon in Orlando
We have such a great time every time we bring our two dogs. Living in the middle of the state, it's about the same distance to De Soto or Smyrna Dunes on the Atlantic Coast. I love that De Soto is off leash and the parking is MUCH closer to the beach area. The atmosphere here is very laid back - you never know when a new canine pal will lay down on your beach blanket with your or take a drink out of your dog's water bowl! Every dog I've seen here has been friendly and happy, though. No aggression at all. Occasionally a bad-mannered owner will fail to clean up after his or her pet, but that is the exception rather than the norm. This is a great place to socialize a dog!
Great way to enjoy the beach with the dog
brandon in Lakeland
The beach is great, and it is a fun for the dog. Our dog enjoyed swimming with us. The park next to it is nice, with a great shower.
karen in alexandria, VA
We had a great time and our dog was EXHAUSTED after running, slpashing and playing. Look out for the burrs that are in the brush -- it took us 20 minutes to get them out of hs fur -- he didn't care, but they were a pain. keep your dog in the sand and you'll be fine. The 2 dog parks with showers are genius!!
Great dog beach
Carol in Boynton Beach
Great dog beach. Wish we didn't live so far away. Went on a Sat am - beach is huge, clean & beautiful. Dog owners and their pets were awesome.
One of the best!
Cory in Sioux Falls. SD
Always looking for a good place to swim with my dog, and this beach has it! Plenty of room, nice shallow water, and a wash station for both of us. I'll remember a sun-shade next time, as we stayed so long I burnt myself bad! Good times!
LeeAnne in Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
This park is truly amazing for all dogs and the family. Could't ask for anything more. Absolutely awesome.
SHERI in ORLANDO
Beautiful dog park and beach! Doesn't get any better then this! Please keep your Buddies inside the signs and keep it clean so this Gem will always be there :)
Melissa in Tampa
Took our dog here for the first time today and had a blast!!! The beach is big, there is also a dog park with washing stations. All of the dogs and the owners were so friendly! Probably the happiest we have ever seen our dog.
Perfect place to have fun with your dog
Natalia in kissimmee
This was AWSOME!!!! Perfect place to have fun with your buddy. There is no aggresive dogs here, all of them big and small are very friendly and polite.
todd & lulu in alabama
fun for 4 and 2 legged creatures alike. great place to teach your dog to swim, many shallow areas. owners are friendly and are good about controlling their dog from trampling all over your beach spot. great for dogs big and small to socialize. impossible not to have fun here. best dog beach ever!
Goose's First Beach Play
Rob in Orlando
I must say, as a first beach goer with a dog, Ft. De Soto was very nice. The dog owners as well as the dogs were very friendly. It is a great place to introduce young dogs to a pack. I will be returning often.
Awesome doggie beach
Diane in Brighton, MI
Long, clean beach that even my blind Yorkie enjoyed. Saw two dolphins and got to pet a manatee in waste high water. One of the highlights on my Florida vacation.
Puppies lovet it!!
sue finn in palm coast
On a recent visit to St.Pete I found out about the park from your site.My puppies thank you! It was awesome! I have 2 tiny rat terriers who played in the small dog park.The people and dogs were friendly.Snoopy made some new friends too! I was a bit more caoutious on the beach because it was "off leash" with alot of big dogs.We found a spot on the end where the little ones could run.It's a MUST if you are in the area!!
Definitely will visit over and over again!!!
Sandra in Davie, FL
Love this area. I take many trips with my dogs and this is by far one of my favorites. We plan on visiting at least once a year.
Baby was happy!
Tricia in Greensburg, IN
This was Bear's first bark park experience and first beach. There were so many friendly owners and dogs. The ammenities were nice. This is the first of many reviews on our beach hopping tour.
Kito's favourite place
Brian in Hamilton, Ontario
I can't say enough about the dog friendly park and beach in DeSoto Park. Each year we travel to Florida with my little buddy Kito, a Basenji. We have more fun in the sand and sun than i could possibly describe. I just wish we had these kind of places back home. We sure have the space, beaches and plenty of places for good quality leash-free areas. We just don't have the political will needed on City Council.
Love This Beach
Miley in Jacksonville
THis beach is the best I brought my Labrador and she LOVED it. We drove all the way from Jacksonville, and want to go back soon. There are even dog showers so my dog was clean the whole ride home.
Christina in St. Petersburg
Perfect layout- two large fenced in areas and a brief jaunt to the dog beach. It's full of dogs and clean. Fort DeSoto is a BEAUTIFUL place to enjoy with my dogs.
Ashley in Ocala, FL
great park with fantastic canine and human guests. It is well worth the drive for us from Ocala. Can't wait to go back!
Shelby in Ft. Lauderdale
I LOVED this beach !! I ran, swam, fetched, dug for buried treasure and played-played-played with my human companions - there were lost of doggie friends there for me to meet - sll sizes & shapes - you must go there
Sabrina costa in kissimmee
the furkids love this beach, they get to swim with us, play frisbee, meet other dogs, and chase seagulls. after all the splashing they can get rinsed off at the doggie showers... fun , fun...
Sharon Erwin in Gulfport
It is beautiful here and most dogs and owners are very respectful of one another. The view is beautiful and other than weekends of holidays very pleasant. Yes lots of dog owners don't clean up their dog's messes or garbage so disappointing since lots of free baggies all around especially for this. Garbage cans on the weekends often overflowing but at least it is in the garbage cans so glad for this so cannot complain as they seem to clean up daily. I have met some lovely people from all over the world here, some have become lifelong friends, never have had a bad experience and my poodle Pluto loves to run and meet new friends.
Come on by the water is fine
Brenda in Orlando
Spent Father's Day there and it was very nice. Water was clear and the beach was pretty decent. Note: just like in any other place, some people who wish they had good behaved dogs bring their little terrors when they shouldn't. Also, pack light - get in the water and enjoy the day!
Great dog beach, but...
A.S. in FL
This is an off-leash beach. Sadly, we have to rate this with just 4 bones, due to inconsiderate 'pet parents' who will allow their babies to become a nuisance to other people. If you own a shy or scared dog, or are a first time visitor, attempting to keep your dog out of trouble and on the leash, expect to be crowded by half a dozen curious dogs. On a crowded holiday weekend, dogs might dig through your beach bags, while the owners will just sit there and do nothing. Small childred should be watched closely, because the dogs of all sizes might play friendly, but very rough, running all over the place.
heather in brandon, florida
So, first of the reason I gave this beach only two bones is that the beach isn't a"normal florida beach" there wasn't any white sand and we had to wear our shoes while walking unless right near the water psst all the dog poop and seaweed. There were THORNS or brambles" everywhere!!!I got at least two in my feet my fiance got three and both of our dogs got several in their paws just from walking to and from our chairs/blankets to the water. Also, I saw a DEER TICK try to land on my dog...thank god I was watching him closely as this was his first experience or else that could have been a big problem. The people for the most part paid attention to their dogs but we still had wet dirty dogs trample our stuff a few times while the owners just stood by and watched...I tried to politely make a joke about it but they didn't get the hint that the HUGE dig was trampling ok.just belongings...But besides that experience, everyone was nice and friendly. The dogs seemed to have a great time, I just wish there was a fence or some structure separating the gravel road from the beach(besides the brush filled with ticks and thorns/brambles). After we finished AT the beach we stopped at the regular beach to see what it was like it was GORGEOUS!I wish the white soft beach was an option for dog owners too.
Stephanie in Saint Petersburg
Thought this would be a nice chance to take the dog swimming but gave up after a handful of attempts. No matter what day and time you go this place is always packed. Middle of the week, off season, no holidays... No less then 15 dogs every time we checked. The rules are a joke. Dogs under no control with owners that weren't paying attention or didn't care. Watched one dog get bullied by a gang of three with no one stepping in. The place is a mess. Owners not picking up, owners not filling in holes... You can't walk through this area without tripping on something. Would not recommend and will not be back again.
Elle in St. Petersburg
Yuk was all I can say! Crowed and dirty. The sand was not white but dirty from dogs.The water at that time was not not clean looking.The garbage cans was over flowing and they sit by picnic tables. This was a holiday weekend. I would like to see the beach re nourished and made bigger. The weeds in the dog enclosure was knee high. I had been there many times before,but this was disgusting.The parking lot looked run down and weeds all over it too.