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Smyrna Dunes Park

Smyrna Dunes Park is a dog-friendly attraction in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Leashed dogs are welcome at this lovely inlet which also includes showers, bathrooms, and plenty of parking. This park has five ecosystems represented within it, elevated boardwalks, picnic pavilions, nature trails, an observation tower, and more. Pets are not allowed on the elevated park boardwalks after 10am. Visit Website

Or call (386) 423-3300 or email jnolin@volusia.org for more information.


BringFido Guest Rating

Smyrna Dunes Park has received a rating of 4.0 out of 5 bones by 59 canine critics on BringFido.

  • Lizzy
    Jan 13, 2024
    Not RV friendly

    We try to visit the park in a rv, but they said no parking and that we would have to leave. We circled the parking lot and saw some water stations and pet showers.

  • Alison
    Oct 30, 2023
    Great Dog Beach!

    This place is beautiful!
    It's about a half mile walk from where you park to the dog beach, keep your dog out of the grass there are a lot of thorns. Theres a watering area with a community bowl along the walk to the beach. There are two spots to wash your dog when you get back the parking area and there are showers too.
    The beach area was clean, bathrooms were clean and everyone (staff, visitors and pups) was friendly! $10 to park (unless you are a pass holder)

  • Susa
    Jun 18, 2023
    Nice Beach at busy inlet

    Beach was nice but boating in the busy inlet caused a lot of waives. Water got deep very quickly and the tidal currents were strong. Many did not keep their dogs on a leash as intended but worked fine as just of leach while swimming. Fresh water for dogs to drink and to rinse them off. Rather small parking lot. 10$ day fee

  • JoAnne
    Jun 6, 2023
    Great dog beach

    New Smyrna doesn’t allow leashed dogs on their beaches, so we were pleased to find a dog beach for Mattie.
    It was her first beach experience and she loved it!
    It was a 10-15 minute walk from parking as a lot of people stated-but it was a pleasant walk among the dunes.
    When you drive in you are told dogs stay on leash, there are dog on leash only signs everywhere, yet there were dogs off leash! We just made an effort to keep away from them. We were lucky because it wasn’t that crowded when we were there, but as we walked out, at least 20 dogs and owners walked in. I think it would be much harder to keep away from unleashed dogs when it’s crowded.
    I’m not sure why some people think rules exist for everyone but them. It’s an honor system, basically, there’s no one there to enforce anything.

  • Bob
    Dec 27, 2022
    Great Fun

    The walk to the beach was great. when you get there you will understand why dogs can’t be on the boardwalk. The trails were very nice. if your dog likes to sniff, the path is incredible. The beach was clean and nice. Dogs and owners were all very friendly. The $10 entry fee was well worth it.

    I would give it a 5 bone if dogs could be off leash.

  • Sidney
    Oct 19, 2022
    Very Dog Friendly!

    Our dogs loved it here. Clean trails to walk on your way to the several dog-friendly beach access points.
    They had a dog wash, several water bowls, and a ton of poop bags and disposal bins. Well worth the $10 for parking!

  • Veronica
    Jun 22, 2022
    Our pup loved it!

    Our pup had the best time here! It wasn’t too crowded so we were able to have our own space. It’s a little bit of a walk to the beach and I recommend walking all the way down until you reach the sand bar. It was $10 parking for the day and $20 to park all year. The beach was also an on-leash beach which we loved because our pup is very nervous around other dogs. 10/10 would recommend.

  • Marissa
    May 29, 2021
    Worth the trip

    this was a beautiful location that showed the lighthouse in the distance. my dog had so much fun swimming around. not too crowed this weekend, which was surprising because of the holiday. we did have to wait in line for parking which was extremely limited. I recommend going early in the day. some owners did not have dogs on leash and were running around but that was my only “complaint”. glad I got the season pass so I can come back

  • Amy
    Mar 31, 2021
    Great for dogs, long walk though

    Getting to the beach is a 10-15 min walk, depending on who else is with you. You can walk next to the boardwalk after 10am. The beach was nice, and not crowded at all. Dogs are supposed to be on leash, but some were not.

  • Megan
    Oct 4, 2020
    Loved It!

    My dog Kevin loved spending the day here! I recommend to everyone visiting nearby with their pups! Will definitely be going back!

  • Jahanvi
    Jun 17, 2020
    Great Location

    I took out dog for first time on a beach she loved it. staff was nice clean bathrooms kids love it we will definitely visit again.

  • Frosty
    Feb 23, 2020
    Love it!!!

    Great place to take your dog with lots of room to roam and a beautiful beach. They even have a dog bathing area to clean up your pup after he mucks around in the water and sand. Wish it was closer to my house so we could go everyday.

  • Rory
    Feb 16, 2020
    Best Dog Beach

    We have been coming here for over a year now and love it. We have an annual pass and it has been worth it. Lots of room for you and your pup to play and chill.

  • Kelly
    Jan 16, 2020

    I have been here many times, yes sometimes people fish go around them. It shrinks during high tide so when the trail splits off take the right one and keep walking down, there is a large beach that way. The people and dogs are always friendly and my Dobermans love it there even if they don't like to swim.

  • Lisa
    Jan 1, 2020
    No frills but still good

    1) no frills- no shops or food/drink stands
    2) there are several trails to different areas of the beach so if you think it’s too small or crowded just go back to the beginning and try a different trail.
    3) very narrow beach so dogs get into close contact
    4) don’t go off the path at all! I stepped off the path and a pointy plant went through my sneaker and cut my foot. My dog also got a cut from a sharp plant about 2 feet off the path
    5) I saw several clear jellyfish
    6) my dog loves it because there are not too many waves... especially by the pier
    7) Boardwalk is dog friendly until 10am only
    8) when I was leaving (at 3:00pm) the parking lot was full and there was a line of cars waiting to enter so go early.

  • Izy
    Jun 11, 2019

    It cost $10 to get in and it’s a long walk from the parking lot. Dogs aren’t allowed on the board walk. And during high tide there’s absolutely no beach at all! So disappointed...

  • Hoka
    May 26, 2019
    Nice Beach

    This dog beach was nice. Everything I needed for a couple hours with my dog. Parking lot fills up quickly. Beach is narrow during high tide but wasn’t an issue. Boat traffic causing some waves but it was manageable. My pup enjoyed it! However, I did encounter a handful of rude guests. My dog likes to greet other dogs and I had one woman rudely tell me to get my dog away and other gave me dirty looks. Not sure if that was just my luck or if guests are always rude. I rather drive further for an area with nicer people.

  • Alison
    May 16, 2019
    A good tip if you go

    It is a bit of a hike from the parking area to the beach. Washrooms are near parking area. We drive on the beach instead and park beside it. Then can just hop in car and drive down a bit to use washrooms. Nice place and we enjoy going often.

  • Emily
    Apr 8, 2019
    Never again

    So after reading reviews on google I decided to get to the beach early. I got there and went in immediately. I asked the gate attendant where the bathrooms are so I could change. I was alone with two dogs. She told me I had to be quick because the dogs were not allowed on the board walk. WTF. Anyway I thought whatever and was as fast as I could be with two excited dogs. (They smelled the water and knew they were going to the beach.) When I was done I grabbed my cart and went down the dog path. The sand was not packed down so I tied my dogs harnesses to it and had them pull it instead of me. It really did help a lot to do that. After a long walk (which is pretty typical of dog beaches) we got to the end to find four families and dogs at this (no joke) 4 foot by 8 foot stretch of sand. High tide completely covered the whole beach for about two hours. At low tide it was maybe 50 feet long and 10 feet from the mangroves to the water. I usually have my older dog who really does not like to swim on a 25 foot lead tied down at the water edge. Could not use it.

    The worst part is we were there for five minutes and while I was setting up, my older dog thought he saw a ball and picked up a jellyfish. I submitted a picture to show what he saw. So for about an hour I was treating him for his sting. Thank God I brought a gallon of vinegar. He is fine by the way. He learned his lesson.

  • Michelle B
    More than a year ago

    Overall if your looking for a dog beach this is a good one. Although I don’t agree with the leashing at all times (our pup is off leash trained ) wonder how they will play and get a chance to be “free” splashing and what not without choking themselves. The walk is pretty far and not the best condition to walk on with your hands full, the new boardwalk looks nice but you and your 4legged friends are NOT allowed on it just at certain times of day. People also fish on the same side as the dogs play which I did not like and the boats coming in made for lots of Wakes. Be sure to carry out what you carried in there is plenty of trash cans. Beach is not very big either I suggest going during a week day. If we have dog area beaches then this is what they’re for our 4legged friends.

  • Sabrina
    Jul 12, 2018
    Perfect dog beach but you have to know...

    1) it is a LONG walk to the beach from the parking lot. 2) Dogs are NOT allowed on the boardwalk. 3) Better to visit early in the morning or after 5pm. 4) In summer the park is PACKED. Expect to wait in a car line. 5) Better to visit the beach in spring or fall and even better is winter because there is hardly anyone there then. 6) There is a nesting Eagle family that on rare occasions you can see. 7) LEAVE THE TURTLES ALONE. 8) Keep dogs on a leash (unless no one is around) 9) Bring your dog water (and yourself) and a bowl to drink it in. 10) there are 2 places to wash your dog off after a day in the sea water. 11) clean up after your dog there are bag dispensers and garbage cans all over the park..... It is a clean beach and the people are really nice. But be respectful not all dogs there are eager to meet yours..... Just remember Smyrna is the shark bite capitol.... Be aware of the jellyfish to. The dog beach is in the intercostal, not the part of the beach with the big waves. You can also go across the waterway to Daytona side, they are beach friendly to..

  • Christine
    Dec 23, 2017
    Not the best in Florida but the best on this side of the state.

    Yes. You have to pay $10 to get in. Yes, parking is limited. We went at around 12 on a Friday and it was perfect, we went right in and got a spot and walked to the ocean. I am not sure which side we were on we just followed the trail until we hit water. There was a boardwalk that was maybe 30 yards out running parallel to the beach which had a bunch of fishers on it but they left when we got there either because our dogs scared their fish or because they were being nice. The beach was really nice, it was not busy but it is also December. We didn’t see any jelly fish. It was our dogs first time swimming in the ocean! They loved it. We found a spot that bumped up against the coast guard and there was no one in the area so we did let the dogs off leash but any time someone came or walked by we leashed them. They really need to make this park or a section of it off leash. Like I said it isn’t the best beach in Florida but it is the best in the area. If you are able to, go to Fort De Soto’s dog beach over near Tampa. I believe it’s cheaper to get in, and it’s off leash and larger and much nicer.

  • Brittney
    More than a year ago
    So much fun

    The beach was perfect for our dogs. They had never been to a beach before but the had a blast playing in the water and it was not crowded.

  • Brandy
    More than a year ago
    First time was the best

    I went yesterday and honestly would say I had a great time. Got there about 10am. Barely anyone on the beach. I am working on getting my dog to go out and not bark at everyone and honestly had a good time. The beach was clean and the water was cool. My girl was afraid at first but after a while was jumping in. Only thing was that there are some people who don't keep their dogs on the leash which made my dog go crazy becuz she wanted to play with them. But other than that it was great.

  • Barb
    More than a year ago
    A little far and small but nice

    I took my two dogs, Daisy and Lily, for the first time on 4/10/17. It is a very nice beach, no shells but sharp dried branches from trees sticking up. Wear beach shoes. Not crowded. Nice people and nice dogs. The water is clear, very shallow and saw dolphins.

    But I wish for an off leash beach and something closer than the two hour drive from The Villages. And it would be nice if it could be expanded north where nothing was going on.

    I wish I could have bought a day pass and then turned it in for an annual pass but the gate person said they cannot do refunds. Just let me add the other $10 and get an annual on my way out. I did chance it and bought an annual for $20. So now I will go back to make it worth it.

  • AnnaMaria W.
    More than a year ago
    Too Many Pit Bulls

    The park was so crowed, we had to wait in line in the car for nearly an hr. Never did get in.
    While my husband still waited in car, I got out with my dog to walk in to see how things were.
    The first thing I noticed that nearly all the dogs were pits. Some were making their particular restless whines.
    People could barely hold on to some of hem as other dogs walked by. Are there no other breeds in Volusia County? They are very powerful, very energetic dogs . It was quite tense; as people with non-pits tried to stay back and work their way around them.

  • Frances Mays
    More than a year ago
    So pleasantly surprised

    After reading the mixed reviews, we were pleasantly surprised. Yes, the park entrance fee is $10.00 now, but only $20.00 for an annual pass! We are here for a month, so well worth the price. The dog friendly area is more than enough for dogs to run and splash and play. We were there at low tide, so the beach area was expansive. We read that dogs were only allowed on the boardwalk before 10 am, but we were told at the gate that dogs were allowed anytime on the boardwalk now because some areas were under construction. There is a walking path which parallels the boardwalk, where dogs are always allowed, and we actually liked walking the path better.

  • Lynne
    More than a year ago
    Wish there was something closer, easier access

    Have been a couple of times and would love to take my (now 2) dogs back. Had only one at the time and she is not real predictable in how she will react so I'm very cautious and would leave if it created discomfort or concern from others. That said, I'm not sure where the pictures were taken or what the description was for but not this beach. The parking is limited, the bathrooms and other facilities are a good ways away from the beach. You can take one of two paths to two different sections, both of which are very narrow and not very long. The walk from the parking area is through a lot of palmettos, etc and not very safe. You can't see around the 'bend' and don't know what's coming up and I have no doubt that there are rattlesnakes in that brush. It's just hard to get to, way off the beaten path, cost had doubled from the first to last time. Imagine having to hold two dogs, a chair, an umbrella, a bag of stuff and try to walk to get from the parking to the beach. However, even at an hour and 15 minutes, this is the closest dog beach to where I am. It's amazing to me that with the extensive coastline in FL that there would not be more dog friendly beaches. I don't need or want an off-leash one but I just envision a beach that's a couple of miles with lots of sand, close parking. Any suggestions?

  • Kelly
    More than a year ago

    Absolutely love it and so did my daughter and the two dogs. Although its a bit of a walk (make sure you change and have everything with you on the first trip) the beach itself is beautiful, clean and very white. It is an on leash beach and for the most part people obeyed although I guess running dog with leash on but no one holding it is questionable lol. Definatly will return!

  • Kym
    More than a year ago
    Beware of Fleas

    My fiancé and I took our dog this past Saturday 4/23/16 to see how the beach was. We stayed maybe 20 minutes and left due to being swarmed with fleas. Thankfully my dogs flea/tick protection works well for him but we were bit up terribly. I was blessed to have an allergic reaction and end up in the urgent care on Monday due to severe itching and burning pain all over my legs and arms. It's safe to say we will not be visiting this park again!

    More than a year ago

    We took our puppy out on a Sunday afternoon to experience the beach for her first time. It was also our first experience at a dog beach. We had a very disappointing trip. The park was very crowded. Entering the park was a one car out, one car in basis. We waited about 45 mins to enter. I don't blame the park for this. It was a very nice day and the park is very popular for dog owners. Keep that in mind if planning a trip. GO EARLY! There we some great board walks to walk along, but if you venture off the board walks, be careful, many dog owners are very careless about cleaning up after their pet. The inlet beach area we we could go was very small and because of the crowds, we felt a bit claustrophobic. We had to keep our puppy on a very tight leash, she didn't have much room to run around or play, even while swimming. I doubt we will be going back.

  • Carlos
    More than a year ago
    Good place

    Great place but they increased parking to $10 now.
    We had a good time.

  • Sue
    More than a year ago
    Get there early or late!

    This listing is old. Park entrance is $10 per vehicle. If you have a dog, you are restricted to a very small area on the Indian River. Dogs are restricted on the boardwalk to the ocean or Ponlet Inlet after 10AM until one hour before sunset.

    Looks like a nice 3 mile boardwalk encompasses the park, but you can't use most of the day.

  • TheHerbalist
    More than a year ago
    Lovely Inlet side, but no dogs on boardwalk?

    Here's the thing, yes, the sandy walk/pathways do parallel the boardwalk(s), but they aren't direct.

    There need to be benches along the path on the sand for those of us who would like to sit & enjoy the "getting there" paths for a bit. (read handicap accessible doesn't always mean just ramps).

    Two, the inlet side, unless we missed some of it, is very tiny & restricted, & the boats coming through don't reduce wake, so we're left with even less beach & more waves which scares the little dogs.
    Watching the dolphins WAS spectacular however.

    No matter how many times the words "on leash" were posted, there were dogs roaming free everywhere. On the other hand, if you're going to have a doggy park, at least FENCE in some of it so the dogs are safe from the parking & moving cars.

    "Rules? Rules are for OTHER people's dogs!"

    Puppies are one thing, & there were quite a few unprotected from the sun, under protectively shaded or watered, under understood puppies on that beach yesterday; who's owners should have been FINED for having them on a beach without so much as a small covered or umbrella'd area to get shade/cool sand. I gave away a bottle of water for two really light colored puppies who's owners were CLUELESS to the unprotected skin of the puppies.

    NO shade provided for them or their tender toes & CLUELESS to the fact that their noses were turning pink & that's just AT the beach, 5 hours of development later & those hunting puppies probably were sunburnt.

    As for parksupervision, (except for the somewhat cynical laid back guy at the front taking tolls/collecting for the annual pass) we saw exactly ONE worker there & he was tooling around on a quad & didn't look once at our dog or the ones behind us which were off leash & he HAD to have passed the off leash giant at the doggy wash off station just before he passed us on the path leading to the split off between inlet, coastie station & beach access boardwalk.

    I'm sure that the beachside is nice, but if you're going to have a doggy park, then make both sides available for the dogs, not just restrict them to the inlet side. Completely banning them from the beachside boardwalk except for before 10 am & 1 hour before sunset make it super hard to pay the admittance price which should have been for both sides of the park. Also, those are the witching hours for mosquitos & bugs. Don't need those for the dogs, their paws & certainly not for the owners.

    Could there be some kind of protecting sealant or product put on the boardwalk rails? Not a minute on the boardwalk to the inlet & I had a palm splinter that took about 6 hours to finally pop out with help & muscle rub. And that meant that I couldn't use the rails to lean on as I walked out to the inlet side with our bags & stuff for Cruise. {pneumonia & learning to walk without the wheelchair, not withstanding}

    The parking is angled parking only & tight, {although of course some people made their own parking areas where there were none} about 30 spots all told, not too far from the path or the doggy cleaning station; which seemed to be more used for the owners than the dogs.

    The parking right next to the dog washing station, makes it more than a little dangerous for both the people & the dogs on the washing station & waiting to use it, not to mention the free roaming dogs from those cars, which made it slightly more hazardous for little dogs being leashed & washed off there.

    Parking is tight, but so is the area around the Coast Guard Station. We bought an annual pass & our Cruise the Birthday Yorkie loved it on St. Patrick's day, so we'll be back, with a sturdier umbrella or one of those protective little screened beach igloos for her shade & some kind of rasied platform to put her water in so that it doesn't get full of kicked or blown sand.

    Our golf umbrella blowing away was highlighted by ducking dogs & neighbors chasing it into the dunes. Having to chase other people's puppies from her water dish & trying to get the people to let the dogs meet each other without so much agnst... The leash laws make it a little harder than most but HEY PEOPLE?!! its a DOGGY PARK, not a people park with dogs!

    Also, is there some sign that can be posted about how maybe its cute that your dog automatically paddles near water, but picking up the new dogs & wading out then dropping him/her out in the inlet & watching him/her swim back, isn't necessarily a great experience for a terrorized dog?

    I know what I said about people not reading signs but; Can't there be a sign showing the gradual introduction of the inlet/sea to the dogs & letting them acclimate first?

    All in all a great experience. Didn't like having to hold onto a sign & doggy doo doo receptical until I caught my breath & my hips reduced their screaming, or the almost immediate 1st splinter of the year, but the experience for Cruise was excellent. We introduced her slowly; 1st to the wet beach sand & then let her doggy paddle above the water twice which was MUCH better & gave her time to acclimate to the humungous water dish with waves that we had brought her to. Its a 1.3 hour drive with her in her doggy carrier to get up here.

    BEST TIMES to come? After 2pm until an hour before sundown which reduces the intensity of the sun. Sunrise to around 11am when the sun isn't too hot & the sand isn't nuclear for the doggy & people toes.

    PLEASE? Remember some kind of SHADE not just your chair shade for the dogs & a decent set of doggy dishes for their food/water, with some kind of way to raise/protect the water up so that sand isn't kicked or blown into it.

    Some way of keeping the water cool & plenty of water for both dog & humans. A small bottle with a spray nozzel on it filled with cool water, or maybe with crushed ice put in it before starting out. Cooling the doggy & their harness by continually spraying it & them during the stay really helped Cruise to beat the heat.
    HARNESS vs collar, people! Save their necks, You KNOW they're going to pull, why hurt them when they're supposed to be having a good time?
    Bring a light colored towel or blanket expressly for the dog to hop in & out of right next to yours but with the shade on both the blanket & the sand which should encourage the dog to dig down into the cooler sand.

    Watch & repeatedly clean their feet with or without water & dry them. There are a lot of things that can get into them that you might not see right away that can cause problems when they get their feet wet & then romp back into the dry sand/dune areas.

    Bring some food with you for both of you. We brought chicken. Dogs can get low sugar attacks & you might think that they're just getting tired. Making sure that they have a snack & plenty of cool water & some kind of sunscreen is just as important for your dog as it is for your kids.

    Nice park. Needs some changes. Definitely going back. Remember that Spring Break means more cars, more people & more idiots with puppies. Other than that? SHADE, WATER & Harness. Long leader leash

  • Michelle
    More than a year ago

    We were disappointed. After reading all the great reviews we thought this would be a good place to go for the day. First off the cost was $10 to get in. The first route we took to the beach was quick but the beach was small and there were a ton of jelly fish plus we saw a couple sharks. We took the longer trail to another part of the beach which was a little better but still not what we expected. Lots of poop bags on the way but no water stations and not much shade.

  • Victoria
    More than a year ago
    great walk

    It now costs $10 to get into the park, BUT, if you are going to be in the area for any length of time then you can buy a pass for $20. This gets you unlimited visits to this and the Lighthouse park.
    There are a lot of jellyfish on the beach. However, according to a local lady we met - the brown ones can't hurt the dogs once they are dead - just watch out for ones with tentacles.
    The walk to the inlet is fairly short but that is where the bulk of the jelly fish are. If you take the longer trail to the main beach it has much less jelly fish. There is no shade so make sure to bring your dog some drinking water. The dogs are supposed to stay leashed at all times. For the most part people comply with this.
    Since digs are not allowed on the beach in any of the surrounding areas, this is your best bet for combining an ocean visit with a great walk.

  • Marilyn
    More than a year ago

    Not sure what Paul in Orlando was talking about in 2012. Signs CLEARLY state dogs not allowed on boardwalk after 10am. Info available also says dogs not allowed on ocean side, only the Indian River/Inlet side. If you're on a sand dune, I would definitely think I'm going to get sand/pebbles in my shoes....DUH!!!!

    GREAT place for dogs. We met very respectful dog owners, had a blast tossing sticks in the water, saw dolphins, fish jumping, plenty of potty bags available.

    The dog wash area was an awesome bonus, as my dog likes to "towel" off in the sand.

    If you're going to be in the area for any length of time the annual pass is well-worth the money ($30/residents; $50 non-residents), otherwise $5/day.

  • Lori
    More than a year ago
    Great place

    My husband and I visited with our Border Collie on a Saturday arriving about 3pm. Not crowded at all. Maybe it was earlier in the day (?). It is true that no dogs are allowed on boardwalk after 10am up to 1 hour before sunset-NO big deal! There are trails alongside the boardwalk and they are NOT gravel. Plus the dogs probably enjoy the trails better than a boardwalk anyways. It is compacted beach sand and much of it has grass. You could easily ride a bike on it. There were some dogs not on leashes but most people were very careful to keep their pets with them. We had no issues. This area is clean and beautiful. We will definitely come back. Plenty of wildlife to enjoy too.

  • Stacey
    More than a year ago
    beach was nice, too much traffic, limited rd access

    The 45 minutes of traffic once I got off of I95 was ridiculous. there is a one lane each way road and really slow traffic lights that caused stopped bumper to bumper traffic. Once we got to the parking lot it was full, (pretty small lot) and so had to wait- one car left, one was allowed in. Fee is $5. The beach itself is a little bit of a walk from the lot, not bad. dogs there were all on leash and getting along well. water was clean, beach was clean. There is a boat dock to the left and the boats go by quite fast pretty much all day creating large wake waves which freaked my dog out, so we were out of the water quite a bit. The dog shower (hose) is a nice touch and is at the parking lot, bathrooms were clean, soda and water machines were there, nice facilities. The traffic leaving was just as bad, another 45 mins back to 95. tack that onto the almost 2 hr ride from home- we wont be back. St. Augustine is better and no traffic nonsense.

  • Jeff
    More than a year ago
    Great Stop on the way to Boca

    We stopped here with our Lab mixes on the way to Boca Raton. The fee is now $5.00, but well worth it. You'll get a ticket to place on your dashboard. Use it for parking and access to the beach, dunes, picnic areas, showers, dog wash and the inlet area. We chose to walk to the inlet, where there's almost no wave action. The dogs loved wading and then swimming. Be sure to bring a water dish and some fresh water! There were several people who didn't leash their dogs, and got a good growling-at from our yellow lab/pit mix, who has some fear aggression. PLEASE make sure you have a long lead for your pooch.

    The ticket (remember the $5.00 ticket?) also lets you drive down a few blocks and drive on the beach. Not a "dog" activity per se, but was definitely worth it just to say we did it.

  • Kelly
    More than a year ago
    Best Day Ever!!!

    Today me and my Siberian husky Wolfy went to this beach because of all the great rating on this website. It was the best day ever! We stayed over 6 hours and had a blast. The scenery was beautiful, it was much bigger than I anticipated, and all of the people there were so friendly. We made several new friends today, both furry and human:) It is a long walk to get there but it's totally worth it. I just wish there was some sort of water set up by the beach for the dogs to drink out of. We will be more prepared when we go back this weekend. This really was the most fun I have ever had with Wolfy and we can't wait to go back.

  • Jacqueline
    More than a year ago
    Terrific Dog Beach

    This was our first time bringing our dog to the beach, and it was a great experience! The beach was not crowded for a weekend, they have an ice cream boat that come to you, and depending on who is there, you can let your dog(s) off the leash. I find if you are with a bunch of responsible dog owners, it's no problem letting your dog off leash to play. The only downside is that there is about a half mile walk to the beach from the parking lot, and of course another half mile to walk back. The good news is that there is dog showers, bathrooms, and poopie bag stations. We will definitely return!

  • Sharon
    More than a year ago
    huge, calm stretch on the inlet

    VERY IMPORTANT: some maps get this park's location wrong. Smyrna Dunes is on the south (New Smyrna side) of Ponce Inlet. There's a dog area on the north (lighthouse) side, but it's very broken up and rocky. Smyrna Dunes is much better.

    We've been here several times and the only reason I couldn't give it a full 5 bones is because we've also been to Fort De Soto Park on the Gulf Coast which simply can't be beat. I love Smyrna Dunes, though, because of the huge stretch of quiet, calm water along the inlet. It's usually very quiet. Even once when it was so busy the parking lot was full and we had to wait for cars to come out...once we got to the beach it wasn't crowded at all. Dogs do have to be leased BUT they don't specify a length. Many people have leashes 30-40 feet long so they can throw toys and let their dogs swim freely. Bonus: on the weekends there's often an "ice cream boat" that passes up and down selling treats!

    As other reviewers have noted, dogs are not allowed on the raised boardwalks after 10 AM. Use the gravel/shell paths and keep your dog on them - lots of briars and stickers in the vegetation. It is a bit of a walk from the parking lot and dogs are mostly restricted to the inlet side as opposed to the ocean front itself. We have seen a little utility cart make the rounds occasionally and make sure people had their pets leashed and were cleaning up after them.

  • Lisa
    More than a year ago
    dog lover

    This is a beautiful park that I enjoy with my dogs as often as I can. It's easy to let them swim on leash when you have a 20 ft cotton leash from walmart. String 2 of them together and you have 40 feet of leash! Take some bug spray for the times when bugs are out (avoid being there at dusk, bugs seem worst then) bring fresh water and a portable bowl for your dog so he won't get the saltwater squirts (I take a backpack) towels and a water toy that floats. Yes, occasionally there will be a clueless dog owner whose dog is running around off leash, but usually you can avoid them. Most people and dogs are great. We doglovers are blessed to have access to this park! I love it!

  • Kate king
    More than a year ago
    the greatest day ever with my lab and golden retriever

    the beach was wonderful amazing my two dogs dixie and winn was so happy!!!the beach was very beutiful and my dogs enjoyed the beach too.my family will go there again sometime. i give this 5 bones out of 5 bones!!!

  • Emily
    More than a year ago
    It was a nice place

    I took my Golden Retriever there for the first time the other weekend (pretty sure it was the first time he has ever swam). We were the only people there which was a little disappointing, but it did mean we had the run of the entire beach!! Everything was nice, the only problem we had was the water was shut off. The people in the guard shack told us that the only thing not working was the bathrooms, but when we went to hose off our dog it turned out that the dog was area was out too which would have been nice to know from the start. It is an hour and a half drive to get there so I won't be a frequant visitor, but will definitely go again. I'll just make sure I specfically ask if the dog wash station is working.

  • Heather
    More than a year ago
    Awesome Dog Park

    My husband and I just went to visit the park today, and we were really impressed. It's a beautiful beach, and we have plans to spend the day there tomorrow. I would highly recommend it to other dog lovers who want to share the beach with their furry friends.

  • Paul
    More than a year ago

    My wife and I visited your park on 9/25/2012, we arrived at 10:00 AM. We were disappointed by the fact that your web site implies certain things that aren't true. Example, you show the various boardwalks but fail to mention that they are closed to pets after 10:00 AM thereby leaving guests the alternative gravel walk where your shoes fill quickly with the gravel. You show boardwalks to the ocean yet you don't tell your web site visitors that pets are not permitted on the ocean side of the park. There are no shelters or benches on the intercoastal side of the park, if it rains, it is a half mile run back to the car for car. I feel these are lies by omission, tell your web site visitors the truth before they travel a long distance. We will not return.

  • Marci
    More than a year ago
    Nice place to take your dog

    I visited this park today (Labor Day). Granted, it's a holiday, but I have to disagree about the "loads of parking". I got to the park at 11:30 am and had to wait in line for 30 minutes before I was able to park. Their lot was full so every car in line had to wait for someone to leave before they could go in. Once inside, though, the park is very nice. It's quite a walk to get to the beach, but it's a nice walk through the dunes. There were lots of dogs and all of them were on a leash - it was a nice place to take my dog. I'll go back, but not on a holiday.

  • Bruce
    More than a year ago
    Wonderful people

    Great dog park. The two staff we met were just wonderful. Thank you so much for your effort, caring and hospitality.
    Best regards,
    Bruce and Madi, the better than average German Sheppard

  • Tonya
    More than a year ago
    Great fun for our Great Danes

    Our two dogs can not wait for the next trip to New Smyrna Dunes Park! They learned to swim there, but I have to agree with another dog owner who said it's difficult to let them fetch on leash. We always make sure to grab the leash when they swim back toward us. If everyone was more responsible this wouldn't be an issue. Still, we LOOOVE this place and will be back soon. P.S. the dog wash station was a terrific idea!

  • Sarah
    More than a year ago
    Great dog beach

    Had a great time people r very friendly seen dolphins manatees the person in the guard shack was great very helpful I am going back for sure thanks for making your dog beach pleasant

  • Ruth
    More than a year ago
    It was great for both the dogs and ppl

    It was a great experience to visit the beach. Everything was clean, people was very friendly and dogs were very well socialized. I am going back again this week!! I do have to mention, on the weekends go early because in the afternoon parking is very tight but worth it!

  • Gerianne Lane
    More than a year ago
    Loved the Dog Beach

    Great place to bring dogs, it was our first visit. All dog owners should be more responsible I thought and keep the dogs on leash and clean up after there pets. I didn't appreciate an owner who's dog crapped in the water and never bothered to clean it up and let dog stay off leash. We had to move further down the beach. If you have a dog be more responsible.

  • Lorraine
    More than a year ago

    This is a great beach for all...with lovely scenery, critters like turtles and birds, and the fishing is GREAT! My Golden Retriever even fishes! The best part is there is a dog wash area to get all the sand off before getting back in the car! Thank you for thinking of everything!

  • Grace
    More than a year ago
    nice beach for dogs

    my complaint is how do you let a lab swim with a leash on I think the fee is ok and the beach is lovely b ut my dog wants to swim and with a leash this is difficult I read one of the review about the drunk owner can;t this have been picked up at the gate.
    We are careful with our dogs and they love they love the water but a leash best to go to Deland they have the best dog park of all

  • Todd and Lisa
    More than a year ago
    Great time at Smyrna Dunes Park

    Our Scotty dog Scout had the best time walking the beach with us. We saw dolphins in the inlet and he loved the dunes. Most everyone had their dog on a leash except for one couple but we just tried to avoid them. Can't wait to go back!!

  • Ann
    More than a year ago
    Be Careful

    Yesterday we drove up to N.S.B. to let our dogs play. We were first greet by a pit bull off leash. Later this dog ran after our dogs and the owner down to get the pit and told us she was in heat. Yeap you bet she had no TAG. Yeap this young dog owner was drunk off her butt. Not one time did we see anyone checking on all the dog owers to make sure everyone was going by the rules.

  • Lad Scott
    More than a year ago
    A terrific place for both dogs and people

    This park is on the intercoastal waterway. It is stunning. Lots of wildlife (bottlenose dolphins, rays, gorgeous birds, land tortoises and so on) abounds. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous. Many, even those without dogs choose this amazingly beautiful stretch of beach, which is about two miles of beautiful white sand, to avoid the ocean side of this stretch of land in order to eliminate the crowds, cars on the beach and the sharks (notorious along New Smyrna Beach). There are bathroom facilities, dog wash off hoses, plentiful doggy bag stations and waste receptacles, vending machines, picnic tables and other amenities. The only downer is that your dog must be leased at all times. However, this drawback is easily overcome with a 50+ foot line. It is "never" crowded along the beach. The charge is now $5/day or one can get an annual pass for only $30. We take our lab to this beach every few days. He thinks he has died and gone to heaven, as do we. You will not be disappointed with any aspect of this incredible stretch of beach and friendly people.

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