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Fort De Soto Dog Beach Park

The Fort De Soto Park 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 TripAdvisor. Visit Website

Or call (727) 582-2267 for more information.


BringFido Guest Rating

Fort De Soto Dog Beach Park has received a rating of 4.4 out of 5 bones by 36 canine critics on BringFido.

  • Victoria
    Nov. 27, 2020
    Great Paw Beach

    1st time at this beach with pup 7 months old retriever. she did great with other doggies! We arrived early (9am) and there were barely any dogs, so it was perfect for 1st acclimation to the water/sand. Then closer to 11, more and more dogs arrived and that’s when the fun began!

  • Теодора
    Nov. 12, 2020


  • Maria
    Oct. 25, 2020
    Amazing Place

    We came here on a Monday, mid-morning. Found this place incredible. We brought our 2 pekes and they enjoyed it. The place doesn’t need to be avant-garde. The mere fact that it allows dogs to be off-leash so they can frolic is already a great treat. Thank you, St Petersburg, for allowing this. We’ll definitely come back and will endorse your place to our friends, families, and coworkers.

  • Lisa
    Sep. 27, 2020
    Doggy heaven

    Lots of dogs but not overcrowded. We were able to take him off his leash which was nice. Poop bags throughout for convenience. There’s a dog park by the parking lot and a hose to wash off when you leave. We will definitely be back!

  • Tatum
    Aug. 10, 2020
    Great Beach!

    We took our long haired chiweenie to the beach for the first time and this was the perfect location. only a 5 dollar fee to enter and it was fairly easy to find the dog section of the beach. our dog is really tiny so i was a little worried about bigger dogs but all of them were friendly and loved playing with our little guy. The owners were really nice and cautious as well. I really enjoyed letting him run around and how i was able to get in the water with him. They did also have Two dog parks off to the side and a water station. We will definitely be back :)

  • Tom
    Jul. 17, 2020
    Owners need to be more responsible

    Fort DeSoto dog beach is a lovely dog beach. Within the past year, there has been an increase in aggressive dogs with irresponsible owners. If your dog is aggressive or possibly has triggers please keep them on a leash or far away from other dogs. The aggressive dogs are ruining it for all of the other dogs. Please don't ruin a good thing for the majority of dogs. I have seen some very bad instances and they could 100 percent be avoided if the owners would just be responsible. If your dog doesn't play well with others, please find a different source of entertainment and exercise for them. The beach is lovely, the facilities are clean and handy, and the amenities, including free poop bags are appreciated. Possible more ranger involvement, even just a walk down the beach every other hour would keep some in check. I have observed several people with aggressive dogs keeping their dogs o leash and announcing "my dog doesn't like this or that or other dogs," that's responsible behavior. Both parties can enjoy a day at the beach with their best friend.

  • Donna
    Jul. 1, 2020
    Not Safe

    Off leash beach. Aggressive dogs. My dog was killed here just over a year ago on the leashed trail to the beach area. I was promised changes by the then park manager to include signage with emergency contact numbers, info on closest emergency care vet hospitals , etc. Nothing has changed. Emoty promises....so disappointing. The beach is nice...some owners ignorant. They don't have any control over there dogs or even know where they are. If you go go early am and be on high alert. Hope no one has to go through what I did. I can still see it happening and I'll never get over it.

  • Viktoriya
    Jun. 19, 2020
    Clearwater and Good Beach

    My little golden of 3 1/2 months went to her first beach today. The part of the beach that allowed dogs was spacey. Most of the dogs were off leash, but the owners stayed close to their dogs. Our little one was a little scared, but the other owners respected our space. Would recommend!

  • Pam
    Jun. 14, 2020
    Our Pup Had A Great Time!

    we were on vacation with our pup and wanted to take him to the beach , made the mistake of going to Picnic island beach , were very disappointed 😕......but coming to Fort de Soto was great decision ... we loved it and so did our puppy! was very busy but well worth it !!!! will definitely come back !!

  • Sonja
    May. 11, 2020
    Crowded, Aggressive Dog

    We went to the end of the beach to get away from the crowds and dogs which were a mix of on and off leash. We took our two dogs off leash and they enjoyed playing in the water...until a large dog came from down the beach and started chasing them. At first we thought they were playing but the owner came running and calling the dogs name, apparently because he knew it was aggressive. His dog ended up biting ours on the back and the leg. The bite on the leg broke the skin and there was lots of squealing. It was very scary. We won’t be going back.

  • Dean
    Mar. 10, 2020
    Great Beach but Crowded

    This is a great beach for the dog. We were there 4 times in February and it was crowded. It is a popular beach for the campers and locals. All of the dogs off leash were friendly!

  • Bridget
    Feb. 18, 2020
    Great Beach Depending On Time Of Day

    The beach is a decent stretch, dogs are allowed off leash on the shoreline (I think. The signs say dogs must be leashed walking *to the park and everyone goes off leash) which is great and It was clean. Note that the beach area is not fenced in so your dog can’t be a dasher and needs to have good recall because the trail and parking lot is just on the other side. The grassy dog park portion is decent size so the dogs don’t have to cluster.

    Now, I went on a Saturday early afternoon in Feb and had to get out of there . The beach was so overwhelmed with dogs that it was super stressful. There were dogs resource guarding who weren’t suited for this atmosphere and leashed dogs with barrier frustration crowded by swarms of off leash dogs. It was too much . The following year I went on a Friday morning and it was glorious - A handful of dogs playing with enough space to leave a situation and room to run the shoreline and practice recall. The fenced in park area was also pretty relaxed but still with dogs to play with.

    If you can help it, avoid this beach during peak hours/days

  • Galina
    Jan. 7, 2020
    Absolutely nice

    Great!!! Everything- from parking, off- leash areas, beach for a dogs..

    Maybe accidents happened (according to reviews), but we are all dogs owners- we know our 4paws friends, and always take responsibility and precaution.

    Extremely clean and comfortable. Off leash area fully grassed.

    Thank you very much for a county. Best ever I saw

  • Christine
    Jan. 4, 2020
    Nice Area, Beware Dogs Off-leash On The Beach

    This park was a great find! Beautiful area with mostly friendly people and animals. The fenced areas are a good size, the dog wash is a nice bonus, and it was not crowded at all. Only complaint was the fact that most other dogs were off-leash in the beach/water area and most of their owners were not attentive to their dogs (friendly dogs, but still) overwhelming and following our on-leash dogs everywhere we went, begging for our treats, getting tangled in our leashes, etc. As with any dog beach or dog park, it’s great to have access to beautiful facilities and natural areas but your experience each visit will depend on the other dog owners there at the time.

  • Charlene
    Dec. 26, 2019
    Great Off-leash Beach

    With so few Florida beaches you can bring your dog to it’s a treat, never mind being able to let them frolic off-leash! Loved it as much as our dog did. Nice spot to spend the afternoon watching pelicans, dolphins and seagulls enjoying the ocean. The dog park next to it had a station to hose off your dog too.

  • Mary lee
    Oct. 7, 2019
    Lots Of Fun, But Watch Your Step!

    Our toy poodle loved this beach! But picked up a lot of prickly burrs. And large dog owners were not good about picking up after their pets. Very frustrating for those dog owners who always pick up after our little guys! Worth a trip for the fun!

  • Liz
    Sep. 20, 2019
    Great Location!

    Such a great dog beach so close to the Camp Grounds. It’s off leash and we weren’t surprised by the number of dogs that ran up to our dog to great her but like all off leash dog parks/beaches, the dogs don’t always listen to their owner so we had to be very watchful when one particular dog came to great ours. The other owners all seem quite friendly with some oblivious to the posturing their dog was displaying with other dogs. Fab beach...just be careful of the other dogs.

  • Libby
    Aug. 26, 2019
    Great Dog Beach

    My dog loves this beach!! She gets excited when we go on adventures and this is her favorite! She loves playing in the water with the other dogs or lounging in the sun with me. We love that this beach allows them to be off-leash, because I wouldn’t want my dog or anyone else’s dog to get hurt when they are playing. One of our favorite places to take our dog to. ❤️

  • Danielle
    Jul. 27, 2019

    It wasn’t super crowded. Loved the dog wash stations.

  • Alex
    Jul. 3, 2019
    Nice Beach

    The beach is beautiful and my dog loved the fenced in grassy part. I do not care for the lack of “rule following” as far as keeping the dogs leashed. Almost all of the dogs were off leashes and as soon as we stepped foot onto the beach 4-5 dogs came running up to my dog. People will tell you don’t worry my dog is friendly, however, the fact of the matter is if something were to trigger either your dog or mine and a fight ensues, it can be close to impossible to break up- from personal experience. I think more people need to understand that and stop putting so much trust in their companions. We normally visit honey moon island dog beach where there are constant beach rangers riding around making sure your dog is leashed. Much safer in my opinion and easier to relax and enjoy your time.

  • Jordan
    Jun. 17, 2019
    So-so Dog Beach

    This beach is okay. It is off leash, as long as your pets are under voice restraint. There’s a nice grassy fenced area that your dogs can run and knock off some of the sand, so that’s nice. There’s no fence containing your pets to the “dogs only” part of the beach. We had no problems with any dogs while we were there. The shell filled sand and the seaweed made it less than desirable for the humans though. The rip tide was very strong and we saw many smaller dogs gets pulled under.

  • Peyton
    Jun. 4, 2019
    Do Not Visit!!!

    It’s suppose to be a on the leash dog beach, but most dogs aren’t. One dog came up to our dog and started attacking our dog and biting his neck! The owner tried blaming us and therefor we looked like the bad guys. Most dogs are okay but the owners are complete a**holes. Not worth going at all.

  • Cheyanne
    Jun. 4, 2019
    Absolutely do not go here

    All the reviews seem fantastic but this is the one place I brought my dog that I will never go back to and will not recommend to anyone. My dog and my friends dog are both extremely friendly and want to say hello to every dog they pass and 95% of the owners were against my dog and the other dog of even sniffing their animals. Then the beach is off leash which is a giant mistake; I kept my dog on his leash the entire time because Of respect for other people. A dog came up to my dog and started growling and then lunges and grabs my dog by the throat while the owner had to tackle his dog to get it off if mine. I then had to pick up my dog and carry him all the way down the beach while the same dog was following us trying to nip at him. Then this same dog still off the leash ran up to my friends dog trying to attack it also. There was a sign posted at the entrance of the dog beach saying a dog was killed here yesterday; it read “my dog was attacked and killed by off the leash.” The lark rangers came and took the signs off because of people complaining. I would recommend 100% to not come here if you want to have a nice time.

  • Samantha
    Apr. 24, 2019

    It was my dogs first time ever at the beach and it was an amazing experience! They thought of everything for the dogs and the other beach goers were so friendly!

  • S
    Jan. 18, 2019
    Great Dog Park And Beach

    We had a great visit to this dog park. Large fenced area for small dogs separate from bigger area for larger dogs. Beach area is combined but we had no problems with any of the dogs there. Our two love swimming and the water was calm so they had a blast. Hose to rinse them with fresh water was available in the fenced in area. We drove up from Sarasota about an hour but well worth the trip! Will be back!

  • Susan
    Nov. 22, 2018
    Dog paradise!

    Great place for man's best friend. Signs to dog beach could be better, but once you find it there's no place better to have a great time with your dog. Wide expansive beach for dogs who want to play with other dogs and the loner dog like ours.

  • Annette
    Jul. 18, 2018
    1st vacation with our Silver Lab!

    We are staying at a house in Sarasota, Florida. It takes us about a little over an hour to get to Fort De Soto Dog Beach Park.

    It is a really nice beach to bring dogs to but there are problems. The problems aren't the dogs. I feel that its more the owners than the dogs. Owners don't keep an eye on their pets. They let their dogs run free without keeping track of them. The dogs are like small children and they get in trouble when they aren't supervised.

    The other problem that occurs is when the owner knows that their pet is aggressive they still bring the dog to the beach. Their dog(s) get into fights with other dogs. Owners don't do anything about it.

    Another problem that occurs is that once again when not paying attention to their pets the dogs will poop. Some owners will not pick up after their own dogs. I've had to pick up a couple of times so that we wouldn't step on it.

    I usually keep my dog close to us. She goes out with us to swim and she comes back with us. I tried having her walk with me, but she started to wander and an aggressive dog snapped at her. It scared her. If you keep your dog close, you can have an enjoyable time with your pet.

  • Aaron
    Jun. 1, 2018
    Great Place!

    This place is excellent. Not too busy, Not too empty. Dogs are having fun. It’s stressless. Bathrooms and showers for humans. The dogs and humans can swim here. Fenced-in dog parks with hoses/drinking water to clean up after the beach. Beach is less than 1/4 mile from parking lot, but still kind of a walk. Definitely pack light or bring a cart. Awesome place!

  • Mary
    May. 25, 2018
    A doggie paradise

    There is a certain "zen" when you walk out on the Doggie beach. Dogs playing with each other in all directions and owners being very responsible for their pets. Our small dogs played with all different size dogs and had an excellent time. If you are looking for a real dog beach this is the place to be. You can't beat the great shells either!

  • Kimberly
    May. 6, 2018
    Great place to bring the pup!

    $5 parking/entrance fee was good as it let you into the whole beach/park areas. We roamed the fort first and then went to the dog beach. All dogs were well behaved and the pup had a blast!

  • Ray
    Apr. 20, 2018

    My miniature Goldendoodle loved this place. There were so many dogs and my dog wanted to play with them all. She loved the water too. Most dogs are off leash but they listen to their owners. At least while I was there the owners were attentive and were keeping a close eye on their dogs in case they got out of line.

  • Stephanie
    Apr. 15, 2018
    awesome trail/beach front

    I would completely agree that this is a must for all furry friends. It is more of a trail that happens to have some beach front areas for the little furry friends to run around in and around the water but it does have some nice spots of shade to escape the heat. Cannot wait to come back!

  • Jamie
    Apr. 4, 2018
    Great dog beach!

    We came here with our 2 boxers and loved it! Great beach with lots of room for the dogs to run around and play in the water. The other dogs and owners all seemed nice. It was a bit of a walk from the car to the beach but they had lots of poop bags and garbage cans available close by. There were also fenced in areas with a hose to rinse the dogs off after playing. Parking was $5 and there were a few tolls along the way. I just wish their was a hotel close by so we didn't have to drive each day but otherwise this place was amazing!

  • Liz
    Feb. 27, 2018
    Rare dog-friendly beach in Florida

    I recently traveled to St. Petersburg with my small dog and I was disappointed by how few of the dog beaches were dog-friendly. This was definitely a treat to have a beach where dogs could swim play off leash on the sand. My only complaint there was that not all owners were supervising their dogs very closely and my little dog (who is well socialized and usually very comfortable with big dogs) got chased multiple times by a much larger dog that appeared to be going after her in a more predatory than playful manner.. It took the owner a while to notice and then get her dog back under control. After this my dog was pretty shaken up, so I took her into the fenced park area which was divided for small and large dogs. It's not as fun as playing on the beach, but at least she didn't get picked on.

    The park is enormous, but the rest of it isn't dog-friendly at all, which is a shame. I couldn't even go out onto the fishing pier where I'd wanted to look for dolphins because dogs were not permitted there (yet poorly behaved humans were.)

  • Hiroki
    Feb. 16, 2018
    Excellent doggo beach!

    Definitely a 5 bone rated beach! Has two gated parks for small and large dogs with showering station and plenty of running space. A minute walk and there is the long stretch of dog beach! Some sharp shells here and there but easily avoidable. Highly recommend!

  • Janci
    Feb. 9, 2018
    Rare Off-Leash in Florida!

    This is the only off-leash dog beach that we have found in Florida, and it is great. A long and wide section of beach devoted to dogs. All the owners there were knowledgeable and knew how to manage their dogs. Unfortunately, I almost placed my chair in un-picked up dog poop. C'mon people, don't ruin it for the rest of us. I spoke to a visitor center in the panhandle and she explained that they made their dog beach locals only because they found that tourists do not pick up the poo. I'm sure there are locals that are jerky like that too but tourists tend to have the "hey, I'm on vacation" mentality.

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Fort De Soto Dog Beach Park