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Dog Park Beach at Fort de Soto Park

The Dog Park Beach at Fort De Soto Park in St. Petersburg, FL features two fenced areas so both large and small dogs can enjoy off-leash fun. It also has dog showers for hot days. There's a designated dog beach area at the far southwest corner of the dog park. The rest of the park allows dogs on leash, except for the beach areas. Visit Website

Or call (727) 582-2100 for more information.


BringFido Guest Rating

Dog Park Beach at Fort de Soto Park has received a rating of 4.4 out of 5 bones by 126 canine critics on BringFido.

Visitors enjoy the spacious and beautiful off-leash dog beach at Fort De Soto Park, where dogs can freely run and play in the water with friendly owners and other well-behaved pets. Some travelers note minor issues with aggressive dogs, lack of owner supervision, and presence of burrs, but overall the reviews are overwhelmingly positive.

AI-generated from the text of reviews

  • July
    Jun 25, 2024

    This place is perfect! We went on a weekend day and it wasn't crowded. The beach was beautiful and Luna had fun running & swimming with us. There were several other families with their pups and every was being attentive and all the pups were getting along. The wash station is so nice and big! It really was an awesome day!

    Just make sure your pups are good about coming to you when called! We saw a family who let both their pups off leash and they ran out towards the road and they wouldn't listen to them. After lots of chasing they finally got them back leashed safely.

  • Tom
    Apr 16, 2024
    Great place to go

    A very relaxed atmosphere at the dog beach. Great place for the dog to enjoy the outdoors and the water. Plenty of parking ($5 for the day), and rest rooms are nearby.

  • Stephanie
    Apr 13, 2024
    Great beach and off leash area

    Our 2 dogs were lucky enough to have the entire large dog section to themselves. Huge area, beach was lovely and had a hose to rinse off.

  • your
    Mar 19, 2024
    Great Park for dog

  • Jan 31, 2024
    Great experience

    My dog Doggy had a great fun!

  • Linnea
    Aug 5, 2023
    Love this park but BRING BUG SPRAY

    my dogs and I absolutely LOVE this dog beach- however if you’re going early in the morning or in the evening, be prepared. I got absolutely SWARMED by no see ums (midges / sandflies) and have HUNDREDS of bites all over my legs and arms. they are itchier than mosquito bites and it is miserable lol but no one warned me about this!! just take proper precautions (bug spray / long sleeves and pants) and you should be ok!

  • Cynthia
    Jul 13, 2023
    Soooo worth it for puppers and peoples!!!

    Dog park, one for small and large dogs, also clean off water hose, and benches in the shade.
    Walk a bit down the trail from the dog park to a GREAT dog beach. So clean, calm water, great pups and peeps. Very dog swimmable..
    Really very nice place.

  • Liam
    Mar 3, 2023
    Great Dog Beach

    Well separated from cars and separated dog parks if you need an escape from the sand.

  • Kytka
    Feb 11, 2023
    Sand fleas and mosquitoes

    It’s a lovely strip of beach and a huge dog park, but going to enjoy a sunset is nearly impossible with the amount of mosquitoes, sand fleas, and no seeums! Some of the larger dogs that were off leash were aggressive towards our smaller leashed dogs. Also, way too many sand spurs in the patchy grass. The sunset views are glorious, but we were eaten alive!

  • Holdyn
    Dec 29, 2022
    Great dog beach and park! Ample space and tons of furry friends

    This is a great spot I love that it is clean and large so you have a lot of space for you the family/friends and your furbabies! Some "dog beaches" are terrible and make you feel like you are not really at the beach, this isn't like that. Great hidden gem and the dogs there are great! Also a dog park near.

  • Michelle
    Sep 12, 2022
    Best around

    Hands down best dog beach around due to the ability to let them off leash and the fact that there are pretty much always other dogs there. For the people leaving negative reviews- 1. It's FL, there are sandspurs, seaweed,and shells; you'll live. 2. It's a dog beach so yes dogs will walk on your towels and stick their snouts on your bag that's lying on the ground...would you put your open bag on the ground at any other dog park? This is not a place for a picnic with the family, but a dog park.

  • Jordan
    Jul 24, 2022
    Definitely going back!

    so much better than any beach that requires the dogs to be on a leash. Rose got along tremendously with all the dogs she encountered. All dogs seemed to be well behaved. Arrived early on a Saturday (around 9 AM) and traffic was smooth going through the city

  • Joann
    Jul 21, 2022
    Unsafe For Dogs

    We were very disappointed in this beach. The beach is not very nice, a bit on the grungy side. Dogs are unleashed and many of the dog owners were not watching their dogs. We saw 2 dog fights while we there. We also had 3 different dogs come onto our blanket at different times and stick their heads in our beach bag trying to get our dogs’ treats. Their owners were nowhere to be found. Also be aware that the Ft Desoto beach area has terribly sharp sand spurs in most of their grassy areas which would be very painful to a dog’s paws.

  • Sarah
    Jun 30, 2022

    This was my dogs first time at the beach. She loved it! I wish the wash station was a little closer to the beach but other then that it was excellent! Everyone there was very understanding of it being my dogs first time going. I also love that they can be off leash.

  • Tatiana
    May 29, 2022
    Awesome time

    Dogs enjoy themselves and people who come to this beach understand that other dogs will be roaming around them. We had a great time.

  • Lindsey
    Apr 11, 2022
    Amazing Location

    Such a FUN day at the beach dog park! unleashed fun, and I was VERY impressed with the amount of well-behaved dogs. No issues with dogs fighting or not doing well. All the owners that came were aware that their dogs are dog-friendly and no one was put at risk. We truly enjoyed our day here and can’t wait to visit again sometime!

  • Cindy
    Feb 5, 2022
    Great time until my dog attacked

    We were having a great time with our dog. The beach was nice and the people and dogs were friendly. We kept our dog on a leash for safety and thank goodness we did. A big black dog off leash was on top of our dog and my husband had to dig his nails into the black dog’s neck to get him off our dog. Minutes later the black dog, still off leash, attacks another dog. Our dog was traumatized and quite frankly, we were, too. Not sure we will ever go back here.

  • Gerald
    Feb 4, 2022
    Fort De Soto Dog Beach Park

    Great big beach for lots of pups and people!

  • Michelle
    Jan 7, 2022
    Pretty & fun

    my pup loved it here! we met a lot of friendly pups and played frisbee and next time we’ll plan to stay all day. we went on a Friday afternoon and it wasn’t too busy

  • Olivia
    Oct 21, 2021
    Great Dog Beach!

    I am pro-off leash dog activities and was excited to try out this dog beach in May 2021. I stayed at Fort De Soto campground and was so impressed with how nice the campground was! Got there on a Sunday afternoon and the dog beach was packed but still found a nice spot to sit and play with the dogs. Lots of nice dogs and seemingly responsible owners. I am sure that is not what everyone's experience is, but just like the dog park, you take a risk taking your pups any place with other dogs around. I personally had a great time!

  • Chelsea
    Oct 17, 2021
    Fantastic! But one complaint

    This dog beach is great!! Very popular. Lots of fur friends to meet. Gentle waves. Beware: there are VERY sharp burrs in the grasses. Our dog got them all in between his pads and was very uncomfortable until we got them all out. Other than that, it was a great time! There is also a HUGE fenced in dog park next to the beach with great grass,a rinse off area and water to drink.

  • S.
    Aug 2, 2021
    Very Shelly

    We went on a Tuesday evening and it wasn’t busy at all. The downside is that the beach is covered in tiny broken shells and dead things, so try to wear shoes and keep an eye on the doggy. Honeymoon dog beach was better

  • Fatima
    Jun 3, 2021
    Great place

    This place is very nice! LOTS of other pups! Thankfully our pup is super dog friendly so we didn't have any problem. Definitely bring some shade for the pups and water. Our pup enjoyed it!

  • Brooke
    May 30, 2021
    Amazing Dog Beach

    We love this dog beach! Both of our dogs love it! The dogs can run off leash down the beach and enjoy a refreshing swim. Always lots of dogs to make friends with. Hose inside the adjacent dog park can be used to hose dogs down after.

  • Jaleah
    May 29, 2021
    Amazing find!

    We took our two poms here and they had the best time ever. The water is beautiful and there are plenty of pups around!

  • Lauren
    May 17, 2021
    Perfect place for you and your pup

    lots of friendly dogs and lots of friendly people. very relaxed place to have fun

  • Kayla
    Mar 30, 2021
    Nice beach

    this beach is very nice. be aware that this is an off leash dog beach. we had many dogs walk right up to our umbrella and even witnessed a pretty bad dog fight. it’s a nice beach but just be aware that not all dog owners are good dog owners. we went on a weekday and it was fine in the morning but by 1pm it was very crowded.

  • Becky
    Feb 28, 2021
    Dog paradise

    LOVED IT! I took my puppy and at first she was very scared but ended up loving it. literally was a beach full of dogs so be prepared to have dogs go up to you especially if you’re eating a hot dog like I was.

  • 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.

  • Helen
    More than a year ago
    Great Off Leash Beach

    This is a very short beach stretch near the Pier. I would have rated it 5 bones but the dead fish and red tide really cut our day short. All along the shore it reeked of death fish, not good for a pleasant summer day. Pups loved rolling in the stinky sand. No water time due to the red tide. Great for throwing the ball and running free with other pups.

  • Gabrielle
    More than a year ago
    love it

    Best beach area for pups. I highly recommend this place. Go during the week when it is less busy

  • 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.

  • Bill
    More than a year ago
    great beach

    Great place for the dogs to run off leash, 2 fenced area and then the beach area is behind the park. Dogs running free on the beach and having a blast. Just be mindful of you dog if it is off leash and if you dog is not good around lots of dogs running around and a crowd of people this would not be the place for them.

  • Cindy
    More than a year ago
    More beaches should allow dogs!

    Great beach for the dogs to play like they are meant. Dog owners were responsible and all the dogs played great together. What a joy to see your dog romp and swim. Thank you for allowing dogs on the beach. We will be back soon!
    Couldn’t find the area to rinse off the dogs, but maybe next time?

  • Christy brinke
    More than a year ago
    Robbed within 15 minutes of arriving

    The robbers likely used dog distraction and grabbed my purse, lost about $700 in value. Called 911 and the Fort Desota parks. Took way too long for a response and there was nothing done but take down my information and basically that sucks it's happening all over the beaches. I left with 2 young children, empty tank of gas and all my money stolen. The park did not even offer to refund my $5 parking fee to get my family safely home even after I expressed that I had no way of getting home. The officer suggested I call AAA?
    Drove away hoping to not run out if gas on the long bridge.
    Thanks Fort Desota Rangers and sheriff department.

  • Donna
    More than a year ago
    Great day with the dogs.

    It is so nice to have a place where the dogs can run off leash. My yellow lab loves the water and it was a real treat watching her chase the waves. We went on a Tuesday morning and it was slightly overcast so we practically had the beach to ourselves. We drove over from the east coast of Florida specifically to visit the beach and it did not disappoint.

  • Dave
    More than a year ago
    Nice beach, nice people, mediocre amenities

    We went on a Sunday. The beach was nice and clean. Everyone we met was nice and welcoming, there were no real problem dogs. While it was a little crowded, there were no dog issues, and there was still plenty of space for play.

    The only knocks are that 3 of the 4 bag stations we found were empty, and the rinsing stations are far from the car lot (which is currently in bad shape), so the dogs were sandy again by the time we got back to the car.

    Would definitely go again.

  • Brittney
    More than a year ago
    Loved it!!!

    Loved this dog beach. Very laid back. All the friendly dogs ran around without leashes, it was really fun watching them play :) (if you have an aggressive dog don't let it off the leash) I have a small dog and all the other dogs for the most part were big dogs and they all did really well my little one!! She loved playing with them! Very clean beach, doggy bags are provided to clean up after them. We didn't encounter any sand fleas or fleas. Their is a fenced in grass area with some shade, soggy drinking fountain and shower.

  • Henry
    More than a year ago
    Got attacked by Sand flies/fleas

    Went today with my wife and family dog and will never go back. Nice beach but an hour and a half into our stay we were attacked by sand flies or fleas. They were flying all over the place. Other people left early too and were complaining as well. If you go, consider taking some kind of bug repellent.

  • Melissa
    More than a year ago
    Fabulous Day Trip with Dogs

    Our daughter came to visit from up North and we knew she'd want to go to the beach. We packed lunches, brought beach chairs, canopy and lots and lots of water (per suggestions of other reviewers). The day we went there were no "dog issues" so we thoroughly enjoyed our day. Anyone who frequents dog parks knows that not every owner is responsible and to be ready for just about any encounter with other people and their pets. Our dogs ran, played with other dogs and swam, even though they're not really swimming dogs per se. I made the mistake of not rinsing off the salt water before we left and washed them both the next day. Next time I'll bring extra towels just for that.

  • Amanda
    More than a year ago
    Fun outing

    Most dog parks and dog friendly places are only as good as the dog owners who visit them, so I'm sure this beach has its good days and bad days. We had a delightful visit today with our three dogs of varying sizes (17lbs up to 70lbs). The beach is a proper beach with nice views and plenty of room to sit and relax. The dog friendly portion is quite big (I walked with our gang for a good 5 minutes or so to one end, starting about the middle from our base camp). Some issues with some inattentive owners, but for the most part all dogs and humans were on good behavior and friendly. Tips: bring chairs, not blankets, if you plan to relax. This is NOT fenced, so dogs do need to be properly voiced controled or kept leashed (saw several happy dogs enjoying their day on long leads. Far preferable to a retractable leash). Mid week was busy but not too crowded. I am sure weekends must be a zoo!

  • CM
    More than a year ago
    Terrible Personal Experience

    Don't blame the dogs - it's the owners. No ranger around - voice control definitely not enforced.

    Dogs not under voice control. Large German Shepherd harassed our Goldendoodle terribly. When we asked the owner to get her dog under control she told us to get the "F" off the beach. Another owner laughed and said the Shepherd did not like our dog. It was terrifying and we promptly left and will never return.

  • Netty
    More than a year ago

    Had a wonderful time. Everyone was courteous including the dogs and so clean and pretty. Best time at the beach EVER! The dog beach is just off of the Paws playground which was extremely convenient.

  • Cat
    More than a year ago
    Nice dog beach July 2016

    Decided to go camping at Ft. De Soto Park so we could bring along our dog and check out the dog beach. If you camp, you do not have to pay to get into the beach area, if not it's only $5. The bathrooms are in front of the parking lot and to the right of parking lot are fenced in dog parks, one for big dogs and another for small dogs. Lots of area to run and play. Plenty of shade and a few benches to sit down. Also inside was a wash area with hoses for a spray clean. The walk to the beach was a little bit of a stretch from the parking, but it was great to have our dog run and play off leash. Did not like that there was a no swimming sign. I would have liked to go in the water with my dog. There were also some boats that would dock or pass by the pier. Water was a little bit rough with the waves and sand was more on the hard side with shells. Overall, our dog had a great time playing on the shore and in the dog park.

  • Cooper
    More than a year ago

    What a great beach! Even on the 4th of July weekend it was not overly crowded. Easy swimming for dogs and humans alike, very dog friendly atmosphere by the other users of the park. Does cost the $5 to get in but they do offer trash cans and a real bathroom so that works for me.

  • Wendy
    More than a year ago
    Fantastic Day of Fun & Play 10 BONE REVIEW!

    We brought our dog here for the first time 4th July weekend 2016 and I think it's amazing.

    It's a bit of a hike from the parking - bring a cart or risk schlepping your stuff in several trips.

    We set up a sunbrella and brought a picnic lunch, as well as the far fetch ball throwing toy. We got our German Shepherd good and tired fairly quickly. We spent the rest of the day lazing under the sunbrella tent and periodically socializing.

    Afterward, we rinsed him off in the dog park next to the beach, there is a side for little and a side for big dogs.

    There were NO fights, maybe a few warning growls down the beach but that's normal. Not a single poop on the beach, which tells me everyone there was a responsible pet owner. Nothing makes me happier than seeing happy, well-loved doggies. We will be coming back with our pooch.

    The only thing I didn't like was there is no place for humans to rinse the sand and salt off.

  • Sharon Erwin
    More than a year ago
    Just Me

    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.

  • Mandi
    More than a year ago
    Great for large dogs!

    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.

  • Kiera
    More than a year ago
    best place ever!

    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
    More than a year ago

    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.

  • Chihuahuas are King
    More than a year ago
    Playtime in Paradise

    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.

  • Franziska
    More than a year ago
    Best dog beach I know

    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.
    More than a year ago
    Pawesome beach!

    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
    More than a year ago
    Dogs everywhere!

    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!

  • Kristen
    More than a year ago
    My dogs heaven

    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
    More than a year ago

    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.

  • Heather
    More than a year ago

    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.

  • Bodhi
    More than a year ago
    Best Time!

    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!

  • Leslie A.
    More than a year ago
    Ft. DeSoto Dog Beach

    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.

  • Brenda
    More than a year ago
    Come on by the water is fine

    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!

  • Adam
    More than a year ago

    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.

  • Matthew Ellis
    More than a year ago
    Biggest Park & Beach yet!

    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
    More than a year ago
    Loved it!!

    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
    More than a year ago
    Dog Heaven!

    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

  • Stephanie
    More than a year ago

    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.

  • Albert goldwyn
    More than a year ago
    Another dog friendly beach

    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

  • Carole
    More than a year ago
    best idea ever

    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
    More than a year ago

    Loved it!!! Dogs can be without a leash on the beach, totally recommend it!!!

  • Erin
    More than a year ago

    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!)

  • Sharon
    More than a year ago
    So much fun

    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!

  • Brandon
    More than a year ago
    Great way to enjoy the beach with the dog

    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
    More than a year ago

    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!!

  • Elle
    More than a year ago

    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.

  • Carol
    More than a year ago
    Great dog 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.

  • Cory
    More than a year ago
    One of the best!

    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!

  • A.S.
    More than a year ago
    Great dog beach, but...

    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.

  • LeeAnne
    More than a year ago

    This park is truly amazing for all dogs and the family. Could't ask for anything more. Absolutely awesome.

    More than a year ago

    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
    More than a year ago

    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.

  • Natalia
    More than a year ago
    Perfect place to have fun with your dog

    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
    More than a year ago
    doggie paradise

    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!

  • Rob
    More than a year ago
    Goose's First Beach Play

    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.

  • Diane
    More than a year ago
    Awesome doggie beach

    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.

  • Sue finn
    More than a year ago
    Puppies lovet it!!

    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!!

  • Sandra
    More than a year ago
    Definitely will visit over and over again!!!

    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.

  • Tricia
    More than a year ago
    Baby was happy!

    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.

  • Brian
    More than a year ago
    Kito's favourite place

    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.

  • Miley
    More than a year ago
    Love This Beach

    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
    More than a year ago

    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
    More than a year ago
    Love It!

    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
    More than a year ago

    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
    More than a year ago
    awesome beach

    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...

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