It’s kind of strange that so many people have dogs or cats, but there are not a lot of places that are animal-friendly so that you can bring your pet along with you. Almost all beaches in Florida seem to be off-limits to animals but we were lucky enough to find two dog-friendly beaches to visit in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, although they aren’t the most human-friendly beaches, so no swimming or anything.
Honeymoon Island Dog Beach was in the middle of nowhere and had a rather long, uninviting trail to the beach, but it ended up to be a very nice, if rugged, beach. It was low tide, so there were islands of sand that you could walk to, although some places were a little too deep for that. If it was warmer and we had swim wear, we could have made it across with little trouble. We are on the gulf side of Florida, so the waves were minimal. Kevin even enjoyed jumping in the water a little. He seemed quite surprised by the taste of the water. He so far hasn’t been much of a water dog, so this was encouraging. We are hoping that he will enjoy swimming with us once we are on our boat.
Unfortunately, the beach rules required he be on a leash, so he wasn’t able to run as much as we all would have liked. But it was still a lot of fun and he was pretty tired out by the time we left. The huge downside to the Honeymoon dog beach was the sand burrs. It wasn’t until we were getting ready to leave that we realized that the sand beach and paths were surrounded by sand burrs. Thomas stepped on several with his bare feet and so did Kevin. It wasn’t the greatest end to the fun time, but at least we were able to have a good time with Kevin in the sand.
Fort DeSoto Dog Beach seemed more friendly, allowing the dogs to be off-leash. There were around ten dogs total, and Kevin had a really good time running up and down the beach. He played a little with the other dogs, but mostly just enjoyed smelling this exciting new environment. They had a fenced off-leash grassy area as well, with a hose to spray down the dogs on hot days, and a dog-height water fountain. If we were to live in the area long-term it would be a great place to go on a regular basis.
(It is challenging getting used to not having constant internet access, or worse yet, barely connecting. It makes you keep trying and hoping you will get enough signal to do what you need to do. We’re going to need to figure out a better way to internet. In any case, I have pictures, but I cannot seem to upload them right now. I will update again, when I get a better connection.)