During the warmer months, it’s difficult to keep our minds off of the beach—especially those pristine beaches in Florida. Destin, Florida, is among several desirable vacation destinations and is full of sprawling beaches where you can kick back and enjoy the sun’s rays. If you are thinking of taking your family to any Destin beaches to soak in the sun, you’re likely wondering if your furry, four-legged friend can tag along. We’re sad to say that the answer is no, dogs are not allowed on any Destin Beaches.
Why Are Dogs Prohibited on Destin Beaches?
To understand why Destin does not allow dogs on their beaches, we need to examine the county rules. Destin is in Okaloosa County, which greatly emphasizes keeping its property pristine.
As a part of the county’s regulations, dogs are prohibited from the beaches. This is because irresponsible dog owners may leave fecal waste or even ratty, used dog toys on the beach. In the instance of pet poop, there is a possibility that unscooped poop may lead to infections in other visitors.
There are no exceptions to this rule. Responsible dog owners or well-behaved dogs will not get a free pass, nor will leashed dogs be permitted on any beaches. If you want to take a trip with your dog to Destin, you will need to find other places that are canine friendly. Thankfully, there are plenty of options—but more on that in a minute.
Other Rules to Follow While Visiting Destin Beaches
While visiting any of Destin’s lovely beaches, be sure to follow their rules and regulations. Beyond banning dogs, there are other restrictions, including the following:
Any items that you bring with you, whether they are disposable or not, must return with you when you leave the beach. Likewise, the city’s initiative to leave no trace means the area is heavily cleaned each night. If you leave something at the beach expecting it to be there when you return, you will be out of luck as everything is removed by the staff.
You will need to review the beach flag code for your safety. Destin’s beaches have flags that are maintained by the Destin Fire Control District. The flags are designed to warn visitors about rip tides, bad weather, contaminants, and other dangers. Some flags warn visitors of dangerous creatures or red algae in the water, so be sure to check the flag before making your way into the water.
Top 3 Dog-Friendly Locations in Destin
While Destin beaches do not permit dogs, there are plenty of other ways to spend a day in Destin with your pup.
1. Nancy Weidenhamer Dog Park
The Nancy Weidenhamer Dog Park is a 3-acre park with separate areas for small and large dogs. The entire park is covered in lush grass and shaded areas. For your convenience, the park includes waste receptacles and watering stations for your dog.
The park is open from sunrise to sunset, giving you and your dog plenty of time to visit and have a blast!
2. Destin Commons
The Destin Commons is a shopping area in Destin, which includes over 95 shops and restaurants for you to enjoy. There are outdoor hydration stations placed throughout the center, allowing you and your dog to relax from shopping. Most of the restaurants and shops are dog friendly as well, just ask an associate about the rules before entering.
3. Crab Island Cruises
If you want to enjoy the aquatic life despite the beach ban on dogs, check out Crab Island Cruises. You can cruise around the island and enjoy the ocean with your dog, provided that your pup is well-behaved.
Although Destin’s beaches do not permit dogs, there are plenty of other places in Destin for your four-legged family member to explore. Each location has its own unique set of rules, so be sure to brush up on them before visiting. In addition to the beaches, Destin has plenty of remarkable locations to visit. Even though you can’t bring your dog to the beach, the trip will still be one to remember.
Featured Image Credit: Feng Cheng, Shutterstock