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At LockLatch we believe that fresh air and exercise contribute considerably to your dog’s health and well-being, and with summer almost here you may be considering a beach holiday or sandy getaway with your furry friend. That’s why we’ve put together a couple of articles featuring some of our favourite dog-friendly beaches and holiday destinations along the Gulf Coast, East Coast and West Coast of the United States.

There are so many great destinations and undiscovered gems along the US coastlines that an exhaustive list just isn’t possible, but we hope the destinations featured here provide a primer to help you find the perfect destination for you and your pooch. We decided to start in the south, so please enjoy this list of our five favourite dog-friendly beaches and holiday destinations on the Gulf Coast.

OCEAN SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI

A world-renowned artist community, Ocean Springs is a small city on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The city has two public beaches for you to choose between.

The first is Front Beach with its white sand and shallow water. This beach is perfect for long walks and offers fantastic views along its entire length running between Ocean Spring Harbor and the Ocean Springs-Biloxi Bay Bridge.

The second beach, a dog-friendly beach in Ocean Springs, is East Beach. Although this beach is dog-friendly, all dogs have to be leashed. A popular destination for locals, the beach has a number of piers but very little shade so, if you’re planning on spending the day at the beach, come prepared with water and a beach umbrella.

DAUPHIN ISLAND BEACH, ALABAMA

A famous low-cost family holiday destination, Dauphin Island is a beautiful vacation spot on one of the most picturesque islands in Alabama. It offers beautiful white sand beaches lapped by the clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico. For the outdoorsy family, it delivers miles of hiking trails, a bird sanctuary, and the Sea Lab’s aquarium.

However, it’s the Island’s public beach that is the real drawcard for those coming on holiday with their four-legged friends. The entire public beach has been set aside for dogs and is one of the only dog-friendly beaches in the area offering miles of white sand for seaside walkies.

SOUTH PADRE NATIONAL SEASHORE, TEXAS

South Padre National Seashore offers over 70 miles of beaches and a large proportion of these are accessible to humans and dogs, with no leash restrictions. Situated just 15 minutes from Corpus Christi, the white sandy beaches offer an abundance of dunes and hiking trails dotted with birds and wildlife.

One important thing to note here is that there are certain areas where dogs are not allowed such as the boardwalk, the Malaquite Pavilion and the dedicated kiddies beach, the rest is open to you and your pooch.

FORT MYERS BEACH, FLORIDA

Situated on Florida’s Southwest Coast on Estero Island, Fort Myers is a small town famous for its long, sandy beach lapped by the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

One of the most spectacular stretches of beach, where dogs are free to roam without leashes, is found just past Lovers Key State Park and is a beautiful untouched beach. What this beach lacks in facilities (there are no restrooms, just a portable toilet) it makes up for in raw natural beauty offering a beach untouched by development and in pristine natural conditions. There are doggie stations where you can rinse the salty water from your dog and owners are encouraged to clean up after their dogs to preserve the natural beauty.

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA

Although Pensacola is known for its beaches, it offers so much more to holidaymakers from the range of pre-Civil War forts for the history buffs, to the spectacular Naval Aviation Museum.

For those going on holiday with their dogs, it also has quite a few dedicated spaces just for dogs. Situated on a bayou off Pensacola Bay you will find Bayview Park, a fenced-in play area just for dogs. Dogs are allowed to run free here without leashes and are free to swim in the protected waters.

The Shoreline Bark Park is located across the bay in Gulf Breeze. This dedicated dog park has a special section specifically for smaller dogs to play in a secure environment. When you also consider that many restaurants offer pet-friendly outdoor dining areas it’s easy to see why Pensacola makes this list.

As we mentioned earlier in the article, putting an exhaustive list together is just about impossible. If you have a favourite dog-friendly holiday destination along the Gulf Coast, or you have some ideas for our East Coast and West Coast articles why not email us at [email protected]. We would love to hear from you.

For more reading on pet wellness:

Indoor vs Outdoor. Why Pet Access is Key to a Healthy, Happy Pet

LockLatch, The Cat Door Alternative That Saves You Time & Money

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