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Gone To The Dogs: Pet-Friendly Fun On The Emerald Coast

Whether you’re just stopping by or you call the Gulf Coast your home, we know how important it is to be able to bring man’s best friend along for the ride. Fortunately, there are ample opportunities for dogs of all shapes and sizes to relax and have their own fun. As they say in good ol’ Grayton Beach, we love “nice dogs and strange people.” 

This curated list of places and things your furry children can enjoy will take you from state parks to dining and beyond. Keep in mind, dogs are not permitted on any gulf beaches in Okaloosa County and only by permit for homeowners in Walton County. Stiff fines can be levied for breaching those rules.

Pop By A Park

If you’re looking for a way to both enjoy the beautiful scenery of our area and also work off some of your pup’s energy, we highly recommend checking out one of the many state parks in the area. Not only will your dog get lots of sniffs in, but it’s also a great excuse to get out and explore the many paths that weave their way through our communities. You can learn more about any of these locations by visiting

Grayton Beach State Park

Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Point Washington State Forest

Deer Lake State Park

Camp Helen State Park

Henderson Beach State Park

Haugen Park

Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park 

Timpoochee Trail is another outdoor adventure worth exploring. Learn more here.

Fido’s Favorite

A classic — and a definite need — for any community, there are plenty of secure dog parks you can stop by. Not only are they a great spot for socializing your dog, but they’re also a place to socialize yourself.

South Walton Dog Park, 342 J. D. Miller Road, Santa Rosa Beach

Nancy Weidenhamer Dog Park, 4100 Indian Bayou Trail, Destin

Liza Jackson Dog Park, 338 Miracle Strip Pkwy, Fort Walton Beach

Niceville Dog Park, FL-85, Niceville

T.J. Brooks (Echo Park), Lincoln Ave, Valparaiso

Frank Brown Park and Dog Park, 16200 Panama City Beach Pkwy, Panama City Beach

Dog Beach at Pier Park, Panama City Beach

Doggy Dining

Don’t feel like heading back home to drop off the pup? No problem! Given the laid-back and mostly outdoor atmosphere of our beach town restaurants, there is no shortage of places that allow you to bring your buddy with you. Most options that provide an outdoor seating area allow dogs; however, it is always best to check with the restaurant first. Here are a few popular places for you and your pet.



Island Wing Company Grill & Bar

Boathouse Oyster Bar and Grill

Miramar Beach

Baytowne Wharf

Kenny D’s Beach Bar and Grill


The Great Southern Cafe

Local Catch Bar & Grill

Old Florida Fish House

The Big Chill

The Perfect Pig

George’s at Alys Beach



Seaside Airstream Row

Panama City Beach

Pineapple Willy’s

Another Broken Egg Cafe


Runaway Island Beach Bar & Grill

This is not an exhaustive list. For more options, download the Bring Fido app or visit

Brews With Your Buddy

By the same tune, there are a handful of breweries and wineries as well that allow pets while you enjoy refreshing beverages.

Bayou Brewing Company | Niceville

3rd Planet Brewing | Niceville

Beach & Brew on 30A | Seacrest Beach

World of Beer | Destin

The Craft Bar | Destin, Fort Walton Beach, Miramar Beach and Panama City Beach

Dogs On The Water

It wouldn’t be a Florida trip without some time on the water! Thankfully, you won’t have to worry about how many hours you are out at sea, because your dog will be paddling with you. Many boat, paddleboard and kayak rentals allow dogs onboard.

Blue Crab Watersports

Luther’s Rentals

Destin Vacation Boat Rentals

Dockside Watersports

S.E.A. Chase Watersports

Wet-N-Wild Watersports

Crab Island Cruises

Take A Break

For those days when you just need a break, doggy daycare services are available throughout the area.

What’s up Dog?

Emerald Coast Kennels

Happy Tails Pet Sitting

Zoomies Dog Hotel

Barks & Bubbles

The Rover app, or, is also an excellent resource for pet-sitting services.

In Case Of Emergency

Hopefully, there’ll be no need, but should an emergency arise, you have tons of places to take your pup to make sure they get the care they need. 

30A Vet

Capital Veterinary Specialists

Kindness Pet Hospital

Destin Animal Clinic

Paws in Paradise

Dr. Norm’s Westside Animal Hospital

Gulf Winds Animal Hospital

Panama City Animal Hospital

Animal Care Center

Be it a burger run, a hike or a few hours alone, there is no shortage of opportunities here. The Emerald Coast’s doors are always open to man’s best friend as you dine, explore and enjoy our beach communities together. 

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