Want to bring your pet on your family vacation? Look no further than the Florida Panhandle Beaches.
Published: February 27, 2015
By: Carol Muse Evans
It used to be that taking a dog on a family trip meant only staying with relatives, if they were kind enough to let you bring the dog. Very few hotels would take a pet, and if they did, it would cost you a paw and a paw.
Today, many resorts, hotels and rental companies are favoring the growing group of families and individuals who don’t want to leave Fido behind. And if you’re planning a beach trip this spring or summer, here are some ideas not far away from Birmingham where your precious four-legged family member can join you.
The Bay Point Golf Resort & Spa in Panama City Beach
(www.baypointreosrts.com) is just one of those four-legged friendly resorts. This upscale resort offers tennis, golf, a spa, a shuttle to Shell Island, five pools and one indoor pool. A private beach is just a short ride to the white, sandy Gulf Coast of Panama City, and offers two-bedroom golf villas, many of which are pet friendly, with playground and grassy area right outside. Pay a small pet fee, and Fido is welcome here.
You may never want to leave the resort during your stay, but if you do, the Bay Point Lady runs seasonally daily from the dock behind the resort over to Shell Island, and the shuttle is complimentary to guests. There are also great restaurants here, like the Kingfish Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Pelican’s and Club 19 Restaurant.
Want to take Fido to the beach? There’s a pet beach right across from Pier Park (www.bringfido.com/attraction/9849), called the “best dog-friendly beach in Florida”) and several area dog parks from which to choose for an additional outing. Remember, most restaurants, even outdoor ones, rarely allow pets. You may want to return to Pier Park (www.simon.com/mall/pier-park)for the humans in the family – it’s got great restaurants, shops and a movie theatre, along with the Miracle Strip Amusement Park www.ms-pp.com).
For a change of scenery, head over to Navarre, and Wyndham Vacation Rentals (www.wyndhamvacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/florida/northwest-florida/navarre-beach/) can provide a home that is dog-friendly, right on the beach! Many of these can hold a much larger family as well. Most include private internet access, cable TV and the main attraction, beachfront access. (Remember, some areas do not allow the pets ON the beach – check before taking them out and avoid a hefty fine.)
On our visit, the Dolphin House was perfect for a large family, including four-legged members. The tile floor throughout ensured easy clean in case of any issues, the kitchen was well equipped, we had a washer and dryer, and we were right on the beach. The dogs could go out on the deck, and a great sidewalk throughout the neighborhood ensured great places to walk for them and us. And the beaches at Navarre are definitely world class, feel so private, and are beautiful and clean!
Carol Muse Evans is publisher/editor of Birmingham Parent.
Coming next month….The Gulf Breeze Zoo
If You Go:
Additional Pet Friendly Hotels in Panama City Beach, FL
Dog Parks in Panama City Beach, FL
Navarre, FL dog park
- Florida State Law prohibits pets on regular beaches for safety reasons. Visitors may walk their pets on sidewalks if pet is on a leash.
- In the Gulf Islands Seashore area, visitors may walk pets on trails, multi-use paths or on park roads as long as pets are on a leash.
- Pet owners must clean up after their pets.