Honeymoon Island State Park Dog Beach

UPPER LEFT: We had to wade through this salt pond before getting to the shore line. It can be slippery in spots, but it wasn’t too bad or too deep. UPPER RIGHT: Yellow wildflowers along the path to the beach. BOTTOM: View from the deck just outside the restrooms.

My son David is in town this week between working at a ski resort in Colorado and going to London to take an English Teaching Course. I’m glad to have him whenever I can!

One thing he loves to do is take our dog Bella out on fun outings. I usually just take her to the park across the street from my house, but my 26-year-old has much more adventure in his soul. Bella absolutely loves it too!

A favorite spot of ours is the dog beach on Honeymoon Island State Park. It’s just north of Clearwater, Florida and a 98 mile drive from Walt Disney World. When visiting central Florida many people come over to the west coast to go to the beach. And while all the beaches are great, there’s just something special about Honeymoon Island.

The dog beach trail is off to the left and I’d say it’s about 1/4 mile round trip out there and back. There are doggie bags, but no trash cans on the trail, which I thought was weird. Where we parked, there was a nice dog wash hose so that we were able to clean her up a little after her frolic in the salt water.

There are few things to keep in mind if you go. Admission is $8.00 a car, which I think is a little high, but then again it keeps people out of the park who may not have the best of intentions, and it keeps the crowds low. There are also a lot of other fun things to do there at the park too.

They have a cafe, gift shop and hiking trails. So even if you don’t have a dog with you, this serene setting is a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Pinellas County.

ABOVE: The map shows where Honeymoon Island is in relation to Tampa and St. Pete. RIGHT: Bella having a great time!

TOP: An egret was spotted looking for dinner. BOTTOM LEFT: The trail leading from the parking lot to the beach. BOTTOM RIGHT: David and Bella at the beach.

Tips for taking a dog to the beach (or anywhere it’s hot):

  1. Never leave a dog in the car, especially in Florida, even for a minute. It takes very little time for a car to get extremely hot inside and for your dog to die. Even leaving the window down a little can be dangerous for your fuzzy friend.
  2. Take a bowl and a bottle of water just for them. Often there is water (and sometimes even a bowl) available, but just to be sure, take your own.
  3. Bring a towel. As I mentioned, this place has a nice place to rinse off your dog, but we forgot the towel so we had to load her in the car wet.
  4. Keep your dog on a leash or keep a close eye on him or her. Bella is small and scared of big dogs. We were approached by a dog named Mingo. He was about six times her size and wanted to sniff. I’m sure Mingo’s intentions were the best, but Bella was scared. Thankfully Mingo’s owners were really responsible.

This was one of those days that I’ll remember for many years to come. I’m so glad that David pushes me out of my comfort zone to explore the wonderful world around me. So whether it’s a beach, an undiscovered park, and whether it’s with a dog or not, exploring the world around us is always an amazing thing!

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