It’s all free and it’s fun, even if you are just a spectator without a furry friend at Dog Beach. Located just north of Naples in Lee County, you and your best friend will find the only beach in the area designated for dogs being off leash. You can access Dog Beach (otherwise known as “Lee County Off Leash Dog Area”) from the water in a boat or by driving north on Hickory Boulevard along Bonita Beach, until you have gone over the bridge at New Pass. Look for the parking area on your left immediately to the north of the bridge. If you’ve reached the official entrance to Lovers Key State Park, then you’ve gone a little bit too far.
Dog Beach is in a tidal area so the size of the beach depends on the water level. On your way there, you may want to pick up a tide chart at Master Bait & Tackle Shop on Bonita Beach Road. For future reference these tide charts are good if you are planning some fishing in the bay, also great for knowing when shelling will be best. Even better is to put one of the tide chart apps on your smart phone.
The park is open from dawn to dusk with weekends being the most busy time period. Fido will make lots of new friends and you probably will make some lasting friendships, too. There’s a great spirit of camaraderie with all of the dog owners as the hounds romp along the beach and swim in the water. Dog owners are on the honor system to clean up after their pets and control behavior. You’ll want to bring a camera as there are always entertaining photo opportunities.
Remember to follow the park rules — and have a woofing good time!
Looking for a pet friendly home in Naples or Bonita Beach, FL, call: Tim Cranch 239-272-4848 or Ellie Penaranda 239-776-5077.