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Dog Friendly Travel to Flagler Beach

Visit Florida’s laid-back coastal regions with your pup.

by Susan Tasaki
February 9, 2022
Blonde woman in a teal and purple bikini sitting on the seashore petting her black Labrador dog
Curtis Kim / Stocksy

Your pet wants you to read our newsletter. (Then give them a treat.)

Florida attracts visitors year-round, but the winter and spring seasons are especially inviting. On the northeastern shoreline of Florida—known as the “quiet side”— Palm Coast and Flagler County deserve special mention for their dog-friendliness.

This stretch of oceanfront has a laid-back, small-town flavor; unlike other coastal areas, the beaches are uncluttered by cars or buildings—no high-rise hotels here. Hiking opportunities abound, with more than 100 miles of trails. Over at Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve, there are 217 acres of fantastic hiking spots. Plus, the longest designated scenic highway on the East Coast—the A1A Scenic Coastal Highway—passes through, so there’s always a reason to take a ride and see the sights.

When planning your “dog-cation” to the Palm Coast, there’s paddle boarding; hikes along the eight-mile-long Lehigh Trail (part of an abandoned 195-acre railroad corridor); and visits to the popular Wadsworth Park, where you can meet up with the locals at its fenced dog park, which has separate areas for large and small dogs.

A must-stop for nature enthusiasts is the 1,500-acre Princess Place Preserve in the northern part of the county. Its many scenic viewpoints provide lots of places to catch a sunset. (Wild hogs and alligators also call it home, so best to keep your pup on leash.)

Among the affordable accommodations with dog-welcoming policies are Whale Watch Motel and Fairfield Inn and Suites. For good eats, there’s Johnny D’s Beach Bar & Grill, Flagler Fish Company, or the High Tides at Snack Jacks.

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Susan Tasaki

Freelance writer Susan Tasaki lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her Husky, who wishes they both got out more.