Dog Beach - Bonita Springs Florida - Bonita Beach

Real Estate Agent with Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL 676419

Looking for a great beach where you'll be able to take your BEST FRIEND in the whole world?  Dog Beach in Bonita Springs is one of the only "pets permitted" public beaches

Also known as "Lee County Off-Leash Dog Area."  It is located north of Bonita Beach Road where it curves north and becomes Hickory Blvd.  It is physically located just north of the New Pass bridge and just before Carl Johnson boat ramp and Lover's Key state park.. It's only a few miles south of Fort Myers Beach.

Open dawn to dusk, this is more or less an Island sandbar.  The size of the beach varies with the tide and water level.  Pet owners are on the honor system to control their pets and also pick up after them.  Download or print the rules and brochure for Bonita Springs Dog Beach HERE.  To become a supporter of dog beach and maintain it's future use visit SOODA = Save Our Off Leash Dog Area

  • Available onsite are:  Parking, plastic bags and disposal stations.
  • It was officially sanctioned in May 2002 by Lee county as a permanent off-leash park.
  • It is maintained by a group of local volunteers calling themselves SOODA (Save Our Off-Leash Dog Area.)
  • Lee County will be erecting a sign in the parking area of this beach to remind people that "Dog Beach is a privilege, not a right."
  • The park is accessible by both boat and automobile.

Also read: 

dog beach

Map Courtesy of SOODA - Click Map for SOODA Information.

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Cyndee Haydon
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
727-710-8035 Clearwater, Beach Short Sales Luxury Condos &Homes
Chris, great post - we're lucky to have lots of dog friendly places here in Pinellas County, FL which is from Ft Desoto Park that Leah mentioned up to Tarpon Springs. We're even starting to allow dogs at restuarants -Cat lovers beware!    
Mar 24, 2007 10:18 AM #5
Beth Larsen
RE/MAX Sedona - Sedona, AZ
Sedona Arizona
Reminds me of a very pleasant day spent with a friend, her dog and her daughter's dog at 'Dog Beach' when we were visiting them in the San Marcos/San Diego area a few years ago. My desert-dwelling sheltie would probably find it delightful, if a bit confusing. Great way to relax.
Apr 02, 2007 01:56 AM #6
Joe Dallorso
Ocala, FL
Ocala Real Estate
 Airedale with cowboy hatA combination of Dogs & Localism my 2 favorite subjects
Apr 06, 2007 12:17 PM #7
Mike Stankewich, MBA, e-PRO - ZipRealty, Inc.
ZipRealty, Inc. - Huntington Beach, CA

Hey Chris,

You do not have the only dog beach.  Here on the other coast we have an off-leash dog beach in Huntington Beach running from Seapoint to just south of Goldenwest Street.

My dog loves it.

Apr 06, 2007 02:08 PM #8
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Fl Real Estate

Mike, I'm embarrassed to tell you that my dog looked at the sandy beach as punishment.  After our visit, he hid from me the rest of the afternoon.  He just doesn't know he's a dog.  He spent his time there running from woman to woman climbing on their lap.  It was like the ground was electrified.  We're sticking to the country club.

Is that a safe dog treat?  I heard they're recalling them, now, too.

Apr 06, 2007 02:20 PM #9
Cape San Blas, FL-Panhandle Pet Friendly Beach

Want the #1 pet friendly beach in the USA--try Cape San Blas, FL!  It's in the FL panhandle...50 miles SE of Panama City, but pristine, uncrowded and white sand beaches.  Won't find a high rise condo here or a tattoo parlor or anything!  Great place to enjoy solitude and beautiful beaches where you're allowed to bring your whole family!


Wish I could figure out how to include some pictures of some of our pet friends on the beach.  If you want to see a whole photo album of them, visit:

Sep 14, 2007 06:47 PM #10
Arianna Grewal
I like to take my dogs to this beach alot.  But the only thing is I don't like the stuff with the high tide.  People have to wake up early just for that.  I think you shoud do some construction  you can get bags and bags of sand and just put it in some empty space.
Mar 23, 2008 11:13 AM #11
April Hayden-Munson
Brookfield, WI
Brookfield Wisconsin Real Estate
Chris - what a great idea for a post! Loved checking out all the photos that others left for you.
Mar 23, 2008 09:33 PM #12
Dave Jenkins VP SOODA


You don't need to go to dog beach early in morning to have a low tide. the Dog Beach web site has link to tide chart for dog beach.



May 14, 2008 04:43 PM #13
Joan Wexelbaum
Luxury Mortgage - Ridgefield, CT

My "waterdogs" - all bird dogs that are suppossed to love water won't even go into a kiddy pool - you guys are lucky to have such a lovely spot to enjoy with your bestfriends - continue to enjoy!

May 18, 2008 07:18 PM #14
Justin Hagan

I am considering moving to Naples but am unsure of the neiborhood's attitude tward dogs.  It appears that this is the only place that my bird dogs can enjoy the water.  Is this true?  These dogs need to visit a river/canal or ocean at least once a day without the bother of other people and animals.  Should I find another location that is more dog friendly in FL?

Jul 07, 2008 11:44 AM #15
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Fl Real Estate

I'm not sure where else the dogs can be on the beach beside here, Justing. There is a fenced dog park in Estero and also one in Fort Myers.

Jul 07, 2008 11:55 AM #16

I took my dog to the dog beach in bonita the second day after i got him for some "bonding" time. What a mistake! He ignored me the whole day... lol. He ran in the water, played fetch with all the other dogs and swam all over the place. He was one tired puppy on the way home. It is a beautiful beach and worth the trip. During the week is the best time to go because it's not as crowded and fewer dogs.

Jul 18, 2008 03:30 PM #17
Andrea Tsakanikas
KT Consulting International, Inc. - Fort Lauderdale, FL

Katarina the Toy American Eskimo loves to travel!  Thanks for the info on the dog beach in Bonita Springs.  Love the area and we'll plan a ride over from Fort Lauderdale one weekend.  It's so great to see that more and more places are becoming "pet friendly." 

Katarina riding on the Goldwing

Aug 05, 2008 03:24 PM #18
Amy LaFond-Cornista

I've been down several times from Georgia and stay in Bonita Springs when we come. We brought our Jack Russell Terrier to Bonita Beach and he loved it. It was beautiful and we even saw some dolphins swimmig not too far from the shore. There were a ton of tiny little crabs everywhere there.


Nov 18, 2008 08:59 PM #19
Maureen Megowan
Remax Estate Properties - - Palos Verdes Estates, CA
Palos Verdes Real Estate Blog

You are so lucky to have a place to take your dog and let them run free. Here on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in the South Bay of Los Angeles the closest dog park is a half hour drive. We used to have a beach where people took their dogs, but the police shut it down and gave a huge amount of tickets. So sad!!!

Nov 24, 2008 03:29 AM #20
Char Wilmar

On Tuesday, March 10th, I was in the vicinity of the Dog Beach, sadly witnessing a tragic scene unfolding.

While many dogs were frolicking along the safety of the beach, there was a beautiful, sturdy black lab who was struggling for his life. The irresponsible owners of this dog walked with him (off leash) along the sandbar at a time when the current was going out. They allowed him to go into the water where he was quickly caught up in a current carrying him out to the gulf. The owners stood by- doing nothing- watching him frantically treading water and crying out to them, fighting for his life as he went under water a number of times due to exhaustion. No attempt was made by them, in word or in deed, to come to his aid. Finally, a group on a pontoon boat watching this drama unfold attempted to soothe the obviously panicked dog as they slowly made their way to him. They managed to get him onto the pontoon boat and returned him to the nonplussed owners.

I have not been on the dog beach, so am wondering if there are obvious cautions posted about the strength of the current or the fact that people and their dogs should stay off of the sandbar. Perhaps their should be signs posted on the sandbar.


Mar 12, 2009 08:45 AM #21
Ray & Elaine Fischer
(828) & (828) - Asheville, NC

i lived in naples of over 25 yrs and now in NC. i loved this beach for dogs however for those that have never been there i have to say I wish owners would come with doggie bags, and its a dog beach, doggies go in that water its not for us people to go soak in it to cool off. even water splash up can go in ur mouth. i wouldn't go there without the right shoes either.  and read body language from others that have their pets there. i am a very observant person and i noticed a man there taking an area a lit further away from everyone else (flag) and i also noticed when another dog would go towards his area he would call his dog over (good but another flag) nothing neg happened but it sure did tell me that he knows his dog that does will but not with other dogs. my hats off to him because he knew  his dogs and was in complete control. just be observant when your there. i took my choc lab and he looked like he died and went to doggie heaven. knowing all this would i go again of course. just a fair warning to those that have never been there.

p.s. it is easy to pass the beach so if your coming from 41 towards the beach keep your eyes posted on the left side.

p.s.s. please keep your shoes on its a doggie beach not people beach but awesome for them.

Mar 14, 2009 11:54 PM #22
Chris Griffith
Downing-Frye Realty, Bonita Springs, FL - Bonita Springs, FL
Bonita Springs Fl Real Estate

Thank you for stopping in.

Aug 23, 2014 07:07 PM #23
Deb Dahlberg - Rowland
Stanberry & Associates, Realtors - Bastrop, TX
Serving the areas "in between" AUS/SAN/IAH

When I was there visiting my grand daughter she took us and her dogs to this beach!  Fun times!

Oct 21, 2015 11:43 AM #24
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