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5 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Jacksonville, FL 2024: Off-Leash & On-Leash Places to Go

Rachel Giordano

By Rachel Giordano

dogs at the beach

Jacksonville, Florida, lies along the eastern coast, with the Atlantic Ocean hugging the state. Many beaches occupy this coastline, with many being dog friendly.

Almost all the beaches along this stretch allow dogs, but specific rules apply. In this article, we’ll list five of the best beaches to take your doggie in the Jacksonville area for a fun day at the beach. Read on to learn where they are so you’re better equipped and know where to go.

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Top 5 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Jacksonville, FL

1.  Atlantic Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍800 Beach Ave., Atlantic Beach, FL 32233
🕐 Open Times: Sunrise to Sunset
💲 Cost: $3 for park entrance
🐕 Off-Leash: Yes
  • Dogs can swim unleashed with their owner but must be on-leash on the beach
  • Dogs are permitted day and evening
  • 5 miles of beach going through Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park
  • Features a 450-acre park full of wildlife to explore with your pooch

2. Neptune Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍1505 Atlantic Blvd., Neptune Beach, FL 32266
🕐 Open Times: Before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. from April 1–September 30
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Dogs are permitted any hour from October 1–March 31
  • Dogs must remain on-leash at all times
  • One of the more pristine beaches in Jacksonville

3. Jacksonville Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍503 1st St. N.  Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
🕐 Open Times: Before 9 a.m. and after 5 p.m. from April 1–September 30
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Dogs are permitted any hour from October 1–March 31
  • Most popular dog-friendly beach in the area
  • Features a 1,000-foot pier for sightseeing
  • Close to dog-friendly restaurants

4. Mickler’s Landing/Ponte Verde Beach

🗺️ Address: 📍County Rd. 203, Ponte Verde Beach, FL 32082
🕐 Open Times: Sunrise to Sunset
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • 22 miles from Jacksonville/In Between Jacksonville and St. Augustine
  • Best beach to find shark teeth
  • Leashed dogs can enter the water with their humans
  • Famous for its pink-coquina sand
  • Amenities include restrooms, outdoor showers, and plenty of free parking

5. Mayport Beach Naval Air Station

🗺️ Address: 📍1 Massey Ave., Mayport, FL 32228
🕐 Open Times: Dawn to Dusk
💲 Cost: Free
🐕 Off-Leash: No
  • Keep north of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Building
  • Dogs must remain on-leash at all times
  • Must bring your own waste bags

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Where Else Can I Take My Dog?

If you’d rather take your canine pal to a dog-friendly place besides the beach, you have plenty of options in the Jacksonville area. Many parks allow dogs, with some even allowing a membership (fees apply). Let’s take a gander below.

Dogwood Park

Dogwood Park contains 42 acres of romping fun for your dog off-leash. The park is open daily from 10 a.m.to 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. It features a lake, plenty of grassy areas, and woodland walks for exploration. The fee is $11 daily with $1.25 for each additional dog, or you can become a member for a fee.

Timucuan Ecological & Historic Preserve

This U.S. national preserve is perfect for those who love history and want to take their dog along on an adventure. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Ed Austin Dog Park

This park is a huge multi-sport complex with a dog park that contains 4-acres of off-leash fun for your dog to play. It has hiking trails, picnic tables, restrooms, a playground, and more.

John Gorrie Park of Riverside

This dog park contains two separate dog runs with shaded trees, tennis balls, and water fountains. Dogs can play off-leash in the enclosed runs, which are divided between large dogs and small dogs. Remember to pick up after your pooch!

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Jacksonville, Florida is an extremely dog-friendly area, and just about anywhere you are along the coastline, odds are the beach is dog-friendly. If the beach is not your game (or your dog’s), Jacksonville has many dog-friendly parks, with many allowing for off-leash play.

Don’t forget to bring poop bags and water for your pooch, and always clean up your dog’s waste and dispose of it properly. Dog beaches will always allow dogs as long as owners abide by the rules and keep the beaches clean, and the parks are no different. After all, dogs deserve a fun day in the sun, so keep it clean, have fun, and take lots of pics of your dog swimming and romping through the white sand of Florida or one of the many dog parks.

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Featured Photo Credit: Tom Hills, Unsplash

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