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Is Daytona Beach Dog Friendly? 2024 Update

Oliver Jones

By Oliver Jones

Daytona Beach, Florida

Dog owners love to take their dogs to the beach, and there are few beaches as famous as Daytona Beach. Daytona Beach is wide and firm and allows cars on the beach for tailgating and fishing. There is a boardwalk, and numerous resorts, bars, restaurants, and hotels along the sandy shoreline. All of that is in the shadow of Daytona International Speedway, home to some of the most famous races in the world.

It is a great place to visit, and the beach itself is one of the best in the region. But is Daytona Beach dog friendly? Can you bring your canine friend onto Daytona Beach for a day of fun and sun? The answer, unfortunately, is no. Daytona Beach is not dog friendly. It is not pet-friendly in general.

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Daytona Beach Rules

Daytona Beach is open and free for pedestrians and cyclists 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round. The beach is accessible from 26 separate access points, and anyone can drive onto the beach for a simple $20 fee during daylight hours. Just don’t bring your dog. The official policy for Daytona Beach is no pets are allowed.

The rules for Daytona Beach are laid out on the official city website. The rule regarding pets read as follows:

Pets are not allowed on the beach except guide dogs accompanying visually impaired persons or hearing ear dogs accompanying hearing impaired persons.

There is an exception for seeing eye dogs and hearing ear dogs. However, the exceptions are narrower than in other places. Generic service dogs, emotional support dogs, or seizure dogs will not be allowed on the beach. That means that if you were planning on bringing your dog to Daytona Beach, you need to change your plans.

Daytona Beach is very large, very busy, and well-patrolled by city and law enforcement officers.

Welcome to Daytona Beach!
Welcome to Daytona Beach! (Image By: Dan Petreikis, Wikimedia Commons CC SA 3.0 Unported)

Nearby Dog-Friendly Waterfront Parks

If you are bummed out by the prospect of leaving your dog behind, there are other options nearby. There are two parks in the Daytona Beach area that allow dogs as long as they are well-behaved and remain on a leash. These parks feature some waterfront areas and small sandy beaches, but they are not as expansive as Daytona Beach proper.

Note, in both these cases, pets are allowed on the inlet and intercoastal beaches, but Volusia County does not allow dogs on any Atlantic Ocean beaches.

Smyrna Dunes Park

Address: 2995 N Peninsula Ave, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169
Distance From Daytona Beach: 20 miles
Drive Time: 30-40 minutes
Cost: $10 per vehicle

Smyrna Dunes Park is a park located on the Ponce de Leon Inlet south of Daytona Beach. It is dog friendly and allows leashed pets to enjoy the sun and surf. The park features old sand dunes and an extensive waterfront area that stretches from the Atlantic around to the Intercoastal waterway. There are boardwalks, trails, picnic areas, and beaches. If you are looking for a place near Daytona to bring your furry friend, Smyrna Dunes Park is a great option.

Pet Rules For Smyrna Dunes Park

Pets are allowed on the inlet shore beach area and must be leashed at all times.  Pets are not allowed on the elevated park boardwalks after 10 a.m.  Pets are never allowed on the Atlantic Ocean Beach.


Lighthouse Point Park

Address: 5000 S Atlantic Ave, Ponce Inlet, FL 32127
Distance From Daytona Beach: 12 miles
Drive Time: 20-30 minutes
Cost: $10 per vehicle

Lighthouse Point Park is a park 12 miles south of Daytona Beach. It is chock full of things to do and is dog friendly. It has a long walk out onto the Ponce de Leon Inlet jetty. It features an observation tower that gives you stunning scenic views of the surrounding coastline. There is the Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse on the grounds, which is a classic lighthouse. The beach is a lot of fun, and it gives you opportunities to see the inlet or the ocean.

Pet Rules For Lighthouse Point Park

Pets are allowed on the inlet shore beach area and must be leashed at all times.  Pets are not allowed on elevated park boardwalks after 10 a.m.  Pets are never allowed on the Atlantic Ocean beach.

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Conclusion

Daytona Beach is not dog friendly. In fact, no Atlantic Ocean beaches are dog friendly in the entirety of Volusia County, where Daytona is located. There are some alternatives nearby that allow you to bring your dog to intercoastal and inlet beaches. This allows pet owners to have some quality outdoor time with their dogs with some sun, wind, water, and sand without breaking the rules on Volusia County’s main beaches. Always check the rules and regulations before bringing your dog to any beach to avoid any unplanned disruptions.

 

Featured Image Credit: Daytona Beach, Florida (Pat Williams, Wikimedia Commons CC 2.0 Generic)

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