Pets Welcome on Florida's Historic Coast!
Pets Welcome on Florida's Historic Coast!

Pet Friendly Florida's Historic Coast

The ancient city is known for welcoming furry friends.

With 42 miles of pristine dog-friendly beaches, St. Augustine makes traveling with your pet easy and fun. On a stroll along St. Augustine Beach you will likely encounter dogs running with their owners, chasing balls in the ocean and lots of opportunities for your dog to socialize with others.

You’ll find dog bag stations as you enter the beaches, but you might want to bring along an extra just in case. Several of the parking lots at the beaches also have outdoor showers where you can rinse the sand off your furry friend.

Things to Do with Fido

From lodging at bed & breakfasts to dining outdoors along St. George Street and shopping at the quaint shops on Aviles Street, it’s easy to enjoy everything this historic city has to offer with your pet. Many attractions are pet-friendly, including The Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. Here, your pet can enjoy the beautiful plumage of the peacocks as they strut their stuff to grab attention and perhaps a snack to eat. Want to keep your pet young at heart? A sip of water from the famous fountain might help. Even The Oldest Wooden School House welcomes pets on its tours (so maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks).

Pets are also welcome on guided tours at The Spanish Military Hospital Museum on Aviles Street where visitors learn about the fascinating medical practices of earlier times in the ancient city. While the Castillo de San Marcos does not allow pets inside the fort, visitors and their pets are welcome to set a blanket outside on the lawn. It’s a perfect spot to take a break, enjoy the breeze and the stunning view. Small dogs on a leash are also allowed on tours of the San Sebastian Winery and its rooftop bar, The Cellar Upstairs.

"Paired with a long list of dog-friendly restaurants, tours, and hotels, St. Augustine in North Florida is perfect for some fun in the sun for you and your dog." (June 2021)

If your pup likes live music, you’re in luck. The Concerts in the Plaza take place every Thursday evening from 7-9 p.m. starting the end of May through September. Bring a chair or a blanket and listen to the best local and regional musicians play outdoors at the Plaza de la Constitución. Out at the pet-friendly St. Johns County Ocean Pier Park in St. Augustine Beach, Music by the Sea holds concerts on Wednesdays evenings at 7 p.m. Bring a cooler or purchase a meal made by one of the featured local restaurants. These concerts run from May through September.

Of course, there’s nothing like taking your dog for a walk and soaking in the history along the brick-lined streets and the bayfront in St. Augustine. One of the more popular pet-friendly tours is the Conquistatour of St. Augustine. This one and a half hour guided walking tour of Downtown St. Augustine will take you along historic buildings and streets as you learn about the city from its founding to the Flagler Era.

Ancient City Tours offers a Ghostly Encounter guided walking tour that explores the Historic District after dark with legends and tales that will give you goosebumps. Leashed pets are welcome to join the tour, assuming they don’t scare too easily. Explore Tours offers pet-friendly tours in their small, open tour buses with advance notice, especially if your dog may require its own seat.

A man in a suit stands with a microphone at a podium in front of an Elite Airways plane along Florida's Historic Coast.

Elite Airways - Direct flights to St. Augustine | Ponte Vedra

With direct, non-stop flights from popular spots in the northeast to the welcoming warmth of Florida’s Historic Coast and its historic landmarks, golf resorts and pristine beaches, your getaway in the sun couldn’t be more fun and easier!

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Small dog on a boat

And, finally, after all that walking around, maybe your pet deserves to sit and see the sites from the water. With advance notice, friendly and well-behaved pets can enjoy the beautiful views of the city from a kayak or guided boat tour with St. Augustine Eco Tours. The 76-foot Schooner Freedom is a delightful way to see the historic city from the Matanzas Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway if you call in advance of your planned trip. Hop aboard the pet-friendly Victory III with St. Augustine Scenic Cruise for a one hour and 15 minute narrated tour of the St. Augustine waterfront and bay. Pia & Me Scenic Charters allows pets only on private charters and only with prior written approval. If you prefer to get closer to nature, rent a kayak from Florida Water Tours and bring your buddy along for a chance to meet some curious dolphins or manatees.

Pet Friendly Dining Experiences

If you’ve spent any time walking around St. Augustine, you’ll have noticed that furry friends are out about and welcome at most outdoor restaurants—and there are many of those downtown and on the beach. In the Historic District, one the local favorites is dining in the courtyard at Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill, where Cajun cooking reigns supreme. Just down the street, you can enjoy a signature “Shark Tank” at the tropical bar in the backyard of Meehan’s Irish Pub & Seafood House, the perfect outdoor spot for your pet to catch a cool respite from the sun. At O.C. White’s Seafood & Spirits, you’ll enjoy the lively marina vibe as you sip a Bimini breeze under the stars. The Floridian offers southern comfort specialties to complement their southern hospitality to pets and their owners, while the St. Augustine Fish Camp provides a wonderful view of the San Sebastian as you dine on oysters and the freshest seafood around. Outside tables at the Columbia Restaurant are popular with pet owners who prefer some authentic Spanish fare with their Sangria al fresco.

Headed to the beach? Be sure to stop at the Village Garden Food Truck Park. Here you’ll have a choice of great food options from a variety of local up-and-coming chefs, not to mention a fun place to play a little cornhole and relax with other pet lovers as you await your food. Visit the Camachee Cove Yacht Harbor and enjoy delicious seafood dining among the yachts at Kingfish Grill. The patio area is perfect for stretching your legs and fido’s too. If you find yourself on the other side of town, Vilano Beach is home to The Reef Restaurant, with stunning views of the beach from the porch and classic seafood dishes. Or, have a pet date at Aunt Kate’s on the River, where you and your pet can dine on the deck under a grove of live oaks overlooking the Tolomato River and relax while enjoying one of the most idyllic spots to catch a vibrant sunset in the nation’s oldest city.

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