St. Petersburg (Pinellas County)
1. Abercrombie Park
Located on Park Street at 38th Avenue North in St. Petersburg. This park goes 1/4 mile to the water, with a small beach. There is a boardwalk over a small woodland area. Local dog owners let their dogs run loose on the beach, but FloridaPets.net has been told guests should keep their dogs on a leash to keep nearby residents happy. If you want to wade in the water with your dog, wear shoes (old sneakers, sports sandals, etc.), as there are lots of rocks and broken shells under the water.
Web Mistress Note: This park is open sunrise to sunset. Offers benches, tables, handicap access, trees, parking, poop bags, restrooms, water, trash. This is a beautiful public park donated by a founding area resident.
2. Fort DeSoto Paw Playground and beach
Located at Pinellas Bayway off Anderson Road, past the Tropicana dome, at the far end of the pier's parking lot in Ft. DeSoto Park.
The dog portion of Fort DeSoto beach is a beautiful, unfenced 200-yard stretch.
The Paw Playground park itself is nice and basic, although most people rank it as the best dog beach in the Tampa Bay area. Showers and drinking water are provided. Enter the front gate by the parking lot, take your dog off-leash, walk through the L-shaped park to the back gate. Go out the back gate, down a short sandy path and onto the perfect beach for dogs and people. NO LEASHES REQUIRED!
Update of 01-14-12: There is now a $5 entry fee to this dog park and we thank Amy for the heads up on this matter.
Web Mistress Notes: A) We saw a posting on a dog-related message board which praised this park but suggested those going bring their own water as it's "a bit of a walk from the beach to get the park's water." B) A FloridaPets.net reader said this park offers benches, tables, trees, parking, phones, restrooms, water, trash. They said it is a very scenic park with lots of things to do.
3. Walter Fuller Park
Located at 7901 30th Ave. N. Directions: Go 8 blocks south of Abercrombie Park (See #1 under St. Petersburg above) and turn left onto 30th Avenue. This road leads in a few blocks to a free parking lot. Park the car and walk the dogs to the right of the parking lot to the fenced dog park. This dog park is inside a busy, popular local park. The sidewalk around the perimeter of the park is marked as a 2.5-mile walking trail.
4. Crescent Lake Park and Huggins-Stengel Baseball Complex
Located at 1320 5th St. N., off 15th Avenue, the fenced dog park is in a nice residential neighborhood park with a lake and plenty of watering stations for the dogs. Directions: Go west on 22nd from 4th Street and take a right on 7th Street. The dog park area is at the back of the park, between the tennis courts and ball field. Be careful. Alligators are possible here!
5. Coquina Key Dog Park
Located at 3595 Locust St. SE, off Wahoo Drive. Enter park, drive past fields, playground, and skateboarding area, and turn left. The dog park is to the right of the tennis courts.
6. North Shore Park
Located at 7th Avenue and North Shore Dr. NE. This park is one in a series of beautiful waterfront parks facing Tampa Bay. There are about 3 miles of paved sidewalk along the waterfront, from Vinoy Park to Coffee Pot Bayou, for a beautiful walk with your dog. There are some walking trails beyond that. Offers drinking fountains, benches, and nearby public restrooms.
7. Freedom Lake Park, Paw Park
Located off 102nd Avenue. According to one of our readers, this park is like a big, fenced in backyard with some trees and benches. Poop bags and trash cans are available along with a water fountain for people and dogs and shower spigot. There is a small dog section and a large dog section separated by one wall of fence. The park itself has nice walking trails that surround two small lakes. There is a playground and lots of covered picnic areas on the park grounds. She said this park is a nice place to take your dog to run in the fenced area or to walk around the lakes.
8. Lake Vista Park
Located at 1401 62nd Ave. S. The dog park entrance is on the left.