I don’t know if I’d have a dog if I didn’t live in apparently the most dog friendly city in America 2022 in the United States. If you live here, you probably already know that we have an abundance of dog parks, dog bars, dog friendly bars and restaurants. With almost every establishment downtown having a patio it makes it easy.
I’m coming up on 2 years having my dog Sammy and in that time I’ve tried to explore all the best places to take her and avoid the places where she might get eaten by an alligator. I’ve put pics of Sammy on a few of my blog posts and actually gotten real estate calls from my fellow dog people. That could be you too! Feel free to give me a call or text at 727-307-1111 if you enjoy this article and have any questions about residential real estate in and around St. Pete, Florida.
With that said, let’s get into the Top 8 Places To Take Your Dog In St. Pete, Florida. Here’s a short video made by the City of St. Pete called It’s a great day to be a dog in St. Pete, Florida!
10. Dog Bar
The original Dog Bar is one of the first places I took Sammy to make some dog friends. You can either get a year long membership or a day pass, either way you will have to provide immunization records and after a year old they will need to be spayed / neutered. Most dogs are pretty even tempered here however they have on staff “Woofarees” to break up any fighting that gets too rough.
The Dog Bar is great because it’s all astroturf as opposed to the dirt and mud you’ll find at the dog parks. They also have weekly events to keep the dog owners entertained like Monday night trivia and Tuesday night bingo. The staff is awesome and the vibe is low key. Imagine a place where it’s easy to get a drink and everyone is in a good mood because they’re surrounded by goofy dogs. I would give the dog bar a 5 out of 5 stars.
9. Northshore Dog Park
This is the biggest and most popular dog park in the city. There seems to always be a crowd here but it’s especially crowded on the weekends and after 5pm during the week. Seeing how you’re right in Northshore park, it’s a great place to go for a walk and then let your dog have some fun too. It’s also never hard to get a parking space. Also 5 out of 5 stars on this one.
8. Ft Desoto Dog Beach
It’ll cost you about $5 to visit here but it’s totally worth it. The dog beach is the best of both worlds – get yourself set up on the beach with a chair and a book and let your dog go ham. It’s easy to park and only about a 2 minute walk from the parking lot to the offleash dog area on the beach. Be sure to bring your own water and dish because it gets hot out here. 5/5 stars.
7. Bunces Pass
This is primarily a location you would go with a boat but you can actually walk through the water to the sandbar from Ft. Desoto. Depending on the day, you may need to keep a close eye on your dog. Sometimes it’s extremely busy out there with boats everywhere, however there’s a lagoon with mostly 2-3 ft of water that’s only accessible to smaller boats that need to anchor.
I have a boat club membership and this is my go to spot. Usually we’ll go spend a few hours out there, put a lifejacket on the dog and let her go make friends. This is another place where you’ll need to bring your own water and dog supplies. The previous 4 locations I mentioned have complimentary poop bags however this is a small island that has nothing except sand and water. There’s also no shade out here so your best bet is to have a bimini top on your boat or some sort of shade to keep cool. 5/5 stars especially on a boat.
6. The Pier in DTSP
The Pier is one of the best places to walk your dog Downtown. Although the walking area is mostly concrete, there are some green spaces. They’ve also equipped many of the water fountains with doggy fountains where you push a button and the bowl at the bottom fills up. A trip to the end of The Pier and back is about a 30-40 minute walk so you can easily get your steps in.
Although Downtown is a safe place already, many people feel extra safe here at night since it also has its own security. With that said, it does shut down at 11pm every night. There are also a few different places to grab some food or drinks along the way.
5. Crescent Lake
I lived a few blocks from here when I first moved to St. Pete in 2013 in my pre-dog era. Crescent Lake is one of the nicest parks in the city outside of the waterfront parks downtown. There’s a walking trail around the lake as well as a dog park, tennis and pickleball courts and a playground if you have children.
When you’re done with your walk you may want to stop and treat yourself to some food and drinks. Three Birds Tavern is the spot to go – the original 140 year old farmhouse of this area was converted into a restaurant with multiple patios to choose from. Their food is great and their happy hour is worth checking out as well.
4. Grassroots Kava Bar
If you work remotely like many of us do, you probably want to take a shower, put on clothes like a normal human being and get out of the house every once in a while. Grassroots is a great place to work remotely and dogs are allowed to come inside to enjoy that sweet, sweet air conditioning.
The vast majority of people that go to Grassroots are working remotely on their computers so it stays pretty quiet. With that said, you will likely find some friendly faces. It’s a social place very unlike a bar that serves alcohol. Yes bars can be social but this is a place where you can show up with just you and your dog and still make some friends. 5 of out 5 stars.
3. Mutts & Martinis
This is the newer dog bar. I’ve actually only been here once and it’s OK. I’m putting it on this list because I’m sure they have to go through their growing pains and get it figured out. It looks like they put a massive amount of money into this project with the buildout and pool install.
I went on opening weekend so it was probably a little crazy. The good – staff was super friendly, the dogs love the pool and there’s a lot of space. The bad – only a small amount of that space is designated as an offleash area. Every 30 minutes they make you pull your dog out to switch out big and small dogs. It’s also a more expensive membership than the original dog bar. It was very easy to talk to other dog owners there though, I had fun there. 4 out of 5 stars but I hope they are on their way to some 5 out of 5 star greatness.
2. Three Dogs Bakery
This is my go to place for some dog treats. I gotta get my dog something to chew on if I’m going to be working on my laptop and not be bothered for pets every 2 minutes. They have a nice selection of toys, treats and chews and it’s located right Downtown on Central. Pro tip – if your dog likes to chew, make sure to check out their beef cheek chews. Usually keeps Sammy busy for 4-5 hours. $13 well spent.
I’d love to live in Uptown. This neighborhood is one of my favorite to walk around. When I first moved here this neighborhood was a bit run down and not really a destination that felt safe to be around at night.
It has changed dramatically since then into one of the most charming little areas in St. Pete. The building that was formerly a laundromat was converted into retail space that is home to a yoga studio and a cafe that serves coffee and food called Flatbread & Butter. Nearby is the Bier Boutique which is a great neighborhood restaurant/bar. This is all situated around Round Lake, which is more of a pond more or less but it is a super pleasant area. You’ll find beautiful Banyan trees as well as a bunch of wild life that lives in this little park.
There are also plenty of Crafstman style houses from the 1920’s that are fun to look at when walking around. These houses are situated on “postage stamp” yards which are some of the smallest in the city. I love seeing how these people maximize the little space in their yards, with their front porches typically being a center point of the outdoor area. Pro-tip – if you like to drink on Mondays, the Bier Boutique has a happy hour with half off all drinks.
Bonus – Sage’s Playground
This dog friendly coffeeshop is set to open early 2024. This will be located in a two story building in a sort of undeveloped stretch of Downtown St. Pete. I can’t speak to how awesome this place will be but it seems like they have the right idea. Let’s hope for the best and give them a pre-emptive 5 out of 5 stars