Including Your Furry Friend: Dog-Friendly Beaches for Your Dream Wedding

July 01, 2023

When it comes to our pets, they are more than just animals; they are part of our family. They share our joys, accompany us through life's milestones, and bring endless love and happiness. That's why it's no surprise that many couples want to include their beloved pets in their wedding celebrations. While it might seem like a challenge to plan a pet-friendly wedding, especially if you're traveling or considering a beach wedding, fear not! We've got you covered with some fantastic dog-friendly beach options along the Emerald Coast. Let's dive in!

Pensacola Beach: If you're in the Pensacola area, you're in luck! Pensacola Beach boasts two designated dog beaches, making it a great option for dog-loving couples. Look for the signs at parking lots 21.5 and 28.5. Dog Beach 21.5 is situated on the west side of the island on Fort Pickens Rd., just beyond the last set of condos on the Gulf. On the other hand, Dog Beach 28.5 can be found on the east side of the island on Via de Luna, in the first parking lot past Portofino Towers. These dog beaches offer convenient parking and event permit availability, making them ideal for a wedding ceremony or photo session.

Nearby Alternatives: Heading east from Pensacola, you'll find Panama City Beach as the next official dog beach destination. However, if you're looking for some compromises that still allow your furry friend to be a part of your special day, consider a couple of noteworthy options.

In Fort Walton, the Liza Jackson Dog Park is a great choice. It features a beautiful location backing up to the intercoastal, giving your pups a chance to splash around and have a great time. This off-leash park has separate areas for large and small dogs, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

In Destin, while dogs are not allowed on the beach, they are allowed on the trails at Henderson State Park. This scenic location offers picturesque trails where you and your four-legged companion can enjoy some quality time together. It's an excellent opportunity for a nature-filled photo session, capturing memories that will last a lifetime.

Walton County Considerations: If you're planning to stay in Walton County, which includes Miramar Beach and the 30A communities, you might come across some pets on the beach, particularly during sunset hours. However, please note that beach access for dogs is restricted to Walton County residents and homeowners who possess the necessary permits. Therefore, if you have your heart set on a beach wedding in this area, including your pet may not be possible. Nevertheless, you can still capture additional photos before or after the wedding, such as at your beach house or during the reception, to create lasting memories with your furry friend.

Panama City Beach: Finally, if you're willing to venture further east, you'll find the dog beach in Panama City Beach. Located on the west side of the Russell-Fields City Pier, in front of Pier Park, this dog-friendly beach offers another option for including your beloved pet in your vacation.

Our Recommendation: Considering all the options available, Pensacola's dog beaches stand out as an excellent choice for your pet-inclusive wedding. They offer event permit availability, convenient parking, and are usually less crowded than other beaches. Whether you're looking for a beach ceremony, memorable photos, or simply want your furry friend to be part of your special day, Pensacola Beach has got you covered.

Planning a wedding with your four-legged family member can be a delightful and memorable experience. Along the stunning Emerald Coast, you have a couple of dog-friendly beach options that cater to your furry friend's presence. From Pensacola Beach's convenient event permits to Fort Walton's splash-worthy dog park and the captivating trails of Henderson State Park in Destin, there are plenty of opportunities to include your pet in your special day. While Walton County may present some restrictions, Panama City Beach's dog beach offers another charming destination. No matter where you choose, creating cherished memories with your pet amidst picturesque coastal settings is a fantastic way to celebrate your love.

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