Monday, April 1, 2013

Afternoon delight—at Lover’s Key dog beach

March 22, 2013
North Fort Myers, Florida
Seminole Campground

Note: I am still trying to catch up on posts since my trip to Oregon. Today is actually April Fool’s Day and Victor’s birthday. We have just pulled out of Seminole Campground and are headed to Zephyrhills where we will visit with family for a few days before heading north and west. Thanks for your patience with me!

Last year when we were staying at Bonita Lakes Resort in Bonita Springs, we discovered a terrific dog beach, Bonita Beach Dog Park near Lovers Key State Park.  Since we arrived here in January, we have been talking about taking the dogs to their own beach but on most sunny days we opted to take ourselves to the beach or go kayaking instead. Luckier dogs in our park had made this destination a frequent outing and our dogs were starting to feel left out. With only nine days left in this area, we finally made the 45-minute trip to the dog beach a reality. So we packed up the dogs, the tennis balls, the towels, and our friends Mike and BJ and headed to the beach.

The first thing you need to do before going here is check the tide tables as the beach practically disappears at high tide. I was happy to discover that the perfect time to go would be between 11 am and 2 pm or so I thought. It wasn't until we were loading up the Jeep that I realized I looked at the time for high tide rather than low tide—oops.  We decided to head out anyway and find some other things to do while we were waiting for the tide to ebb. When we arrived, there was still water to wade through to get to the beach but other dogs and their owners were coming and going. It turned out to be fairly accessible and the longer we stayed the bigger the beach became. Below is an internet photo showing what happens to the beach at high tide--it becomes a dog island!

We did not think to bring beach chairs and snacks, which would have made the afternoon more pleasant for us as it turned out to be a lovely day in the mid-70s with a gentle breeze.  But the most important thing is we did remember to bring tennis balls for Jetta to fetch in the water.

Other than the doggie daycare place, our dogs hadn't been off leash in quite some time. Their exuberance was infectious. It is hard not to have a smile on your face watching them race around the beach.


Jetta loves to fetch tennis balls and swim. Rico not so much with either. His favorite thing to do is be Mr. Friendly with all the other dogs on the beach.

As an avid dog lover, I find it quite entertaining to see all the different personalities of the various breeds that show up on the beach.  These three long-haired Dachshunds (featured above) made the most of their special outing.

Labrador Retrievers always seem to be the most capable swimmers. These three had a competition over who got to the tennis ball first. They were surprisingly polite about deferring to the winner who is in the lead.

 I read reviews about this dog beach from people who travel all over the east coast and it seems to have a reputation as one of the best. I think the tidal flow helps keep it clean and more pleasant for humans than most we have visited. Some people arrive to the dog beach by boat.  With the state park just to the north and spring break happening for many travelers, there was lots of activity in the area.  Another nice feature is they have a place to rinse off the dogs, a pretty important thing to do after playing in the salt water. 

After thoroughly wearing the dogs out, we waded back to the parking area, rinsed off the dogs and ourselves, and headed back to our campground via Fort Myers Beach. We stopped to pick up a t-shirt from Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille and some fresh seafood from Trico Shrimp Company, one of the many markets near Shrimp Boat Lane where the fishing boats unload their daily catch.  Mike bought large Gulf shrimp for the grill and I bought Mangrove Snapper which I pan fried Piccata style with lemons and capers for our shared dinner. After dinner we played cards (Phase Ten) and enjoyed harassing each other. The perfect ending for a delightful day. 


  1. Oh my, that must be doggie heaven! Our pups would so have loved to spend the day there.

    One of our 4 rescue pups is a wire-haired doxie...he would have been in the chair too!

  2. Oh I love this post. Anytime a post has lots of dogs in it, it has to be a favorite!! That looks like a wonderful place for dogs to play and I sure enjoyed seeing them do just that.

  3. Definitely looks like doggie fun time. Sorry you are heading west and north although I will be interested in your route for future travels out that way.

  4. Great place for dogs. We were there once when we were surprised by a large snake crossing the sand:(

  5. What a wonderful place for the dogs! Looked like a wonderful day!

  6. Looks like the dogs were having a great time.

    Happy Birthday to Victor ... he's one day old!

  7. Belated happy birthday wishes to Vic! Hope no one pulled a terrible birthday prank on him.... hummm... thoughts for the future! The dog beach info goes into the file for next year. Lexie and Ozzie would enjoy it -- in a much smaller way.

    Safe travels 'till we meet again.

  8. So glad to see the dogs got a nice day at the beach. They sure looked happy! Happy birthday Vic. I guess we'll miss you in Z'hills.


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