Beacon Lake’s Pet-Friendly Amenities and Dog-Friendly Adventures in Jacksonville

Nov 6, 2023 Blog, Events, Fun, Lifestyle

Couple outside at a dog park with their fur baby

Dog owners are usually ecstatic to learn that the city of Jacksonville, Florida is extremely pet friendly. From events designed around the attendance of your dogs to the many dog parks and camping spots, you’ll have no problems finding something to do where you can bring your fur
baby along too.

Looking for just the right pet friendly thing to do in Jacksonville? Let’s explore the wide array of pet-friendly events and opportunities that await! 

Pet-Friendly Events

Jacksonville is known for being a dog friendly place to live, and these events show just how much work residents have put into living up to that ideal. If you want to go someplace other than a park with your dog, here are some other great suggestions:

  • Riverside Arts Market – Located on Riverside Avenue, this farmers market is open from 10am to 3pm every single Saturday. The vendors available are from a carefully curated list of those who’ve applied, so you know that you’ll be shopping from the cream of the crop. Even better, since the market takes place in the open air under a bridge, dogs are welcome. Feel free to bring your pup, and shop ‘till you drop!
  • Jacksonville Arboretum and Botanical Gardens – The Jacksonville Arboretum is run by a non-profit organization and is designed so that every citizen of the city can enjoy it, including dogs. The many outdoor walking paths are extremely dog friendly, as long as you adhere to their rules (like picking up after your pup). Other examples are dogs need to stay on the paths and must be on leashes that are no longer than eight feet in length. You can’t allow your dogs to go off path and into the water or plant life. Since the arboretum isn’t owned by the city, they have the right to remove both you and your dog if you don’t follow the rules. 
  • The Whiskers and Waves Adoption Event – Held yearly in November (this year’s date is November 3rd) at Seawalk Pavilion, the Whiskers and Waves Adoption Event is put on by the Jacksonville Humane Society. The event will have over 30 vendors, as well as a section filled with adoptable pets from the Humane Society. Bring your dog and see if you can find them a new canine pal. 
  • Dogfest at Seawalk Pavilion – Held every February (the upcoming date is February 17, 2024), this event is designed to celebrate the dogs that make Jacksonville a great place to live (i.e., your pets). Dogfest lasts from 10am to 1pm and all of the proceeds go to Canine Companions, who provide service dogs to those with disabilities.

Dog Parks and More

There are two main types of dog parks: those that allow you to remove your dog’s leash and let them roam around freely, and the type where you have to keep your dog on a leash, just in case. For the most part, the latter are usually public parks (any public park) that has a hiking trail. Just because it isn’t labeled as a dog park doesn’t mean that you can’t bring your dog along. The former are official dog parks that are open to the public. They usually have barriers to keep the dogs in, as well as things like trash cans and poop bags on hand for the inevitable mess.

Jacksonville is home to many different dog parks. Here are some of the most popular ones you may want to explore:Two strangers walking their dogs at a park

  • Atlantic Beach Dog Park – If you want a dog park that caters to everyone, then Atlantic Beach is the place to go. There’s a pond for pups to swim in, as well as a walking path for you and your pooch once they’re done frolicking in the water. The designers of this park thought of everything, from benches for humans to a special area where you can hose off your dog before piling them in the car. There’s even a small dog section, located away from the main park, so you won’t have to worry about your Chihuahua getting squished by a Newfoundland.
  • Abess Dog Park – An open field full of grass to run through, as well as paths through a wooded area are the hallmarks of Abess Dog Park. This park has a separate section for small dogs, which contains the same amount of fun things to sniff as the large dog part of the park. No matter the size of your pup, there’s drinking fountains, hoses that you can move around (ideal for getting the mud off of your pup’s paws), and plenty of benches in shaded areas, ideal for reclining while your dog plays.
  • Dog Wood Park – How does a 42-acre dog park sound? Your dogs will think that they’re in heaven with so many places to roam in Dog Wood Park. Just think of the choices that you’ll have to make for them: hike some of the ten acres worth of trails or head straight to the lake for some swimming? There’s plenty of chances for you to get to know your fellow dog owners as well, thanks to the many picnic tables, benches, and chairs where you can sit and relax while your dog runs around leash-free. Don’t worry – there’s also a spot for small dogs as well.
  • Riverside Park – Tucked into a standard park designed for humans in the John Gorrie Dog Park. This simple park has water for your dogs to drink, as well as plenty of poop bags to make cleanup easy. Add in the kiddie pools on hot days for the dogs and the picnic tables for their human companions, and you have a simple, free park for your dog to wander safely. 

Bark Park: The Dog Park at Beacon Lake

Of course, we saved the best for last! Did you know that Beacon Lake has a Bark Park? Designed for the enjoyment of your dogs (and yourself, of course), our dog park is situated on our 358-acre property. Surrounded by woodlands and a 43-acre lake, plus several miles of walking paths on top of the Bark Park, your dog will have no shortage of smells and aromas to explore. After all, a busy dog is a happy dog!