Bring your pooch on your next trip to the beach.


Pets are family members who deserve to go on vacation, too! According to Whiskers 101, "More pet parents than ever are planning trips that include their furkids. Pets are beloved members of the family, and travelers want to include them in their vacation adventures."

This includes adventures along the shores of the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast. In fact,there's plenty of room at the beach here for your best friend! Especially if you vacation in one of our many dog-friendly houses.

In addition to these special houses, dogs are also welcome on certain beaches, dedicated dog parks and local businesses whose proprietors love your pets as much as you do! Leashed pups are welcome to explore the white-sand beaches of Fort Morgan with their owners.

Dogs are also welcomed in several dog parks on Pleasure Island, including one in Gulf Shores, located at 308 Clubhouse Drive. Here, unleash your dog and relax when you're inside the fence-protected park. Or, throw a Frisbee or ball or just let him run around with the other dogs visiting that day. There's plenty of shade for you and the other pet parents.

A unique option, unlike any other you've likely visited before, is the Dog Pond at Gulf State Park. There, your pup can frolick in the water, rest on the grassy beach area and play with other canine friends. There are also agility-focused obstacles that offer even more opportunities for puppy fun. This dog park is located at Lake Shelby near the Gulf State Park Adventure and Welcome Center. Turn left when you enter the parking lot and the dog park is at the end of the parking lot/road.

Also be sure to visit the "Unleashed" dog park in Orange Beach, which is situated next door to Sportsman Marina on Canal Road. Here, you'll find plenty of shade and room to run and play, making Unleashed a particular favorite of local pet parents.

Numerous retail establishments are eagerly opening their doors to dogs adn their parents, such as Cosmo's and Luna's in Orange Beach, where pets are welcome on the substantially sized decks. Ironically, Cosmo's was actually named for the owners' dog!

Southern Grind, located in Gulf Shores in a connected storefront at Hotel Indigo and also at The Wharf in Orange Beach, welcomes dogs. It's not unusual to see lots of other pets and their parents walking around the Wharf enjoying the fresh coastal air, dining outdoors, browsing the many shops and walking along the docks.

Another favorite for dog owners is Pirate's Cove, which is accessible by car or boat. Pirate's Cove, actually located just north of Bear Point Marina in Orange Beach, is a locals' favorite, especially for those with dogs. Pull your boat or Jet Ski right up onto the sand bank behind the bar, anchor, and enjoy. Dogs of all sizes run freely here, and there's plenty of beach, music, food and fun for everyone. Children especially love to visit Pirate's Cove, where they can swim, play with the dogs and dine on a selection of fun foods like burgers, fries and pizza.

Dogs are also welcomed on leashes on the Backcountry Trail system. Next time you come to the beach, reserve a dog-friendly beach house and be sure to bring your pup!