A dog beach, pet-friendly dining and activities had Radcliff’s tail wagging during our visit to Flagler Beach, Florida. This was our first, of what I hope, of many road trips.
When Ya Gotta Go, Where Do You Go with Your Dog?
Although I’ve been a dog-parent before, I have not done it solo and I’m discovering the challenges of traveling alone with a dog. Primarily, where do I go to the bathroom? My journey led me from Southwest Florida and across the state to northeast Florida and the Atlantic Ocean. With stops, this was about a 4.5 hour trip from North Port to Flagler Beach which meant at least one bathroom break.
Finding relief for Radcliff was easy. Rest areas along I-75 and I-4 have dog-walking areas, however, only service animals are permitted in the human restrooms. I rationalized my options were:
Ignore the sign prohibiting non-service animals into the restrooms and taking a chance of being scolded by whoever monitors that;
Leave him in the car with the windows cracked with hopes someone doesn’t break the window to set him free;
Move on and find a pet-friendly place for me to find relief.
I opted to find a pet-friendly retailer and the first place that came to mind was PetSmart and Google Maps led the way. It took me off my route by about 2 miles, which isn’t bad, just a bit inconvenient. Note to self, keep a list of pet-friendly retailers, like this one on Rover.com.
Where to Board My Dog in Flagler Beach?
Unfortunately, Radcliff could not stay with me at the Hammock Beach Resort during the conference I was attending and needed to find a place for him. I had a look at a pet friendly apartment but I couldn’t afford one at the time. They looked pretty good though so if you need a pet friendly apartment, there are loads to choose from. Sure, I could have stayed at one of the many pet-friendly Flagler Beach hotels, but wanted to stay at the conference hotel because it’s the right thing to do to support the event and simply, more convenient.
With a handful of dog boarding options, I selected the Bed & Biscuit Inn of Flagler Beach. I didn’t choose fanciest option for him which was in the home but the indoor-outdoor kennel. I thought he’d like the option of being inside and outside. I knew he was in good hands when I arrived and cannot believe I cried when I left him there. It was only about a month and a half after adopting him and I feared he thought he was being dropped off at another adoption center.
Since the kennel was about a 15 to 20-minute drive from the Hammock Beach Resort, I was able to visit Radlicff during my conference and did so each day. Saturday morning, I took him out to explore some of dog-friendly Flagler Beach.
The staff at the Bed & Biscuit Inn of Flagler Beach were friendly, nice and sincerely seemed to care about Radcliff’s well-being. They were patient with me and my everyday visits and told me Radliff was such a good boy that they brought him into the office one day so he could hang out inside.
There’s a decent outdoor yard for dogs to run and play, lots of toys and a human-supervised swimming pool if your dog has a thing for water. If I’m in the area again and Radcliff can’t stay with me, I’d definitely board him at the Bed & Biscuit Inn again. (Bed & Biscuit Inn, 711 John Anderson Hwy, Flagler Beach; Tel: (386) 439-4006)
Pet-Friendly Flagler Beach
Radcliff dipped his paws in the Atlantic Ocean during our visit to Flagler Beach which is pet-friendly, however there are specific areas where dogs are permitted. Basically, the no dog zone is between North 10th Street to 10th Street South. My pup isn’t quite sure about the beach, or, I should say, he simply doesn’t like it and I’m optimistic someday he’ll be an aqua-dog.
Pet-Friendly Florida State Parks
Did you know many Florida State Parks are pet-friendly? In most cases, pets need to be on a leash and not allowed on beaches and other areas (such as some areas of campground) but still, if you enjoy the great outdoors with your canine, check out a Florida State Park and Radcliff and I did a little hiking at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park.
Now, I’m told the gems of this park are the formal gardens and coquina rock-lined shoreline, but, I didn’t get to see these features because dogs are not permitted. Bummer! But, Radcliff and I found a trail for a leisurely walk through the woods shaded by trees and we were greeted by the winged welcoming committee – mosquitoes! Thankfully, I had my essential oils insect repellent to keep my bite-free. (Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, 6400 N Ocean Shore Blvd, Palm Coast)
Remember to always pick up after your pooch!
Dog-Friendly Dining in Flagler Beach
Radcliff has not had much exposure to social settings and I wasn’t sure if I should take him to a restaurant but I had heard Flagler Beach is very dog-friendly. I ended up enjoying lunch across from the beach at the Java Joint Beachside Grill which also serves up breakfast. Dog-friendly dining is outdoors and offers up a fantastic beach view.
I really wasn’t sure if Radcliff would mind his manners and I have to say, he was a pretty good boy and stayed at my feet while I ate. The Java Joint staff fawned all over him, kept a big bowl of ice water filled for him and welcomed him with a biscuit. This dog-dining is new to me and really appreciated the leash holder at the side of the table.
My lunch of a Crab Cake Benedict was perfection. I mean, c’mon. Crab in a Benedict format is speaking my language. (Java Joint Beachside Grill, 2201 N. Oceanshore Blvd., Flagler Beach; Tel: (386) 439-1013.)
Tip: Enter the restaurant with your dog up the back stairs and sit at one of the booths with a dog leash holder.
Pet-Friendly Florida: Flagler Beach is a Howling Good Time
There’s no bones about it. Our first road trip was a howling good time because the coastal beach community of Flagler Beach offers plenty of tail-wagging dog-friendly options. There’s plenty more to sniff out and hope to return soon. Visit the Palm Coast and the Flagler Beaches website for additional things to see and do with your pooch.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links in order to support this blog, my traveling habit and Radcliff’s next dog-cation.