Van Life in St. Augustine Florida

After experiencing Van life in Key West,  we were advised to check out St. Augustine, one of Florida’s oldest cities. We were promised a small beach town feel with plenty to do and see. We were not disappointed at Van Life in St. Augustine.

Dog friendly beaches in St. Augustine
Vanlife guide to st. augustine
Vanlife guide to st. augustine
A weekend in St. Augustine

Top Places to Overnight Park on St. Augustine Beach 

Things to do in St. Augustine

As of September 2019, it is illegal to camp in your car and therefore you risk a fine or jail if you are caught stealthing. So if you are visiting St. Augustine I recommend these paid campsites: 

 

  • Anastasia State Park – For around $30 a night you get a fire ring, access to electricity, water, showers, and restrooms. Pets are allowed but cannot be on the beach or the playgrounds. 
  • St. Augustine KOA The KOA is close to town as well and has similar amenities 

St Augustine Beach Public Bathrooms

After our walk with Milo, we made coffee and breakfast then it was time to find some bathrooms. Right down the street, there is the St. Johns Fishing Pier which has free public bathrooms that are open from 7am-8pm (9 pm in the summer). They are moderately clean and they have a free parking lot which has access to the beach. The pier also looks fun however it does cost $2 to access.

Top Dog-friendly Beaches in St. Augustine

Things to do in St. Augustine

We wanted to see the sunrise and take Milo for a walk so we set our alarms for 6:30 am and got up to take a walk with Milo. The beaches are dog-friendly and it was early enough we were able to take Milo on a long beach walk without a leash. It is technically on-leash but we watched who was there and with it being so early we had no problems. From the public parking lot near Embassy Suites and south is dog-friendly.  I believe this is due to Anastasia State Park being north of the beach which is NOT dog-friendly.

Sadly the sky was very cloudy and we didn’t get to see a glorious sunrise, instead, we were welcomed with a calm sky and immense waves.

St. Augustine Historic District

Van Life in St. Augustine

If you are looking for more to do than just relax on the beautiful sandy beaches of St. Augustine then head over to the historic district. From the beach to St. Augustine historic area you have to cross the Lion’s Head Bridge. It’s an iconic bridge that can also be crossed by foot and ends with stone Lion statues. It marks the beginning of the historic district. I recommend finding parking and walking over the bridge and then stroll around the area. St. George street is the most popular street and is lined with old shops and restaurants.

I highly recommend St. Augustine as it is a relaxed beach town with dog-friendly beaches and free overnight parking. You could easily stay for days and feel right at home in this small town.

Have you been to St. Augustine? Do you have any recommendations I should add to this list?

 

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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

👉🏼 Dog-Friendly Beaches in Miami

👉🏼 Van Life Guide to the Florida Keys

👉🏼 How to Become a Digital Nomad

 

Dog Friendly Beaches in Miami

Dog Friendly Beaches in Miami

Miami is not the dog friendliest place we’ve ever been…In fact, I would say it’s one of the worst. South Florida is filled with so many beautiful parks, lakes, and beaches yet most of them do not allow dogs inside. In fact before coming to Miami, I never even thought to look online to see if a Park allowed dogs. It simply didn’t cross my mind. When going to visit Florida we immediately pictured headed to the dog beaches in Miami and were stopped in our tracks when trying to find places.

That being said, there are still some good places that you can go to spend time with your Canine friend. I have made a list of the places we either personally visited or ones that we researched enough to feel confident that anyone would enjoy it! There are plenty more options in Miami and I highly encourage you to check them out as well!

Dog-Friendly Beaches:

 

Fort Lauderdale Beach

 

This beach is dog-friendly but they only allow dogs on weekends: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 3pm-7pm. It does cost $7 but it covers the entire weekend. It is an ON-LEASH beach which is surprising since they charge but they do have restrooms and outdoor showers.

 

Hollywood Dog Beach

 

Hollywood is a little closer to Miami and they also allow dogs but it is only on weekends. It is $10 per dog per day which is a little steep in my opinion but your pup can actually run off leash which is rare in Miami so it might be worth it to you.

Haulover Beach

 

Known for its nude beach sections Haulover comes in as our number one favorite dog beach. Surprisingly the dog section does not allow nudity ;). The beach is open weekdays from 10am-3pm and parking is only $2 if you have a pup with you. It’s not technically off-leash but most people did let their pups off the leash if they were well behaved. I imagine it’s a hefty fine if caught so do so at your own risk.

This was the spot we chose to check out as we enjoy doing popular activities on days when it might not be as crowded or busy. It’s not a huge beach, about a football fields length but it’s a nice place to hang out, grab a book and chill with your favorite pup while getting a tan. They also have a nice dog park in the same parking lot at the beach, it is a nice grassy off-leash dog park and a great addition to the area.

The dog beach is in between tower #2 and tower #3, to get there simply put, “Haulover Dog Beach” into your Google Maps and it will take you right to the parking lot. There are plenty of signs so you can easily understand where dogs are and aren’t allowed.

Dog Beach Palm Beach

Ok so this dog park isn’t exactly in Miami but it is noteworthy for sure. We decided to take a drive up to Palm Beach to relax for the weekend while we were working. Palm Beach is a small beach town with a TON of money. I mean MONEY. The grocery store has a free valet kind of money, that parking lot alone contained a million dollars worth of cars at one time. It was super interesting to see and we were a little intimidated at first.

Luckily we are great stealth campers since so far that’s all we’ve really done and we quickly found a spot to park that is great for overnights and it’s a 2-minute walk to the beach! The beach is quite big and pretty quiet. It’s a neighborhood beach with no public bathrooms so you don’t see many tourists hanging around. Instead, you see local surfers, a few families, and dogs! The best part about the beach is that they allow dogs! The signs were pretty ambiguous and didn’t say that dogs had to be on a leash which makes for an even better dog beach experience when you have a pup.

We spent a few hours there, laid out a blanket and simply relaxed. Milo loved it and we love it. We loved it so much that we spent two days there. I highly recommend “Dog Beach Palm Beach” if you are looking for a super chill beach.

Off-Leash Dog Parks

Freshwater Dog Park

 

Coming in at $5 per visit we couldn’t bring ourselves to visit this fun Dog Park. Reviews online place it as a nice off-leash dog park in Fort Lauderdale and a good place to allow your pup some water exercise. It is a freshwater beach so you will still get your craving for some sand and fun but since it’s for serious sports dogs, I don’t imagine you will get much relaxation in.

Woodville Dog Park

 

Woodville Dog Park is a clean fenced-in off-leash dog park in the Fort Lauderdale area that is great if your dog REALLY needs some off-leash time. It’s not a huge park and it’s nothing you haven’t seen before but again sometimes our pups just want to be off leash and we want a minute to be able to let them run around with constant paranoia when we’ve been in the city too long.

It’s free to enter and free to park.

Haulover Dog Park

 

As mentioned above Haulover Beach has a dog park in the same parking lot. They have two areas, one for large dogs and one for small dogs. It’s a grassy open field which is a great alternative to all the sandy areas in Miami. It is a decent sized park and when we were there it wasn’t too busy so Milo didn’t feel overwhelmed by other dogs.

Amelia Earhart Bark Park

 

Although we didn’t get to visit, the Amelia Earhart Bark Park looked like quite the experience for pups and ALMOST makes up for the fact that Miami is so unfriendly to dogs. The park allows for dogs to be unleashed in its 5 acres of unleashed land out of the 515 acres in the entirety of the park.

It is free on weekdays but will cost you $7 on weekends.

Overall Miami wasn’t the most dog-friendly city we have visited. You definitely have to make it work when it comes to spending time with your pup outside of your own home. Luckily there are beaches that allow dogs and tons of parks you just have to work around the time constraints and be willing to pay to go have some fun.

P.S. Looking for dog-friendly beaches in the Florida Keys? Check out my post on dog and van friendly activities in the Keys!

Here is another great resource for dog-friendly dog parks in Miami

I list my top dog-friendly beaches in Miami, Florida. Learn where to go in South Florida when you have a dog.