Sarasota County Parks

There are a number of beautiful parks in Sarasota County, and the majority allow dogs while on leash. There are as well as a number of "dog friendly" restaurants & hotels. Please be aware that the County leash law states that dogs are only allowed to "run free" inside dog parks that are fenced in. In addition, dogs are not allowed on any beach in the County except for Brohard Paw Beach in Venice.

  • Click here to go to the Brohard Paw Beach Website, or click here to jump to our Brohard Park section on this page.
  • For a list of dog friendly hotels in Sarasota click here
  • For a list of dog friendly restaurants in Sarasota; click here or click here
  • Click here to see a list of all 58 parks in Sarasota County.
  • Click here to see Bring Fido's list of dog friendly locations in Sarasota.
Payne Park   Map

Home to the Payne Park Tennis Center, Skate Park, Circus Park, Café, and Amphitheater - with a separate playground that is circus inspired! Featuring a small splash area, rock climbing, slides, music makers, walking paths, restrooms, swings, and more. Perfect for picnics and spending the day with your entire family. No pets allowed in the Circus Park unless they are service trained.

Payne Park Amenities
  • Amphitheater
  • Cycling
  • Disc Golf
  • Dog Friendly
  • Water Fountains
  • Food/Beverage
  • Picnic Tables
  • Playground
  • Public Art
  • Rental Venue
  • Restrooms
  • Transportation
  • Walking Path
  • Water Feature
Payne Park Hours
  • 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Payne Park is a former baseball field from 1924 to 1990. The stadium and field were built on a portion of 60 acres (0.24 km2) of land donated by Calvin Payne and his wife, Martha in 1923. Payne Park today is a 29-acre (0.12 km2) public park used for recreational events.

The ballpark was erected in 1924 and was a long time spring training and minor league site for baseball clubs such as the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox and the New York Giants. The Los Angeles Dodgers played their home spring training games at Payne Park in 1959.

Circus Park: Hop, climb, and explore the younger aged zone and “ride” a tiger as you dodge those big kids soaring down the slides. Accident-prone? Rubber underfoot saves the day from knee scrapes and tears that may lead to going home.

Skate Park: Admission is free! Located behind the cafe, the skate park is configured with vert ramps and various curbs, flatrails, ledges, miniramp, halfpipe, poles, pyramids, etc. Open Daily 7 am - 10 pm.

Café in the Park: captures the spirit of the great tradition of the Urban Cafe Terrace. Conveniently located for the downtown community, stop in for a great coffee and a fantastic sandwich, seating inside or out - "al fresco", or on the go. They also have a beautiful selection of beer and wine.

Circus Park Entryway: This playground is so cute, with so many fun things to play on, that even as an adult you are going to want to go inside and play !

Duck Pond: If you parked in the Laurel Street Parking lot, then this little pond is directly in front of you. Birds of all varieties gather here to play, drink and have fun.

Disc Golf Course: (AKA Ultimate Frisbee) Mostly open with undulating terrain. Most baskets are positioned on hillsides and water is in play on a couple of holes. Busy park with walkers and families - please respect other park users.

 Click here to view our Payne Park Image Gallery.

 Click here to visit the Payne Park Website.

 Click here to view the Wikipedia Page for Payne Park.

Arlington Park   Map
Arlington Park Amenities
  • Aquatics
  • Barbecue
  • Basketball
  • Cycling
  • Dog Friendly
  • Dog Park
  • Water Fountains
  • Fishing
  • Fitness Center Outside
  • Gymnasium
  • Outside Lighting
  • Pickleball Inside
  • Picnic Tables
  • Playground
  • Rental Venue
  • Restrooms
  • Tennis Court
  • Transportation
  • Walking Path
  • Water Feature
Arlington Park Hours
Hours Weekdays Saturday Sunday
Park 5am - 11pm 5am - 11pm 5am - 11pm
Aquatic 10am - 7pm 11am - 5pm Closed
Tennis 8am - 9:30pm 8am - 9:30pm 8am - 9:30pm
Basketball 8am - 9:30pm 8am - 9:30pm 8am - 9:30pm

Conveniently located less than two miles from downtown Sarasota, Arlington Park was selected as one of the South Florida locations on the Great Florida Birding & Wildlife Trail. This city park offers residents and visitors a 50-meter lap pool, 25-yard instructional pool, outdoor basketball courts, tennis courts, playground, outdoor fitness gym, ½-mile walking trail, and dog park. This park is owned and operated by the City of Sarasota Parks & Recreation District.

  • Click here to go to the Arlington Park website for more information including hours and other amenities.
  • Click here to go to the Bring Fido Arlington Park page.

To view our entire set of images from the Arlington Park, click here
Brohard Beach Park   Map
Brohard Beach Park Amenities
  • Benches
  • Dog Park
  • Water Fountains
  • Dog Water Fountains
  • Litter Receptacles
  • Picnic Tables
  • Dog Shower(s)
Brohard Beach Park Hours
  • 7 a.m. - dusk
Dog Park Rules

These are self-policed rules, but you will find that the locals will quickly remind you of what the rules are! These are primarily common sense rules and note that there are dog poop bags provided by the park. You should be capable of cleaning up after your dog and insuring that any holes your dog may have dug, are filled in when you depart.

Dog Park Areas

There are two areas; one for large dogs and one for small dogs. You will find that most small dog owners will prefer to use the small dog area for the obvious reasons. You should exercise some caution when you bring your dog to the large dog area, there are dogs that are laid back and there are others that are wary - use caution until you determine what dogs are there when you visit.

Dog Cleanup Area

The large dog area has several low lying areas which will fill up with water after a rain storm, so your dog is going to get muddy while playing with the other dogs. The cleanup area has a hose to allow you to cleanup your dog prior to your departure.

Small Dog Area

This area is good sized and can be entered separately from the large dog area. It has a fence gate to allow you to enter the large dog area as well. The rules state that "small dogs" are 20 pounds or less in size.

Large Dog Area

This area quite large and also contains the beach access gate. Dogs have plenty of room here to run and chase each other - I am not sure of the exact dimensions of this area, but it is easily 150 yards end-to-end.

Dog Owner Seating

The large dog area contains several picnic tables where owners congregate while their dogs play.

The fenced-in area of the dog park is comprised of a larger area for big dogs, and a smaller area for smaller dogs. There are a number of shady trees and picnic tables for dog owners to enjoy their stay while their dogs play. There are several dog waste bag stations, and owners are required to cleanup after their dogs. All fenced entrances are double-gated, to allow for owners to be able to not have other dogs join their arrival or exit.

Brohard Beach and Paw Park is the only beach area where canine companions are allowed to join their human friends on the beach. Amenities include picnic tables, benches, showers, Water Fountainss and more. Open daily 7 a.m. to dusk.

Dog Beach access is via the western gate in the large dog area, and a short walk to the beach area. The dog beach area has a specific boundary sign at the northern and southern ends of the dog beach - do not go beyond those signs with your dog or you could be given a citation.

Many people take their own beach chairs and snacks, including water for their dogs (there is currently no water source at the beach). Taking dog toys together with snacks, insures that your dog will have as much fun as possible.

WARNING: The Dog Beach area is not fenced, there are warning signs at the southern and northern end of the dog beach telling you that dogs are not allowed beyond the sign. You will find that locals will be right next to the signs and they will gleefully warn you that you are breaking the law if your dog goes beyond the signs.

 Click here to view our Brohard Park Image Gallery.
 Click here to go to the Venice Parks page for more information, hours and other amenities.
17th Street Park   Map
17th Street Park Amenities
  • Dog Park (some agility training equipment)
  • Picnicking
  • Restroom
  • Shelter / Pavilion
  • Soccer Field
  • Softball Field
17th Street Park Hours
  • 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

This is a busy, often visited park. Agility equipment on large dog side – and it is currently the only dog park in the County with equipment.

We may not have been to all of the Sarasota County Parks, but we have been to all of the "Paw Parks" and the 17th Street Paw Park is H U G E ! Fenced in areas for large & small dogs, tree shade and seating for dog owners, a considerable amount of parking and a couple of porta-potties. If you have a dog that likes to run then this is the dog park for you !


To view our entire set of images from the 17th Street Park, click here
Bird Key Park   Map
Park Amenities
  • Cycling
  • Dog Friendly
  • Water Fountains
  • Fishing
  • Kayak/Canoeing
  • Pavilion
  • Picnic Tables
  • Rental Venue
  • Transportation
  • Walking Path
Bird Key Park Hours
  • 5 a.m. to 11 p.m.

This park is a popular location to fish, bike, enjoy the sunset, launch a canoe or kayak or walk your leashed pet. Located just before you exit the south side of the John Ringling Causeway. It also has two pavilions, and picnic tables. Park is open 5 a.m. – 11 p.m., daily.

Great Views of Sarasota Bay

This park is a popular location to fish, bike, enjoy the sunset, launch a canoe or kayak or walk your leashed pet. Located just before you exit the south side of the John Ringling Causeway. It also has two pavilions, and picnic tables.


To view our entire set of images from the Bird Key Park, click here
Lakeview Paw Park   Map
Lakeview Park Amenities
  • Birding
  • Canoe/Kayak Launch
  • Disc Golf
  • Dog Park
  • Dog-Friendly (leash required except in the Paw Park)
  • Petanque (Lawn Bowling)
  • Picnicking
  • Restroom
  • Shelter / Pavilion
  • Water Fountains for dogs
  • Separate fenced areas for small and large dogs
  • Waste disposal bags and trash cans
Lakeview Park Hours
  • 6 a.m. to Sunset

This 16 acre neighborhood park located east of I-75 between Bee Ridge Road and Proctor Road was once known as Sunshine Springs and Gardens. This local attraction operated from 1955 to 1959 featuring a swan boat tour through the tropical gardens and lake and performers in water ski shows on a 400 acre, man-made lake.

Today the park features a playground, picnic area, canoe/kayak access to the lake and a paw park.

Click here to visit their website.

  

Park entrance image is the property of Sarasota County Parks

  
  • Image # 1 is the property of Lindsay G. via Yelp
  • Image # 2 is the property of Chris L. via Yelp
  • Image # 3 is the property of Organik B. via Yelp
  • All other Images are the property of Just Traveling Thru, LLC unless otherwise noted.
Bayfront Park   Map
Bayfront Park Amenities
  • Aquatics
  • Dog Friendly (on-leash only)
  • Water Fountains
  • Fishing
  • Food & Beverage
  • Kayak / Canoeing
  • Picnic Tables
  • Playground
  • Public Art
  • Rental Venue
  • Restrooms
  • Transportation
  • Walking Path
  • Water Feature
Bayfront Park Hours

Summer Hours (Memorial Day to Labor Day): 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily, weather permitting.

Winter Hours (Labor Day to Oct. 31 & Apr.1 to Memorial Day): 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily, weather permitting.

Closed: Easter, Independence Day & Nov. 1 – March 31

Pets are allowed outside the Steigerwaldt-Jockey Children’s Fountain area. The park is a popular location to jog, enjoy the sunset, walk your leashed pet or have a picnic at the playground. There are also two bayfront restaurants; Marina Jacks and Olearys Tiki Bar & Grill. This park is owned and operated by the City of Sarasota Parks & Recreation District.

  
Gillespie Park   Map
Gillespie Park Amenities
  • Bicycle Trails
  • Equipment/Facility Rental
  • Hiking Trails
  • Pet Friendly Park
  • Picnic Facilities (grills & tables)
  • Playground
  • Wildlife/Bird Watching
  • Family-Friendly
  • Handicapped Accessible
  • Pet-Friendly
Gillespie Park Hours
  • 8am to dusk daily

This park honors John Hamilton Gillespie, first mayor of Sarasota. It has two basketball courts, an off-leash dog park, picnic tables, playground, Police sub-station, fitness trail, three tennis courts, outside fitness areas and a pond. Leashed pets allowed outside of dog park.

To view our entire set of images from the Gillepsie Park, click here
Woodmere Park   Map
Woodmere Park Amenities
  • Basketball
  • Bicycling
  • Birding
  • Dog Park
  • Gymnasium
  • Horseshoes
  • Indoor Rental
  • Pickleball
  • Picnicking
  • Recreation Building
  • Restroom
  • Shelter / Pavilion
  • Tennis
  • Tennis Court
  • Trails - Unpaved
Woodmere Park Hours
  • 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Click here to view a Google Images Page for Woodmere Park.

Myakka State Park   Map
Park Amenities
  • Basketball
  • Bicycling
  • Birding
  • Dog Park
  • Gymnasium
  • Horseshoes
  • Indoor Rental
  • Pickleball
  • Picnicking
  • Recreation Building
  • Restroom
  • Shelter / Pavilion
  • Tennis
  • Tennis Court
  • Trails - Unpaved
  • Hours: The park is open 8 a.m. until sunset, 365 days a year.
  • Admission: $6 per vehicle (two to eight people), $4 single-occupant vehicle.
  • Click here to go to the State Park Page.
  • Click here to view a Google Images Page for Myakka State Park.

The Myakka State Park is one of Florida's oldest and largest parks (58 square miles), easily accessed from I-75 via Clark Road (SR 72). This was Florida’s first state-designated wild and scenic river, and it flows through a vast expanse of unspoiled wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands that make up Myakka River State Park. Boating, fishing, canoeing and kayaking are popular activities on the water while hikers and bicyclists explore miles of trails and backroads.

The Park has 100 person pontoon boats that offer tours seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Click here to go to the Tour Boat Park information page.

The above images were taken at the bridge that crosses over the Myakka River. This white bird walked all around that alligator several times, and at no time did the alligator move. Eventually the bird decided to move on, and by doing so, it probably avoided becoming that alligator's lunch.

To view our entire set of images from the Myakka State Park, click here
Urfer Family Park   Map
Urfer Family Park Amenities
  • Bicycling
  • Birding
  • Dog-Friendly (leash required)
  • Historical / Cultural Resource
  • Outdoor Fitness Equipment
  • Picnicking
  • Playground
  • Restroom
  • Shelter / Pavilion
  • Trail - Paved
  • Trail - Unpaved
  • Wildlife Viewing
Urfer Family Park Hours
  • 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

We have driven past this park numerous times, and have repeatedly said "we need to visit this park" - in fact we thought of this park as "small" until we went there for the express purpose of exploring it. It is quite a bit larger than we thought, a generous amount of parking, restroom facilities, etc. Dogs are welcome here as long as they are on leash, and the water fountains have dog bowls built in.

Great Playground Area!

Multi-use park with trails & picnic areas, fishing, wildlife viewing & outdoor fitness equipment.


To view our entire set of images from the Urfer Park, click here
 

 
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To view our entire set of images from Sarasota Parks, click here

 
 
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