Friday, July 29, 2011

Nature Parks

Looking to do a little hiking, and take your pooch, too?

Fort Myers
  • Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve (on-leash only): 1290 acres located at 17100 McDowell Drive and 10130 Bayshore Rd., North Fort Myers (two entrances on either side of I-75)
  • Prairie Pines (on-leash only): 2654 acres located at 18400 N Tamiami Trail, North Fort Myers

Dog Parks

Fort Myers
  • Barkingham Park at Buckingham Park: 9800 Buckingham Rd.  I haven't visited this one myself, but I've spoken to people who have. So far all of them have said that it is a beautiful park, but "aggressive". I guess there are a lot of aggressive/high strung dogs, and the owners don't control them very well. So the people have driven long distances to seek out calmer places to let their dogs roam free.
  • Pooch Park at Judd Park: 1297 Parkview Ct.  This is a great little park. There's a small dog park and a large dog park, although you will usually find a number of small dogs over with the big ones. Good group of people bring their dogs here!
  • Woof-A-Hatchee at Wa-ke Hatchee: 16760 Bass Road

Stores and Shopping Centers

Fort Myers/Cape Coral
  • Bell Tower Shops: Many of the stores at the Bell Tower welcome dogs, and the shopping center even hosts a monthly "Yappy Hour", which caters to dogs and their human companions.
  • Home Depot
  • Lowe's
  • Starbucks: The last I heard, the local Cape Coral Starbucks located on Pine Island Road and Pondella had a monthly dog night. I think it was held on Mondays, and proceeds would go towards a local animal rescue.

Dog Friendly Beaches

Fort Myers
  • Dog Beach: Estero Blvd on Fort Myers Beach. Just north of the New Pass Bridge.
  • Fort Myers Dog Beach: 3410 Palm Beach Blvd. (Must have a copy of health records with you at all times)
  • Lee County Off-Leash Dog Beach Park: Route 865, Fort Myers Beach. Dogs are allowed off-leash at this beach. Located South of Fort Myers Beach and north of Bonita Beach on Route 865. Parking is near New Pass Bridge.
  • Lovers Key/Carl E. Johnson State Park: south of Fort Myers beach at 8700 Estero Blvd, between Big Carlos Pass and New Pass.
  • Sanibel Causeway Beaches: Just pull off at any of the number of beaches lining the Sanibel causeway.
  • Lighthouse Beach & Fishing Pier: Located on the eastern tip of Sanibel. Turn left on Periwinkle Way from Causeway Road.
  • Gulfside City Park (Algier's Beach): Turn right onto Periwinkle Way, then left onto Casa Ybel Rd. Located at the other side of the island off of Algier's Lane.
  • Tarpon Bay Beach: Located at the south end of Tarpon Bay Road at West Gulf Drive.
  • Bowman's Beach: Long walk to the beach from the parking lot, or ride the train. Also has BBQ grills and trails to hike. Located off Sanibel-Captiva Rd, turn left on Bowman's Beach Road.