The Top 15 Tampa, Florida Dog Parks to Visit with Your Fur Baby

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Known for its stunning white beaches, theme parks like Busch Gardens, and warm temperatures all year long, Tampa is a popular tourist attraction in Florida. It is located on Tampa Bay near Clearwater, St. Petersberg, and Sarasota, the city is a business hub with a population of almost 400,000 people, making it one of the most populated cities in Florida. Some of the most popular attractions include ZooTampa, The Florida Aquarium, Dinosaur World, Adventure Island, and Big Cat Rescue. However, these and most other places like them are not dog-friendly.

But luckily, there are almost 200 parks in Tampa, and many of them allow pups to join their pup parents. And with an average high of 79 and an average low of 60, outdoors is where to be. Whether you want to take your fur baby to the beach for some swimming or to one of the dog parks for some off-leash socializing, Tampa has what you are looking for and then some. Here are our choices for the top 15 dog parks in Tampa. 

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park Dog Park

The Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Hillsborough is right on the Hillsborough River in the heart of downtown Tampa and boasts a plethora of fun activities for everyone, including fur puppies. There is a fully fenced dog park for dogs to play off the leash with other cuddly canines in the northwestern corner of the park. It is not large, but it is absolutely awesome with incredibly clean turf, really unique agility equipment tunnels, climbing obstacles, and other fun things. 

Because little and elderly pooches like to have their own space, Hixson Dog Park set aside a special area just for them. Although this may seem like a common amenity, you will notice the difference here. This place is special. The dog fountains and waste stations are great for pup parents, and there is plenty of comfortable seating in the shade. Fido is welcome outside the park, too, as long as he is leashed and you pick up after him. 

Davis Islands Dog Beach Park

Dogs love the beach, whether they want to swim or just dig in the sand. With both a fenced dog park and a sensational sandy dog beach, Davis Islands is like puppy dog heaven. Being able to swim in the ocean without a leash is so much more fun with all that freedom of movement, and your canine companion appreciates every minute of it. And so will you! Watching your pooch play with other pooches in Hillsborough Bay is fun for you, too, because you can get in there and join him.  

The area is fenced, but if your dog is not voice controlled or is not a good swimmer, it is best to use a leash because the fence only goes so far before it is covered by water. The beach also has picnic tables, benches, poop bags, and clean drinking water. And there is a dog washing station to clean off the salt water and sand. For running in the grass, there is a grassy fenced dog area right behind you. 

Deputy John Kotfila, Jr. Memorial Dog Park

In northeastern Tampa, just off FL-618, you can find the Deputy John Kotfila, Jr. Memorial Dog Park right under the Selmon Expressway overpass. This unique space makes awesome use of a place that is typically ignored. You will be amazed to see what the city of Tampa was able to do here. It is a relatively large and decorative dog park with separate spaces for small and large pooches, all sorts of agility and climbing equipment, and fountains for all. 

Pet parents can enjoy lots of shaded benches, free parking, and poop stations with doggie bags. The ground is covered in K9Grass, which is a special astroturf just for dogs that is easier on their paws and keeps your cuddly compadre from getting dirty like he would with real grass. The park used to be Selmon Greenway Dog Park but was renamed in honor of John Kotfila, Jr., who lost his life on the Selmon Expressway in 2016. 

Gadsden Park Dog Park

In South Tampa, on the peninsula between Old Tampa Bay, Hillsborough Bay, and Tampa Bay, you can find Gadsden Park Dog Park. It is located in the southwestern part of Gadsden Community Park between the ball fields and the fishing lake. The fenced area has dog water fountains, picnic tables in the shade, and doggie cleanup bags. However, it is still a good idea to bring extra bags and water just in case. There is also a fence running down the middle to give large pooches their own section. 

Outside the park, put your pup’s leash back on, and you can take him with you on the 1.5-mile MacDill Trail. You will enjoy two loops, with one around the playground and another around the lake. The park also has picnic areas with tables and shelters, restrooms, ball fields, and a modern playground for the kiddos. Bring your fishing gear and a license if you plan on fishing. 

Hair of the Dog Park

If you love dogs and beer, head to the Hair of the Dog Park in Seminole Heights in northern Tampa, just off North Nebraska Avenue. The party goes from 5 PM to 10 PM from Wednesday through Friday and starts at 3 PM on Saturday and Sunday. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. This is the perfect spot for enjoying a brew or two with your pup and other pup parents in a safe fenced environment. 

The bar park has one acre of fenced off-leash space with large shade trees and a patio with several tables and benches as well as flat-screen televisions. They serve local craft brews and wines, so you can always try something new. The park is only for those humans 21 and over and pooches over 6 months that are vaccinated and spayed or neutered. You do have to register first, and there is a $5 per day fee, or you can get a membership if you plan to visit often. 

Jim Urbanski Dog Park at Al Lopez Park

In northwestern Tampa by the Tampa International Airport, Jim Urbanski Dog Park at Al Lopez Park is a hidden gem between Plaza Terrace and Drew Park. You will find the dog park in the midwestern section of the park across from the playground. You will also find everything from water fountains to waste stations and shaded seating to agility obstacles here in two sections, one for large and one for small and shy fur pups. 

Take a seat under one of the weeping willows and watch your pooch romp around with the others over boulders and through tunnels. The giant logs also give your canine compadre some agility exercise. The dog park is named for James F. Urbanski, who was president of the Tampa Tribune and a civic leader. And the 130-acre park was named for Alfonso Lopez, who was a catcher and then manager for the MLB. Put your dog’s leash back on, and you can see the statue erected in the park of the catcher in action.  

Julian B. Lake Riverfront Park Dog Park

Just across Hillsborough River Frome Curtis Hixson Waterfront Park in downtown Tampa, the Dog Park at Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park is a popular spot for pups and pet parents. This is an awesome spot for all canine companions, whether you have a tiny Toy Poodle or a massive Mastiff. There is a separate area for the little and shy dogs so everyone feels safe while playing, and both sides have lots of fun amenities. 

First, there are the fountains. These interactive splash pads turn on when your dog is near, so he gets a nice burst of cool water every time he goes by. The ground cover is artificial turf that is soft for puppy paws and great for cleanliness. And there are dozens of climbing obstacles, from tree stumps to boulders. There are also tunnels and ramps for even more fun. And the pet parents have lots of places to sit in the shade or in the sun. 

Logan Gate Dog Park

In Hillsborough County, around 20 minutes northwest of downtown Tampa, Logan Gate Dog Park lauds five acres of off-leash fun for your pupster. This is a huge dog park! If you want wide open space for playing fetch or frisbee, this is where to go. It also has doggie pools to keep the pups cool, picnic tables under shade shelters to keep the humans cool, and dog wash stations to clean everyone off before leaving. 

For those who want to soak up the sun, there are a few picnic tables and benches in the rest of the park too. And your fur poochie will really love being able to mark the fire hydrant. Picking up after your cuddly canine companion is easy with all the cleanup stations that offer Mutt Mitts and trash cans. But bring your own anyway because this is a busy place. Do not bring any food or treats inside the park, and keep an eye on your dog. 

New Tampa Rotary Dog Park

Right next to the Recreational Center between Lake Travis and Freedom High School in north Tampa, the New Tampa Rotary Dog Park is partially wooded for those fur babies that love to run through the trees. It is also great for the pup parents looking for shaded places to sit. The section for large dogs is about three times as big as the small pooch section, which is good because they need more room to romp around, and both have the same amenities. 

The park provides doggie cleanup stations with baggies, but it is always good to have your own handy. You never know when they are going to run out. There are doggie water fountains, a hitching post, and shelters to cool off in too. Keep an eye open for snakes. This is a natural area surrounded by wilderness reservations, so you may see some critters roaming around. In fact, dog-friendly Hillsborough River State Park is right next door and has over 3,300 acres, including 100+ campsites.

Northwest County Dog Park

With tunnels and jumps and ramps to play with, and woods to explore, Northwest County Dog Park is very pup popular. And the pet parents love it too. Aptly named, you will find this park in northwestern Tampa by Channel A and the Upper Tampa Bay Trail. The park is nicely shaded with a lot of willow trees, large maples, and oaks and has a nice variety of seating, from patio tables and chairs to lawn chairs. 

All cuddly canines love pupping around at Northwest County Dog Park because there is so much open space, agility stations, and natural hills and rocks to climb. They can jump through hoops, zip through tunnels, and run up and down the ramps until they get rid of those zoomies. And during the summer, they bring out the pools so all the pooches can cool off. The water runs all year though, so you can clean off your pup or get him some water any time. 

Palma Ceia Dog Park

Palma Ceia Park is located in southwestern Tampa on the Selmon Expressway between Hillsborough Bay and Palma Ceia Golf Club. This cute neighborhood park has a nice shaded dog park in the northeastern corner of the park where your pooch can play with the other pooches off the leash. It has a double-gated entry for safety, lots of shade trees, and numerous picnic tables for the humans to relax on. But do not bring a picnic. No food is allowed in the dog park area. 

There is a separate section for small and timid fur babies, but both sides enjoy the same amenities, including dog and human water fountains, waste stations with doggie bags, and all kinds of room to run around. Bring a ball or frisbee for a game of fetch with your best furry friend. The rest of the park is pet-friendly for leashed pets, where you can find picnic tables with grills for a real meal, a playground for the kiddos, and basketball hoops.

Picnic Island Park and Beach

Just 10 miles from downtown Tampa, Picnic Island Park, and Beach has a gorgeous sandy spot just for Spot… or Fido, Fifi, or Spike. Whether you have a water dog like a Newfoundland or a snow dog like the Siberian Husky, all dogs like to get in and splash a little bit. And if your dog is one of the rare ones that do not like playing in the water, there is plenty of white sand to dig in too! Or bring a doggie disc for a game of frisbee or fetch. 

The fenced pooch paradise is the perfect place to take your fur baby’s leash off and let him run free for a while. Bring your swimming suit, and you can get in there with your pup to play. It is truly fun for all here, with no big waves or strong tides to worry about, so even the kiddos can play. After leash your dog back up, and you can enjoy what else this awesome park has to offer, from boating to fishing. 

Pups Pub Park

Beer lovers who also love dogs have found Pups Pub to be their favorite place to party or just relax with their best friends. And you will also love the drink list. It is not just beer and wine here! You can get a Bad Mother Pupper with Jameson and Mountain Dew, a Puptown Girl with champagne and OJ, or The Zoomies vanilla vodka with coffee. You do have to pay to get in, but it is worth every penny. Get a day pass if you are just visiting or just want to try it out. 

All dogs have to be fully vaccinated as well as neutered or spayed, and they have to be friendly. Your cuddly canine companion is welcome both indoors and out so you can enjoy the warm weather or cool off in the AC. They even have a doggie playground with slides, climbing, and tunnels. And the humans can watch TV, play games, or just relax and have a drink. 

Queenie’s Dog Park at Water Works Park

Water Works Park is a popular community park on the Hillsborough River in northern Tampa with a splash pad, which is how it got its name. But your pooch is probably more interested in Queenie’s Dog Park. After all, that is where all the cool dogs hang out. Located in the southeastern corner of the park, Queenie’s Dog Park is nicely shaded by huge trees as well as a shelter to keep everyone cool. To keep the pups extra cool, they get several washtubs and kiddie pools to play in. 

There is no separate space for small or shy dogs, so make sure your pooch is comfortable around all the breeds, from petite Poodles to huge Hounds. They also have water fountains and Mutt Mitt dispensers for your convenience. And as long as you put your fur buddy’s leash back on, you are welcome to bring him into the rest of the park for a picnic, to stroll on the Riverwalk, or to watch the kids on the playground. 

Two Shepherds Taproom Dog Park

Right next to Jim Urbanski Dog Park at Al Lopez Park, Two Shepherds Taproom is another bar/dog park you can enjoy with your best bud. Actually, it was the very first on in Tampa! To get started, register your pupster on the website and provide shot records and proof that your dog is spayed or neutered. You can choose from a daily pass or a monthly or annual membership, depending on how often you want to visit. 

Your pooch will be in hound heaven here with an indoor and outdoor pooch space. Indoors is nice when it rains or when it is just too hot. But outside is the place your cuddly canine wants to be. There are doggie swimming pools, tunnels, toys, and balls to enjoy, a fire hydrant to mark, and an astroturf for comfy paws. And humans can choose from over 75 different types of beers, wines, and seltzers. 

West Dog Park

Less than two miles northwest of Shepherd’s Tap Room, you can find another fun place with lots of space for your fur puppy to play off the leash. West Dog Park is humongous, with five acres of fenced land to romp around in. Double-gated with a separate entrance and section for little dogs, the park is very safe for all breeds, so pet parents can relax on the comfy benches or picnic tables placed around the grounds. With so much space, this is the perfect park for a game of fetch. 

You will love watching your pooch jump through hoops or the special hanging tire. Be sure to have your phone ready for pictures to share on Instagram! There are also tunnels and natural climbing obstacles like tree stumps and mounds. After a good rain, there is a pond in the middle of the large dog section that the pooches love. Don’t worry. Pet parents can clean their pups in the puppy tubs before leaving. 

The Final Woof

Thinking about getting out on the water but sick of the same old boat tours? You can take your fur puppy with you on a water bike from Tampa Bay Water Bike Company. You can rent them by the hour, and they include life vests for you and your pooch. Your cuddly canine companion is also welcome to join you on a pet-friendly food tour at Ybor City Food Tours. For two hours, you and your best buddy can learn about the history and food of the city before dining at a dog-friendly eatery, Gasper Grottos. And the price of the food is included in the ticket so that is even better!

Photo of author
Patty Oelze is a freelance writer who is also in the process of getting her PhD in Psychology. She has been writing about dogs and other critters for about 10 years and has a plethora of animals at her home including several cats, some chipmunks, a dozen raccoons, two foxes, one coyote, and herds of deer. She and her husband have been living in the Missouri Ozarks for years where she enjoys taking care of wildlife, fishing, photography, boating, and of course, writing.

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