As the Florida weather begins to cool down, now is the perfect time to grab the leash, hit the road, and let your dog go exploring in the great outdoors. This October, why not take a journey with those you love and bring your furry friend along for the ride? You and your pooch are sure to love our list of the top five dog-friendly day trips that are great getaways for the fall season.
De Leon Springs State Park
Just an hour north of Orlando, De Leon Springs is a hidden treasure of wildlife in Central Florida. This is a wonderful place for you and your dog to find rest and relaxation, as you enjoy the quiet expanses of shade trees and perhaps even a delicious picnic with friends. The park offers a half-mile paved nature trail, passing through scenic woodlands that serve as the home to a wide diversity of animal life and even a cypress tree that is more than 500 years old. With these various ways to get back to nature, De Leon Springs is a serene escape from the monotony of everyday life.
Historic Mount Dora
This charming town located in Central Florida is more than just a shopping and dining destination. With dog-friendly shopping and restaurants, Mount Dora is one of our top choices for fall day trips with your pup. Stroll the streets with your leashed friend, and even dine in an outdoor restaurant together. Mount Dora also features celebrated dog parks, including an off-leash park with three separate areas for large, small, and medium-sized dogs.
Blue Spring State Park
If you love underwater wildlife but are looking to spend an afternoon with your four-legged friend, Blue Spring State Park is the perfect outing for a brisk fall day. This park is a designated Manatee Refuge, and the waters are filled with a growing population of West Indian Manatees. With over 2,600 acres, there is plenty of room for your dog to run wild and free after hours of manatee fun. The park also features a hiking trail through the lush environment of Blue Spring.
Downtown St. Augustine
Florida’s oldest city is known for its exciting and educational tours, but there are also many tours that are perfect for your pooch. On the second Saturday of each month, the city of St. Augustine hosts a “Pup Crawl,” in which you and your dog can discover the city’s history while exploring the timeless streets of downtown St. Augustine. After a day in town, you can head down to one of St. Augustine’s pristine beaches with your pup and finish the day with your toes—and paws—in the sand.
Alderman’s Ford Nature Preserve
If you want to escape from your everyday environment with your dog, Alderman’s Ford Nature Preserve is one of the best day trip destinations. Located an hour and a half outside of Orlando and only 40 minutes from Tampa, this preserve is a break from the ordinary. The hiking trails are surrounded by the whitewater of the Alafia River, which rushes over limestone boulders with awe-inspiring majesty. Lose yourself in the sanctuary of ancient live oaks and wooded wonders, and let your dog find the joys of nature once again.