Part of the larger City of Gainesville’s Possum Creek Park, this local getaway is popular for hikers and families, with its pavilions, nature trails, playground and sports field, so there’s plenty of space to move around – literally acres of securely-fenced area in which to roam. It also has a large, off-leash pet friendly section with two different enclosures for big and small pups. You can toss a ball or frisbee and let your dogs romp and socialize, and there are lots of shady benches and water fountains to keep both pets and owners hydrated.
When it rains, there’s even a little flood area that turns into a small pool where your pup can splash, swim, and cool off, which is always a bonus during the hot Florida summer and may cause a little envy on your part. If you both need to stretch your legs, there’s also a great wooded hiking trail you can explore together with your dog safely leashed.
There’s an off-leash area available for daily, monthly, or annual members, and a leashed-only section where anyone can hang out. Food trucks are available if you need a nosh, and there’s a pet playground for your dog to run around in and play with the other canine customers. You have to register you and your dog for either the day, or you can buy a 10-day pass or purchase one of the monthly packages. Lebowski’s also has a calendar of events available, plus you can rent the whole place for a party of your own.
3:30 – Midnight, Mon – Fri and 1pm – 1am, Sat/Sun
514 N. Main Street, Gainesville
If you haven’t checked out our recent blog about Payne’s Prairie, now’s your chance to discover this amazing place that’s almost literally right in the backyards of both Ocala and Gainesville denizens. This pristine nature retreat is the first of Florida’s official state preserves and conservation areas, with an abundance of walking and biking trails, waterways, and campgrounds for anyone who needs a longer sojourn away from the crowds. Once you’re in it, you’ll understand the lure of the quiet retreat, and why First Nation Seminoles made it their home.
Dogs (and other domesticated pets) are allowed to join you camping in designated areas of all Florida State Parks, as long as they are properly leashed and supervised. Historic Payne’s Prairie is one of our most beautiful and diverse local getaways, with over 22,000 acres of lush savannah, thriving wildlife, and lots of affordable campground options, from tent sites to full-facility RV hookups. Be sure to check out the State Park Pet Policy so you know what the rules are, and your pet will be safer as a result.
Hours: 8am to sundown
100 Savanna Road, Micanopy
This park is open from sunrise to sunset Sundays through Saturdays, and once your pooch is inside the gated area, you’re free to let them off leash to roam free and play with others.
Hours: Sunday through Saturday 8am – 11pm
501 NE 16th Ave, Gainesville