Protect Our Shores

Let’s work together to protect Gulf County and our natural resources.

Leave No Trace

Time to tidy up for the turtles! Each summer from May 1st to October 31st, seas turtles crawl ashore Gulf County beaches during the night, to lay their eggs. After laying a hundred or more ping-pong sized eggs, these 200-to 300-pound giants cover their nest with sand and return back to the sea.

After an incubation period of about 50 to 75 days, baby turtles hatch from their eggs, climb through the sand, and scurry to the Gulf of Mexico.

Due to holes left during the night along with clutter on the beach, it makes it hard for momma turtles to lay their eggs and baby turtles to make it to the Gulf of Mexico safely once they have hatched.

To help the turtles as much as possible Gulf County now has a Leave No Trace Ordinance. Let’s work together to make sure all holes are covered back in each night and that all personal items are off the beach to help the turtles on their journey.

Here’s a downloadable flyer with helpful tips.

The following information is a highlight of the rules implemented by the Leave No Trace ordinance #2015-07 and amendment #2016-XX (# to come).

Gulf County Ordinance 2015-07

Gulf County Ordinance 2016-01


Gulf County is the largest nesting place for sea turtles in Northwest Florida. Home to more than 40 percent of the nests, we covet and protect these massive, beautiful creatures and we ask that our visitors do as well. As if on cue from Mother Nature, each spring Loggerhead Sea Turtles lay their eggs in a sandy nest. After roughly a two-month incubation period, the tiny hatchlings emerge from the sand and scramble to the Gulf, counting on the light of the moon and stars to guide them to the sea.

Contact a member of our concierge team to find out how you can accompany our turtle patrol on their dawn walks in search of new nests. It’s an adventure you won’t soon forget.


Pet Friendly Beaches

We love animals in Gulf County and are proud to say we are truly a pet-friendly destination! On all Gulf County beaches, with the exception of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park, pets on leashes are more than welcome to take their owners for a walk. Despite the leash law, dogs can still have fun! Be sure to bring a long lead leash so both you and your pets can be active.

To help keep our beautiful beaches clean, there are over 20 pet waste disposal stations with bags and receptacles along the public beach access points.

Within Port St. Joe, pets and their owners can take advantage of the Port City Trail a nearly 4-mile stroll that wanders through our quaint city.

BayWalk Trail meanders from the Port St. Joe Marina to Frank Pate Park boasting beautiful views of St. Joseph Bay. Many vacation rental properties offer pet-friendly accommodations and encourage visitors to bring their pets.

Many of the local shops and even restaurants welcome well-behaved pets on leashes and their owners. The Bow Wow Beach Shop has everything you need to make it a great pet-friendly vacation including accessories and tasty treats. The St. Joseph Bay Humane Society is truly committed to fostering healthy and well-behaved pets. Their commitment to rehabilitating and training lost or abandoned dogs allows for many happy adoptions.

Even the Gulf County Welcome Center is pet-friendly! We invite you (and your pets) to stop on in and say hello!

Do you like to travel with your pets? Send us a picture on Facebook of your furry loved ones enjoying some down time. We would love to share it with our friends and pin it in our collection on Pinterest.

Helpful Hints