Dog Island

What is Dog Island?

Dog Island, unique to Florida, is one of the best examples of an environmentally sound beachfront development. Located 3.5 miles off-shore from Carrabelle in the northwestern Gulf Coast, it is approximately 75 miles east of Panama City or 50 miles south of Tallahassee. Dog Island’s two neighboring islands are St. Vincent Island which is a Federal wildlife refuge and St. George Island which has a causeway and an airport and is a seaside vacation community.

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Aerial view of Dog Island Florida

Real Estate for Sale in Dog Island

There are currently no listings for sale in this area.

History of Dog Island

First discovered in 1536 by French explorers, Dog Island has a fascinating name origin steeped in legend. It might be named for the wild dogs once found there, its resemblance to a crouched dog, or as a historical drop-off point for sailors to prevent desertion. Regardless of which legend you prefer, the island boasts a rich human history dating back 8,000 years.

A Storied Past: From Piracy to Preservation

Historically, Dog Island served various purposes: a pirate haven, a smuggling hotspot, a seasonal fishing camp for Native Americans, and a site for shipwrecks now popular for fishing and diving. Throughout its history, it was exploited for its natural resources like lumber, turpentine, and pitch, particularly as nearby port activity surged. During the Civil War, the Union Navy utilized it, and it played a role in World War II preparations for the D-Day landings. Post-war, a visionary Florida businessman acquired it for $12,000, recognizing its potential.

Dog Island Today: A Nature Lover’s Paradise

Today, Dog Island is celebrated for its untouched beauty. Its long stretches of pristine white sand beaches are perfect for shelling, crabbing, and shore fishing. The island is a haven for birdwatching, hiking, kayaking, and capturing the stunning wildlife and landscapes through photography or art.

Geography and Accessibility

Spanning approximately 6.5 miles in length and up to 0.75 miles in width, most of Dog Island is preserved by the Nature Conservancy, with the remainder as privately owned residential properties. Access is exclusive to boats, ferries, or planes, with a private-use, untowered airport available. The island hosts around 100 homes, mostly vacation properties, and maintains a population of about 30 full-time residents. Unique for its lack of typical tourist amenities, Dog Island offers a remote bed-and-breakfast but no public facilities, making it an ideal retreat for those seeking tranquility.

Natural Beauty and Local Activities

The island’s environment includes rare bird colonies and native flora, primarily slash and longleaf pines, and dune grasses. Sea turtles nest on its shores, and the waters are rich with clams and blue crabs. Each end of the island provides unique recreational opportunities: the west for day trips and fishing, the east for shelling and relaxed beach days.

Dog Island remains a precious, minimally developed sanctuary for nature lovers and those drawn to its serene shores and rich historical tapestry.

Property information provided by the REALTOR'S® Association of Franklin and Gulf Counties, Inc.. IDX information is provided exclusively for consumers personal, non-commercial use, and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. This data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS.

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