5 Best Dog Friendly Travel Destinations in Florida
Summer is here, which means a well-deserved holiday is around the corner! But where to go with your furry family member in tow? Florida offers dog friendly travel destinations by way of beaches and parks, restaurants, activities and tours you can enjoy with the entire gang. If you want to travel north to cooler climates or relax on the southern shore beaches, there is something for every four-legged vacationer. Pack up your pup and hit the road with our list of local pet-friendly Florida hot spots.
Dog Friendly Travel: Miami, FL
If you are looking to taste the flavor of Miami, start your adventure by cruising the Lincoln Road shopping strip. These vibrant stores and restaurants are dog friendly and most provide outdoor patio dining. If you are in the mood for a subdued Miami shopping experience, the shops and restaurants at Bal Harbour, The Village at Merrick Park, and along Brickell are also open to pets. Stay at the Loews Hotel on Miami Beach where dogs receive a welcome gift, have a gourmet room service menu, and are provided with dog-walking routes, pet-sitting or pet-walking services, as well as a list of local pet-friendly restaurants, plus a few extra “home away from home” goodies if requested! To complete your trip, head to Hobie Beach for a fun in the sun beach extravaganza! Hobie is a dog friendly off-leash park, located off of the Rickenbacker Causeway heading to Key Biscayne.
Jacksonville, Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, FL
Seek out the spectacular views and peaceful sounds of the Atlantic Coast. Amelia River Cruises, Charters and Cumberland Ferries offer tours and views of the gorgeous coastline. You and your pet can soak in the ocean air while viewing the wildlife, waterfront, and salt marshes. Get a taste of history when visiting the Jacksonville area. You can visit these memorials and trails with a leashed dog: Fort Caroline National Memorial, the Kingsley Plantation, Yellow Bluff Fort Historic State Park, or a take a self-guided hike named the Hammock Trail. The beaches in Jacksonville and Fernandina have specific rules and regulations on pups looking to play in the sand. Do your research before packing up the family and setting up camp on any of the local beaches.
Bradenton and Sarasota, FL
The gulf shores of Sarasota, Venice, and Bradenton have a string of beaches that are dog friendly. A must-visit is Sarasota’s own restaurant chain, titled appropriately the Old Salty Dog, where you can chow down on seafood and American bar fare with a dog at your feet, feeling the sea breeze flow through the air. Also look into Woof Gang Bakery and Marina Jacks- both have doggie dining treats and menus.
Be sure to pass by St. Armands Circle Shops, a boutique shopping center off the shores of Lido key, while you are in the neighborhood. Finish your trip by venturing to the outskirts of Bradenton to visit Hunsader U-Pick Farms, a large, breathtaking farm where you can pick your own produce varying on the time of year. Best in early spring, end of summer and fall.
Florida Keys and Key West, FL
Head to the Florida Keys and turn back the clock to Island Time. You and your pup can put your feet and paws up at the Island Dogs Bar enjoying the open air establishment. As most restaurants are outdoor bars, it is not difficult to find dog friendly dining. The Key West Aquarium, one of the best attractions in the Keys located in Mallory Square, is said to be the only dog-friendly aquarium in the country! Take advantage and stroll the tanks of marine life with man’s best friend by your side. In addition, most charter fishing boats and ferry rides are dog friendly as well. Be sure to check animal protocol before purchasing any tickets. End the day at Mallory Square with picturesque sunset. The street fill with artists such as acrobats, magicians, and musicians to jazz up this nightly celebration for everyone and every pet to enjoy.
St. Augustine, FL
With centuries of history, the small populated town of St. Augustine is one of the most dog-friendly destinations in Florida. Famous for its main attraction, The Fountain of Youth, you can explore the secrets of this historical landmark with your pet. Weave your way in and out of the streets and shops of Old Town side by side with Fido. Most restaurants have patio seating and are pet friendly. Be sure to check out the St. Augustine lighthouse and off leash Paws Dog Park.
All of these dog-friendly travel destinations have hotels or bed and breakfasts that cater to your furry friends. Be sure to research and know the rules for your furry friend before scheduling any trips, as hotels can change policies. For more information, these websites are quite helpful when looking for pet friendly venues, activities, restaurants and more:
Happy dog-friendly travels!
A founding member of the Equipaws family, Frankie can mostly be found working behind the scenes, helping co-create online branding, managing several social media accounts, designing brand collateral, writing copy, and managing events. She also fills in for pet sitters and dog walkers when needed in Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, and South Miami. Her own small pack consists of Boots the Shih Tzu mix and Nutmeg the Chiweenie.