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Want to plan a vacation but don’t want to leave your dog behind? You aren’t alone. More and more people are beginning to consider bringing their pets along on vacation, and it’s easy to see why. Many of us consider our dogs to be members of our families – not just pets – and leaving them behind for a few days can be tough. When Jim and I travel, we really try to take Zach with us. Florida is one of our favorite places to explore because there are so many dog-friendly destinations!
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You’ll want to put some thought into your trip if you plan to travel with a dog. Not all places are very welcoming of pets, and if you find yourself on the wrong beach, you might find yourself facing a serious fine. Fortunately, there are plenty of spots in Florida that welcome vacationers with dogs – you just need to know where to look!
Dog-Friendly Destinations on Florida’s West Coast
St. Pete is a great place to plan a weekend getaway or longer vacation with your pup. You’ll find plenty of pet-friendly accommodations, like the Hollander Hotel, as well as lots of restaurants (and microbreweries, including the oldest in the state) with outdoor dining that won’t mind a well-mannered dog. For a great pet-friendly brunch, lunch, or dinner spot, check out the Three Birds Tavern, which allows diners to enjoy patio seating with their pups.
The biggest reason people travel to St. Pete is to check out the beach, and fortunately, you’ll be able to bring Fido along, too. Fort De Soto Beach is a stunning place to spend a day, and it has a dedicated off-leash area where dogs are free to run, swim, and dig under the sun.
North East Florida Loves Dogs!
Tucked in the northeast corner of the state, Jacksonville has much more in common with southern Georgia than with tropical Miami. This sprawling city is home to numerous off-leash dog parks, as well as lots of pet-friendly shops, businesses, breweries, and coffee shops. Explore a local flea market or street fair with your well-mannered pup, or enjoy a more upscale shopping experience at the St. Johns Town Center, which is home to many pup-friendly shops. Take advantage of the area’s local beaches and soak up the sun together at Hanna Park or nearby Atlantic Beach, two seaside spots that welcome pets.
You won’t have too much trouble finding dog-friendly accommodations here, either. You’ll find plenty of campgrounds and RV parks that accept pets, as well as private vacation rentals. Additionally, Jacksonville is home to many hotel chains known for their pet-friendly policies, like La Quinta and Red Roof Inn, as well as more upscale options.
Flager Beach is south of Jacksonville, and about an hour from St. Augustine, and considers dogs as welcome their humans. With miles of dog-friendly beach for your pup to run and play, and dog-friendly eateries, this is one of our favorite dog-friendly destinations!
There are lots of pet-friendly hotels, so you’ll have choices to make a great getaway for both you and your four-legged friend.
Dog-friendly South Florida Gives Your Pooch the VIP Treatment
Believe it or not, this southern Florida city is a great spot to vacation if you’d like to bring your dog along for the trip. You’ll find a variety of pet-friendly accommodations to choose from, like the Epic and the Surfcomber. These properties don’t impose restrictions on dog breed or size and simply ask you to sign a waiver confirming your dog will be on its best behavior – and that you’ll be responsible for any damages.
It’s no surprise to find quite a few Miami restaurants welcome patrons with pets – as expected, for patio dining only. You can also bring your pup along for a walk as you explore the city. Stroll through Wynwood Art District and stage an impromptu photo shoot among the murals.
You can’t bring your dog on every beach in the Miami area, but there are quite a few that do welcome four-legged friends. Bark Beach at North Shore Open Space Park and Flamingo Bark Park are two of the more well-loved in the area, but there are others to explore if you’re looking to let your pup burn off some energy.
Stock Island is just 15 minutes from Key West, but it is worlds away! On Stock Island, you’ll find plenty of pet-friendly restaurants, tiki bars and of course, marinas. One of our favorite hangouts, when we visit the Florida Keys by boat, is Stock Island Village Marina.
Stock Island Village Marina is not just a marina; it is a destination. The Perry Hotel is one of the new kids on the block. The hotel pays homage to the island’s working port history, so there are industrial touches throughout. But it is one of the most luxurious hotels we’ve visited. When you check in with your favorite four-legged friend, they are treated like a VIP. The rooms are ideal for your pet, and they will love them as much as you do! Matt’s Stock Island Kitchen and the Salty Oyster Bar are both pet-friendly, and before you know it, your pet is the star of the show!
Traveling with your best four-legged friend isn’t always easy, but if you plan a trip to one of these pet-friendly spots, you can rest easy knowing you’ll have plenty to do together!
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