Traveling with the whole family can be difficult when all members aren’t human. VISIT FLORIDA, however, wants visitors to the Sunshine State to know that their furry quadrupedal friends are welcomed and embraced across the state.
That includes cats, but let’s be honest, they’re happier at home.
In Pensacola, Surf and Sand Hotel offers pet-friendly rooms with direct access to the outdoor grassy areas. Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front is located on the beach and offers pet-friendly rooms with a balcony or patio. The Hilton Pensacola Beach provides pet-friendly rooms with direct access to the beach and a dog park nearby. Enjoy the Beach Walk or a hike through Fort Pickens National Park and stop in to dine at Red Fish Blue Fish – all are prepared to welcome your canines.
Jacksonville is pleased to report that all of its beaches in the area allow dogs on-leash during the day. Of the many attractions that you can bring a pet to, visitors should check out Kanine Social, a 14,000 square foot indoor and outdoor dog park, which also offers a craft beer and coffee bar. Pet owners can head over to BrewHound Dog Park + Bar, an off-leash yard set up for large and small breeds to play with trained staff present, as well as a porch which features a beer garden. Book a stay at the Four Points by Sheraton on Jacksonville Beach, which is pet-friendly and perfect for stepping right out onto the sand for an afternoon stroll with your best friend.
St. Augustine and Florida’s Historic Coast boast 42 miles of pristine dog-friendly beaches, where a stroll along St. Augustine Beach is sure to be filled with dogs running with their owners, chasing balls in the ocean and opportunities for your dog to socialize. There are plenty of lodging options to choose from while traveling with pets to Florida’s Historic Coast. There is luxurious Casa Monica Resort and Spa and local campgrounds, as well as historic inns like the St. George Inn or Southern Oaks Inn, where pets are treated like honored guests and dogs have their own fenced in park to play.
On the Palm Coast, Legacy Vacation Resort is the premier choice for unforgettable golf getaways and their dog-friendly suites can welcome a dog up to 75 pounds for seven nights. Enjoy whale-watching cruises, world-class surfing, 44 parks and natural preserves and miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. For guests who wish to soak up a little local flavor, historic St. Augustine and the nonstop energy and excitement of Daytona Beach are just a short drive away.
In Orlando, visitors will find the most dog-friendly U.S. destination for a vacation according to Booking.com, as well as the best city for pet-friendly hotels with more than 600 to choose from. For example, at Holiday Inn & Suites Across From Universal Orlando, visitors won’t have to leave any family members behind. To redeem the hotel’s pet-friendly offerings, guests can use the code ISHD1 when they book stays through this site. To qualify for this promotion, visitors can only have two pets per room and must weigh under 65 pound total.
Hiking trails like Bear Creek Nature Trail and Lake Baldwin Park complement the city’s offer, which already includes the Main Street America-accredited Orlando Main Streets, Boxi Park, the heart of Winter Park, and Celebration Town Center, where owners and pooches can parade together. If heading to major attractions in Orlando, there are numerous kennels like Happy Paws Pet Resort, Best Friends Pet Care at Walt Disney World Resort and Oent Kennels at SeaWorld Orlando. There’s no reason to leave furry friends at home.
In Lake County, many hotels and attractions welcome pets. The Lakeside Inn, Florida’s most historic hotel and located alongside Lake Dora, allows dogs under 25 pounds. Head to Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, where visitors can sip wine with their dogs by their side, and Showcase of Citrus is open every day of the year and welcomes pets. Palatlakaha Environmental and Agricultural Reserve is a 318-acre park with hiking and nature trails, as well as an on-site dog park. Take your dog along on a kayak ride to see the state’s second largest live oak tree at Lake Griffin State Park.
In nearby Kissimmee, the Legacy Vacation Resort is just minutes from Walt Disney World®, Universal Studios® Orlando, SeaWorld® and more. It’s the perfect place to spend an action-packed week with your pooch in one of their dog-friendly suites. Nearby in Buena Vista, yet another Legacy Vacation Resort is just two miles from Disney Springs® attractions like The House of Blues and Splitsville Luxury Lanes. Legacy Vacation Resorts-Lake Buena Vista features dog-friendly suites that keep you close to fabulous shopping, restaurants and nightlife, or spend your days lounging by the pool, playing tennis and hosting family barbecues in the grilling and picnic area. In Winter Park, the Alfond Inn welcomes four-legged guests with its V.I.P. (Very Important Pup) Package in a city known for its exceptionally dog-friendly shops and more than two dozen dog-friendly restaurants and sidewalk cafes. The VIP Package provides dog-friendly rooms, complimentary keepsake water bowls, and signature treats at turndown among other amenities.
For stays on the Adventure Coast, Hernando Beach Motel is a family-owned motel that welcomes pets and offers a cozy and relaxing stay near the Gulf Coast. Check out Marker 48 and Tidal Brewing Company, two breweries are pet-friendly and offer a variety of craft beers and snacks. For pet-friendly dining, the Silver Dolphin Restaurant offers a variety of dishes, from seafood to burgers, and has a spacious patio where you can enjoy your meal with your furry friend. Bread Box Bakery is a cozy spot for breakfast and lunch, with fresh baked goods and sandwiches. You can also order a special treat for your pet from their menu. Hernando Beach Tropical Grille is a waterfront restaurant that serves Caribbean-inspired cuisine and cocktails. They have a large deck where you can relax with your pet and watch the sunset.
And get outside on the Adventure Coast at Fickett Hammock, a nature trail that is easy to hike and has a variety of wildlife, all accessible by leashed dogs. Weekiwachee Preserve is another scenic trail that circles several ponds and has beautiful views of the lakes. These are just some of the pet-friendly motels and trails that you can enjoy on Florida’s Adventure Coast.
Ocala/Marion County is full of experiences for dogs both around Downtown Historic Square and at the trails of outdoor areas like Rainbow Springs State Park and Silver Springs State Park. The Ocala Dog Ranch is located right next to the Live Oak International horse farm and has a dock-jumping pool you can rent out for your dog or take a class with them. They also have courses on the property for your dog to run and chase lures. Different events and tournaments occur regularly at the dog ranch. Another great place to venture with your dog is the 4.5 acres of Letty Towles Dog Park, located at Jervey Gantt Park in Ocala. Free to use, owners can take their dogs to run, play and socialize with other furry visitors in the safety of fenced open fields. Given that Ocala/Marion County is the Horse Capital of the World®, the entire community is welcoming to furry friends, with many hotels that are pet-friendly.
Florida’s Sports Coast – Pasco County – invites four-legged visitors to its new brewery, the Cotee River Brewing Company. The outdoor patio is the perfect place to enjoy the downtown atmosphere with pets. Local favorite Green Door creates unique cocktails like the “Pig on a Porch” with WhistlePig rye whiskey, ginger ale and Nueske’s bacon, as well as full lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch menus on their pet-friendly patio. Hike the greenery of Starkey Wilderness Park and Sims Park. The Krate at the Grove in New Port Richey is a newly-opened outdoor wonderland perfect for guests with canine company, built from 90 repurposed and locally-manufactured shipping containers.
The Bradenton region welcomes pets and owners to venture out to the Palma Sola Causeway, which features dog-friendly beaches. Notable pet-friendly dining options include Bridge Tender Inn and the Anna Maria Oyster Bar on the Pier with great options for people and pups, Gulf Drive Cafe & Kokonut Hut right on the sands of Anna Maria Island, as well as Motorworks Brewing with a sizable beer garden and a monthly “Yappy Hour.” Some of the great pet-friendly lodging options include Zota Beach Resort, Waterline Marina Resort and the Springhill Suites in Downtown Bradenton.
In Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach, this October 2023, Charlotte Harbor Gulf Island Coast welcomes one of the newest properties to the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast – the Sunseeker Resort. This brand-new hotel is set to provide lavish accommodations and will be a pet-friendly hotel. There is a modest nightly fee and visitors are allowed to have up to two dogs with them during their stay.
Manasota Key Resort offers the best of the open ocean, the intracoastal waterway and the flats where the quiet sports thrive. Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings, unwind by the sparkling pool or take leisurely strolls along the sandy shoreline with a dog up to 25 pounds. Service dogs, however, are allowed in any resort room. The Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside is located on the edge of the Charlotte Harbor waterfront in beautiful Punta Gorda and is also pet-friendly.
For more information: VISIT FLORIDA.