Ponce de Leon getting wild in Miami.

    Ponce de Leon getting wild in Miami.

    - - Kara Franker

    Dog-Friendly Places to Stay in Florida

    Kara Franker

    Pets love to travel, too! Did you know that there are more than 1,000 pet-friendly hotels in Florida? The Sunshine State welcomes all members of the family, including the four-legged furry ones.

    "No one else loves your dog like you do, so it's nice to be able to take them with you on vacation,” said Melana Scantlin, entertainment host and blogger at celluliteisnotforever.com. “I know my dog, Gracie, is happier when she's with us. And I think many hotels know that dogs are often considered part of the family."

    “Our newly-adopted, 8-year-old miniature schnauzer, Scout, is a part of our family, and it’s important to us that she travel with us when we get out of town,” said Susan Barnes, travel writer and blogger at Travelin’ Girl. “Hotels that welcome Scout with open arms and make her stay as comfortable as ours are top on our list.”

    Get ready to plan your next vacation around where you can bring your dog along for the fun at one of these pet-friendly hotels.

    Jacksonville and Amelia Island 

    The Jacksonville area is home to plenty of canine-friendly beaches, including Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach and Neptune Beach. Skip the pet fee at one of the two Aloft brand hotels nearby, including Aloft Jacksonville Tapestry Park and Aloft Jacksonville Airport. Not only does Aloft not charge pet fees, the brand usually offers great rates and features a stylish, youthful vibe. For an upscale hotel option and five-star service, the Omni Jacksonville Hotel, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort and The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island allow pets for a fee. If you prefer a rental home or condo, try ERA Fernandina Beach Realty, where you can find a buttom for dog-friendly accommodations. Your pampered pooch will love Amelia Island, where leashed pets are welcome on the beaches (with the exception of state parks).

    Orlando and Winter Park

    While pets aren’t usually allowed at the theme parks, there are plenty of fun things to do around Orlando and in nearby Winter Park. There are a bunch of dog parks throughout the city, including in downtown’s Lake Eola Park, where you and your furry friend can watch the black and white swans swim around the lake. The eclectic and artsy Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando is pet-friendly for a fee, as well as the Hard Rock Hotel at Universal Orlando Resort, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel and Rosen Shingle Creek. Iif  you're seeking a pet-friend rental home, try Topvillas, with a multitude of properties.

     

    Stroll along the brick-laden streets lined with al fresco cafes and stay at The Alfond Inn, a boutique hotel with a “Very Important Pup” package that includes a donation to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

    Stroll along the brick-laden streets lined with al fresco cafes and stay at The Alfond Inn, a boutique hotel with a “Very Important Pup” package that includes a donation to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

    - - Kara Franker

     

    Stroll along the brick-laden streets lined with al fresco cafes and stay at The Alfond Inn, a boutique hotel with a “Very Important Pup” package that includes a donation to the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando.

    St. Pete Beach

    St. Pete is home to Fort De Soto Park, voted one of America’s Best Beaches by Dr. Beach and TripAdvisor and luckily, there’s a stretch of sand reserved for canines. Nearby hotel options include two family favorites: The Loews Don CeSar, a Great Gatsby Era resort that resembles a bright pink sandcastle and TradeWinds Island Grand, a family oasis complete with a three-story slide on the beach. If a vacation rental is your style, Mona Kai Vacation Rentals welcomes even large pets.

    Fort Myers and Naples

    Fort Myers is home to the infamous Woof-A-Hatchee Dog Park inside the Wa-Ke Hatchee Community Park. Try saying that three times fast. There’s plenty of space for some fun, off-leash action. Head over to the dog beach at Bonita Beach near Lovers Key State Park where your furry friend can splash and play in the calm gulf waters. Pet-friendly rooms are available at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples.

    Palm Beach, Vero Beach, Cocoa Beach

    Posh pets are welcome at the luxurious shops along Palm Beach’s Worth Avenue. After a day of shopping and lunching, the nearby Brazilian Court is a lavish boutique hotel that’s waiting to pamper you both. Their pet package includes town care service to the Pucci and Catana Luxury Pet Boutique. Jaunt over to the beach where you’ll find more five-star dog-friendly accommodations at Eau Palm Beach and Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach. Head north to Vero Beach and you’ll find celebrity-owned Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa, another upscale boutique property where pets can feel right at home. Further north still, try Sea Esta Villas, right by the shore for both you and Rover.

    Miami, the Florida Keys

    With plenty of white sand, dog-friendly beaches and lots of things to do, Miami offers the ultimate canine vacation destination. Head to Hobie Beach, located on the causeway out to Key Biscayne, where there are great views of the skyline and plenty of room to play fetch in the water. Or check out Bark Beach between 80 and 81st Street near the North Shore Open Space Park on Miami Beach. 

    Ponce de Leon gets his wag on in downtown Miami.

    Ponce de Leon gets his wag on in downtown Miami.

    - - Kara Franker

     

    There are a handful of Aloft brand hotel options and these properties are great because they offer great rates and don’t charge a pet fee: Aloft Miami Doral, Aloft Miami Brickell and Aloft Miami Dadeland, with more properties on the way. Or splurge for a luxe option at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach or the Four Seasons Hotel Miami. Further south in Key Largo, Key Lime Sailing Club and Cottages can offer both you and your pooch a home away from home.

    South Walton

    The beach communities of South Walton have a number of properties where dogs are welcome. Check out  Beaches of South Walton Vacations and look for designated pet friendly properties. 
     

    Sebring

    In the center of the state, the Inn on the Lakes in Sebring accepts pets with a one-time fee, and service animals are welcomed.
     

     

    Check out more great places to stay in Florida

    Places to Remember

    SPONSORS & PARTNERS