Almost 75% of dog owners bring their Rocky and Pumpkin with them on vacation, according to a AAA study. (This study also found that 28% of them would rather travel with their dog than their significant other!) Florida is one of the two friendliest states for doggie dining (California is the other) according to dogfriendly.com. Beach vacations are the trips most dogs get to go on.
Making our way down the Atlantic Coast (the Keys will be next then we’ll head up the Gulf Coast) we’re finding the best places for you to swim, play and stay with your dog. Click for Fernandina Beach to Flagler Beach, for Ormond Beach to Cocoa Beach, for Indialantic to Vero Beach, and for Fort Pierce to Stuart.
We’ve visited and reviewed some of the properties, for which we’ve provided a link to our post. The others are suggestions based on affordability, locals’ recommendations and other positive reviews we’ve combed through online.
1269 North Fort Lauderdale Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Just 10 miles south of Pompano Beach is the Canine Beach in Fort Lauderdale (no dog beach exists in Pompano.)
- Open Fri., Sat. and Sun., April-October 3-9 p.m., November-March 3-7 p.m.
- All dogs must have current vaccinations and license and must be kept on a leash, maximum 6 ft.
- Annual permits are purchased at Parks & Recreation Administration at Holiday Park, 1150 G. Harold Martin Dr., Mon.-Fri. 8-5. A one-weekend permit can be purchased for $7.
2121 E. Atlantic Blvc.
Pompano Beach, FL 33062
- Family owned – three generations of owning restaurants, from Palermo to San Fransisco and New York City – this Italian restaurant has a delightful outdoor courtyard where your dog is welcome.
- Vast menu of authentic southern Italian “soul food.”
- Live music on the weekends, hours are Mon-Thurs. 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 5 p.m.- 11 p.m.
300 Briny Ave.
Pompano Beach, FL 33062
Photo courtesy of Mindy Suggs
- Located directly on the beach, with a large heated swimming pool, this independently owned hotel is super clean though the rooms are somewhat dated.
- Amenities include free parking, BBQ grills, free Wi-Fi, shuffleboard, lounge chairs, tiki hut. Bring your own shampoo/conditioner and coffee. Studio-efficiencies and one bedroom apartments include a full kitchen.
- Awarded TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
Canine Beach, click or see details above.
429 Seabreeze Blvd.
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
- Besides the beautiful view, and being able to bring your 4-legged best friend, you’ve got to love a place who’s motto is “Be nice” and “even your mother-in-law will enjoy.” Locally owned by Elliot and Merv.
- The menu will appeal to all with Starters, Handhelds, Eat Your Greens, The Usual Suspects (though, for us, “Regigano encrusted pork cutlet, topped with baby arugula, campari tomato salad” is more inventive than ‘usual’), great seafood, featuring Florida beers and a smartly curated wine list.
- Happy Hour Oyster Bar 7 days a week 4-6, 1/2 off a bottle of wine Mon. & Tues. (the days we need wine the most,) 1/2 price appetizers Mon.-Fri. 4-6. Hours are Mon.-Sun. 11:30-10, Sunday brunch 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
- Located on charming and trendy Las Olas Boulevard in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Riverside Hotel was built in 1936. Though the hotel has been expanded since its early days, it retains an old-Florida feeling mixed with modern, luxurious conveniences.
- Amenities are many including heated pool with poolside food service, onsite fitness room, complimentary Wi-Fi, boat dockage (click their name above for rates), two restaurants and three lounges, designated pet-friendly rooms and more.
- Fort Lauderdale Beach is only 2 miles away and can be reached using the Sun Trolley or Water Taxi.
Between Pershing and Custer Streets (approx. 1/2 mile north of Sheridan St.)
Hollywood, FL 33019
- Well behaved dogs are welcome, though we couldn’t find out from their site (click their name, above) if leashes are mandatory.
- Friday, Saturday and Sunday year-round, November-March 3-7 p.m., April-October 4-8 p.m.
- Daily passes and 6 month passes are available to be purchased from the park ranger on duty. A daily pass for non-Hollywood resident is $10.
800 N. Ocean Dr.
Hollywood, FL 33019
- Much more than just a bakery, this waterfront restaurant looks like the most happening place in town. Their huge menu offers everything anyone could want or need from appetizers, salads, woodfire oven pizzas, sandwiches, pasta and serious entrees. Giorgio’s is locally owned by the Tsialiamanis family.
- Dogs are welcome on their outdoor deck.
- Hours are Sunday-Saturday 7:30 a.m.- 10 p.m.
344 Arizona St.
Hollywood, Fl 33019
- We can see why they say they’re reminiscent of a Key West boutique style cottage and a “no worries” attitude. Located just steps to the beach and the boardwalk, Hollywood Beach Suites and Hotel offers various room sizes including “Two Peas in a Pod” – queen bed, mini kitchenette, for two people; Sweet Suites – 500 sq. ft. suite with a modern futon in the living room, one queen bed and one high twin stacked bunk bed, mini kitchenette; The More the Merrier – designed for families and large groups with all the “Sweet Suites” offers plus two double high twin beds, kitchenette, for up to six people.
- Amenities include free Wi-Fi, surfboards, beach towels, BBQ grills and more, click on their name above for more details.
Rickenbacker Causeway, on the right, on the way to Key Biscayne; Hobie Beach is located closer to the mainland than to Key Biscayne
- This dog beach specifies “dogs on a leash are welcome” but we’ve heard some dogs ignore this.
- Shallow water and shade provide a fun place for your dog to swim and play.
300 Alton Rd.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
- Monty’s is a bit off the beaten path (the way we like it: read how You CAN Find Serenity in South Beach) overlooking the marina. Seating is inside and out, by the pool, by the bar. Tables closest to the marina welcome you and your dog.
- Seafood-focused menu with a huge raw bar section, there are also many choices for non-seafood lovers.
- Live music Friday, Saturday and Sunday; click their name above for more details. Hours are Sun-Thurs. 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Fri. 11:30 a.m.-12 a.m., Sat. 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.
1131 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL 33139
- While there are a number of independently owned, cool places to stay in South Beach that welcome your dog, we found The Kent Hotel to have a great vibe and luxurious accommodations at an affordable price.
- This beautiful Art Deco hotel was built in 1939 and is just one block to the beach.
- Amenities include a gorgeous, peaceful patio, and rooms offer free Wi-Fi, 32 in. flat screened t.v., DVD player, iPod-compatible CD/radio players, telephones with data ports, complimentary beach towels and more. The Kent Hotel does not have its own parking lot (most hotels in South Beach do not) but offers discounted valet service through an outside company. Click on their name above to read their pet policy.
Let us know in the comments below if you’ve found the perfect independently owned place to stay or to play, and any dog beach we may have missed! Though we leave Puppet, Gizmo and Illy at home when we travel, we know that you all are in that 75% who don’t travel without your four-legged best friends.