There’s more to Miami than hopping beaches, although that’s one of the main alluring aspects of the vibrant Florida city. Mediterranean Revival and Miami Modern architecture along with hip hang out areas make this an incredibly lively place to get away from it all. However, we have to say the best thing about Miami is the dog friendly environment that allows you to freely vacation with your best friend.
Let’s start with the obvious—beach time is an absolute must. I mean, if you’re going to forego the beach you might as well hit up a cool inland city. For shallower water and more accessible play, Hobie Beach’s bayside location is supreme, and a favorite among local and visiting pet owners (as well as windsurfers). Other great beachfront areas include Beach Park and Bark Beach at North Shore, you really can’t go wrong with any of these oceanfront choices.
Amelia Earhart Park’s impressive list of amenities are just as alluring as the sun and sand. Totaling at 500 acres, everything from lakes, an animal village with petting zoo, bike trails and skateboard space can be found in the lush recreation hub. Five acres have been dedicated to our sweet pups, and there’s even a separate spot for more fragile furry friends to play.
Miami Beach hosts an abundance of other shaded, dog friendly play space. Flamingo Bark Park, Pinetree Bark Park, Washington Avenue Park, Belle Isle Park and South Pointe Park are accommodating, well kept, and all around fun places to stretch those legs.
Shop and Relax
Downward with Your Dog is a yoga session you can experience with your four-legged friend, and it takes place at Margaret Pace Park the first Saturday of the month. It’s more bonding and therapeutic than one might think.
Coconut Grove is totally cool with pets trotting around the walkways. In fact, the third Wednesday of each month celebrates Yappy Hour, where humans get to drink tasty brews while pups get treats and goodies.
Located north just above Miami Beach is another beloved outdoor mall, Bal Harbour Shops, with numerous high-end brands. French, Italian, Asian and other style restaurants could have easily lumped this into our “eat” section as well. Shops at Merrick Park is another luxury shopping area where you and Fido can walk around and window shop or drop some big bucks on something super swanky. Or you could just grab a delicious beer at Yard House.
A slew of dog friendly cafes and stores that will also let dogs come in to browse define Lincoln Road as a convenient, fun and versatile area to get some Miami goodies. Only pedestrians can walk about the streets, so it’s a safe place to roam, and is a stone’s throw from the water.
And if you’ve ever dreamed of heading off for a relaxing retreat with your furry buddy, you can at Exhale Spa, which offers massages for you and four-legged patrons. A massage is the best way to wind down an exciting day, and you’d be shocked how mellow and happy you both will be afterward!
Ah yes, the food scene—the heart of all great cities. Start at Lokal, because they have an amazing selection for dogs too, like meatloaf, chicken and rice, and a non-alcoholic dog beer! As for human fare, they offer juicy, sustainably sourced burgers.
Greenstreet welcomes dogs onto their beautiful patio with glittering lights. Breakfast is where it’s at--the cinnamon bun or blueberry granola pancakes are incredible.
Peacock Garden Bistro is located within a literal tropical garden in coconut grove--this lush escape features seafood, steak, soup, pasta, and a killer weekend brunch. Spicy egg casserole, short rib Benedict and the lobster omelet make it worth fighting Saturday and Sunday bustle. Hence the name, Lulu in the Grove is in the shopping hub, Coconut Grove. Fresh, organic and local seasonal dishes, and quirky cocktails with house infused liquors are enough to earn this place a solid ten ranking. If you don’t try anything else, at least taste the homemade smoked salmon.
How do you think your pup would like a frozen peanut butter treat, just for them? Shake Shack has you covered, proving again that they are just an awesome dog loving place. Poochinis are a cool treat that dogs can safely enjoy.
Tip: The Cafe at Books and Books, Spris Pizza and Ms. Cheezious grilled cheese joint are also prime places to chow down.
A Kimpton Property, EPIC Hotel falls in line with all of the chain’s other establishments that down right cater to animals with comfy beds, nice facilities and bedtime treats! Views of the river and bay, along with wraparound balconies might seal the deal for you.
Kimpton does it again, with a modern sandcastle style hotel, the Surfcomber. Green minded, this location does a great job at keeping it green via recycling and contributing unused soaps to Clean the World. A lovely pool area overlooks the water, a coffee bar gets you your caffeine fix in the most delicious way, the included morning breakfast more than meets expectations, and of course your baby will be treated like royalty.
Tip: The Mandarin Oriental or Loews Miami Beach Hotel are slightly more high-end and also welcome pets, but Kimpton offers more pooch perks.
This just barely grazes the surface of Miami’s pet loving scene—when in town, you’ll find groomers using organic practices, adorable pet boutiques and a long list of more restaurants and shops that are fur baby friendly. With a prime south Florida location, toasty warm weather and plenty to do, visiting Miami has to be on your bucket list.
Karyn Wofford is a “Mom” to her fluffy, sweet dog Halli. She spends much of her time traveling and advocating for Type 1 diabetes—and Halli sometimes accompanies her on her adventures. You’ll find Karyn’s work on sites like Mother Earth Living, and in magazines such as Diabetes Forecast.
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