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Orlando, Florida

Enjoy Florida With Your Dawg


Orlando

Orlando is a very dog friendly city. There are many options for you and your dog.

These are our favorite places:

Dog Friendly Hotels:

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando

5601 Universal Blvd. Orlando, FL 32819 ~ (407) 503-1000

Our favorite dog friendly hotel in Orlando. Only one wing has pet friendly rooms so, you won’t be able to get a pool view but, I would choose these rooms even if I traveled without a dog. You can get a bay view with an outside seating area or a garden view; both are gorgeous rooms. Every room allows easy access to dog friendly outside areas making it easy to get your dog out first thing in the morning. When you and your dog are ready for a long walk there is a wonderful path leading around the bay, behind the main pool and ending at a beautiful field surrounding a lake. (Poopy scoopy stations are conveniently located along the way.) After a long walk your dog will sleep peacefully while you get out and enjoy Orlando.

There’s one other thing I love about the dog friendly rooms. I think it’s the best kept secret about this resort but, I’m going to let the cat out of the bag (or, in this case, the dog out of the bag); A few steps away from the dog friendly rooms is a beautiful pool that’s rarely ever crowded since most people go to the main pool. Your dog is NOT allowed in the pool area.


Residence Inn Orlando Convention Center

8800 Universal Blvd. Orlando, FL 32819 ~ (407) 226-0288

This is our favorite Residence Inn in the entire Orlando area (and we’ve stayed in almost all of them!).

Once you’re settled in you won’t believe that you’re in the heart of all the attractions Orlando has to offer. They have a great pool but, dogs are NOT allowed in the pool area.

Dog Park:

Dr. P. Phillips Community Park

8249 Buenavista Woods Blvd. Orlando, FL 32836

This is our favorite dog park in Orlando and not just because it’s close to our house and to both hotels listed above. It has a fenced off leash area for small and large dogs which overlooks a lake. This lovely large park also has great amenities for people: restrooms, playground, baseball and soccer fields and a basketball court.


Pet Stores:

Petco

1778 West Sand Lake Rd. Orlando, FL 32809 ~ (407) 251-4211

4616 Millenia Plaza Way Orlando, FL 32839 ~ (407) 370-9119


Shelters:

Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando (formerly SPCA of Central Florida):

2727 Conroy Rd. Orlando, FL 32839 ~ (407) 351-7722


Orange County Animal Services:

If you lose your pet or find a lost pet contact them at:

2769 Conroy Rd. Orlando, FL 32839 ~ (407) 836-3111 or dial 3-1-1

NOTE: You can only call the Orange County Animal Services 3-1-1 hotline from a local number.

You can also report aggressive or injured domestic animals and dog bites.


Florida Dog Beaches

There are only a few dog friendly beaches in Florida. These are our favorites:

Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde, FL

3500 Pinellas Bayway S. Tierra Verde, FL 33715

Off leash beach and dog park

About the Park:

Getting to the park involves toll roads and an entry fee at the park gate (currently $5.00/car).

There is an excellent fenced dog park with small and large dog areas. Both areas are large and have a rinsing area and a gate that leads to the beach. It’s a great way for your dog to release some energy and do its business before heading to the ocean then rinse the sand off when you’re done.

This is one of the few off leash dog beaches in Florida. Your dog does not have to be off leash. If either of you are uncomfortable for any reason or, if you’re not confident swimmers, keep the leash on. The first time I went, I kept my dogs on a leash at the ocean but let them run free in the park. Now that they are confident strong swimmers and comfortable with the waves I let them off leash.


Dog Friendly Hotels:

Hilton Longboat Key Beachfront Resort (45 miles south of Fort De Soto Park)

4711 Gulf of Mexico Dr. Longboat Key, FL 34228 ~ (941) 383-2451

Our favorite hotel when visiting Fort De Soto Park. The beautiful beach is easily accessible and less crowded than St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island. Only a few rooms have a full ocean view but, we love the garden and pool view rooms since the beach is only a few steps away.

Dogs are NOT allowed on the beach but, a GREAT dog friendly park is a mile down the road:

Joan M. Durante Park ~ Leashed dogs only ~ 32 acres on Sarasota Bay

5550 Gulf of Mexico Dr. Longboat Key, FL


Loews Don CeSar Hotel (8 miles north of Fort De Soto Park)

3400 Gulf Blvd. St. Pete Beach, FL 33706 ~ (727) 360-1881

The most expensive hotel on this list but, worth every penny. If you don’t stay here, I recommend visiting for lunch or dinner, a cocktail, a spa treatment or browsing through the shops. This beautiful hotel is something to see.


Residence Inn St. Petersburg Treasure Island (14 miles north of Fort De Soto Park)

11908 Gulf Blvd. Treasure Island, FL 33706 ~ (727) 367-2761

Every room in this hotel has a balcony with an ocean view. The beach is not dog friendly but there is an excellent long walkway to exercise your dog while enjoying the ocean view.

Sombrero Beach, Marathon, FL

Sombrero Beach Rd. Marathon, FL 33052 (mile marker 50 Atlantic Side)

Leashed dogs only in park and beach

About Sombrero Beach:

This beach and park is free. It gets crowded on holidays and weekends. Go on a weekday afternoon and enjoy the best “leashed dog only” park and beach in Florida. Sombrero Beach Rd. ends at the parking area. From your free parking spot you and your dog can walk directly into the park area where you will find a pathway around: a playground, covered picnic tables with cooking grills, volleyball courts, restrooms and poopy scoopy stations. Several walkways provide access to the beach. Go from car to park to beach, in any order you prefer, easily at Sombrero Beach. Land and ocean lovers will enjoy this dog friendly park and beach.

Dog Park:

Marathon Dog Park

75th Street, Oceanside, Marathon, FL

If you want to let your dog off leash in Marathon, FL, the Marathon Dog Park is the place to go. This fairly new dog park offers small and large dog areas, shade and seating but no drinkable water. There are plans to install water but, as far as I know, it is not complete. Bring some bottled water and enjoy.

Dog Friendly Hotels:

Hilton Key Largo Resort (about 45 miles north of Marathon, FL)

9700 Overseas Highway Key Largo, Florida 33037 ~ (305) 852-5553

The only dog friendly hotel we’ve ever found in the Florida Keys with direct access to the beach (NOT a dog friendly beach). Dogs are welcome in the ocean view rooms and walking around the perimeter of the parking area will give your dog a lot of exercise. Back in your room, your dog will nap peacefully while you enjoy the beach front amenities this hotel offers.


Sheraton Suites Key West (about 45 miles south of Marathon, FL)

2001 South Roosevelt Blvd. Key West, FL 33040 ~ (305) 292-9800

*Read more about our experience at this hotel under Key West, FL.

Veterinarian:

Marathon Veterinary Hospital

11187 Overseas Highway Marathon, FL 33050 ~ (305)-743-7099

Key West, FL

Key West is the last on the list because of the many pros & cons

Dog Park:

Higgs Beach Dog Park

1000 Atlantic Blvd. (White St. & Atlantic Blvd.) Key West, FL 33040

Our favorite dog park in the entire state. Not directly on the ocean but just across the street allowing awesome views and a refreshing ocean breeze. Don’t expect a friendly welcome from the locals. This is a great place to enjoy time with your dog.

Dog Beach:

Key West Dog Beach

End of Alberta St.

Our least favorite dog beach in the entire state. I only include it because it is an option for you and your dog if you’re visiting Key West. It’s hard to find, small, rocky and usually crowded. Don’t expect to wade right into the ocean or get a friendly greeting from the locals. But, it is a way to get out and about with your dog.

Dog Friendly Hotels:

Sheraton Suites Key West

2001 South Roosevelt Blvd. Key West, FL 33040 ~ (305) 292-9800

Our favorite dog friendly hotel in Key West. It is across the street from the best beach in Key West (which is NOT a dog friendly beach). It is conveniently located close to the dog park and dog beach. The hotel grounds and sidewalk along the beach are very dog friendly and fabulous. This hotel is a short drive away from all the action in the heart of Key West, and they offer a free shuttle service for guests. You can easily exercise your dog, leave them sleeping peacefully and then take the shuttle into and out of downtown Key West then, fall asleep in the peace and quiet of this hotels location. That’s a GREAT vacation for you and your dog!

The Westin Key West Resort & Marina

245 Front St. Key West, FL 33040 ~ (305) 294-4000

Our least favorite dog friendly hotel in Key West. Good luck finding a grassy uncrowded area to walk your dog or enjoy peace and quiet in the beautiful rooms in this hotel, located in the heart of Key West. The hotel promotes ocean and sunset views but fails to mention that you can only enjoy the view when the cruise ships leave. They also fail to mention that, although you can see the ocean, you can’t get in. You can stroll along cement patios, along with thousands of other visitors, and shop while looking at the ocean. Your dog is welcome to join you in the mayhem but, probably won’t be enjoying vacation as much as you are – if you’re enjoying it at all. If you go, be sure your dog is comfortable with feral cats and roosters.