Tips for Visiting Miami with a Dog

Where are my dog people out there? Do you hate leaving your fur child at home as much as I do? Well, I have good news for you. Miami is the perfect place to have a getaway with Fido or Fluffy. I lived in Miami for many years and enjoyed taking my papillon Marcel everywhere possible. I recently spent a long weekend visiting and brought him with me and got to experience traveling to Miami with a dog as a visitor. Here are my tips for visiting Miami with a dog.

Woman with 2 small dogs on paddleboard at sunset in Miami

Choosing a Hotel

Luckily for us fur parents, more and more hotels are recognizing the importance of accepting dogs. Many of the hotels that accept pets in Miami offer really cute amenities such as dog bowls, dog beds, treats, and much more. There are more than just this list. Many have fees over $100 for pets which I personally do not find acceptable so those will not be on MY list! HMMPF!

The Standard 

This is my personal favorite and this is where I chose to stay.

They even offer dog bowls and beds upon check-in. Dogs can go anywhere on the property except actually in the pool or spa. Ironically the hotel is childfree. Children can come to dine in the restaurant but not stay at the hotel or be at the pool area. Ok by me!

Marriot Hotels

All Marriot hotels accept pets but with a one-time pet fee unless you have a service pet.

Here are a few Marriott hotels in Miami and Miami Beach to consider:

Pool with yellow lounge chairs at the Standard Hotel a Dog Friendly Hotel in Miami
The Standard Hotel Pool

Kimpton Hotels 

These include the following:

  • Epic Hotel
    • This one is incredible. I stayed recently and loved how enthusiastic they were about my dog. They even gave me treats, a dog bowl and poo bags upon check-in. The free wine happy hour isn’t bad either!
  • Surfcomber Hotel
  • Angler Hotel

All types of pets welcome with no fees

Dream Hotel

Close to everything with fab rooftop pool and steps from the beach. There is $50 fee and 30 lb limit.

Shore Club   

This hotel has a beautiful pool and a Moroccan inspired lounge and garden. Pets are free. 20 lb or less.

Free and package


This is a fabulous hotel and has a fee of $50 and allows a maximum of 2 pets

The Astor Hotel

They charge $60 per dog and have a 25 lb limit

1 Hotel South Beach

No fees charged for pets unless the room is very dirty.

***Keep in mind that if your dog is disruptive, aggressive or barks a lot, you may have problems. Also maid service will generally not happen while your dog is alone in the room so plan accordingly.


Dog Friendly Guide to Miami
The Standard Bayside Lounge


Any restaurant with outdoor seating (which are plentiful in Miami), typically allows dogs. South Beach is perhaps the most dog-friendly part of Miami with outdoor cafes for days on Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive.

Places that are ESPECIALLY dog-friendly throughout Miami and Miami Beach right here:

1 800 Lucky

Big Buddha Statue at 1800 lucky in miami

This is a food court /night club (only in Miami, eh?) in Wynwood (you know, that place with all the murals?)  that serves a variety of Asian favorites from food trucks. On weekend nights there is a DJ that gets progressively louder every hour until it goes full club mode with crazy lighting and all.

Two girls holding small dogs in Miami restaurant

La Centrale

This 3 story Italian food mecca is in the Brickell City Center. It has everything you could want such as  pasta, pizza, sandwiches, and upscale meat and fish restaurants, a wine shop, wine bar and gelato shop. Plus, it is super dog-friendly!

La Central Dog Friendly Restaurant in Miami

The Wharf Miami

This is a fun hangout area on the recently rejuvenated Miami River and with a cool bar area, outdoor lounge space, and food trucks.

Outdoor lounge at the Wharf in Miami

Plant Theory Botanical Burger Cafe

This unassuming Vegan cafe is in the Whitelaw hotel lobby. They have an outdoor area but dogs welcome anywhere. The food is awesome BTW.


The Beach

Sadly the beaches on South Beach don’t allow dogs. Outrageous, right? Dogs are typically cleaner than the average South Beach visitor, in my NOT SO HUMBLE opinion. This makes me upset but the lifeguards don’t arrive until around 9 am and they leave around 6:30 pm so you could take your chances and take your dog at those times. Just try to avoid the beach cops. I got away with this for years. #Sorrynotsorry!

Haulover Beach   Here you’ll find a small dog park, large dog park and a bark beach located directly on the sand.  On the beach near lifeguard tower 3, dogs are allowed off-leash from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

There is a dog-friendly beach on Key Biscayne called Hobie Beach if you don’t like breaking the rules like I do. There is no fee and they also have windsurfing, kayaking and standup paddleboarding with fantastic Miami skyline views.

You can take a lovely Beach Walk and enjoy the art deco buildings on Ocean Drive. Start at 23rd street and walk south and enjoy the sea breezes with your best buddy.


Yes, you can paddleboard with your dog! How fun is that? It is even more fun with mini champagne bottles FYI. Or Kayak if you want to have more room for your dog and beverages.

South Beach Kayak

Miami Beach Paddleboard

Girl in bikini with small dog on stand up paddle board in Miami Beach

Dog Parks

  • Flamingo Park has one divided into large dog and small dog.
  • Washington Bark Park is south of fifth street
  • Kennedy Park in Coconut Grove is beautiful with bay views
  • South Pointe Park is one of my favorite places on the beach. It has panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, Government Cut and Biscayne Bay with the city skyline. There is a grassy area where dogs are allowed off-leash at sunset from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Dog at South Point Park Miami Beach Guide


You can generally shop anywhere in Miami Beach with your dog. I’m pretty sure the rest of Miami is the same although I don’t have as much experience. Aside from grocery stores, you can go into any convenience store such as CVS or Walgreens with a well-behaved dog inside. I often see people holding teeny dogs in grocery stores because Miami People generally just do whatever they want. If you have a dog in your arms, in a purse or in a stroller, very few employees will have the nerve to say something to you.  That’s just how it is! I always have my indignant reaction ready, just in case.

Lincoln Road

This is an outdoor pedestrian-only mall on South Beach with shops and cafes. Everyone shops with their dogs here.

Outdoor Pedestrian Mall Miami Beach

Brickell City Center

Brickell is probably the next coolest place in Miami after South Beach (or coolest if you are a local) and has a new massive shopping complex called City Center that is very dog-friendly.

Beauty Services

Ladies, you can typically get your hair and nails done AND also bring your dog. No longer do you have to choose between looking glam and being a dog Mom. What a time to be alive! As always, call and ask first (unless you have a service dog) but most places, especially in South Beach, are very cool about it.  Here are a couple places I need to shout out for especially good (and dog-friendly) service.

B Dry Salon

I love this place. I always get my hair styled here (when I was a local and as a visitor) and they were so kind to my dog. They also do makeup!

EM Nail Salon

This is my favorite nail salon on South Beach and they always let me bring Marcel.

*You probably don’t need to see a plastic surgeon on your vacation weekend, but if you do…contact me for a reference of one that will let you bring your dog along for the visit!


Uber and Lyft

In general, they are pretty cool about dogs since so many locals take them everywhere. I only had one incident where a guy in a Mercedes wouldn’t let me take my dog (and he was kind of a jerk about it). I always offer to put my dog on the floor or if I’m coming from the airport, keep him in his carrying case.

It’s best to call your driver up front and ask if it’s ok. The problem in Miami is that many drivers don’t speak English! Consider bringing a towel or your dog’s carrying case to be extra considerate. I always tip drivers well who were kind about me having my dog!

Miami Beach Free Trolley

Service dogs must be leashed. Otherwise dogs should be in carriers.

Miami Metro Rail

Dogs must be in carriers. Not clear what people with big dogs do to be honest! I imagine they must be service dogs.

Small Dog with glass of wine at restuarant in Miami

General Tips

Until you get to know the place, call ahead of time to see if they allow dogs. Small dogs are much easier to take places than large dogs and generally more accepted.

Make sure your dog is quiet and calm. An excited or out of control dog makes people nervous. I have seen dogs (even service dogs) asked to leave restaurants if they are barking.

Miami is one of the most dog-friendly places I’ve seen so take your best friend and have a fun weekend! Tell me if you have any tips for visiting Miami with a dog!

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About The Author

Cherene Saradar

Cherene is a travel expert with 30 years of experience in over 100 countries and 7 continents. She has traveled solo to over 50 countries. She is also a nurse anesthesiologist with over 20 years of healthcare experience. Her passions include wildlife travel and visiting wine regions of the world.


  1. Marcela Arredondo | 18th Mar 22

    I’m so glad I stumbled upon your page! My pup and I are headed to Miami Beach soon and all of the websites made me feel like I’d have to travel out of the way for him to get some fun time in the sand. Knowing life-guards show up later in the morning means I’ll grab a coffee and we’ll be able to take a morning stroll. Thanks so much for sharing! I loved the sorry not sorry sentiment!!

    • csaradar | 3rd Apr 22

      I’m so happy you found this helpful! Traveling with the pup is so rewarding:)

  2. agniecha78hotmailcom | 13th Apr 19

    I’m one of these people who take their dog on trips whenever they can.I’ve driven from Ft Lauderdale to Key West with my dog 3 years ago and loved how dog friendly the Keys were too. Good to know Miami is as well. Your tips will come in handy when we embark on another travel adventure.

    • csaradar | 16th Apr 19

      Gotta love dog-friendly places!

  3. Kalilah Hayward | 13th Apr 19

    FIRST OF ALL, THAT DOG IS SO CUTE I WANT TO DIE!!! Second, I wanna take my step-dog!!!! Not sure how she would handle a plane ride though…..

    • csaradar | 16th Apr 19

      How does she do in the car?

  4. Surekha Paez | 24th Jan 19

    Thank you. Good for a staycation!!

    • csaradar | 25th Jan 19

      Always nice to know where you can take dogs!!!

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