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.
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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!
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!
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:
These include the following:
All types of pets welcome with no fees
Close to everything with fab rooftop pool and steps from the beach. There is $50 fee and 30 lb limit.
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
They charge $60 per dog and have a 25 lb limit
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.
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:
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.
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!
This is a fun hangout area on the recently rejuvenated Miami River and with a cool bar area, outdoor lounge space, and food trucks.
This unassuming Vegan cafe is in the Whitelaw hotel lobby. They have an outdoor area but dogs welcome anywhere. The food is awesome BTW.
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.
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.
This is an outdoor pedestrian-only mall on South Beach with shops and cafes. Everyone shops with their dogs here.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
Service dogs must be leashed. Otherwise dogs should be in carriers.
Dogs must be in carriers. Not clear what people with big dogs do to be honest! I imagine they must be service dogs.
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!