Without a doubt, dogs are an important part of the family. Even the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa thinks so. They have enlisted the help of Sandy, a 5-month-old black Labrador Retriever to serve as on-site mascot to offer cuddles and licks to hotel guests.
Unfortunately, when it comes to planning vacations and trips, our furry friends can be the unintended source of stress. Choosing destinations that not only accept pets but are well-suited for your pup's size, sociability and level of activity can be the difference between having an awesome trip or a not so good one.
Whether it is dog-friendly hotels, restaurants and shops, we have sniffed out a variety of options to make traveling in and around Miami a breeze.
W South Beach: Treat your furry companion to the lap of luxury at the hip W South Beach with the Pets Are Welcome (PAW) program. Tails will be wagging upon check-in, where guests will receive a welcome package full of dog-friendly items, including a pet toy, treat, W Hotel pet tag, cleanup bags and details about the property's Whatever/Whenever pet services. In room, the fur family will be welcomed by an exclusive W Hotel pet bed, food and water bowl with floor mat and a "pet in room" door sign. A $25 fee is added to the room charge and W South Beach requires a $100 non-refundable cleaning fee. One dog of 40 pounds or less is permitted in the room. 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Florida, 305.938.3000
Acqualina Resort & Spa: Pups will love the amenities at the five-star, uber-luxurious Acqualina Resort & Spa, which includes specialty pet walking services and a wide assortment of pet essentials available for purchase, including leashes, collars, baskets, food, cages and more. The concierge staff is also ready with helpful information on local vets, animal hospitals, pet-sitting services, grooming and boarding kennels. 17875 Collins Ave., Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, 305.918.8000
Washington Park Hotel: A five-minute walk from Lummus Park, one of six designated "Bark Parks" within Miami Beach, this art-deco boutique hotel offers a "Furry Bark Package" to accommodate dogs up to 50 pounds. The package includes a 10 percent discount off hotel stay (value of $150) plus fun goodies for Fido (glow-in-the-dark rubber ball, maple bacon dog biscuits, flexi-bowl, chew toy and travel tips). 1050 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, Florida, 305.421.6265
Kimpton EPIC: The Kimpton brand is known for touting a pet-friendly policy, they even have a Director of Pet Relations at some of its properties. It comes as no surprise, then, that dogs of any size (as long as they can walk through the door) are welcome for no additional fee or deposit at this Downtown Miami waterfront hotel. Not only will staff welcome your pup by name upon check-in, but also provide guests with a doggie bed, bowls, treats and cleanup bags. 270 Biscayne Blvd. Way, Miami, Florida, 305.424.5226
Restaurants & Bars
Pride & Joy BBQ: Dogs rule at this barbecue hangout that fills the streets of Wynwood, Miami with the scent of Prime brisket and smoked baby rack ribs. Lounge with your pooch in the outdoor patio to enjoy some down-home hospitality. Sip on a cider or beer but make sure to bring the doggie water bowl for your pet. 2800 N. Miami Ave., Miami, Florida, 305.456.9548
The Spillover: We are spilling the beans on Miami's Spillover restaurant found in the lush, tropical neighborhood of Coconut Grove. The seafood-centric eatery from the team that owns two other dog-friendly joints, LoKal and Kush, The Spillover is not your average seafood house. The menu features Gulf shrimp corn chowder, lamb meatballs and golden Bahamian conch strips. The outdoor seating accommodates diners and four-legged friends, who by the way have their own menu that includes Cuban chew-gars, chicken and rice and meatballs and veggies. Mayfair in the Grove, 2911 Grand Ave., Miami, Florida, 305.456.5723
Radio Bar: This unique, dog-friendly bar in the South of Fifth neighborhood in Miami Beach, offers a relaxed spot to enjoy a craft cocktail while dancing to eclectic tunes. The cocktails and appetizers complement the no-fuss relaxed ambience. Come in flip flops or a business suit to enjoy a full-bodied rum or bourbon. Dogs are allowed inside and outside at Radio Bar. The bar has water bowls and treats on hand for their furry guests. 814 1st St., Miami Beach, Florida, 305.397.8382
Doggie Bag Café and Boutique: Whether hanging out with your besties or that special someone, finding a good brunch spot is crucial when the weekend rolls around. Now you don't have to leave your dog out in the cold. We give two paws up to Doggie Bag Café for offering Saturday brunch of organic, grass-fed meats from 10 am to 1 pm. Reservations are mandatory and can be made via email at email@example.com. 7310 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, Florida, 305.710.7266
Verde: Sit in the outdoor patio overlooking magnificent views of Biscayne Bay and the city skyline at Verde, the chic eatery at the Perez Art Museum Miami. Dogs will love running around in the green space adjacent to the museum in Museum Park, but will have to settle for getting cultured through one of the art books sold at the gift shop—dogs are not allowed inside. 1103 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, Florida, 305.375.8282
Dog Bar: Catering to today's über-posh canine culture, The Dog Bar fits in nicely in the trendy neighborhood of Miami Beach. Shop for luxe fashions and pet accessories not only for dogs but cats too, as well as health-focused nutrition, grooming spa, pet dental care, training and free local delivery. 1684 Jefferson Ave., Miami Beach, Florida, 305.532.5654
Bal Harbour Shops: Known worldwide for its ambience and opulence, this two-story, open-air mall boasts some of the world’s finest stores including Chanel, Diane von Furstenberg, David Yurman, Prada, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton and Tourneau. Shop 'til you drop or window shop in a tropical setting complete with gardens, koi pond and dining favorites, Le Zoo, Makoto, Carpaccio and The Grill at Bal Harbour. 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour, Florida, 305.866.0311
Lincoln Road Mall: Enjoy a day of retail therapy at the center of it all in Miami Beach—Lincoln Road. The eight-block, pedestrian-only street offers nearly 200 shops, several art galleries and artists’ studios and some 50 restaurants, cafés and bars—most with dog-friendly accommodations. Make sure to have your pet on a leash at all times and pick up after them (it's the law). Lincoln Road is located between 16th and 17th streets between Alton Road and Washington Ave.
My Bestfriend's Closet: This charming, fashionable boutique in downtown Coral Gables, is a shopping haven for the latest trends and Miami-inspired apparel. Inside you will find on-trend casual wear, bath and body products and jewelry. Ask for the owner Patty or her assistant Alexa to score a treat for your pup. 68 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, Florida, 305.443.4840
Puppy Boutique: Stop by Puppy Boutique for couture dog apparel in a wide variety of sizes including "xxs" and up, bejeweled collars, beds, carriers, toys, tech gadgets, specialty NFL/NBA team outfits and much more. 4001 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 954.353.7864