Tropical beach vacations for pet owners frequently come with the letdown and hassle of having to leave those four-legged friends at home, but not for those visiting Miami Beach. Home to the best weather and a host of award-winning hotels, one-of-a-kind entertainment, fabulous restaurants and retailers, the city is a paradise for vacationers and their pets. From the PAW program at the W Hotel on South Beach to the off-leash Flamingo Bark Park, Miami Beach caters to Fido and friends.
"Miami Beach is one of the world's most pet-friendly cities," says Grisette Roque, Executive Director of Miami Beach Visitor and Convention Authority (MBVCA). "Hotels and businesses know travelers don't want to cut vacations short or leave their beloved pets behind. Our significant number of pet-friendly perks and programs make Miami Beach like no other place in the world for both visitors and their pets."
Traveling with pets is on the rise across the country. According to the American Pet Product Association (APPA), 67 percent of dog owners say their dog relieves stress. In addition, 47 percent of Americans own a dog, and 37 percent own a cat. Research conducted by TripAdvisor found that 53 percent of respondents travel with their pets and 52 percent stated they would only stay at pet-friendly properties.
Below are Miami Beach pet-friendly perks and places to bark about:
The W Hotel
At the W Hotel, pets are greeted with custom-designed amenities as part of the hotel's Pets Are Welcome (PAW) Program. Amenities include pet toys, pet treats, a W Hotel pet tag, W Hotel pet bed, food and water bowl, clean-up bags, a 'pet in room' door sign and details about the W Hotel's Whatever/Whenever pet services. The W charges a $25fee to host a pet and a non-refundable $100 cleaning fee.
Loews Miami Beach
Loews Hotel ensures that pets will be waited on hand and paw as Very Important Pets (VIPS) while on a relaxing vacation. Exclusively part of the Loews Loves Pets Program, gourmet room service menus for cats and dogs, dog walking routes and pet-sitting services are offered to make sure every four-legged friend feels comfortable in their home away from home. The Loews charges a flat rate of $50 per stay to host a pet.
The Betsy Hotel
This beachside haven hotel offers a variety of options to make sure all pups are pampered. Guests can experience a couple's massage like no other at The Betsy's outdoor spa; where pets enjoy healthy nibbles and an aromatherapy massage alongside their owners. The Betsy charges a $150 per dog fee and donates the funds to a satellite charity in Zimbabwe at the SPCA.
Lincoln Road Mall
One of Miami Beach's top shopping hubs, Lincoln Road Mall has a vast number of stores and restaurants that accommodate pets. Visitors can sit outside and enjoy a nice lunch at Sushi Samba or Spris while their puppy friends enjoy a bowl of refreshing water. Note that dogs must be kept on their leashes at all times while strolling through this busy city center.
Art Deco Tours with Christine & Company
Discover the culture of Miami Beach and its history of Art Deco architecture in the company of your furry best friend. This Art Deco Tour allows guests to bring pets, and although not all buildings allow for pets to enter, Christine & Company provides a pet companion for $30 per pet with water, a water bowl and waste bags. Pet reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance.
Right in the heart of Miami Beach, Flamingo Bark Park, an off-leash dog park, allows all four-legged friends to roam free in two doggy play areas. Dogs can play in either the run areas for smaller breeds or larger breeds; with access to drinking stations and biodegradable baggie stations.
At the Washington Park and Community Garden, Monday to Sunday, sunrise to sunset, the Washington Park and Community Garden offers a vast area for dogs to unleash, play and socialize. Drinking fountains with doggie water spigots are available along with two double-gated dog runs.