Got a bad case of the winter blues? Polar Vortex PTSD? Pup with cabin fever? Desperately in need of some vitamin D? Well, today you’re in luck! Because I happen to know of just the place that can resolve all those dilemmas and more, and it happens to be my hometown. Pack up your swim suits, dust off those flip flops, and round up your doggos. We’re heading down South to PAWty in the city where the HEAT is on, all night on the beach ’till the BARK of dawn. In the wise words rapped by Will Smith: We’re Going to Miami, Welcome to Miami.
Apart from its tropical climate, beautiful beaches, and abundant nightlife, there is so much more to do and see in Miami, even with your furry children! In fact, over the past few years, Miami, FL has consistently ranked among the top dog-friendly cities in the United States for pet lovers. Whether you’re a first time visitor to the Magic City, or a local dog parent (or dog lover) exploring new areas around town, there is always something fun to do with your pup. After much deliberation and consultation with my furry assistant, Louie, we have come up with a Dog-Friendly Weekend Guide with the top places to explore, shop, play, and stay in sunny Miami, FL.
WYNWOOD ARTS DISTRICT
As you can see by the photos above taken by Louie’s very talented doggie daycare, Barkhaus, dogs of all shapes and sizes are welcome to walk (on-leash) around the popular area known as Wynwood: an urban, eclectic arts district in the center of urban Miami. Wynwood is home to indie art galleries, local boutiques, and retail stores, antique/thrift shops, artisan eateries, eclectic bars and microbreweries, and the largest concentration of street art and murals in the country. Wynwood is definitely an area you want to check out, even if just to take photos of your pup in front of the very Instagrammable collection of street art seen throughout the small streets. While you are in the Wynwood neighborhood, we definitely recommend you stop at two of our favorite dog-friendly spots (for desserts, duh): The Salty Donut to savor the BEST donuts EVER, and Cielito Artisan Pops, which offers pupsicles for its doggie patrons!
MIAMI DESIGN DISTRICT
If you prefer the finer (material) things in life over street art and artisan vendors, then you and your pup should head on over to the Miami Design District — a high-end art, retail, and dining area that gives Rodeo Drive a run for its money. From Tiffany & Co. to Rolex, Fendi, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and even Tesla, the Design District is sure to satisfy all your lifestyles of the rich and famous dreams. Another plus is that it’s completely dog-friendly! Note that pups must be on leash at all times and some restaurants may require that you dine in the outdoor covered areas with your pet. When you and pupper are tired from all that window shopping, check out OTL for a delicious coffee and pastry, and finish off your afternoon with lunch at St. Roch Market, which allows pets to dine outdoors and provides water bowls as well.
LINCOLN ROAD MALL
For a more commercial shopping and dining experience in a similarly beautiful outdoor setting, visit the bustling dog-friendly Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach. On a sunny, breezy afternoon, you might find yourself outnumbered by the colorful array of furry companions seated beneath outdoor dining tables, sipping on puppachinos from the coffee shop, or prancing along the outdoor mall on leashes. Every single retail store and outdoor dining establishment we have visited on Lincoln Road with Louie has been dog-friendly, and more often than otherwise, the spoiled pup is greeted and welcomed in before we are! It’s a great area to visit and walk around on a sunny day or cool evening, but, as with any other outdoor area in Miami, you go at your own risk in the summer months (get ready to sweat and make sure you come with water!)
BARK PARKS & DOG-FRIENDLY BEACHES
If your credit card has reached its limit after all the shopping, it’s probably time to do some activities which are just for the doggos’ enjoyment (and ours, because who doesn’t love seeing their pup living its best life?!) Miami has no shortage of dog-friendly Bark Parks and beaches to satisfy even the most antisocial pupper. The folks over at Rover.com have curated a list of the top-rated Dog Parks and Dog-Friendly Beaches in Miami/Miami Beach. We will narrow down the lists down to 2 must-visit parks/beaches: (1) Margaret Pace Dog Park: a completely fenced, off-leash turf dog park with designated areas for dogs over and under 25 pounds, which is located on the shore of Biscayne Bay in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood (where Louie and I live!); and (2) Haulover Beach Park: this a little further of a drive away in North Miami Beach, but so worth the trip because it features an expansive off-leash Bark Park AND a dog-friendly designated beach area for the pups to swim, run, and roll around in the sand as they please. It’ll be a day of fun in the sun for everyone, humans, and doggos alike.
WHERE TO STAY
Finally, for those who are visiting Miami from out of town and are in need of pet-friendly accommodations, we recommend staying in Miami Beach/South Beach to really get the Miami experience. You’ll find plenty of properties welcoming your furry pups, but be aware that some hotels may charge pet fees or require that dogs be under a certain weight to stay there. However, Kimpton Hotels are not of the those chains, and instead are well-known among the jet-setting pups as always being 100% pet-friendly, even offering special amenities exclusively for their furry guests. Luckily, Kimpton happens to have 3 gorgeous hotel properties in Miami/Miami Beach/South Beach, and you can’t go wrong staying at any one of them!
I hope this Dog-Friendly Cities: Miami Weekend Guide has been helpful for those planning a trip to the Magic City, and insightful for local dog parents looking for the best dog-friendly spots to hit up with their pups. Stay tuned for my upcoming post outlining upcoming pup meetups and dog-friendly events in South Florida for the second half of 2019.
We’d love to hear from you if you live in Miami and have some other dog-friendly favorites that we didn’t list in this guide. For non-locals, do you reside in a dog-friendly city? What sorts of dog-friendly activities do you do with your pups? Feel free to leave your responses and feedback in the comments below!
Hi everyone! My name is Yani Crespo. I am an attorney/aspiring creative, but most importantly, I am a dog mom to a 1-year-old French Bulldog named Louie. We live in sunny Miami, Florida, where we frequently enjoy trips to the beach, dog park, and visiting dog-friendly establishments all around the city. Can’t wait to share our adventures with the DailyBarker community!