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Next trip to Florida, bring along the entire family....


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Pet-friendly Hotels & Motels

Pet-friendly State Parks

Pet-friendly Campgrounds

Pet-friendly Restaurants

Pet-friendly Beaches

Florida Veterinarians

by Simon Lewis

Our favorite pet-friendly businesses:

pawpet-friendly hotels Pet Friendly Timeshares

Santa Fe Canoe Outpost, High Springs, 386/454-2050 spend time playing on and in the water with your best friend.

Kennedy Space Center: free kennels for Fido while you space out.

Casa Alante, Key West: "We love all animals big and small" says Sandy of this charming one-acre B&B.

Ambrosia House, Key West: Parrots, cats & dogs all welcome here.

Francis Street Bottle Inn, Key West: A guest once came with 2 Yorkies and 2 goldfish in a jar. Owner MaryBeth baby-sat goldfish last day they were there while they were running around town.

Center Court Historic Inn & Cottages, Key West: Pets are always welcome guests- check out their site.

Whispers B&B, Key West: With one room in this historic B&B named Kitty Cat's Meow - you know your pet will be welcome here.

Schooner Motel, 14500 Gulf Blvd., Madeira Beach, 33708, 800/573-5187: their slogan is "Pets Always Welcome - They Bring Such Nice Parents."

Brazilian Court, 301 Australian Ave., Palm Beach, 800/552-7752: provides a pet menu, featuring items like the Bowser Burger and Chicken Meow Mein - all specially prepared in the kitchen.

Moonrise Resort, Floral City, 800/665-6701: relax with your pooch in a cozy cabin on beautiful Lake Tsala-Apopka.

Amerisuites, Tampa, 800/833-1516: They really roll out the red carpet for the 10 lb. and under crowd - who can stay for free!

Gibson Inn, Apalachicola, 850/653-2191: Well-behaved quadripeds are allowed to v

Some of Florida's best pet spots:

Key West: Famous for its many-toed Hemingway cats, Key West is laid-back also dog-friendly territory. Lincoln Road Mall, Miami Beach: Where the beautiful people show off their masters. InnoPet Park, Sportsplex Dr.,Coral Springs: Designed with dogs in mind, this pet playground is replete with doggy statues, waterbowls, playground equipment and a shady gazebo. Dog Spot, 2112 Washington St., Hollywood: A coffee bar for you and poochie beauty parlor for that special someone. Riverwalk, 201 SW 5th Ave, Ft. Lauderdale: Mile long walk with weekend jazz and festivals. Lake Eola, East Central Blvd. Orlando: Take Rover for a mile-long walk or for a spin around a picturesque lake in swan-shaped pedal boats. Sarasota Bayfront Island Park, Sarasota: Just south of the Marina, go for a beer at O'Leary's.

Worth Ave: A doggy bar awaits at 318 Worth Ave., with 2 elegant miles "worth" of 200 stores. Heaven for small dogs.


It's a well-known fact that there's nothing more fun for a dog than a trip somewhere. It's the greatest thrill a dog can have, unless it's too old to care. So why not bring your pooch along for the ride? Absolutely Florida presents comprehensive listings of pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and beaches that insure that everyone can have the best possible time here in the Sushine State. This guide is pretty much for dogs, as cats are less of a problem to travel with, and usually don't care to travel anyway.

There are several rules and tips that should be taken into consideration before boarding a plane or loading up the car with your pet. Let us begin by separating the two modes of transportation to and from Florida

1. By Air.
Sally Deenen and Rob Mclure, authors of the excellent "Florida Dog Lover's Companion" (Foghorn Press 1998-see below`to order) don't recommend air travel for dogs unless they're small enough to carry with you in a carrier(if the airline allows it) . The cargo hold isn't air-conditioned until takeoff, so any serious delays on the ground could prove fatal.

2. By car.
Traveling to Florida by road in the Winter (November-March)is preferable, since the weather isn't as hot, and the dog can stay in the car with the windows open for a minute or two-in Summer (May-October) this would be impossible. As it is, always find a shady spot to park if you're just running into a store or fast-food joint. Dogs can get heatstroke in no time at all when left in a hot car for even a few minutes. Always have plenty of water on hand for the dog-keep it in a cooler if possible.

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Once you've arrived in Florida, if you're staying at a pet-friendly hotel you may be asked for a deposit of varying size. Also, many hotels don't favor bigger dogs (over 20 pounds) for obvious reasons. You can try your luck, though, as often it boils down to the discretion of whoever's on duty at the time. Don't abandon the dog in the room, as it might start whining loudly. Strategically placed newspaper also helps.

When it comes to restaurants, Florida statutes prohibit dogs indoors, but al fresco pooches are usually welcome. Keep a watchful eye to avoid trouble (i.e. other dogs).

Beaches can become extremely hot in the midday sun, so it's advisable to take the dog early or late, when there's less people around as well. Do not let your dog drink sea water-it can be mildly toxic, causing vomiting or diarrhea. You should always clean up after your dog with a plastic bag or pooper-scooper.