Anyone with a pet knows that when they grab their car keys and head for the front door, their playful pal adorably gives them those large, whiny eyes, as if to say, “Please take me with you.” At the Riverwalk A&E District, in Fort Lauderdale, FL pets can join the family and have an equally good time. Many of Fort Lauderdale’s hotels and restaurants welcome pet patrons. Just strolling around town, one can easily spot well-behaved, leashed pets enjoying the Florida sun with their masters.
When traveling to Fort Lauderdale, visitors should definitely consider taking their pets and looking into these popular pet-friendly places:
- The newly remodeled Westin Fort Lauderdale, only minutes away from Fort Lauderdale’s most popular attractions, welcomes pets up to 40 pounds to kick back and relax in style. At check-in, guests are given a complimentary Westin Heavenly Dog Bed. The fee is $50, and pets cannot be left in the room alone. But that’s OK; there are plenty of places in Riverwalk where guests can take their pets with them.
- Along Las Olas Boulevard, pets of all shapes and sizes frequently take strolls with their owners. Human companions can shop, drink and eat while soaking up some rays. If it gets too hot, many establishments have water bowls for animals at their storefronts. Some restaurants allow guests to dine outside on shaded, cool patios with their pets. One of the most popular pet-friendly restaurants, YOLO, fosters a trendy environment that stays true to its name, an acronym for You Only Live Once. Other pet-friendly restaurants include Big City Tavern, Cheesecake Factory, Johnny V’s, SoLita and the Floridian. When guests’ bellies are full, they can sit and grab a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Also, pet owners can catch the Art Walk Las Olas every third Thursday of the month. Everyone is welcome to leisurely stroll along the sidewalk and view the works of many local artists, authors or artisans and to become more familiar with Historic Stranahan House.
- Riverwalk Linear Park, located along the New River in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, is perfect for high-energy canines. Covering 18.2 acres and offering scenic waterfront views, a picnic area, lighted walkways, gazebos and restrooms, the park is open all day, every day and is free of charge. If a dog relieves him/herself, there are no worries! The park is supplied with handy clean-up bags. The well-maintained greenery is a great place for dog owners and their furry friends to take in the beauty of nature and some fresh South Florida air.
- Every Sunday, pet owners can explore the Urban Market and spend a glorious day outdoors among local vendors who sell fresh-from-the-farm produce. Owners and their pets will appreciate the delicious smells and the authenticity of a traditional marketplace.
- The Suntrust Sunday Jazz Brunch, which occurs every Sunday along the Riverwalk, is a family-friendly, as well as a pet-friendly, event. It offers a day of FREE concerts, unique vendors and local delicacies.
- While dogs are not allowed on the sand of the most popular stretch of Fort Lauderdale Beach, owners can spend $7 for a weekend permit to Canine Beach, locatedat Sunrise Boulevard and A1A North. Winter hours are from 3-7 p.m., and summer hours are from 5-9 p.m. during Daylight Saving Time. Temporary and annual permits and poop scoopers are available for in-person purchase through the on-duty park ranger desk, located at 1350 West Broward Boulevard (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.). Canine Beach rules are as follows:
- A person walking with a dog must be in possession of a device to properly dispose of any fecal matter deposited by their dog.
- Dogs shall not create a nuisance by causing any form of disturbance such as excessive barking and/or similar undesirable conduct.
- The permit holder must carry permit on person at all times when using Canine Beach.
- The permit also allows dog owners to walk down A1A year-round from 6-9 a.m.
Whether they are opting for a stay in a luxurious hotel, a simple stroll down Las Olas, or a fun-filled day playing on Canine Beach, pet owners and their pets alike are certain to enjoy a visit to Fort Lauderdale.
Remember to visit www.luxurypaw.com to reserve your next luxury pet-friendly accommodation; hotel, B & B, private cottage, inn, or villa…