Rickenbacker Causeway Beach
Miami grew from a small trading post into a large metropolitan area of 2 million people in the last 100 years. Known, of course, for its beaches, climate and warm weather year round, Miami is a very popular tourist destination. Main tourist areas in Miami include Miami Beach (South Beach), Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and Key Biscayne. Dogs who visit the city will find it facinating for it's dog-friendly lodging, shopping and dining, but not so much for its beaches. There are two dog-friendly beach areas in the city.
Barnacle State Historic Site
Your dog will find excellent dog-friendly hotels in Miami. Hotel Urbano is very dog-friendly, and is located very near to the Rickenbacker Causeway dog beach, a bit south of downtown, and north of Coconut Grove. The Epic Miami offers dog-friendly extras such as room service and a welcome package for dogs. The Loews Miami Beach Hotel, in the center of South Beach, offers a VIP dog parkage and dining and room service for dogs. Pet sitting and pet walking services are also available here. The Hotel Indigo Miami Dade has a pet package for small to medium sized dogs. Other hotels that are pet-friendly include hotels from all of the major hotel chains. If you are planning a long stay and want an extended stay hotel then consider a Residence Inn or Extended Stay America which will give you more space for you and your dog. If you prefer pet-friendly vacation rentals, there are many in the area as well. For people camping in the area, there is Everglades National Park (quite a ways from Miami), Biscayne National Park and Miami Everglades Campground. Small dogs that you can carry are allowed on the Miami Dade Trainsit buses and rail lines.
There are a number of dog-friendly attractions in Miami. While in Miami you can take a Art Deco self-guided walking tour of Miami Beach. Audio tours are also available from teh Welcome Center. You can rent a power boat at Club Nautico either at the south end of Miami Beach or in Key Biscayne. You can also charter a fishing boat or a Yacht Charter with Club Nautico or some other marinas in Miami. You and your leashed dog can walk through the Fruit and Spice Park which is a 37 acre tropical botanical garden. You can also walk the grounds of the Coral Castle in Homestead. This Stone building an sculpture garden was built by one man , Edward Leedskalnin from 1923 to 1951. But the main attraction that draws people to Miami is the tropical weather and the beaches. There are two dog-friendly beach options in Miami. One is Hobie Beach, on the Rickenbacker Causeway. This beach is available to dogs at all hours. The second is a newer option. Haulover Beach allows leashed dogs on the beach during limited hours on Saturday and Sunday from 8 am to 3 pm. There is a $2 admission fee. The beach is located north of Bal Harbour. Longer drives from town provide more beach options, in Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter Beach and the Keys. Also nearby but out of town is Everglades National Park. Dogs are allowed only in campground, picnic and parking areas of the park and must always be leashed. With the alligators around, you need to be careful in the park with your dogs. If you want to hike with your dog, try instead Big Cypress National Preserve, which allows dogs in most of the park. Again, please be aware of Alligators.
Miami is one of the most dog-friendly shopping towns. You can choose from many shopping areas in the city. Tops for people with dogs are Lincoln Road, which is a fabulous shopping area with lots of dog-friendly patio dining as well. Many of the stores are also dog-friendly. Also dog-friendly is the upscale Bal Harbour Shopping Center and Village of Merrick Park Shopping Plaza in Coral Gables. Stores like Bloomingdales, Williams-Sonoma and Anthropologie are also dog-friendly.
For dog-friendly restaurants Miami is one of the best. A number of restaurants even have dog menus for your dog to choose from. Ok, I guess most of us choose for our dogs. Restaurants with dog menus includ Sgt Peppers Subs at 17225 S. Dixie Highway, Shark Shack at 1111 Lincoln Road, SAWA Restaurant at 360 San Lorenzo Avenue in Coral Gables and Burgers Lokal Beer in Coconut Grove. There are many other dog-friendly patios in DogFriendly.com's restaurant directory.
There are many off-leash dog parks scattered throughout Miami-Dade, including some in Miami Beach. The West Kendall District Bark Park is 6.5 acres with two fenced areas for large and small dogs. There is a Bark Park at Haulover Beach which also has limited beach access for dogs and one in Miami Beach at North Shore Open Space Park. Parks in Miami where you can take your dog on leash include Barnacle State Historic Park in Coconut Grove and Bill Baggs State Park in Key Biscayne. Biscayne National Park, in Homestead, allows dogs on many trails and in the Elliot Campground.
Nearby ventures from Miami include Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach to the north and the Florida Keys to the south.