The Tampa Bay area is made up of three different communities that grew up for largely different reasons. Tampa, with 300,000 residents, was settled by the Spanish in 1539. It grew in the 1800s when Henry Plant extended his railroad to the city. St Petersburg (population 250,000), Clearwater and the beach areas grew up as a retirement location in the late 1800s. And Sarasota was built in large part by money from John Ringling, of Ringling Brothers Circus fame. The three cities all have appealing downtowns, with Tampa having Franklin Street, which is a pedestrian area. St Pete has a number of restaurants and shops downtown and Sarasota has a waterfront and storefronts with crafts and artwork. Your dog will like browsing these areas with you as well.
Dog-Friendly hotels are located all over the Tampa Bay area. If you are headed to the beach there are the Changing Tides Cottages and Island Paradise Cottages and Apartments in Madeira Beach. In St Pete Beach there is the Tradewinds Island Grand, with its Sit. Stay. Play. Pet Package. In the Sarasota area there is the Hilton Longboat Key. If you have a small dog the Lido Beach Resort might impress your pup. There are dog-friendly hotels in each area from each of the major hotel chains as well. But watch the weight limits as some of the hotels only allow small dogs. There are also a number of extended stay suite hotels if you are planning a longer stay. Vacation rentals that are pet-friendly abound in this area and you can find them in DogFriendly.com's directory.
Beaches in Pinellas County mostly don't allow dogs. But there are a number that do. In Bradenton the beach at the De Soto National Memorial allow leashed dogs at the small beach area. A larger beach can be found in Clearwater Beach, where the section of the beach north of Somerset Street allows leashed dogs. The beach at Honeymoon Island State Park and the beaches that line the Pinellas and Gandy Bridge Causeways also allow dogs. For an off-leash beach you can go to the Davis Island Dog Park in Tampa for a fenced off-leash beach area. There are also a number of fenced off-leash dog parks in the region.
Adventure Island and Busch Gardens are two of the major tourist attractions in Tampa. Neither allows dogs but both have day kennels available to leave your dog while you attend the theme parks. There are also some dog-friendly attractions that you can take your dog to. The Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo offers trails to walk through the plant life. Heritage Village, also in Largo, is a mostly outdoor history museum. Dogs are allowed on leash in all outside areas but not in the buildings. In St Pete Beach are the Shell Key Shuttle Cruises. They have special "Howl at the Moon" sunset cruises for you and your dog and some of the proceeds goes to local pet charities. In Bradenton there is the De Soto National Memorial which also has a dog-friendly beach. If you would like to pick strawberries and other fruits and vegetables then you and your dog can go to Hunsader U-Pick Farms in Bradenton.
Dog-friendly restaurants with patio dining are located throughout the region. In Sarasota, Marina Jack at 2 Marina Plaza offers a doggy menu with options like "Sliced Tenderloin Tips". Other restaurants with doggie menus include St Petersburg's Cassis American Brasserie at 170 Beach Dr NE, Besa Grill at2542 N. McMullen Booth Rd Clearwater, and Grillsmith at 1108 South Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. There are also many other dog-friendly restaurants to meet your particular tastes.
For dog-friendly shopping the Hyde Park Village in Tampa is especially dog-friendly. You will find water bowls and many stores and patio restaurants that allow dogs. Also dog-friendly are Ellenton Premium Outlets. In St Pete's Beach there is Best Buddies Dog Boutique and Bakery at 6498 Gulf Blvd.
Nearby Dog-Friendly trips from Tampa - St Pete include Orlando, Fort Myers and up the coast, Destin.