Perfect images of summer in Fort Lauderdale: Strolling with your four-legged friend under the Florida sunshine down trendy Las Olas Boulevard, aside the rolling waves at Canine Beach, or along the New River at Riverwalk Linear Park. Here are a few popular places you can visit with your pet:
- The W Hotel, which overlooks beautiful Fort Lauderdale beach, embodies style and sophistication with renowned entertainment, world-class dining and trendy shopping. It’s a destination unto itself not only for humans, but also pets. Its luxurious pet service, P.A.W. (Pets Are Welcome), pampers pets less than 40 pounds. At check-in, guests receive a complimentary pet toy, pet treat, W Hotels pet tag, clean-up bags, and a welcome letter with information about special pet services available through the concierge and a list of items available at the convenient Whatever/Whenever desk. The hotel gives pets the royal treatment, supplying everything from custom dog beds to wee pads. Services offered via the concierge include dog-sitting, dog-walking, veterinary assistance and much more. Pets are happily accommodated for $25 above the room charge, plus a non-refundable $100 cleaning fee.
- The Westin Beach Resort, only minutes from Fort Lauderdale’s arts & cultural attractions, is a great place for 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.
- Along Las Olas Boulevard, dogs of all shapes and sizes taking walks with their owners is a frequent sight. Human companions can shop, drink and eat while soaking up some rays. Many establishments have water bowls for pups at their storefronts. Hungry visitors can dine with their dog outside at some restaurants’ shaded patios. Some of the most popular pet-friendly restaurants/venues are YOLO Restaurant, Big City Tavern, Cheesecake Factory, Johnny V’s, SoLita, the Floridian and Starbucks. Also, Art Walk Las Olas takes place every third Thursday of the month. Dogs and their owners are welcomed to the plaza by the Cheesecake Factory to view the works of many local artists, authors or artisans and visit Historic Stranahan House.
- Every Sunday, dogs and their owners can explore the Urban Market, and spend a glorious day outdoors among local vendors who sell fresh-from-the-farm produce.
- The Suntrust Sunday Jazz Brunch, happening every first Sunday of the month from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. along the Riverwalk, is a great event with FREE concerts, unique vendors and local delicacies. It’s a spectacular way for the entire family, including Fido, to enjoy a magnificent South Florida day.
- While dogs are not allowed on the sand of the most popular stretch of Fort Lauderdale Beach, dog owners can spend $7 for a one-weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) permit to Canine Beach at Sunrise Blvd. and A1A North. Summer hours are from 5–9 p.m. during Daylight Savings Time. Temporary and annual permits and poop scoopers are available for in-person purchase via the on-duty park ranger desk located at 1350 West Broward Blvd. (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.) Owners can walk their dogs on the west side of A1A, north of Sunrise Boulevard, 24 hours a day (no permit required).
- Riverwalk Linear Park is open all day, every day and is free of charge. Located along the New River in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, the park has scenic waterfront views, a picnic area, lighted walkways, gazebos and restrooms. It encompasses 18.2 acres, perfect for high-energy pets. Plus, the park is supplied with handy clean-up bags. With beautiful greenery, the park is a great place to take in nature and some fresh South Florida air. Another great park for dogs is the Bark Park at Snyder Park, located at 3299 SW 4th Ave. It offers two fenced acres with agility courses for dogs. Click here for the doggie guide to city parks.
So, grab your pet and explore Fort Lauderdale this summer! It’s a memory you’ll cherish for many dog years to come.