The Best Pet-Friendly Hotels in Florida, USA

Exploring the Sunshine State with your four-legged best friend makes for an ideal holiday
Exploring the Sunshine State with your four-legged best friend makes for an ideal holiday | Courtesy of Aloft Jacksonville Airport / Expedia
Nick Dauk

Why should a family vacation to Florida exclude your furry friends? There’s nothing like getting to know a new destination with an eager, energetic explorer straining at the leash. From the sandy beaches of Sanibel Island to city neighborhoods in Orlando, there’s plenty to explore and these pet-friendly hotels in Florida will welcome you and your pet with open arms.

1. Tropical Winds Motel & Cottages


A white beach cottage at Tropical Winds Motel & Cottages with two blue chairs on a small deck
Courtesy of Tropical Winds Motel and Cottages / Expedia

Man’s best friend will be wild about the white-sand beaches at Tropical Winds Motel & Cottages. An Old Florida retreat set on stunning Sanibel Island, it accepts two pets up to 65lbs (29kg) in its beach units and cottages set back from the water. Whether you want to jog up and down the shore or loosen the leash in the JN Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge, less than 5mi (8km) away, there is plenty of pristine Florida scenery around these parts to share with Fido.

2. Aloft Orlando Downtown


A rectangle outdoor pool at Aloft Orlando Downtown is lined by sun loungers; the white-tower hotel behind
Courtesy of Aloft Orlando Downtown / Expedia

Downtown Orlando may not sound like a hound-dog hangout, but with friendly neighborhoods and quaint parks, it’s a perfect place for domestic critters. Aloft Orlando Downtown is a pet-friendly hotel steps away from the sports venue Amway Center and the Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. When you’re not bar-hopping on Wall Street Plaza, you can take your pooch for a stroll around peaceful Lake Eola, or the laid-back Thornton Park neighborhood.

3. Southern Oaks Inn


Driveway into red-roofed Southern Oaks Inn surrounded by palm trees, shrubs and blue and yellow flowers
Courtesy of Southern Oaks Inn / Expedia

Half a mile (0.8km) from historic downtown St Augustine, the Southern Oaks Inn is well-versed in providing creature comforts for you and your pet. Waking in your warm wood-lined room you’ll be in time for homemade country breakfasts. Board the free shuttle into town while your roommate runs laps in the large fenced-in dog park. You may only bring two dogs per room, but there are zero restrictions on height, weight, or breed.

4. Aloft Jacksonville Airport

Hotel, Chain Hotel

A modern lounge at Aloft Jacksonville Airport has a yellow couch against a black-and-white patterned wall with a large TV on
Courtesy of Aloft Jacksonville Airport / Expedia

Are you and your four-legged friend flying first-class to Jacksonville? Why not treat yourselves to a tail-wagging stay at Aloft Jacksonville Airport. Located near the popular River City Marketplace, this pet-loving place actively encourages you to spend hours cuddled up in its ultra-comfortable signature beds. Take your pet on a quick drive to the beach or, better yet, leave them lounging in the “yap” of luxury while you check out a Jaguars game.

5. Marina Del Mar Resort and Marina


Sandy, palm tree-shaded outdoor area facing the marina at Marina Del Mar Resort with wooden tables and plastic chairs
Courtesy of Marina Del Mar Resort and Marina / Expedia

With its box-fresh, jauntily dressed suites and its mirror-still marina setting, this is the home-from-home we all dream of. And dogs (two) up to 30lbs (14kg) each are welcome here, too. You can get into fishing, diving, and snorkeling, but if you’d rather not leave anyone out, charter a boat for you and your pup, and set forth on the water for an afternoon in the sun. Just be back for calamari and a chilled sunset white at the marina’s poolside tiki bar.

6. The Don CeSar

Hotel, Luxury

White and blue sun beds on a sandy beach, with the imposing pink exterior of the Don CeSar behind
Courtesy of the Don CeSar / Expedia

Canines can enjoy la vie en rose at the legendary Pink Palace of St Pete Beach: officially the Don CeSar. Opened in the late 1920s – the Great Gatsby era – it’s still a timeless collection of super-comfortable rooms and beach-house suites for dog-tired guests of every shape. Sink your teeth into a Gulf-fish sandwich with sangria poolside at the Beachcomber Bar & Grill. And don’t let your pet deter you from a long spa session – after all, that’s the tail wagging the dog.

7. Waterside Inn on the Beach


A wooden balcony at Waterside Inn on the Beach with views of palm trees, colourful beach cottages and their pools
Courtesy of Waterside Inn on the Beach / Expedia

Palms, blossoms and sugar-sand beaches to scamper free on: simple boutique resort Waterside Inn on the Beach, on Sanibel Island, is a slice of paradise for pooches – and cats. Hole up in one of the Gulf-front cottages, with bentwood chairs and tropical colors. Relax, then rise early to sniff out seashells on the beach, as the calm Gulf waters lap the shore. This is a quiet spot for souls in need of a reboot. Swim, sleep and generally press “paws” on life.

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