Pet-Friendly Vacations for Spring Break: Orlando, Florida
With all of the family-friendly activities in Orlando, Florida, including plenty for your four-legged family members to join in on, it’s a no-brainer that Orlando is go-to spot for spring break family vacations.
“Our destination recognizes that pets are part of the family, not just at home but on vacation too,” says Becca Bides, vice president of global communications at Visit Orlando in Orlando, Florida.
Many families head to Orlando to check out all of the theme parks, like Disney and Universal. And although your dog cannot join you in those family activities, there are many places he can go to with your family.
“Orlando is the top U.S. vacation destination for families, and that includes those who travel with their four-legged family members,” Bides says. “With the most dog-friendly restaurants per capita in the nation, an abundance of hotels and attractions that welcome pets, and plenty of city parks and trials for exploring, Orlando is a great place for visitors and their pups to stay and play together.”
Pet-Friendly Hotels in Orlando
Orlando offers a variety of pet-friendly hotels. From properties located on the grounds of the city’s two most notable theme parks to more wallet-friendly options, here are some places you can stay in Orlando with your furry friends.
Modeled after the charming Italian port town of Portofino, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando goes all out for its furry guests. After check-in, dogs will receive treats, bowls and placemats as part of its amenity-packed Loews Loves Pets program. The hotel can supply pet beds, cat litter boxes, toys or scratching posts upon request. According to Loews’ website, additional perks include a “Pet in Room” sign on the door, a gourmet room service menu created by the hotel’s executive chefs, waste bags and specialized leashes, collars and litter boxes.
Plus, this hotel is located in Universal Orlando, making it ideal if you’re planning on visiting the park. Pets are not allowed to go to the actual theme parks for safety reasons, but there are walkways and trails that allow dogs throughout the resort area.
Loews can accommodate two pets per room, and the hotel requires current vaccinations. Rates are about $300 per night, but call or check the hotel’s website for a more accurate estimate of your total bill. There is also a one-time, nonrefundable $100 pet fee, and you might be charged an additional cleaning fee.
Since 2017, four of Disney’s hotels now allow pets, and one to consider is Disney’s Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, which was inspired by the Bayou. You can bring two pets per room for an extra charge of $50 a night.
Each dog-friendly room is located near walkways that are close to exercise and designated pet-relief areas. You might be asked to supply current vaccination records, and the staff asks that dogs not be unattended for more than seven hours. Read more about Disney’s Port Orleans Resort official pet policy here.
At check-in, guests receive Pluto’s Welcome Kit, which features a mat, bowls, an ID tag, disposable bags, puppy pads and dog walking maps, according to a press release posted on Disney’s site. Rates start at $206 per night.
About 15 minutes from Orlando by car, the award-winning Alfond Inn in Winter Park is a boutique inn renowned for its extensive collection of contemporary art. The hotel even offers a VIP (Very Important Pup) Package, which includes a two-night stay in a classic room, a specialty dog bowl, dog treats, dog toys and a ThunderShirt Anxiety & Calming Aid for dogs.
Dogs are allowed throughout the property and at the on-site restaurant, Hamilton’s Kitchen. There is a nonrefundable service charge of $50 per day, according to the hotel’s official policy. Rates for the VIP package start at $249, plus tax and service charges.
As part of Aloft’s pet policy, guests can bring one dog who weighs up to 40 pounds. The modern boutique hotel chain’s pet-friendly “arf” program provides guests with a special complimentary dog bed, dog bowl and a doggie bag filled with dog treats and dog toys.
If your canine friend is larger than 40 pounds, contact the hotel directly to see if you can get a waiver. Room rates usually are around $200 per night with no additional pet fee. If your pet is sensitive to noise, the website recommends requesting a room in a quiet area.
The Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando welcomes two pets per room and is a budget-friendly option for pet parents. The hotel’s proximity to the highway makes it easy to access many of Orlando’s top attractions, like the Universal Orlando Resort.
Specific rooms are reserved for pet parents, and guests are charged a nonrefundable fee of $15, plus tax, per pet, per day. Proof of current vaccinations may be required, and the hotel asks that guests place a “Pet in Room” sign on the door.
Read more about the Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando’s pet policy here. Room rates are around $100 per night.
Dog-Friendly Orlando Restaurants
When it’s time to eat, the restaurants in Orlando have you covered. From a casual and lively rock ’n roll themed chain boasting its very own dog menu to one of the city’s most celebrated fine dining wine bars, here are several places where you can eat with your pupper beside you.
Central Florida chain Dexter’s is located just outside of downtown Orlando and features a dog-friendly patio. The chain offers delicious contemporary American fare, like wings, salads and their famous grilled Colby cheeseburger, and live entertainment. Diners can expect a provided water bowl and refills throughout their meal. Many praise the staff for cuddling with their pets.
Expect to see a few canines if you pay a visit to the Hammered Lamb, which overlooks Lake Ivanhoe Park. This lively and modern pub features 20 draft beers, more than 75 bottled and canned beers and over 20 wine selections. If you head here for Sunday brunch, you can chow down on hearty options, like chicken and waffle sliders, southern shrimp and grits and grilled cheese made with cheddar, mozzarella and goat cheese served with tomato soap.
This restaurant has a family-friendly rock environment and—a dog menu! The chain’s “The Dog Side of the Menu” features items like grilled hot dogs, burger patties and even a dog-friendly beer, Bowser Beer, that dogs can enjoy on the Orlando location’s outdoor patio.
Craft beer and hearty American food rule this menu. Human companions can look forward to loaded cheese fries, signature wings or beer battered fish soft tacos alongside a long list of craft beers.
Celebrated College Park Orlando eatery K Restaurant welcomes leashed pooches in their charming outdoor table area. The award-winning restaurant’s kitchen churns out New American fare with a special focus on local ingredients, like black grouper and Creole Key West shrimp that diners can pair with a selection of fine wines.
The spot offers Yappy Hour the second Monday of every month. During this time, K Restaurant will hand out free dog treats, offer a dog bar stocked with treats and hand-baked dog items and raffles. Dog parents also can enjoy happy hour pricing featuring dog-themed food and drinks at this eatery.
Dog-Friendly Orlando Attractions
Orlando and the surrounding area are home to dog-friendly attractions that you both can visit. From an aircraft museum to a public sculpture garden, check out these top dog-friendly Orlando attractions.
Dogs can stroll alongside 22 historic aircrafts of all stripes at the Kissimmee Air Museum. Check out plane engines, a gun collection and artifacts, and read stories about World War II with Fido by your side. You might even see the owner’s two dogs running around when you visit, says LaVon’ Merritt, the office manager of Warbird Adventures Inc. in Kissimmee, Florida.
Located in downtown Orlando, Lake Eola Park offers a one-mile trail around the lake that features picturesque views of Orlando’s tall buildings. Pets can join their parents on a large white swan-shaped boat on the lake, says Doug Richards, digital communications manager at City of Orlando. The fountain at Lake Eola is an iconic Orlando site; at night, it is synchronized to light and music.
Dinosaur World in Plant City is filled with various prehistoric dinos. Friendly leashed dogs are welcomed to stroll alongside their parents on boardwalks shaded by hundred-year-old oak trees while observing different dinosaurs. You’ll find dog water stations throughout the park.
This art museum is filled with extraordinary art sculptures and, best of all, they host pet events, like a Summer Block Paw-ty. You can check out the Menello Museum of Art’s pet events calendar to see if you’ll be in town during one of the dog-friendly days.
The museum offers a pet membership for $25, which provides free admission for pet-friendly events and your pupper’s photo to be featured on the museum’s website. If you don’t want to purchase a pet membership, you can walk around the free outdoor sculpture museum with your furry friend. You’ll even find sculptures of dogs here.
From dog-friendly restaurants to attractions, there is no reason why your dog has to stay at home while your family explores the Orlando, Florida, area.
By: Teresa K. Traverse