Contributed by Jenna Donleavy, traveler and pet parent of three rescue dogs: Knox, Bear & Harper
Dog-Friendly Vacations: Fun in the Sun in Naples, FL
What’s one of Bear’s favorite places in visit in the whole wide world? Naples, Florida. Since Bear can fly with me, he’s been able to dip his paws in the sand and chase lizards around the yard during a handful of successful dog-friendly vacations in Florida. Naples is known for high-end shopping, golf courses and miles of beaches with calm waters and white sand. But what many people don’t know is that it is also extremely dog-friendly with hotels, restaurants and beaches that allow dogs.
The quick 3-hour flight from Boston International Airport to Fort Myers makes this trip an easy way to escape New England winters and those crummy springs, too. We are fortunate enough to have a home in Olde Naples, which is surrounded by pet-friendly hotels, restaurants and an abundance of activities for you and your pup. So if you and your dog are planning to trade your parkas for swim gear, be sure to make the most of your trip with all of our dog-friendly Naples recommendations.
Finding Pet-Friendly Hotels
I’ve researched and consulted with fellow dog lovers and owners to find one of the best dog-friendly hotels in Naples, FL. You’ll never want to leave!
Naples Bay Resort: Scattered amongst the colorful properties overlooking the marina, Naples Bay Resort is a luxurious boutique-style hotel that offers the perfect vacation accommodations for you and your whole family. The resort is situated on the lively 5th Avenue South and extends its high-end offerings to your furry family members as well. You can bring up to two pets per room, up to 40 pounds each. And don’t worry, larger pets can be accommodated as well as long as you run it by the property’s general manager. Please note, there’s a $75 non-refundable pet fee and a $350 refundable pet fee per pet, and they request that a pet waiver be signed at the time of check-in.
If you prefer to stay in a private home, you’re in luck. There are plenty of dog-friendly rental homes in Naples that you can find through vacation rental apps.
Checking Out Dog-Friendly Restaurants
The Bevy: Just a short walk from the famous 5th Avenue is 3rd Street. You can find lots of shopping, restaurants, and of course, dogs, on this popular street. A proven favorite among dog-friendly restaurants is The Bevy, which serves New American cuisine for people and pups! The Bevy has its very own price-fixed dog menu dubbed, “The Tailwagger.” For $29 (hey, it costs to spoil your pup) your pooch can enjoy a 3-course dog meal, starting with an Appawtizer of a Milk-Bone with a peanut butter smear. For the main course, they have The Pick of the Litter—either chicken, beef or salmon—and quinoa with fresh veggies. To finish off this over-the-top experience, The Bevy will treat your doggo to a Pup Cup, which is the fancy way of saying vanilla ice cream. It’s truly a 5-star meal!
The Continental: Just around the corner from The Bevy is a restaurant that has become a fast top choice of ours, called The Continental. The restaurant, described as a mix between steakhouse and craft bar, welcomes dogs and their owners on the outdoor patio at all times. The atmosphere is upbeat, fun and caters to all age groups. The best part is that they host an annual Bow Wow Brunch in October which benefits the Naples Humane Society. The event also has dog adoptions, raffles and photo booths, all for a good cause. Definitely a must-attend!
The Dock at Crayton Cove: Located in the heart of Olde Naples, The Dock at Crayton Cove offers up delicious Caribbean-themed seafood with views overlooking Gordon River that you and your pet can enjoy. The outdoor patio welcomes both humans and pets, where the friendly staff will bring over a water bowl to make sure your pup stays hydrated in the Florida heat. After dinner you can stroll the docks with your pup, which is always a fun way to end the night.
Plenty of Activities for Pups and Their People
Botanical Gardens: The Botanical Gardens feature unique plants and flowers of the tropics and subtropics in a 170-acre, world-class garden paradise that the whole family can enjoy. During the designated “Dog Walk Hours,” you can bring your pup to this canine-friendly spot with the exception of the Children’s Garden, Berger Shop and Fogg Cafe. Otherwise, stroll the gardens and take in the beautiful sights and smells. Dog Walk Hours are held several times a week, and the price for dog admission is $9.95.
Bonita Beach Dog Park: Interested in taking your dog to the beach? While there aren’t many beaches that allow dogs in Naples, it’s lucky for your four-legged friends that there’s a dog beach nearby. Just outside of Lover’s Key State Park, between Fort Myers and Bonita Springs, this dog beach is only about a 20-minute drive from Olde Naples. Dogs are allowed to run free in this serene beach setting and romp with other furry friends. Bear has had many successful trips splashing in the ocean, zooming around with friends and soaking up all the attention he can get from fellow dog lovers. The best part? There’s a doggy shower near the parking lot where you can rinse your pup of sand and salt before getting back into the car. Pro tip: Be sure to plan your trip around the incoming and outgoing tides.
Naples Dog Park: Prefer to stay dry and sniff out a few new Floridian friends instead of taking your dog to the beach? Check out the 1.35 acres of fenced, dog-friendly landscaping at the Naples Dog Park. The park has a section for both small and large dogs, and in the middle of the park is a shade structure that includes benches to rest on, human and dog-friendly drinking fountains, and a picnic area. Bear and I have met many of friends here and had enough fun to last the whole vacation!
It is the perfect time of the year to warm up, escape cabin fever and take your pup to dog-friendly Naples. They’ll be sure to repay you with an abundance of slobbery kisses, tail wags and puppy love. Enjoy!