The Villages is not only a quiet and tranquil retirement community about an hour and a half north of Tampa, it is also a Fido-friendly destination for pups of all ages. Residents who are looking for some exercise will often head over to the Buena Vista Path where you can walk along the trail that is also shared with golf carts. If you start in the middle of town at E Country Road 466 and head south on Buena Vista Blvd, you and your pup can stroll down to the Palmer Legends Country Club and loop back up another 2 miles to your car.
If Fido is visiting the area and looking for a great place to spend the night, pups are welcome at TownePlace Suites by Marriott for an additional fee. Your pup may also need medical attention while in The Villages and you can find three qualified veterinary clinics available for both routine and emergency services.
Furry kids can never be spoiled enough, so plan to spend some time at Woof Gang Bakery where you can find a wide variety of bakery style dog treats! Plan a play date with Fido’s friends and order a yummy pooch-friendly cake made locally with nutritious ingredients. You will also find cute clothes and toys so your pup is the envy of all her friends.
After spoiling your pup, take the family to Square One for gourmet burgers and shakes, and your pooch is welcome to sit with you on the outdoor patio. If you are looking for vegetarian options, try Crispers where you can order soups and salads while relaxing with Fido at the tables outside the restaurant. Florida is known for its beautiful weather, so get out and get some exercise with your pampered pup.
A highlight of the Liberty Park neighborhood is the Brinson/Perry Dog Park where your pup can run and play with other dogs. You will need a valid Villages Resident ID card to enter the park, but once inside, Fido can sniff butts or get wet in the plastic pool. As one of the most popular places for owners to socialize while their pups run off excess energy, you can relax on one of the benches and chat with friends. You will need to make sure to clean up after your pup and follow the posted rules to display current dog tags and fill in holes your pooch makes while searching for treasures.
Even Fido enjoys an evening stroll after dinner and Sunset Park is the perfect destination to admire the scenery and sun going down over Lake Sumter. Take your pooch for a ride on the golf cart to the park and spend time walking along the paths and stretching your legs. If you haven’t had dinner yet, head over to Red Sauce where you can enjoy traditional Italian-American dishes and relax at the outdoor tables. The family may also enjoy the unique atmosphere of Cody’s Original Roadhouse where you can munch on peanuts and let your pooch enjoy a cool bowl of water on the outdoor patio.
Paradise Park near the golf cart bridge on Hwy 441 is a wonderful dog park where your pooch can run off-leash and have a snifftastic time. The area is separated for large and small pups, and there are shaded benches where puppy parents can relax. There is water available in the park, but you will need to bring your own water bowl. Also, be sure to clean up after Fido with the doggie waste bags and trash cans provided for your convenience. When looking for a nearby place to enjoy dinner with your furry family member, stop by World of Beer where you can order pub style meals and sit at one of the outdoor tables.
About 20 minutes south of The Villages, you will find a wonderful place to walk your pup and spend time with family. The Lake Panasoffkee Dog Park is a fenced park where your pooch can run around and socialize. Outside the park, you can also enjoy the walking trails, but you need to keep Fido on his leash. The kids can climb on the playground, and you can refill water bottles at the restrooms while you enjoy a snack at one of the picnic tables. If your family loves to camp, Idlewood Lodge is near the lake and allows pups to stay in the cabins for an additional fee.