Miami is an idyllic place to take a road trip with your dog, with pristine sandy beaches, endless sunshine, and some great parks for walking your woofer. However, as one of the largest metro areas in the US, Miami has so much to offer that it can be tricky to plan the “pawfect” getaway. Read on to find some of the best places to go, stay, and roam while on a road trip with your dog in Miami.
Where to play
Hobie Island Beach Park
What's one of the first things you and your pup will want to do when you arrive in Miami? Hit the beach! Hobie Island Beach Park is one of the only dog-friendly off-leash beaches in Miami, making it a popular place for pet parents to bring their fur-babies. Your pupper will love playing frisbee along the shore, digging in the sand, and splashing in the surf.
Hobie Island Beach Park also offers some excellent activities for pet parents and is known for being one of the best windsurfing destinations in Miami. Other popular activities include kayaking, paddle boarding, and windsurfing. You'll also be treated to stunning panoramas of Miami's skyline.
Haulover Dog Park
Haulover Dog Park is one of the best dog-friendly parks in Miami. The park is perched on Miami Beach's marina and offers separate sizable off-leash areas for small and large dogs. As well as these "pawsome" off-leash dog runs, Haulover Dog Park also boasts a 1.4 mile-long dog-friendly beach where your fur-baby can cool off in the bay's crystal-clear water.
You'll find many useful amenities at this park, including picnic tables, doggy water fountains, and plenty of shade. It's worth noting that the off-leash beach area is located between lifeguard towers 2 and 3, and that your pup can only go off-leash between 8 AM and 3 PM. The park supplies dog bags and trash cans so you can clean up after your pupper.
Oleta River State Park
Situated just 30 minutes from the hustle and bustle of central Miami, Oleta River State Park provides the perfect respite from the crowded streets. With roughly 15 miles of trails that meander along the edge of mangrove forests and through maritime woodlands, you and your pupper will love this large urban state park.
Pooches are welcome on most of the park's trails, as long as they stay on a 6-foot leash at all times. You also can't take your doggo close to the water or let them have a paddle. You'll need to have proof of rabies vaccination and license tags, as the area is home to an array of wild animals. There's plenty of activities for humans at the park, including snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking.
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park Trails
Perched on the far edge of Key Biscayne is the scenic Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. While your pup can't roam throughout the whole park, they are welcome on specific trails. For example, your doggo can walk along the park's winding mangrove trails, but they're not allowed on the beach near the lighthouse.
If you plan to visit Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park, make sure you stick around to admire the vibrant sunset. One of the best places to watch this is near the historic Cape Florida Lighthouse, which dates back over 200 years.
If you're looking for a quiet hiking area for you and your pup, consider the nature trail loop, which runs for under 2 miles through tropical woodlands and by marshes. Your fur-baby must remain on a 6-foot leash at all times in the park. You should also bring doggy bags to clean up after your mutt, as well as plenty of water.
The Barnacle Historic State Park
The Barnacle Historic State Park provides five acres of beautiful Floridian countryside encircling a historic home of Ralph Munroe, one of the Coconut Grove's earliest residents. Puppers are welcome to explore the park by your side, as long as you keep them on a 6-foot leash at all times.
You and your four-legged friend will love taking a hike down the forested trail, which leads all the way to the oceanfront. While walking through the woodlands, keep on the lookout for an array of bird species, including woodpeckers, doves, and nightjars.
The Barnacle Historic State Park is also an excellent spot for a picnic with your furry friend, with several picnic tables situated at the Micco Pavilion. One of the park's unique activities is geo-seeking, in case you fancy taking Tucker on a treasure hunt.
Where to stay
If you're looking to stay as close to the center of Miami as possible, consider an overnight at the Hollywood KOA. Positioned less than 20 miles north of Miami in Hollywood, this RV park will welcome Fido with open arms.
While there isn't a whole lot to do around camp, there’s a sun deck where you can top up your tan and engage in some festivities. You'll also find several dog parks within 10 minutes of the Hollywood KOA, including John Williams Dog Park and Oakridge Dog Park. Dogs are allowed on RV sites but not tent sites. You'll also have to keep your pooch on a leash at all times.
Miami Everglades RV Resort
The Miami Everglades RV Resort is one of the best places to stay when RVing with a dog in Miami. Situated about 30 miles southwest of downtown, Miami Everglades RV Resort offers a quiet yet convenient place to stay.
You'll find plenty to do around camp to keep you entertained during your trip, including an 18-hole mini-golf course, ping pong tables, and a variety of seasonal activities. There's even a mile-long looped trail in case you want to take your fur-baby for a leashed walk.
Your pup can camp with you on select campsites as long as you keep them on a leash at all times. There are also breed restrictions — Pitbulls aren't allowed by county law. Two pups are welcome on each site. You can't leave your woofers unattended, and ensure you bring doggy bags to clean up any waste.
Long Pine Key Campground
One of the biggest and best wilderness areas in the country is Everglades National Park, making it an adventurous place to go camping with a dog. Long Pine Key Campground is ideal for pitching a tent or parking a rig and enjoying a peaceful night away from Miami's bright lights.
Unfortunately, you won't be able to bring your barking buddy onto the Everglades National Park's trails, but they are welcome in both the park's campgrounds. If you're planning on visiting this campground, check where your pupper is welcome and keep them on a leash at all times.
Where to eat
Miami boasts lots of the best dog-friendly restaurants in Florida, with oceanside eateries where you can soak up the sun while enjoying a delicious dish with Dino. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and even bars across Miami where you can sit inside and outside. Dog-friendly restaurants in Miami usually provide plenty of shade and a water bowl for your pooch so they don't overheat in the Florida sun.
As well as giving your pup a comfy place to relax, many restaurants also provide doggy treats and even special menus, so your doggo doesn't feel left out. Miami restaurants know how to take care of mutts with everything from bacon-flavored dog treats to specialty chicken and rice dishes on offer. You can even pick up a refreshing doggy ice cream to help your pupper stay cool.
Where to roam
Miami to Key Largo
Fancy a drive down to the Florida Keys with Fido in tow? While driving to Key West may be a bit far for a quick road trip with your dog, going to nearby Key Largo instead is tons of fun and much more manageable.
The journey is “ruffly” 66 miles and takes around an hour and a half. You'll find the drive down to Key Largo beautiful, with views of the Atlantic Ocean and the region's vast swamps and grasslands.
On the way down to Key Largo, take a detour to North Key Largo and visit the Biscayne National Park. While your pup isn't allowed to wander throughout the park, they are welcome in developed areas on Elliot Key, which provides several paved trails that are great if your pupper needs to get out and stretch their legs or stop for a potty break.
If you plan on staying overnight in Key Largo, book a spot at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, which provides over 40 dog-friendly campgrounds for RVs and tents. While at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, have a go at snorkeling or take a ride on a glass-bottom boat so you can see the area's stunning coral reefs.
Where to learn
Miami is home to some of the best attractions in the Sunshine State, from fun family outings to fascinating cultural attractions. One problem is that many of these attractions aren’t pet-friendly.
If you’re planning to partake in some of the excellent excursions Miami has to offer, why not book a Miami dog walker through Wag!? A vetted dog walker can take your pup for a stroll at a nearby dog park while you experience some of the best activities Miami has to offer.
The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a must-see while road tripping with your dog through Miami. This massive Italian Renaissance-style estate was once the home of businessman James Deering and is now open to the public, who are welcome to walk around the manor's beautiful gardens and tour the building's interior. Within the Vizcaya Museum are recreations of some of John Deering's lavish rooms, including his remarkable living rooms, pool areas, and casino.
Learn what lurks beneath the surface off of Miami's coastline at the Miami Seaquarium. You'll see some rare and amazing animals at this aquarium, including loggerhead turtles, Florida manatees, and Pacific white-sided dolphins. The Miami Seaquarium also lets you interact with a variety of sea critters for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can swim with harbor seals and dolphins, dive into a 300,000-gallon coral reef tank, and play with cheeky African penguins.
Pérez Art Museum
Anybody looking to broaden their cultural horizons will love a visit to the Pérez Art Museum. One of the best art museums in Florida, the Pérez Art Museum contains a collection of roughly 2,000 contemporary artworks from around the world. You'll come across works by many well-known names in the world of modern art, such as Purvis Young, Frank Stella, and Kiki Smith. After taking a tour, swing by the sculpture garden and see some of the museum's incredible art installations.