Tampa Bay is a pet-friendly vacation destination on the Gulf Coast of Florida. One of the most pet-friendly cities in the U.S., Tampa and its neighboring cities and towns, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Dunedin are chocked full of activities that encourage four-legged guests, and restaurants and hotels that are ready to welcome them in, too.
BringFido's Guide to Tampa Bay
Posted by Lauren Barker
Things to Do
From white-sand dog beaches to canine-centric bars and breweries, there’s so much to see and do in Tampa Bay with your furry best friend.
Be a Beach Bum
The Paw Playground and dog beach at Fort De Soto County Park is a furry beach bum’s dream come true. Dogs are permitted to play in the bay and on the white-sand beach off leash, or run wild in the fenced grassy dog park with separate areas for large and small pups. After a day of play you can rinse off sandy paws at the dog showers and take Fido for a walk on the miles of paved trails throughout the park. If you’re feeling adventurous, reserve a campsite in the dog-friendly section of the county park campground. There is a $5 parking fee at the dog beach.
Visit a Pub for Pups
Let your pooch meet other canines in the indoor or outdoor dog parks while you enjoy one of the specialty cocktails at Pups Pub. This dog-friendly, full-liquor, off-leash dog park bar in South Tampa offers something for everyone on two legs and four. While Fido watches the cars pass by through doggie-level windows in the fence, you can watch the big game on one of the 22 TVs or test your skills at Golden Tee Live or NBA Gametime Basketball. Food trucks can sometimes be found on site or you are welcome to bring your own food. Day passes are $15 and monthly and annual memberships are available, too.
Take a Sunset Sail
Sail into the sunset with Fido on a 1.5-hour Howl at the Moon cruise with Shell Key Shuttle Sunset Cruises. The tour takes people and pups sightseeing through residential waterways and the pristine barrier islands south of Pass-A-Grille. You’ll likely spot unique shorebirds, dolphins and occasionally, manatees. Bring your own human snacks and beverages, including beer or wine. Treats for Fido are included. Dogs ride for free (one per adult) and “well-behaved leashed adults” are $25. Children are $12.50.
Doggie Paddle the Clearest Water on Earth
Paddle with Fido through the calm waters of Cove Cay Marina in Clearwater with Chadillac Adventures. Rent a kayak, paddleboard or pontoon boat and take your pup out on the water where you might spot dolphins, manatees and other marine life. If you’re not sure where to go or prefer not to paddle alone, book a paddling tour, and an informative guide will lead you and your pooch around some of the clearest water on earth. End your day back at the marina for a stunning sunset on the patio. Rentals start at $25 a day, and there is no additional fee for dogs.
Let Loose at the Bar
A trip to Tampa wouldn’t be complete without a visit to The Dog Bar. This combination of a private dog park and a full-service sports bar includes over 5,000 square feet of off-leash indoor and outdoor turf along with misting fans to keep you cool in the summer and heaters to fight off the chill in winter. A “wooferee” or park supervisor will help to keep things running smoothly in the dog park while you enjoy something from the bar. The menu includes a full selection of cocktail choices, along with 31 rotating draft beers and over 40 choices of canned brews. Order delivery from a local restaurant or try one of the many food trucks on site. Humans who visit must be at least 21, and membership is required, which helps ensure that all of the pups are healthy and non-aggressive. Day passes are $7.
Just north of Clearwater, the town of Dunedin has earned the nickname “Dogedin”, thanks to its pet-friendly attractions, eateries, and an incredible mural on the side of Skip’s Bar and Grill. Stop in for a drink and a photo op in front of the artwork featuring over 100 canines and a few felines. Then head to the trails and pet-friendly beach at Honeymoon Island State Park and let your pup cool off in the Gulf. Once he’s dog-tired, swing by Bark Avenue of Dunedin for a doggie ice cream.
Have a Pint With Your Pooch
If there’s one thing the bay area isn’t lacking, it’s room for Fido to run off leash. Two Shepherds Tap Room in Tampa is another opportunity for you and your pup to meet new friends. Let him run leash-free on the outdoor turf or inside the air-conditioned dog park while you sample some of the 20 brews on tap, a variety of wines, or a snack from one of the on-site food trucks. On warm days, your pooch can cool off on the splash pad while you kick back under the giant umbrellas. Visiting humans must be 21 or over, and day passes for Fido are $12.
Places to Stay
Beautiful gulf and bay views, awesome pet amenities, and even a private dog-friendly swimming area and dock can be found at pet-friendly lodgings in Tampa Bay.
A B&B Fit for the Stars
Located just off Boca Ciega Bay in St. Petersburg, Crystal Bay Hotel is a historic bed & breakfast built in 1915 and famous for once accommodating big names like Babe Ruth, Marilyn Monroe and Robert Kennedy. Today, you and your pooch can relax in rooms decorated in old-style Florida decor, and she’ll receive a personalized goodie bag of treats at check-in. You’ll be just a short drive from pet-friendly beaches and canine hot spots like The Dog Bar. Two pets of any size are permitted for no additional fee.
Get some more of The Hotel Zamora
Kick back on your patio or balcony overlooking the Intracoastal Waterway or the Gulf of Mexico at The Hotel Zamora on St. Pete Beach. This upscale, boutique hotel will welcome Fido with treats, a pet bed and bowls, and a designated pet area with waste bags on site. Humans can enjoy the white sand beach, whirlpool spa and large swimming pool. Pets up to 75 lbs are allowed for an additional fee of $195 per stay.
Walk to Pups Pub
You won’t have to travel far to find everything you need when you stay at this three-bedroom Soho Bungalow near popular Howard Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. You’ll be less than two blocks from Pups Pub and within walking distance of many pet-friendly restaurants like Water & Flour, and Green Dog Wash, where you can get Fido cleaned up after his adventures. Two dogs of any size are welcome for no additional fee.
Take a Dip in the Bay
Book a room at BayWaters Inn in St. Pete Beach, where pet bowls, waste bags and a basket of toys await Fido’s arrival. He can swim in Boca Ciega Bay from the property’s dock and clean up at the outdoor bathing stations with pet towels provided. Dogs are also welcome to play off leash in the hotel’s enclosed grassy area. Two dogs of any size are welcome for no additional fee.
Say Hey to Hotel Haya
If Fido prefers posh boutique hotels, he’ll find all he needs and more at Hotel Haya. Located in the heart of the Ybor City neighborhood, this comfortable yet trendy property is within walking distance of Tampa Bay Brewing Company and many other pet-friendly attractions and restaurants. You’ll also be right off I-275 for quick access to St. Pete. Your pup will be greeted with treats, and beds and bowls are available for use during your stay. Pets are welcome at the outdoor tables of the hotel’s Café Quiquiriquí. Hotel Haya welcomes two dogs of any size for an additional fee of $75 per stay.
All Dogs Welcome in Dogedin
Stay close to all the dog-friendly fun in Dunedin at Best Western Plus Yacht Harbor Inn. This boutique waterfront resort offers guests port access to the Gulf of Mexico and provides easy land access to Dunedin, Clearwater and Palm Harbor. After a busy day at Honeymoon Island State Park, Fido can enjoy cuddling up in a room overlooking the pool or join you for dinner on the restaurant patio with views of Main Street and the sunset over the marina. One dog up to 80 lbs or two dogs with a combined weight up to 80 lbs are accepted for an additional fee of $30 per night.
Post Up in An Oceanfront Oasis
You’ll never run out of things to do and places to go with Fido when you stay at Banana Cabana on the shores of Reddington Beach. Admire Gulf of Mexico views from this three-bedroom rental and walk to dog-friendly restaurants along Gulf Boulevard. You’ll also be just a short drive from Fort De Soto Dog Beach Park and Shell Key Shuttle Sunset Cruises. Fido will enjoy the fully fenced yard, and humans can relax in the private heated pool. Dogs of any size are permitted for no additional fee.
Kick back with Fido and enjoy the warm sea breeze and Florida sunshine when you dine out on a pet-friendly patio in Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Brewing Company
When you stay at Hotel Haya with Fido, you’ll be a short walk from Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Ybor City. Grab a seat on the outdoor patio which includes its own bar, and order from the large selection of beers on tap and a variety of delicious beer-infused foods like burgers, fish, pizza and more. Your pup can order his own grub from the doggie menu, too. We suggest the Half Hounder.
Dine on a mixture of traditional Irish dishes and classic American fare at O’Keefe’s Tavern in Clearwater. Patrons are encouraged to bring Fido along to eat on the covered outdoor patio where he’ll receive a bowl of water and treats. Order him a doggie patty and for you, an O’Keefe’s Classic item like Shepherd’s Pie or fish and chips. Then wash it down with a tasty brew or a tropical cocktail from the tiki bar. Your photogenic pooch could be named Dog of the Week on the O’Keefe’s Tavern Facebook page.
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, you won’t want to miss a morning at Trip’s Diner in St. Petersburg. This classic local diner welcomes four-legged guests at their outdoor tables and encourages “pawtrons” to share their pup photos on their Facebook page. Order a stack of fluffy pancakes, chicken biscuits with gravy or build your own omelet. In addition to their hearty breakfast, Trip’s also serves lunch and dinner.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
Order Fido a burger patty or a chicken breast from the dog menu at Mad Dogs & Englishmen in Tampa. This fine English Pub promises good food, good pints and good times for humans, too. Order yourself the Scottish Salmon, Bangers n’ Mash or a grilled porkchop and a pint of Guinness to top it off. They’re open daily for dinner and for brunch and lunch on weekends, and you’ll hear live music on Saturday nights. Dogs are permitted at the outdoor sidewalk tables.
When your group can’t agree on what to eat, head to Sparkman Wharf along Tampa Bay’s downtown waterfront. The dynamic and vibrant multi-use space includes nine dining options like Mexican, barbecue, burgers, hot dogs and desserts. Take your fare to a dog-friendly table in the dining garden or Biergarten and relax with friends. Be sure to visit some of the on-site retail stores like The Modern Paws while you’re there, and check the schedule for live music, trivia and dog-centric events happening each month.
The Living Room on Main
Dunedin is home to many dog-friendly restaurants and bars, but The Living Room on Main just might top them all. The upscale but Florida-casual eatery welcomes dogs at their outdoor tables for lunch and dinner. While you’re chowing down on seared salmon or chorizo-stuffed chicken, Fido can enjoy his own meal from the dog menu, which includes items like chicken and green beans or salmon and rice.
Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill
Fans of the Tampa Bay Rays will know all about Ferg’s Sports Bar & Grill in St. Petersburg, FL. Located across the street from the MLB team’s Tropicana Field, this bustling bar is as close to the diamond as your pooch is going to get. She may have to miss out on catching a fly ball in her teeth from the stadium, but at least she can catch tennis balls in the bar’s baseball-inspired dog park, divided into sections for peewee pups and heavyweights. When your MVP (Most Valuable Pooch) is finished slugging it out in the fenced space, she can grab a bite from Ferg’s Dog Chow menu, which includes delicious eats like Beer Grain Cookies and CBD Chicken Bites.
Have you and your pup visited dog-friendly Tampa Bay? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!
Banner photo by Facebook.com/twoshepherdstaproom.