A Dog-Friendly Weekend in St. Augustine

Posted by Erin Ballinger

When thinking about vacationing in Florida, Orlando's theme parks and upscale Miami Beach often come to mind. However, Florida is also home to the country's oldest city, St. Augustine. The dog-friendly “Ancient City” boasts historical landmarks, beautiful beaches and parks, and eclectic dining options as well as year-round mild weather, making it the “pawfect” destination for your next weekend getaway with Fido!


Whatta view! Photo by BringFido/Jolie

4 p.m. The Saint Augustine Beach House

Begin your relaxing weekend getaway with Fido at The Saint Augustine Beach House, where the innkeepers welcome pooches with open arms and yummy treats. This pet-friendly hotel located along the A1A Scenic highway has many rooms that feature oceanfront views and balconies. The property also boasts a fenced dog run and a dog wash station for easy clean-up of sandy fur and paws. Pet towels, beds and blankets are available upon request. The Saint Augustine Beach House welcomes two dogs of any size in designated rooms for an additional fee of $30 per night (not to exceed $120 per stay.)

Soaking up the sun! Photo by BringFido/Paige

5 p.m. Vilano Beach

Take your leashed pup for a walk at Vilano Beach, a pet-friendly beach located just steps from your hotel. Let your dog expel some energy after being cooped up during the voyage to St. Augustine while you take in the sights and sounds of the ocean.

Checking out the local Italian cuisine at 180 Vilano Grill. Photo by Glen Vandermolen

7 p.m. 180 Vilano Grill & Pizza

Fans of Italian cuisine will love 180 Vilano Grill & Pizza, which has pet-friendly outdoor tables where you and your dog can have a lovely dinner al fresco. Try the fresh catch of the day or the steak of the moment, both served with risotto and the vegetable of the day. Or, build your own pie or choose a specialty pie like the Wife's Favorite, topped with spicy sausage, extra garlic, extra basil and ricotta. Be sure to save room for dessert at your next stop.

It’s almost bedtime. Photo by BringFido/Lindsay

8 p.m. Harry's Seafood, Bar & Grille

Sit at a table in the dog-friendly courtyard at Harry's Seafood, Bar & Grille for an after-dinner drink like Harry’s Hurricane or an espresso martini paired with a fabulous dessert. The staff will bring your pooch a bowl of cold water, too. The New Orleans-inspired menu features decadent options to help you end your day on a sweet note. Indulge in your choice of Oreo beignets topped with a white chocolate-bourbon sauce and chocolate drizzle, Bananas Foster or a refreshing slice of key lime pie.


It’s OK to be odd! Photo by Odd Birds Cafe

8 a.m. Odd Birds Cafe

Start your Saturday with a filling breakfast at Odd Birds Cafe where Fido is welcome to join you at a table on the patio. Begin with a cortado, mimosa or a cup of juice. Then, choose from options like the Cuban breakfast sandwich, classic French toast, grits bowl or a hearty breakfast burrito. It’s a great way to kick off your day

Corgis love Castillo de San Marcos. Photo by @thefloridatravelgir

9 a.m. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

St. Augustine boasts numerous historical landmarks, including the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument. This masonry fort symbolizes the clash between cultures which ultimately resulted in our uniquely unified nation. Still resonant with the struggles of an earlier time, these original walls provide tangible evidence of America’s grim but remarkable history. Spend a couple of hours exploring the exterior areas of the monument with man’s best friend. If your dog doesn’t like loud noises, ask when the cannon will fire so you can avoid being around at that time. Adult tickets are $15 but Fido’s visit is free.

Enjoying his H2O! Photo by BringFido/Natalie

12 p.m. Bull & Crown Publick House

Break for lunch at Bull & Crown Publick House, a dog-friendly, British-style pub in the Colonial Quarter. Fido can join you at an outdoor table on the spacious deck with views of St. George Street. The offerings include salmon bruschetta, juicy burgers, crisp salads, and fish and chips. A full bar is available, too.

Who’s the captain? Photo by St. Augustine Eco Tours

2 p.m. St. Augustine Eco Tours

Take a dog-friendly cruise around St. Augustine on a serene boat tour with St. Augustine Eco Tours. Experience the popular Dolphin, Birding and Nature Tour, which takes you on a 90-minute journey around the rivers and creeks surrounding the historic city. Your boat captain will serve as your guide, educating you on marine ecology as you keep an eye out for turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and various bird species that call Florida home. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a manatee or two. Tours start at $45 for adults and $35 for children. Dogs always float for free.

“Put it on the gram, Mom! And tag #bringfido!” Photo by BringFido/Angela

4 p.m. Faux Paws Dog Shoppe

Make a pit stop at Faux Paws Dog Shoppe for treats and souvenirs. This dog-friendly pet boutique carries gifts, t-shirts, toys, costumes, and gourmet dog treats. Be sure to take advantage of the photo op while you’re shopping so Fido can be included on the Wall of Dogs.

5 p.m. Barley Republic

Make your way to Barley Republic in historic downtown St. Augustine for a drink and a snack. The Irish pub welcomes dogs at outdoor tables, and they even offer a Puppy Menu so you can get Fido a little “yappetizer”. Treat yourself to a couple of apps like fried pickles and curry pub fries paired with a ginger beer or a hot toddy!

Right near the beach! Photo by BringFido/Tammy

8 p.m. Beachcomber

For dinner, check out the pet-friendly Beachcomber. This popular beach restaurant has a casual atmosphere on its shaded patio next to the dunes. Treat your good boy to a grilled chicken breast or doggie burger from the Pets Menu. Favorites for humans include conch fritters, chicken wings, gator tail, the Shipwreck Burger, shrimp po’boys and fried seafood platters.

You’ll flip for this gelato! Photo by @delhidalgocafe

9 p.m. Cafe Del Hidalgo

End the evening with gelato and espresso at Café Del Hidalgo, where Fido is welcome to join you at an outdoor table. The quaint cafe serves tasty crepes and gelato which pairs well with its espresso drinks, wines, and Italian sodas. If your pup isn’t too full from dinner and appetizers, order him a scoop of vanilla!


Enjoying some time off the leash! Photo by BringFido/Maggie

8 a.m. Dog Run at Ron Parker Park

Begin the day with play at the Dog Run at Ron Parker Park, an off-leash, fenced area for Fido to stretch his legs. Inside, there is a small kiddie pool with a hose, bench seating and a pet waste station. A separate fenced space caters to small dogs who want to engage with pups their own size.

Brunchin’ it. Photo by BringFido/Lisa

10 a.m. The Raintree

Break the fast at The Raintree, where you can eat Sunday brunch with your pooch in the intimate courtyard that has gazebos and a koi pond. Begin with a strong cuppa joe, bloody mary or mimosa while you peruse the menu which features five varieties of eggs Benedict, biscuits and gravy, blackened shrimp and grits, and steak and eggs. Don’t forget to order Fido a side of turkey bacon!

One last stop before we leave! Photo by BringFido/Sue

11 a.m. Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park and Depart St. Augustine With a Dog-Tired Fido

You and your canine explorer can walk in the footsteps of Juan Ponce de León with an expedition to the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. Begin your visit by meandering through exhibits on the Native Americans and Spaniards who once inhabited this land. After learning about the historic settlements, take your pup on a stroll along the Founders Riverwalk, a 600-foot-long observation platform overlooking Matanzas Bay. When it’s time to cool down, head inside to the park’s Discovery Globe, where you and your pooch can watch a show in the comfort of an air-conditioned theater. Before leaving beautiful St. Augustine with a pooped pup, stop by the Spring House and let Fido have his drink from the Fountain of Youth.

Have you visited St. Augustine with your dog? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!

Banner photo by BringFido/Laura.