In Naples, Marco Island and the Everglades, you'll find that your pet is not only welcomed, but adored. Here are some places that will help your pet enjoy vacation as much as you do.
Naples Bay Resort is pet friendly, and with its own marina, it's a great place to rent a boat and take your four-legged family member with you on a boat ride across Naples Bay to Keewaydin Island. This beautiful barrier island beach allows leashed dogs, and is the only dog-friendly beach in the greater Naples/Marco Island area.
If you're not comfortable navigating a boat you can catch the Hemingway Water Shuttle that departs seven times a day for trips that drop you off at Keewaydin out of Rose Marina on Marco Island. The shuttle is even pet-friendly for those wanting to take Fido for a beach romp.
For a touch of Old Florida on Marco Island, pets and their humans can enjoy the cozy comforts at The Boat House Motel, which rests on the banks of the Marco River. Bring your own boat or rent one and tie up in a slip right outside your room - perfect for short rides to nearby pet-friendly Keewaydin Island.
If Brutus yearns to hear the call of the wild, the two of you can enjoy the waterfront view from screened-in porches at the River Wilderness Waterfront Villas in Everglades City. You can take your pal on a paddling adventure by canoe or kayak. Be sure to pack your pet's PFD.
The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples; JW Marriott Marco Island Beach Resort; Hyatt House Naples Fifth Avenue, Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, Residence Inn by Marriott, Staybridge Suites, Red Roof Plus & Suites and La Quinta Inn & Suites Naples Downtown are among other Naples-area pet-friendly hotels.
Pet-Friendly Vacation Rentals
If Spot needs more space to spread out, consider renting a home for the week. NaplesRentals.com or Island Escapes offer dozens of pet-friendly homes and villas with enclosed pools and yards.
Dining with Dogs
Pomeranians peeking from purses, Yorkies in strollers and Weimaraners on rhinestone leashes – it’s a bit like watching a dog show as you stroll through downtown Naples along Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South, and the shopping and dining enclaves of Village on Venetian Bay, Waterside Shops and Mercato. You'll find that most restaurants, cafes and coffee shops with outdoor seating welcome your well-behaved dog on a leash.
You probably won't be the only person with a leashed friend at CJ's on the Bay in Marco Island, which serves lunch and dinner. The Sunburst Cafe in Naples is also known for good breakfasts and dog-friendly atmospheres. In the Third Street South shopping district in downtown Naples, select a pastry, dessert, sandwich or other gourmet treat from Tony's Off Third and enjoy it at a table on the pooch-friendly patio. Also enjoy delicious meals on the pet-friendly patios at Sea Salt, Chez Boet, Vergina and The Dock at Crayton Cove.
Although none of the beaches in Naples or Marco Island allows dogs, canines on a leash are welcome on Keewaydin Island, a beautiful eight-mile-long barrier island between Naples and Marco Island that is accessible only by boat. South of Marco Island in the Ten Thousand Islands, there are even more deserted beach islands where your pooch can romp to his or her heart's content, provided they like a boat ride!
The sands of Naples Beach are off limits for dogs, but you can take your leashed dog for a stroll on the Naples Pier! There are usually lots of people on the pier along with birds like pelicans and seagulls. Be sure to hold firmly to your dog's leash to avoid problems if they are easily distracted.
Dog Parks & Other Pet-Friendly Places to Roam
When your pooch needs space to chase a ball, take your friend to the City of Naples Dog Park, affectionately known as Central Bark, or Rover Run Dog Park in Veterans Community Park in north Naples. There are separate areas for large and small dogs to make sure everyone is safe and happy. On Marco Island, dogs have more than an acre to run in Canine Cove Dog Park, an off-leash canine park inside Frank E. Mackle Jr. Community Park.
If you desire more natural surroundings, head to the CREW Marsh Trails, where dogs are welcome on 6-10 miles of looping nature trails that wind through fields of wildflowers, oak hammocks, marshes and pine flatwoods, and a boardwalk over a popash slough. Or try out the Marsh Trail in the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge located halfway between Naples and Everglades City on the Tamiami Trail. There's a three-story birding tower for an even better view. Since these are wilderness locations, just make sure your furry friend is on a six-foot leash.
Fresh Finds at Dog-Friendly Farmers Markets
Frequented by local pet lovers and foodies alike, farmers markets offer a social morning stroll for pooches and company. Every Saturday morning from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., small businesses set up shop for the Farmer's Market on Third Street South in Naples. Stop by for a taste of freshly made guacamole, gluten-free waffles, paella, jams and seafood, while your four-legged friend feasts on natural dog treats from the Top Dog Kitchen tent. Dogs are aplenty at this morning market, so remember to leash your pet and ensure best behavior.
Pet Boarding & Day Care Facilities
If you're staying in a hotel that doesn't accept pets, or you just want to sightsee or enjoy the beach, don't worry; Lassie doesn't have to be alone. Plan an overnight stay for your pet (or arrange for day care) at one of the area's boarding facilities. Don't forget to call ahead, and bring your pet's vaccination and health records with you.
Pet Paradise Naples, formerly the Wigglebutt Inn, is a 10,000 square-foot resort that features three large indoor play areas, two outdoor play areas with artificial turf, spacious dog suites and five presidential suites with televisions. Pet Paradise provides a safe, clean and fun environment for pets with playtime and exercise sessions, a GoPro video experience, doggie ice cream and go-home baths. They also offer a "Get Acquainted Day," a complimentary day of camp for dogs of new clients.
The Dog Ranch offers personalized half -day, full-day and overnight pet sitting and care.The Naples Safari Animal Hospital & Pet Resort even accommodates ferrets, birds and exotics, although dogs and cats are its most common residents.
Naples' pups are as well-dressed as their owners. Treat yours to a new wardrobe or fresh-baked goodies at one of the area's pet boutiques, such as Wholesome Hound and For Footed Friends in Naples or Critter Cafe on Marco Island.
Living in the Lap of Luxury
The Naples area has long been known for its luxurious spas where humans can rest and rejuvenate. Before planning your own day of beauty and leisure, drop off your pooch for a little pampering, with options including a therapeutic herbal wrap and even a clay body mask at The Naples Dog Center & Salon. Your dog can also get a new, stylish 'do here – and stay for the day.