In the past, if you had a dog and you loved to travel, you faced two agonizing choices: Drop Fido at a kennel or leave him in an empty house with daily visits from a pet sitter. Now, however, more hotels and businesses recognize that for many, a dog is a cherished family member and travel companion. Daytona Beach, as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, is ahead of the curve. There are pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, beaches, and parks. If you’re headed for Daytona with your canine in tow, here are some tips to make it a blast.
Where to Stay
While there are plenty of pet-friendly hotels in Daytona Beach, some charge exorbitant pet fees or impose strict size limitations. The La Quinta Inn & Suites Oceanfront Daytona Beach allows pets of all size and lets them stay for free. The tile floors are easy to sweep up after a day at the beach and the kitchenette makes it easy to keep food dishes clean and water bowls filled. If you love the homey feel of a B&B, the Coquina Inn has a liberal pet policy and even includes a “bed and biscuit” welcome basket for your dog.
Image by Amy Fox via Trover.com
Daytona Beach has some of the best dog parks in the south — there’s even a dog beach! The Lighthouse Point Park and Ponce Inlet Dog Beach is just a few minutes south of Daytona Beach and gives you and your dog plenty of space to enjoy the sun and sand. The Michael Crotty Bicentennial Park is a four-acre dog park with plenty of benches, watering stations, and separate small and large dog areas. The Manatee Island Park also has a separate dog park so you and Fido can enjoy an afternoon of manatee watching.
One of the advantages of vacationing in a pet-friendly city is having lunch with your dog. At the Blue Grotto, you can even go dancing. This beachfront bistro offers a full menu of lunch and dinner delicacies, cozy waterfront gliders for admiring the view, and a huge dog-friendly deck. Cool off with a cup of frozen yogurt at Rhokkoh’s, a pet haven on historic Beach Street. There’s plenty of water bowls outside, free treats inside, and magazines for dog lovers scattered about. Heli-Hogs is a fun barbecue joint with dog-friendly seating and smells that will have your dog drooling. They also offer helicopter rides.
If you’re in town for a wedding or a business event and need a hand with your dog, Rover.com can hook you up with a dog walker, pet sitter, or even an overnight stay. If your dog sprains an ankle swimming in the surf, there’s a Banfield Pet Hospital right near the beach. Go Vet Go is a mobile vet service that will come right to your door in a pinch.
Why not plan a Daytona Beach vacation with Fido this year? You and your dog will have a ball.
20 May 2015