I don’t know any dog moms or dads who have an easy time leaving their dogs at home when going on vacation. And I’m no different. But traveling with a pet may be a lot easier than you think. Now, with apps such as Bring Fido, which is like Yelp for dogs, you can find all of the dog-friendly places around. It's so easy to use, even a dog could do it!
New Smyrna Beach in Florida is a great destination to take those pups along. You can be sure to find a plethora of pet-friendly accommodations, nature activities, and restaurants with outdoor seating that are happy to offer your canine a seat at the table.
Where to Stay
One of the best ways to travel with a dog is to rent a home or condo, and you can do this through Great Ocean Condos or Ocean Properties. These local rental companies help you to sort through which accommodations allow pets right on the search engine of their webpage. This way, you immediately know what your options are.
If you are traveling with a big crowd, your best option may be to rent an entire home. We love this since you can find rentals with backyards for furry friends to play in. That and more space is just better for everyone. There are also many amazing waterfront condos right on the Atlantic Ocean or the Indian River, which of course offer incredible views.
The Black Dolphin Inn is one of the most popular places to stay in town because of its stunning views of the Indian River, incredible architecture, and luxurious accommodations. This boutique-style bed and breakfast is surely one-of-a-kind. And it is pet-friendly too!
They allow two pets for just $50 per stay in certain pet-friendly rooms, all of which have an exterior entrance. You can take your dogs outside through the centuries-old large oak trees to a grassy pet relief area, aka the doggie backyard. The B&B will set you up with a canvas bag, sheets, treats, and a list of local restaurants where dogs are welcome.
Where to Play
Even though most beaches don’t allow dogs in New Smyrna Beach, Smyrna Dunes Park does, and it is all the dogs need. This huge 184-acre inlet park is amazing for dogs and humans alike. There are no beach shops or hotels here – just untouched dunes. The ecosystem is well preserved so you can often run into a wide range of birds, reptiles, or sea turtles. Just make sure to keep your dogs away from restricted areas.
The boardwalk takes about 1.5 miles to walk down and is dog-friendly until 10 am. Once at the shoreline, you’ll find gorgeous views of Ponce de Leon Inlet, the Indian River, and the Atlantic Ocean. Pets are allowed on the inlet shore beach as long as they are kept on a leash.
Additionally, there are some great dog parks in town, including The New Smyrna Beach Dog Park and Turnbull Street Park. Both are small and humble, but each has specific fenced-in areas for large dogs and small dogs. It's perfect for the dogs to socialize, burn some energy, and roll around in the grass for a little while.
Where to Chow Down
One of the best places to grab a bite in town is the Taco Shack, as they have some of the most delicious tacos in town. The little shack serves right out of a funky window, where you can take your food and enjoy it on the patio, where well-behaved leashed dogs are welcomed. Most dogs wait patiently for some roasted pork to fall to the ground.
JB’s Fish Camp is a fun local favorite situated right on the water. People always come here to grab a bite and drink a beer while watching for manatees, dolphins, or birds on the dock. There’s a family atmosphere here and so it’s no surprise that they love dogs. They’ll likely even provide a drinking bowl and some treats to the little guys.
Café Heavenly is a lovely place to dine on Flagler Avenue with your four-legged friend as well. This is another spot that will likely even provide a drinking bowl for your dogs, while you enjoy some tasty wood-fired pizza or savory lobster fare in the cool breeze. Try the lobster rolls - you won't regret it.