Pet-Friendly Tampa: Hotels, Restaurants, and Beaches

May 3, 2022

Sparkling Gulf coast beaches, spirited nightlife, and Cuban culture come together to make Tampa, Florida an enviable destination year-round. Lovers of all types of furry friends need not fret as the ‘Big Guava’ contains a plethora of pet-friendly options.

Follow along as we dish up the best of pet-friendly hotels, restaurants, and beaches in Tampa, FL!

From hip boutique hotels in Ybor City to pup-themed happy hours in Downtown, the Tampa Bay Area is overflowing with options for dog-friendly activities.

Let your mutt play in the surf at Fort De Soto, or hit up a hike at Hillsborough River State Park. However you spend your time in this sun-soaked paradise, your pup is sure to approve!

Pet-Friendly Hotels Tampa

Aloft Tampa Downtown

Modern, sleek, and stylish. Stay right in the middle of the Tampa Bay action when you and Rover rest easy at Aloft Tampa Downtown. This Marriott property conveniently located along the Hillsborough River offers easy access to the Riverwalk, Busch Gardens, and more.

Work up a sweat in the 24-hour fitness center, soak in some sun at the outdoor splash pool, or grab a delicious snack from their onsite convenience shop. Then, curl up with your canine companion on a plush mattress as you relish either River or City views.

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Two dogs up to 40 lbs are welcome at Aloft for no additional fee. Well-behaved pooches may even be left unsupervised in guest rooms. 

bar at Aloft Tampa Downtown in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

Floridan Palace Hotel

Experience gracious hospitality, unparalleled history, and oodles of old-world charm when you reserve a night (or three) at the Floridan Palace Hotel. This BW Premier Collection property is a national landmark hotel boasting exquisite architecture and a dazzling 96-year-old history. Snuggle up with Snoopy in a classically appointed room complete with modern conveniences. Ready to work off your flying fatigue?

Head to the 24-hour fitness center for a sensational sweat, or strap on those sneakers and stroll to the nearby Florida Aquarium, or Tampa Riverwalk. Enjoy complimentary breakfast in the lobby each morning before setting forth to discover the sights of Cigar City. Canines will receive a warm welcome, as the Floridian permits up to two common domestic dogs weighing no more than 50 lbs each, per room.

Related Post: Insider’s Guide to Adventure Island in Tampa, Florida

There is a $150 non-refundable pet fee per stay that is collected upon arrival. However, breed restrictions do apply, and the following are not allowed: Pitbulls, Doberman pinschers, Rottweilers,  or any other similar breed which may be prone to vicious or dangerous behavior.

The Westin Tampa Bay

Experience major wanderlust when you and Rex drool over the waterfront views afforded by The Westin Tampa Bay. Whisk yourself away to paradise when you sleep at this AA Four-Diamond hotel on the bay. Located on Rocky Point Island, this aquatic oasis provides a fitness center, private beach area, and water sports rentals.

Cruise through the aquamarine bay on a jet ski or boat, or feast on flavorful seafood at their onsite restaurant, AQUA. After a day of sun and sweat, relax in your upscale and modern room complete with complimentary wifi.

The Westin is proud to be a pet-friendly establishment and allows pets up to 40 lb for a non-refundable fee of $50 per day, with a maximum fee of $150 per Stay.

Hampton Inn Tampa Downtown Channel District

Hey, there city slicker! Carve out some time to explore the very heart and soul of Tampa when you secure accommodations at the Hampton Inn Tampa Downtown Channel District. Just minutes away from the charming historic neighborhood of Ybor City, this Hampton property caters to intrepid travelers.

Explore the Big Guava’s greatest attractions with ease, or catch some rays on the rooftop terrace. Cool off with a refreshing dip in the outdoor pool, or refuel with a cup of Jo and piping hot complimentary continental breakfast.

Fido or Fluffy can get in on the comforts as the Hampton Inn permits both cats and dogs for a non-refundable fee of $75 for stays of 1-4 nights, or $125 for 5 nights or more. Guests are allowed a maximum of 2 pets. 

Le Meridien Tampa, The Courthouse

Order in the court! Jaw-dropping architecture and justice reign supreme at this century-old Historic Federal Courthouse turned boutique hotel. Equally ideal for both art and architecture lovers, the Le Meridien Tampa, The Courthouse is a hotbed of historic heritage and charm.

Appreciate the artful attention to detail from the use of the original building’s oak doors to an old judge's desk that has been repurposed for the concierge. Not just a homage to the art deco past, the Meridien rooms contain state-of-the-art technology such as flat-screen TVs, small refrigerators, and iPod docking stations to enhance your stay.

Indulge in signature eclairs or a sublime mushroom eggplant bolognese at their onsite Brasserie, Bizou. Discerning doggies can get in on the VIP treatment as Le Meridien provides pet mats and water bowls for pets up to 40 lb for an additional fee of $25 per night.

Human-Friendly Tampa Attractions

While your cuddly companion is reveling in some doggie room service or a thrilling dog park run, why not uncover the abundance of Champa Bay? 

Cruise along the Gulf of Mexico and seek out playful dolphins, sprawling celebrity mansions, and more on a Dolphin Exploration Tour in Clearwater.

Tackle the adrenaline-pumping action of the brand new Iron Gwazi, not to mention the African-inspired thrills of a real Serengeti Safari at Busch Gardens.

Related Post: My Wild Adventure at Busch Gardens® Tampa

Feeling that sunshine state heat? Cool off with the corkscrew slides, giant wave pools, and lazy rivers of Adventure Island Tampa

Animal lovers unite! Combine the wild attractions of both Zoo Tampa and the Florida Aquarium for one low price with Tampa’s ZooQuarium Pass. Observe wetland habitats, mangrove forests, moray eels, and more when you discover over 1,300 creatures from both land and sea. 

Close up of a white tiger with its mouth open and it has large blue eyes with rocks behind it and it is laying on bright green grass at Busch Gardens Tampa in Tampa, Florida, USA

photo credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay via Facebook

Dog-Friendly Beaches and Parks

Picnic Island Park

The best part about vacationing with Spot in the Sunshine State? Dog beaches! Let your darling dog live the good life when you hightail it to Picnic Island Park. Humans and hounds alike will be in awe of the soft white sand beaches, calm Gulf waters, and spellbinding sunsets served up by this South Tampa spot.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Busch Gardens® Tampa: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

Be sure to bring a towel as most mutts won’t be able to resist the siren call of the surf located near the boat ramp and pier. 

sunset on horizon on shoreline of Picnic Island Park in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

photo credit: Joel Finnigan via Facebook

Davis Island Dog Beach

Looking for an H20-fueled getaway? Escape with your canine companion to Davis Island Dog Beach for a laidback afternoon of fetch, sandy beach fun, and off-leash play.

This waterfront dog park is ideal for energetic breeds looking to work off some energy and even contains separate areas for large and small breeds. Keep Fluffy hydrated with the onsite water fountain and rinse off at the wash station before heading home. 

group of dogs playing on the shore on a sunny day with water in background and trees in distance at David Island Dog Beach in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

photo credit: Rachel Ann Furr via Facebook

Fort De Soto Park Dog Beach and Park

No longer a locals-only secret, dog owners in the know have been bringing their pups to Fort De Soto Park for ages. Enjoy plenty of Vitamin D and frolicking Great Danes at this huge beach park.

A paradise for aquatically inclined pups, breeds of all sizes and ages can be found cavorting on the white sugar sand beach and splashing in the tranquil waves. The dog park is divided into two sections for larger and smaller breeds, and complimentary poo bags are also available. 

Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park

On the hunt for a first-rate dog park in downtown Tampa? The sparkling new Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park contains 8 acres of unique urban design, sustainable construction, and LED lighting.

Related Post: Insider's Guide to Busch Gardens® Tampa

Little ones will love racing around the two interactive fountains, while mutts can meander around the dog run. Post pee break, sans doggies, visit the nearby Tampa Museum of Art or the Glazer Children’s museum. 

West Park Dog Park

Grassy pastures, lush foliage, and dog-friendly features make West Park Dog Park a haven for all hounds. This five-acre nature-filled sanctuary is Hillsborough County's first dedicated dog play space.

Canines of all backgrounds can roughhouse, romp, and play in two separate areas. In addition, the park boasts picnic shelters, dog bathtubs, hitching posts, and doggie mitt receptacles. 

Al Lopez Park

Known for its exemplary fishing and trail offerings, this hidden gem of Tampa is ideal for both two and four-legged outdoor lovers. Al Lopez Park has crafted a community-friendly respite for both Tampa locals and visitors.

Traverse the number of nature trails, freshwater ponds, and picnic shelters that make up this 132-acre urban oasis. After reeling in your catch, let Rex stretch his legs at the onsite Jim Urbanski Dog Park.

grassy field with trees in Al Lopez Park in Tampa, Florida, USA

photo credit: Asta Cardoso Photography via Facebook

Hillsborough River State Park

Boating, camping, and hiking, oh my! Take a break from your urban adventure and dive into the breathtaking natural beauty of Florida when you stop by the Hillsborough River State Park. Just a quick drive from downtown Tampa, this wild refuge is home to a diverse ecosystem of pine Flatwoods, floodplain and cypress swamps, and grass ponds.

Keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife as you tackle seven miles of trails, historic structures, and scenic river landscapes.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to ZooTampa at Lowry Park: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

Pets are welcome in most outdoor areas of the park and should be kept on a 6-foot, hand-held leash at all times. 

Pet-Friendly Restaurants and Bars

The Sail 

Raise a glass to another day of sunshine when you sample Tampa Bay’s best mojito at 

The Sail & Big Ray's Fish Camp on the Riverwalk. Granted the distinct honor of being Tampa’s only 360-degree open-air waterfront bar, this outdoor eatery welcomes all manner of pups.

While mom and dad are sipping frozen cocktails, little pups can hang out on the patio side and get in on the fun with a ‘pup cup’ for Yappy Hour. Savor seafood delights such as the beloved smoked fish dip or grouper nuggets served with sweet Thai chili sauce. 

aerial view of The Sail Plaza on a sunny day with blue sky and clouds and buildings in background in Tampa Bay, Florida, USATwo Shepherds Taproom

Craving an ice-cold craft beer? You and your four-legged friend can refresh at Tampa Bay’s first and only fully off-leash indoor and outdoor dog bar and park. Two Shepherds Taproom provides a selection of 20 rotating taps and wine.

Bulldogs and Border Collies alike will be in 7th Heaven as they prance around indoor and outdoor dog parks featuring K9 Grass, artificial turf specifically designed for dogs. From trivia night to drag bingo, there is always something fun happening in the Taproom. While Two Shepherds does not serve food, there is usually a wide selection of food trucks nearby. 

Columbia Cafe

Devour a piece of Florida history when you and Fido schedule lunch at the famous Columbia Cafe. For over a century, this Cuban culture and cuisine institution has fed everyone from Steven Tyler to George Clooney.

Founded by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, to this day, the Columbia Cafe continues to be run by the Hernandez/Gonzmart family. Break bread on the patio and devour one of the iconic Cuban sandwiches that has been heralded as a ‘melty masterpiece.’

Other menu standouts include the Columbia’s Original “1905” Salad and the mouthwatering Ybor classic Devil Crab Croquetas.

customers seated at the multicolored tile bar of Columbia Cafe waiting for their orders in Tampa, Florida, USA

photo credit: Columbia Restaurant Group via Facebook

Sparkman Wharf

Having menu fatigue? Diversify your palate and bring along your pup when you chow down at Sparkman Wharf. Outfitted with an astroturf lawn, this full-service eatery on Water St. is home to a number of food vendors.

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Your Goldendoodle or Lab can roam freely while you debate sinking your teeth into sumptuous BBQ, carnitas tacos, or a crave-worthy fried chicken sandwich from Flock and Stock. Then, conclude your epic meal with a creamy scoop of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream. 

group of women in athletic wear jumping with colored chairs and umbrellas in background in Sparkman Warf Tampa, Tampa, Florida, USA

photo credit: Sparkman Wharf via Facebook

The Getaway

It must be 5 o'clock somewhere! Transport yourself to an island paradise when you snag the beachy cocktail of your dreams at the Getaway. Oozing plenty of tiki and tropical-inspired vibes, the Getaway is a waterfront restaurant and bar that bestows breathtaking sunsets and frozen cocktails served in buckets.

Stop by on their specially designated Dog-Friendly Tuesdays to enjoy a Mojito of Must-Have Painkilla with your canine. Seafood is the star attraction here, and you can't go wrong with any of their uber-fresh offerings, including Ahi Tuna Nachos, Grilled market oysters, or crispy Mahi tacos. 

aerial view of The Getaway featuring umbrellas and palm trees with dock and boats on water in Tampa Bay, Florida, USA

photo credit: The Getaway via Facebook

Pup’s Pub

Handcrafted ‘dogtails,’ sizzling Yappy Hour deals, and an impressive draft beer selection make Pup’s Pub a prime spot for pups and people looking to party.

Sample signature house drinks such as the ‘American Bulldog Mule’ or ‘Puptown Girl’ as your pawed cutie explores the indoor astroturf dog park. Looking to save some bucks? Swing by Monday through Friday from 12-7 pm for $3 wells, $4 wines, $4 calls, and $3 domestic drafts. 

Red Mesa Restaurant

Ole! Stuff yourself silly with tacos, enchiladas, and tamales at Red Mesa Restaurant. Then, savor a spicy supper on their enchanting patio, illuminated by fairy lights and trickling fountains. Thirsty mutts will be kept cool by the ceiling fans and complimentary water as hungry humans dive into their prolific menu.

Whet your appetite with some gooey Chorizo Fundido before savoring a Chile Relleno stuffed with Chile Verde sauce, Monterey jack cheese, and Salsa Roja. For some unexpected Latin marine flare, the garlicky Shrimp al Mojo always hits the spot.

Odd Fellows

Soaring temperatures have us craving sweet delights.

Treat yourself to a double scoop of happiness when you visit Brooklyn’s latest outpost. Odd Fellows is a small-batch ice cream company known for its inventive flavors. The newly opened Hyde Park Village location is the ideal spot for a midday pick me up with your four-pawed friend.

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Let yourself linger over exotic flavors such as Miso Peanut Butter, olive oil, and Pistachio Cardamom Caramel. Make sure Buddy gets some love too, and reward their patience with a natural dog treat from Downtown Dogs!

woman holding cone of ice cream with two scoops at Odd Fellows Ice Cream Co in Tampa, Florida, USA

photo credit: OddFellows Ice Cream Co. via Facebook

Explosive sunsets of red, orange, and purple, languid days spent paddleboarding through the Gulf, and plenty south of the border eats. Vacations spent in Tampa Bay are nothing short of magical. 

The next time you are headed to Cigar City, consider packing your pet! This nirvana of palm trees and white sugar sand beaches is as pet friendly as can be.

From boatloads of beaches to urban parks in the heart of downtown, there are many ways to keep your mutt entertained. 

Dine like a King or Queen when you soak in Riverwalk views and munch on local grouper accompanied by an award-winning Mojito. 

Whether you camp out in a paw-friendly taproom or pull on those hiking boots to hit the trails, Florida's Bay area's natural beauty, charm, and hospitality is beyond belief.

Tell Us, Where’s Your Favorite Tampa Pet-Friendly Locale?

Leave us a comment below!

isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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