[ Last updated January 14, 2020 ]
OMG. I could not wait for this trip. LA weather dropped to the lowssss — 58, 59, 60 degrees (sorry, NYC). Plus I was sick with a sinus infection so it was just the right time to soak in some sun and that infamous Florida humidity. Within 24 hours, my sinuses cleared up and my skin was glowing.
Obviously, some months are just too hot to bring the pups (July/August = 100% humidity!) but February/March are the best months to go to Miami. The days are hot but mornings and end of day are nice and breezy, especially on the beachfront.
So, what are some fun Miami dog-friendly activities you can plan?
[ img credit: Wynwood Walls ]
[ img credit: Galerie ]
The Wynwood Walls are a total unique experience — it’s basically like an outdoor museum with life-size murals from graffiti artists around the world. Especially popular during Art Basel, you can check it out year-around and since it’s outdoors, the pup can come and have a walk.
We’ve been a couple times and didn’t know they don’t allow dogs inside the Walls! But the actual Wynwood Walls area is only a few blocks — you can explore the surrounding streets instead. Get your camera out — you’ll find lots of graffiti-filled walls + instagrammable murals.
There are really cool restaurants and bars in the neighborhood too. Try Wynwood Kitchen + Bar, Coyo Taco for authentic mexican street tacos, Bakan for even more mexican and a huge mezcal list. They even have a “Los Insectos” section on their menu: fried grasshoppers + agave worms. I didn’t give those a try. Dukunoo for jamaican food, Le Chick for rotisserie chicken + burgers, and Panther Coffee.
You’ll also find trendy shopping like Warby Parker, Illesteva and Scotch & Soda. It’s a great area to spend the whole afternoon.
For another walk and for art/history buffs, the Art Deco Tours are everyday–90 minutes for $25–which is a great Miami activity. We didn’t get to check out the Botanical Gardens but will next time–it’s rare that a Botanical Garden is dog-friendly!
Beaches, Parks + Watersports
Bark Beach at North Shore Open Space Park is a fenced off-leash dog park across the beach. You also have the option of going on the beach with your dog on-leash for a $25 entry fee. 20 minutes from South Beach. 8328 Collins Ave.
Haulover Beach Park is located between Lifeguard Towers #2 and #3 where you’ll find a 3.3-acre dog park. Dogs and their owners can enjoy the beach from 8am – 3pm. 30 minutes from South Beach. 10800 Collins Ave.
Beaches in general seem to be dog-friendly. We’ve never been kicked out!
One of my favorite activities to do with Fira is paddleboarding and kayaking. Even though Fira hates baths and being in water, she loooves being on top of the water. I go to South Beach Kayak for the rentals which is in Biscayne Bay. The area is really chill + relaxed, with views of beautiful homes. Right down the block is a great italian restaurant called Sardinia (with outdoor seating).
Matador Room: this Latin/Spanish restaurant is located at the Edition and good. Beautiful outdoor seating above the pool but can I mention the Cuban sandwich was probably one of the best I’ve ever had?
Bodega Taqueria y Tequila: Authentic “taco truck” feel and taste. Get the ceviche! Only $9 and comes with plenty of chips. At night, this spot turns into a bar open til 5am with a secret entrance through the porta potty door — speakeasy style. 1220 16th St.
Byblos: Mediterranean/Middle Eastern dishes that are creative, jeweled and bright — just like its Art Deco decor. 🙂 It can be a little overpriced and touristy, but it is just beautiful inside.
Mandolin: gorgeous Greek food with a spectacular outdoor patio — converted from a 1930s bungalow. It really takes you away like you are actually in Greece.
La Mar: high-end Peruvian restaurant by Chef Gaston Acurio serves amazing ceviches, tiraditos + pisco sours at the Mandarin Oriental. Large outdoor patio overlooking the Biscayne Bay.
Habitat: located at the 1 Hotel, this spot offers fresh farm-to-table fare (and some seriously vocal tropical birds chirping from the trees above the tables).
MIA Market: upscale, elegant dining hall in the Design District, right next to Louis Vuitton, Dior, etc. But not to worry, the food is not designer-priced! One of our favorite places to eat, there’s a variety of options from authentic Italian, Israeli, Japanese and even vegan cupcakes.
[ Vista ]
Vista: gorgeous ambiance + italian food.
Jaya: just for the scenery alone — have lunch at the gorgeous Setai hotel and feel whisked away. Upscale asian cuisine.
Bird & Bone: craving southern comfort food like fried chicken + biscuits? Located in the Confidante Hotel, enjoy Nashville hot chicken at this chic eatery.
Amara at Paraiso: upscale Latin cuisine on an outdoor deck overlooking Biscayne Bay.
Cielito Artisan Pops: handcrafted daily, including vegan options and pupsicles!
Lulu in the Grove: trendy neighborhood spot with solid food with plenty that favors the bacon (bacon-wrapped dates, bacon in the Bloody Mary’s, bacon in the burgers, etc).
Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill: from the owners of SushiSamba, come here for varied small plates, a stylish outdoor patio and tasty cocktails.
Drawing by Valeria Krasavina
Isabelle Struk-Thibert says
Thank you sooooo much for all this info. I just adopted a tiny chihuahua and cannot wait to travel with her. Your blog has definitely given me the confidence that I will be well prepared when she takes her first flight. 🙂 Thank you again! And damn you look fabulous!
Nikki Star says
Thank you Isabelle! 🙂
Loved this Post! Sad We, Frankytheboston and I , didn’t meet you and Fira while you were in our hometown. Next time. Xoxo
Now I want to go to Miami :). Great post and loved all the hotels.
Love La Mar, went there during restaurant week last year! I stayed at the Mandarin Oriental last time when I was in Miami and two frenchies came in the elevator when the elevator popped opened 🙂