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Something smooth slides past your leg as you tread in the warmest ocean water you’ve ever experienced. Your heart skips a beat, and you’re excited to the point of combustion. You feel a little scared, too, though you know there’s no reason to be. A moment later, the tip of a silvery nose surfaces before you, followed by the face of the first dolphin you’ve ever shared the water with. This is the dolphin encounter that you’ve always dreamed of and you are now able to check off on your bucket list. And who’s right there having even more fun than you are? Your one-of-a-kind dog in an adorable little life vest. Welcome to Key West, wise wanderer, a paradise for you and your pup.

If you’re traveling with your dog to Key West, pet-friendly hotels abound. But before you depart, here are answers to your most pressing questions:

Wondering what to do in Key West for families with pets in tow?

Key West offers an abundance of exciting activities for families to enjoy with the four-legged members of their tribe. Here are a few of our favorite animal-friendly adventures for your trip to this part of the Sunshine State:

  • Lazy Dog Kayak: Whether you want to kayak around the Gulf or see just how easy stand-up paddle boarding is, this purveyor of aquatic equipment ensures your canine can come too.
  • Wild About Dolphins: Discover pods of dolphins alongside your dog, or spend some time swimming amid the local sea life when you enjoy one of this company’s educational excursions.
  • Key West Shipwreck Treasure Museum: Transport back to the mid-19th century at this dog-friendly museum that focuses on the fortunes lost—and found—in the waters surrounding Key West.

Where are the best beaches in Key West for dog owners?

Key West is famous for its many beaches, and once you set eyes on them, you’ll understand why. But not all sandy spots allow canines. Here are the three that do:

  • Higgs Beach: This popular spot has a fenced-in dog park where you can let your little beast run free. There’s a separate area for smaller creatures and plenty of shade for when Fido’s ready to rest.
  • Key West Dog Beach: Test out your pup’s doggie paddle or just explore the coast at this quaint beach where animals can roam untethered. And when you’re finished, sit back and relax at Louie’s Backyard, a dog-friendly restaurant right next to the beach.
  • Fort Zachary Taylor State Park: Friendly, leashed dogs are welcome at this beach that offers a closer look at Key West’s wildlife. It comes at a cost, though, as there is an admission fee to enter this area.

Excited about an escape to the Gulf of Mexico? Count on Travelocity to help you book a room at the Gates Hotel Key West, The Westin Key West Resort & Marina, or any of the other pet-friendly hotels in Key West. We have the world’s largest database of lodging options, so you and your cuddly companion can choose the room that’s best for you. Start searching for Key West dog friendly hotels now, and you could be swimming amid the dolphins tomorrow.

Recent Key West hotel reviews by fellow wanderers