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Don’t leave pets at home: B&B doors are open

Good news for bed-and-breakfast lovers with pets: You don’t have to leave them behind. There are plenty of Florida inns willing to accommodate four-legged guests. However, their policies vary and most charge a pet fee – ranging from reasonable to rather exorbitant.

Historic Peninsula Inn, Gulfport (Read review.)

This inn, in the little city on the bay, welcomes guests with one small dog per room (25 lbs or less). Certain rooms are designated as pet rooms.

The Gulfport area is home to many pet-friendly attractions. Two off-leash dog parks are located within 15 minutes of the inn. In nearby St. Petersburg, you’ll find The Dog Bar, a dog-friendly and people-friendly recreation center and bar featuring craft brews, an off-leash park, swimming pools, doggie ramps and much more.

Inn Pet Fee: $25.

Black Dolphin Inn, New Smyrna Beach (Read my review.)

This elegant, Spanish-style boutique inn, on the Intracoastal Waterway, spoils animal guests almost as much as humans, providing a pet bed, water, organic treats, a list of pet-friendly parks and restaurants and more.

Liza, the friendly "guard dog" at the Kenwood Inn.

Liza, the friendly “guard dog” at the Kenwood Inn.

Pet owners may choose from one of three accommodations on the first floor that open onto an enclosed grassy courtyard, where animals are free to exercise. One option is a suite with a view of the water. All three have private entrances. All dogs and cats are welcome, with a maximum of two per unit.

Fee: $50 per stay.

Night Swan Intracoastal B&B, New Smyrna Beach

At this traditional, waterfront bed-and-breakfast, down the street from the Black Dolphin Inn, pet lovers stay in a private cottage with an enclosed yard. The cottage offers a choice of two suites – a two bedroom upstairs and a one bedroom with a futon downstairs. Or, of course, you may choose to rent the entire cottage.

No pet fee.

Coombs Inn & Suites, Apalachicola

The inn – three Victorian mansions in a quaint fishing village in Florida’s Panhandle – allows, clean quiet pets under 25 pounds in certain rooms. Animals may not be left alone.

Fee: $25 per day.

Casa Grandview West Palm Beach

Your four-legged friend can vacation with you in a historic cottage, a bungalow or a suite at the Casa Grandview, but you’ll have to decide if it’s worth $200 to have him (or her) by your side. Because that’s the sanitation fee.

Casa Grandview consists of a 1925 Mediterranean Revival inn, historic cottages and Art Deco suites. Pets are allowed in one of the cottages, one bungalow and two of the Art Deco suites.

Fee: $200, nonrefundable.

Riverdale Inn, Jacksonville

Boca

Some inns welcome large dogs.

This inn, a turn-of-the-century mansion, permits pets that weigh under 20 pounds. The Riverdale  operates a pub just for guests and serves a proper English tea every afternoon. Its pet fee is a lot more reasonable than the Casa Grandview’s.

Fee: $10 per pet, per day.

Windemere Inn by the Sea, Indialantic

Windemere offers a main inn, plus rooms in a cottage and a carriage house, all on a barrier island facing the Atlantic. The two pet-friendly rooms, both opening onto a courtyard, are in the carriage house. One room sleeps two and the other sleeps four. The two rooms may be combined, for a large group, and both also allow children.

Fee: Check with the Windemere.

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Certain inns accept dogs and cats.

St. Francis Inn, St. Augustine

Cats and dogs weighing no more than 45 pounds are allowed in select rooms at this inn, which dates from 1791 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pets are not allowed in the common areas, such as the lobby and the dining room. At check-in, guests traveling with a pet must sign the inn’s Guest Pet Responsibility Agreement, which authorizes credit card payment for any damage caused by their pet.

Fee: $20 a day.

Old Town Manor, Key West

Dogs are welcome guests at this adults-only mansion, built in 1886. The manor will even provide a dog bed, waste pickup bags, water and a food dish if you forget yours. The concierge is happy to provide information about pet friendly activities and you can read about the owners’ favorite dog-friendly restaurants on the website.

All pets must be leashed, housebroken, people-friendly, nonaggressive, and quiet. Dogs may be left in your room in a crate.

Fee: $50 for first dog; $25 for each additional dog.

Sweetwater Branch Inn, Gainesville (Read my review.)

This inn allows pets in most of its cottages, but no more than two per room. Sweetwater is a complex with two restored Victorian mansions, a modern reception hall, sculptured gardens and the guest cottages, many of which have Jacuzzis, kitchenettes and fireplaces.

The B&B is just blocks from the University of Florida and downtown Gainesville.

Fee: $75.

As you can see from this list, there’s no need to stay home, or go on vacation without your pet. Plenty of B&Bs want your business and will treat your dog or cat right. Be sure to call to confirm the details of the B&B’s pet policies.

Julie Blomquist

Florida Inn List

(Note: I accepted no compensation in exchange for writing this article.)

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