Friday, July 29, 2011

How to Be a Tourist with Your Dog Series: Sarasota, Florida

We've always seen people kayaking along the Chicago River, and it wasn't until we read about Roo that we realized some pooches do it too. Now we have a not-so-secret envy of Florida pooches living an aquatic lifestyle. Adorable Pit/Pointer-mix Roo takes us on his 'Surf and Turf' tour showing us a purely Florida experience by water and land complete with wildlife spottings, bay-side dining, and activities in downtown Sarasota.

The only way to really enjoy all Sarasota, Florida has to offer is visit it by water as well as land.
Here is Mom and I kayaking in one of our favorite parks (Robinson Preserve) about 30 minutes north of Sarasota.
You never know what you might see. Like this raccoon feeding on oysters amongst the mangrove roots.
By land you have an equally entrancing experience. This photo was taken at the same park from a wooden walkway leading to the mouth of the Manatee River.
You can view subtropical bird life here such as this White Ibis.
There are so many wonderful parks to visit in this area. Emerson Point Preserve is another of our favorites. Check this website for more park and preserve options in Sarasota.
Of course you and your dogs will need a place to stay. The Turtle Beach Resort is one delightful option you can explore.
Not only do they welcome dogs (their only rule is no barking) but your cottage comes with unlimited usage of their kayaks, bicycles and fishing poles! Bring your dogs’ life jackets with you and you can paddle out to the sandbar at low tide for a fabulous off leash romp!
Nearby (within walking distance) is Turtles On Little Sarasota Bay offering casual waterfront dining both you and your dogs can enjoy.

This is a photo of the bay side dining area where dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds are welcome.
Just up the road is a place where you can rent a boat (CB’s Saltwater Outfitters). If you don’t have boating experience, there are captains available for hire. You and your dogs can scan for dolphins and manatees, search out sandbars, and just enjoy life on the water.
Also not far up the road on the mainland is Downtown Sarasota where the Farmer’s Market is held. Dogs are welcome here as well as browsing what Mom refers to our own little Rodeo Drive, St. Armand's Circle. Go north a bit on the key and you’ll find Siesta Key Village where you and your dogs can quench your thirst and grab a bite to eat at The Old Salty Dog restaurant and bar.
Even though all gulf front beaches are off limits to dogs, there is so much you and your dogs can experience in this little subtropical paradise called Sarasota  Come to Florida!
You can read more of Roo's hilarious adventures on his blog here.
We loved seeing this insider's view of Florida, and even if we can't literally make it to Florida, it's still inspiring to see the types of things we can do with our dogs in our own city (kayaking, anyone?). And as one reader pointed out, it's always a good idea for pit bull owners to research beforehand as some parks and areas might not allow pitties. In case you missed them, you can also read about things to do with dogs in Portland, Richmond, Seattle,  Kansas City, Nashville, Alaska, and Chicago. And you can read about roadtripping with 4 large dogs and boating to the Bahamas with a pit bull. We do love hearing insider's tips, and if you would like to share your hometown, please click here for more information or contact us through our Facebook page.  


Lindsay said...

I love when resorts allow dogs! I think it would be so much fun to take Ace kayaking. He has ridden on boats and in the canoe but not a kayak. He can get anxious/excited in the car but for some reason he is very laid back and relaxed when we are out on the water. It's a lot of fun to take him along whenever we can! Enjoyed the pics of Roo!

Tucker The Crestie said...

Love seeing this since Roo and we are practically neighbors!

brooke said...

Love Roo! And love that he kayaks! I think Darwin would freak out if we tried to get her in a kayak!

Laura and Hans said...

This is very exciting news to us as we're moving to St. Petersburg next month (something I haven't even posted about yet) and I've been concerned about finding dog friendly places!

ForPetsSake said...

ROO!!! Very good to have such a handsome & studly guide :-D We are big fans of the Roo & his mom so his stomping grounds are great to see. As former Florida residents, there are a few things like sparkling water and beers by the water that we miss....

The Daily Pip said...

Oh, this was SO MUCH FUN! First, I love Roo!! He is one of my very best bloggie friends! Plus, my great grandparents lived in Sarasota for years and my mom grew up visiting there a couple of times of year. This post brought back all kinds of fun memories! Thanks!

Your pal, Pip

Bobby said...

We wish we could go to Sarasota so sunny and blue sea.Roo is so lucky.
Licks Bobby

Two French Bulldogs said...

what a cool place.. Hope to visit it one day Thanks tour guides
Benny & Lily

Anonymous said...

I may need to check out that dog friendly resort - it looks pretty wonderful!!

Two Pitties in the City said...

My favorite part is seeing Roo kayaking, not to mention all the different types of wildlife you have. I wonder if our dogs would take as easily to kayaking, or whether they need to be true Florida dogs.

Road Dog Tales said...

Hey, this is so fun seeing Roo over here sharing his way cool town! That resort and restaurant look awesome! Roo is a lucky pup to live in such a cool place!

The Road Dogs

Anonymous said...

Oh Roo, can we come visit with you? Our Chick loves kayaking too, but he rarely gets the opportunity! Thanks for the great tour :)

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