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Pet-friendly places in Gainesville
By Carly Zinderman

While you may have to leave your four-legged friends at home for some vacations, Gainesville is pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry companions along for the trip. From parks to restaurants to places to stay, Gainesville offers plenty of accommodations for pets, and the humans traveling with them.

Pet-friendly parks
Florida's state parks are all pet-friendly places. So after a long ride in the camper or RV, go for a walk and stretch your legs. Adhere to park rules and keep your pet on a leash—and only in areas designated for pets. For the safety of your pet, some areas are off-limits, so be sure to read signs for a safe vacation.

In addition to state parks, you can also find free dog parks. Dog Wood Park, an off-leash park, has 15 acres to help your pet make friends with other dogs and explore the well-maintained, gator-free grounds and ponds. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is a lush tropical garden and a very popluar dog-walking spot where pets are allowed if on leashes. Other off-leash dog parks include Forest Park, Northeast Park and Squirrel Ridge.

Pet-friendly restaurants
Thanks to great weather and lots of outdoor dining, many of Gainesville's restaurants offer pet-friendly patios. Whether you are craving a burger and beer at the Gators Den Sports Grill or a pastry and a cup of coffee at The Flour Pot Bakery, you can bring along your pet and feel confident it will have shade, water and a confined area. 

Other restaurants that allow pets on the patio and even provide a water bowl on request include the fine Italian dinery The Fat Tuscan, the sports bar Gator Tales and the quirky pizza shop favorite Satchel’s Pizza.

Pet-friendly places to stay
Many of Gainesville's RV parks and campgrounds allow pets. However, if you're not traveling by camper and staying in a hotel or motel, Gainesville also has pet-friendly options for you.

The Comfort Inn University is conveniently located near many of Gainesville's attractions, mere miles from the University of Florida and Gainesville's downtown as well as restaurants and shops. Rooms are equipped with modern amenities, and many are available to visitors traveling with pets.

Baymont Inn & Suites Gainesville features an outdoor pool, business services, a fitness center, modern amenities and pet-friendly accommodations. The accommodations also include an optional fridge and microwave for the room, should you or your pet need it, and many other amenities are available upon request.

Budget-savvy travelers can find all the basics at pet-friendly Travelers Inn, as well as a pool, Wi-Fi access and pet-friendly rooms.

PICTURED: Elmer enjoys sniffing all the plants along the trail
Photo Courtesy of Visit Gainesville
PICTURED: Elmer at the dog park
Photo Courtesy of Visit Gainesville
PICTURED: Elmer Fudd enjoying the fresh water at Kanapaha
Photo Courtesy of Visit Gainesville