Miamians can be less than kind to their fellow homo sapiens. But bring a canine around, and frowns turn to smiles, sunshine, and baby talk.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. After all, dogs make the world (and our city in particular) a better place. So it's important that we shower them with love, yummy food, and fun times for their short duration on this planet.
Luckily, the city has plenty of playgrounds designed for your furry friends. Here are our top ten places to bring Spot or Fluffy for the time of his/her life.
10. North Shore Open Space Park
While this locale can seem a little, well, sketchy after dark, it's pure paradise for your furry friends during daylight hours. Parking isn't an issue (a rarity in this city) and your pups will get a kick out of frolicking in one of two fenced-in enclosures.
9. Washington Ave Bark Park
If you're a fan of the SoFi lifestyle, this park's your best bet. High rise condo-dwellers, sailors, and bartenders alike frequent this spot with their furry friends. There are dog runs, drinking fountains, and benches and shade, so you can even cozy up to that cute neighbor you've been eying and woo her with puppy talk.
8. Flamingo Park
This park's pretty much got it all, from swimming pools to tennis courts. But best of all is its two-pronged dog park, because we know who wears the metaphorical pants in your family. (Hint: It's the one that doesn't wear pants at all.) This is the perfect place for both of you to do some serious SoBe socializing.
7. Kennedy Park
There's nothing like bayfront breezes, both for you and your best bud. At Kennedy Park, you can stroll alongside the picturesque waterfront, breathe in that salty (and sometimes fishy, bleh) air and remind yourself why you live in the 305. There are two fenced enclosures for pups big and small, but the park's spacious enough that lots of people also lounge in the grass with their unleashed pups alongside.
6. Greynolds Park
This northerly spot is notable for a landmark hill -- possibly the highest elevation in the eternally horizontal landscape of South Florida. There's a huge parking lot and as far as dog park assets, you've got shade structures, furniture, hosing stations, water fountains and lots of other goodies. Plenty to keep man and animal busy.
5. Tropical Park Bark Park
This little poochie pleasure palace has just about everything, from a tire jump to a king-of-the-hill ramp, so Barney can show the other dogs who's boss. There are two areas, one for big dogs and one for wee ones, and the area spans a full two acres.
4. Blanche Park
Only in the Grove would you find a cozy little hideaway like this one. Unfortunately, the city (in its infinite idiocy) has been forced to re-renovate the park multiple times due to lack of proper planning that led to muddy runs, destroyed plants and shorn grass. But with the recent addition of lots of AstroTurf, the park's finally in tip-top shape, and it's a lovely respite if you're in the 'hood.
3. Amelia Earhart Bark Park
In addition to a lake, a petting zoo, soccer fields, and picnic shelters, this sprawling ode to the outdoors also has a whopping five acre area just for dogs. With everything this place has going on, it's an easy way to kill a weekend.
2. Perrine Wayside Park's Dog Park
If you're willing to make the trek past the hustle and bustle of downtown, the landscaped lawns of Coral Gables and the suburbia of Pinecrest, you'll eventually hit Palmetto Bay's Perrine Wayside Park, a doggie heaven if there ever was one. With hoses to shower your pooches, a giant lake for swimming, tons of benches, and a fenced off play area, this place is puppy paradise.
1. Hobie Beach
Dogs love beaches almost as much as people do. Maybe more. After all, they don't have to worry about bikini bods or tan lines. Key Biscayne's Hobie Beach is the 305's home for playful pups who like to get their beach on. Just don't embarrass your loyal companion by donning that "European-style" swimsuit you lugged back from France a few years back.