Aside from the well-known theme parks such as Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World, Orlando's year-round mild weather and sunny days are a welcome reprieve for travelers looking to escape cold winter climates. For those with a pet in tow, you'll find plenty of activities that can include your furry family friend.
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Because of the generally clement weather, Orlando is ideal for hiking. Many state and local parks allow you to take your pet on the trail. For instance, Cady Way Trail is a 3.5-mile paved multi-use trail where you're welcome to hike, jog or cycle along with your pet. Wekiwa Springs State Park, 30 miles north of Orlando offers pet-friendly hiking and camping on park grounds. Pets must be kept on a six-foot leash, never left unattended and aren't allowed in the swimming areas.
Many Orlando theme parks offer pet-sitting services. Disney has air-conditioned, attended pet kennels adjacent to the transportation and ticket center at the Magic Kingdom section of the park. At Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studio and Disney's Wild Kingdom, the kennels are located next to the park entrances. Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground also has a kennel. Your pet can stay for the day, or overnight boarding is available.
Boating With Fido
Whether you want to charter a boat for a local lake or go searching for alligators in the swamps of Orlando, some boat companies will allow you to bring your dog along for the ride. Big Toho Airboat Rides lets well-behaved dogs on its excursions, provided they remain under the owner's control at all times.
Dogs Run Free
If you're bringing a dog on vacation with you, consider its needs in your planning, especially when it comes to exercise. Orlando has several off-leash dog parks where your canine companion can run free and play with other dogs. One of these is Fleet Peeples Park in Winter Park six miles from the heart of Orlando. This park sprawls over 23 acres, with plenty of picnic tables, a lake and boat dock.
Excursion to Old Town
Orlando's favorable climate makes it ideal for a nighttime stroll or shopping excursion. Just outside Orlando, the neighboring town of Kissimmee contains the Old Town shopping, dining and entertainment area. With arcade games, music, restaurants, rides and stores, Old Town provides a fun family atmosphere that welcomes leashed, dogs in the common areas.