Sebastian Bark Park
Dogs and their owners find much to celebrate in this facility at 245 Keen Terrace, including watering, sally-port entries and a small and large dog section. Sebastian’s Bark Park boasts shady, covered picnic areas, drinking fountains, handicap parking and a scenic walking trail around the lake.
Parking is free and open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset.
Air Force Staff Sgt. Randall A. Miller has been bringing his dog, Ruby, to the Sebastian Bark Park for years.
“I love gathering with friends and letting our dogs play here. It’s a well-maintained park,” he said.
Vero Beach Dog Park
Hugging the lush shores of the intracoastal waterway, this green space is run by community volunteers with maintenance costs at about $50,000 annually, all with private sector dollars. The park includes separate small and large dog areas, doggie drinking fountains, a shaded seating area and lots of space.
“I oversee the Vero Beach Dog Park newsletter, which has 500 subscribers," Chandler said. "Recently, we had a fundraising event there, Bark & Brew, which brought over 2,000 people and over 800 dogs."
"We also have fundraisers at our monthly Sales for Tails events and at a springtime soiree at Costa D’Este," he added. "I’ve met people who actually choose to winter here because of the dog park. It’s a tremendous asset to our community.”
Local resident Gus Curren walks his dog, Lucy, a hound mix, to the Vero Beach Dog Park daily.
“It’s the most beautiful, clean, safe place," he said. "At times, there are over 50 dogs at the park, and they all play happily together. The vibe there is very friendly.”
Other dog parks
Along with the Vero Beach and the Sebastian dog parks, there are two other dog parks in the county.
A 2-acre park affiliated with the Humane Society, 6230 77th St. Vero Beach, costs $50 annually to be a member, and the 4-acre Dogs For Life Park, 1230 16th Ave., Vero Beach, is devoted to improving the quality of life for people and dogs through training assistance dogs and pet therapy dogs.
Osceola Bistro owner Christopher Bireley said he pays a permit each year to the city to be pet-friendly.
"It allows us a section on the restaurant patio, about four or five tables, where we welcome pet owners and their dogs," he said. "We’ve even had a cat or two the past few years. We do keep a few doggy treats on hand. Being pet-friendly helps the economy of our area.”
Patio Seafood Tavern
Since people often vacation with their pets, Bill Brown, owner of Patio Seafood Tavern, has an area designated at the restaurant's outside patio for diners and their dogs.
“I think it’s great when customers bring their dogs to the outside patio," he said. "If you’re on vacation with your dog, we’re a good place to dine."
The restaurant is about to become more friendly toward furry friends with a dog menu.
"It’s going to be a fantastic menu," he said. "We’re talking ground sirloin, some type of rib eye bone, grilled chicken. It will be fun.”
Grind & Grape
Grind & Grape’s co-owner Ashlee Wykoff notes, “People love bringing their pets to enjoy the live jazz or blues music at night on our patio. It’s good for Vero especially beachside because people walk their dogs around the Farmers Market on the weekend, and then come by our patio for a glass of wine or a cup of coffee.”
Capt Hiram's Hotel
Restaurants aren’t the only businesses to accommodate pet owners. In Sebastian, Capt Hiram’s Hotel offers lodging for travelers and their dogs.
Hotel manager Karen Lufkin said the business takes one or two dogs per owner up to 60 pounds.
"We greet them at the desk and give them a little goodie bag," she said. "So even though the city won’t allow dogs in Capt Hiram's restaurant, we’ve been a pet friendly hotel for about four years now.”
More pet-friendly restaurants
In addition to these pet-friendly locations, the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce also recommends the following restaurants: Riverside Cafe; Mulligan's Beach House; Sammy’s Mediterranean Restaurant; Waldo's; Casey's Place; Bamboo Patio at Costa d'Este; Chive Patio; The Barefoot Café; the patio at The Kilted Mermaid; Bungalow Bar; Sunset Café on U.S. 1; and Village Sandwich Shop in Sebastian.
About the top five spots
Sebastian Bark Park: 245 Keen Terrace, Sebastian; 772-228-7054
Vero Beach Dog Park: 3449 Indian River East, Vero Beach; 772-234-2824
Osceola Bistro: 2045 13th Ave., Vero Beach; 772-569-1299
Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County: 6230 77th St., Vero Beach; 772-388-3331
Riverside Cafe: 3341 Bridge Plaza Drive, Vero Beach;(772-234-5550
Read More at TC Palm