Orlando is a great place to be a dog, and nowhere is that more true than in the downtown neighborhood of Thornton Park. Streets are lined with dog-friendly outdoor cafes, and the local salons and boutiques put out water dishes for passing pups. The neighborhood is also located right beside Lake Eola Park, one of Orlando’s most scenic and popular parks.
My husband and I spent a perfect afternoon in Thornton Park recently with our weimaraner and our baby. It was great to have an outing the whole family could enjoy.
First, we headed down to Shampooch, an annual fundraiser hosted by Lambs Eat Ivy Salon. This year’s Shampooch was more than a fundraiser; it was a full-on block party, with dogs and people of all kinds out to mingle. Volunteers were washing dogs and trimming paws to raise money for two great local charities, Pet Rescue by Judy and Harbor House. There were also vendors, cool mists and pools for the dogs, a silent auction and a raffle. Thanks to the “Lambs” and their neighbors for a great time.
After Dixie got primped up, we headed down to City Fish, where we beat the heat on their blissfully shady side patio. My husband had seafood benedict from their Sunday brunch menu, and I sampled the broiled scallops from the lunch menu. Both were great, as was the friendly (and very dog-friendly) service, so we will definitely be back in the future.
We ended our day with a stop at the Lake Eola farmer’s market. Where else can you and your dog go for free live music, a beer garden and lots of good eats and treats? We listened to Joseph Martens’ last set of the day, then headed out for a walk around the lake.
All-in-all, it was the perfect day and all four of us returned home relaxed and ready for a nap. If you’re looking for a unique dog-friendly destination in Central Florida, Thornton Park and Lake Eola are a great bet.